Guest Post by Vivienne Egan
As any parent will tell you, kids’ parties are getting pretty competitive these days. From 10-year-olds being shuttled back and forth to spa days in limousines to helicopter rides around the houses of Parliament, it seems that every party is more outrageously expensive than the last, until it begins to feel that it’s less about the kids themselves and more about the adults making a splash.
So in the interests of having birthday parties that are both enjoyable for the kids and won’t break the bank, here are ten five ideas for cost-effective parties:
1. Make the cake yourself
Besides being from the heart, making your child’s birthday cake can be really fun and far cheaper than getting a cake from the shop or made specially. There are plenty of creative ways to make a personalised cake with a bit of colourful icing and decorations.
2. Host the party at home
If it’s feasible, at home is the most cost-effective venue. If your house is not large, suggest party themes that can be accommodated, such as a sleepover for close friends only.
3. Ask family and close friends to help with catering
If you have a good network of family and friends nearby who are attending the party, ask if they can contribute a plate. Sausage rolls, mini-cupcakes and crisps for the kids and cheese, olives and dips for the adults.
4. DIY party games are always the most fun
Pin the tail on the donkey, duck duck goose, eating donuts from strings on the clothesline, pass the parcel. The old ones are the good ones, and can be achieved with the simplest of materials.
5. Get a family friend to be a special guest
A fairy, a clown, a pirate or a super hero – you don’t have to hire a professional to be a special guest. An older cousin or a neighbour might be happy to dress up for an hour.
The most important thing for a child’s birthday party is for your kids and their friends to have a great time. Thought and effort will make a far bigger impact than throwing a lot of money at a party. Kids will remember fun, laughter and playing games much more than glitz, glam and cash.
What are your best tips for throwing a cost-effective party? What is the most lavish kids’ party you have ever attended?