Cincinnati Family Magazine

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April 18, 2024

Celebrate Without Splurging

Don’t over-think the next birthday party, just grab a hold of a can-do attitude and let the good times roll.

fea_partygirl.pngChildren’s birthday parties don’t have to be stressful, time consuming and expensive … in fact, today especially, they shouldn’t be! In order to have a fun party for your child that doesn’t cost a lot, a little creativity and a lot of willingness is in order. Here are suggestions from moms who have done it:

Gross Out!

Have a Fear Factor party for an older set of kids. Pick up “left over” meats like eyeballs and other gross stuff from a local butcher. The kids can touch, smell and sometimes even taste to figure out what the items were.

Christmas in July

Kids who love the holidays will welcome this fun twist especially in summer months. You can get holiday decorations on discount now. Little girls will love dressing up in their Christmas dresses. Wrap gifts in holiday paper, serve Christmas cookies, make a craft and sing carols!

Pajama Brunch

Sleepovers can be hard since no one actually sleeps so a pajama brunch is just the right thing! Invite friends to come over around 10 a.m. in pajamas for dancing, a story circle, a pillow fight and breakfast, which can be anything from pancakes to bagels and fruit.

Indiana Jones in the Park

A local park makes the perfect location for an Indiana Jones party! Find compasses and whistles at a dollar discount store. Encourage guests to come in adventure wear and take them on an adventure through park trails.

Spa Party for Any Age

Enlist the help of your friends to do a spa party for girls 8 and older. Do their fingernails, toes and makeup with supplies you have on hand, but ask everyone to bring their own brush. After gussying up, turn it into a dance party. A bottle of nail polish makes an affordable favor.

Fire Safety

If their schedule’s clear, ask the local fire department to stop by for your child’s party. The firefighters may bring coloring books, helmets and information for the guests. The kids may be able to sit in the truck, try on equipment and touch stuff.

Hollywood Party

Invite guests to come as their favorite rock or movie star and take their picture as they arrive on the red carpet (a borrowed red sheet, blanket, or roll of paper). Play the “paparazzi dance” – fall to the ground to hide from the photographers when the music stops. The music can be from famous movies. Also play Hollywood charades: each child pulls a star’s name out of the hat and has to act that person out while the others guess. You can even hold an Oscars ceremony. Purchase mini trophies (eight to a pack) at the Dollar Store and give out awards for best dressed, funnniest, etc. Favors can include popcorn balls and cheap sunglasses.

Helpful Tips

Use household items, like your child’s toys, to decorate the party area. Make the cake yourself and let the birthday child decorate it. Take a photo of your party guests and send the prints (usually less than 20 cents each) with a note on the back as the thank you card. You can also print the photos during the party, put them in inexpensive frames from a discount store and send them home with the guests as the party favor.

Most parents prefer for their children to not have small trinkets that will just be thrown away or candy. Stop by a discount store to find one nicer item to give each child. A bug catcher from the dollar store would be perfect for a bug or outdoor-themed party. A nail file and hand lotion is great for almost any girl party.

A party should be fun for the birthday child, the guests and the parents, and it doesn’t need to break the bank. So start thinking outside the box and have a blast planning your child’s next big party!

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