Written by Saima Umair
Planning a birthday party for your children is an exciting endeavour. Children always love to celebrate their special day with their friends and family but that doesn’t mean it has to cost you a fortune.
You can have a perfectly fun and successful DIY birthday celebration at your home.
Here are a few tips that can help you plan your next celebration.
Fix The Budget
Planning your budget will help you get organized and avoid any surprise expenses at a later stage. Keep in mind the cost of a cake, decorations, party favors and food.
Decide your total budget and stick to it. If your budget is low, don’t worry there are many fun and less expensive ways to make your party amazing.
You can bake a homemade cake that suits your budget, design simple but colourful party decorations with crepe paper and balloons, and plan simple games for kids as well as for adults as entertainment.
Guest List and Invitations
Make a guest list and send out invitations in time so no one misses out on the party.
You don’t need to spend money on printed invitations. Take advantage of making free but fun invitation online. I used free downloadable invitation templates from greetingsisland.com and evite.me.
You can send these invitations through emails or text messages. In some cases, you can create and maintain a group chat through whatsapp or Facebook and get the group discussing the upcoming party.
Consider the Food
The best time for a birthday party is between main meals, either in between breakfast and lunch or in between lunch and dinner. That way, you can avoid having to prepare a full meal.
You can easily get away with snacks like mini pizzas, nuggets, sandwiches, a variety of fruits and vegetable sticks. For drinks you can serve homemade lemonade and juices.
Decide on A Theme
Deciding the theme of the party is always exciting. If your child is not able to express or tell you what theme is his or her favourite, you can plan a theme around a character he or she likes the most.
My son loves Blippi and the construction site machines. So, that was his 3rd birthday theme.
Should you not have a specific theme, you can’t get it wrong with a carnival, jungle or a pirate theme birthday party.
Once the theme is decided, shopping for party decoration would be easy. Nowadays, most table cover, paper plates and cups, napkins and balloons comes in themes and are easily available.
You can also stick to theme colours as plain coloured decorations are more cost effective than the ones with design. For example, if Frozen is your theme, stick to blue, white and silver while for a Mickey mouse themed party, red, black and white would do the trick.
If you are going to order the cake, take your time to scout for a baker who can offer you a cake at a reasonable price.
There more intricate the cake design, the more expensive it would be. If you prefer to be cost effective, then choose a cake within your theme colour and with simple or no design.
If time is not a constraint, baking your own cake can be fun endeavour, especially if you attempt it with your children. Let your children help you with the simple activities like with measurements, mixing and decorating.
Even if it didn’t turn out perfect, for children, baking their own birthday cake is something to be very proud of!
Plan Short Games
Plan games according to age groups. For younger children, musical chair, duck duck goose, dancing competition, pass the parcel would all be a hit. For older kids, tug-of-wars and creative indoor or outdoor obstacle courses will do the trick.
To make it exciting, introduce prizes where appropriate.
If you have space, create an arts and craft corner. Prepare safe and age related material such as colouring pencils and play doh, and let children feel free to entertain themselves whenever they want.
You can also schedule a short cartoon or movie time along with snacks to keep the kids busy so that the adults can have some time for food and socializing.
If you have the budget, hire bouncing castles, magicians or a balloonist.
Goodie bags are a great way to thank the guests for coming. It is easy to be creative with goodie bags. If you are on a budget, it can be as simple as a homemade cooking in a simple paper bag or it can be paper bags filled with various toys and snack.
To make it personal, include a “Thank You For Coming” note by the birthday kid.
Make it a Team Effort
Involve your children as much as you can even if it about making the smallest decision. Involve them in deciding the guest list, ask them about party snacks and games for the big day, party theme and let them help you decorate your home whenever possible.
Involving your kids will not only make them happy, but teach them a sense of responsibility and ownership for what they are doing.
However, be mindful that things may move slower than expected when kids are involved. So, remember to allocate enough time when planning each activity.
With proper organization and planning, you can have an unforgettable birthday party without sending yourself (or your bank account) into a meltdown.
Saima is a stay at home mum of 3 children, aged 9, 6 and 2. She has experiences in teaching as well as in Human Resources and is currently a freelance blog writer. She loves arts and crafts, especially as an activity with her children.