Friday, March 1, 2013

Frugal Childrens Party Ideas

I asked my readers on Frugal Sally to give me their best frugal party tips for children.  This is a list of what they came up with.

From Heather O.
Make note books from printer paper and tie off with a ribbon. Also instead of buying crayons break a box up put two in each favor bag with the notebooks.

One more home made bubbles in little bottles from the dollar store or hobby lobby decorate with stickers or ribbon to match your theme.

Homemade play dough on bags, homemade chalk, design your own place mats sorry my mind runs.

Older kids can take pictures you print and put in frames they decorated
I buy wood frames for 99 cents at michaels.

From Nancy  N. C.
Not sure it's a cost saver but, I guess so since it's definitely portion control ... I know it makes things a lot easier for serving: if you are serving cake and ice cream ... go with cupcakes and pre-scoop ice cream into extra cupcake liners (then set on a baking tray or similar in the freezer 'til time to serve) ... it makes it a lot faster / easier and neater to quickly serve a lot of folks ice cream and cake!

From Marissa M.
Children parties... you could do one child per age of your child... turning 6 equals 6 friends.. this opens your party options up as to where you can have them at without having your child's parents spring for that as well as a gift... Just a thought.

From Jennifer T. C.
This worked for me last year and I am actually having my son bday party today. I made a homemade cake, bought ice cream, a few frozen pizzas, and the boys are going to play outside. This was requested by my son both years. HE didn't want any special party like at the movies, bowling, chuck e cheese etc. All the presents are going to be wrapped in newspaper. Cheap? Maybe but he might remember just running around playing outside when he's older. The only bday parties I ever had as a child were cake and ice cream, presents wrapped in newspaper and family as the attendees.

From Kimberly H. P.
I make home made party decorations. I use napkins n the theme of choice & or posters to make home made piñata. I use a brown grocery bag fill it with McDonald toys & candy then cover it with the napkin or poster. I have a "Pepsi" sign used at a convenience store( the slick kind.) that I recycled and wrote Happy Birthday on the back. We have used that banner for 10 years & 2 kids. It was given to us - we just asked.

From Nicole R.
Kids Birthday parties can be expensive especially if you try to keep up with the Jones next door. So picking a theme that can be done a dime is key. So here a few for you:

1. Science Party- This can be really fun and really cheap. You can decorate your home like a mad scientist with old Halloween decorations. You can have the kids do experiments as games. This website has a ton of them and they usually require things you have right in your home.

2. Hero Party- Invite kids to dress as their favorite hero. Make a sign that says welcome to Super hero training camp. Have crafts to make their own masks. Make a bean bag toss hero themed and call it target practice. Take a cardboard box and make a photo booth. For weight lifting take a stick and tape really huge balloons on each end. Print some certificates that say they are officially a super hero.

From Crystal W-W N.
My daughter's princess party was in our backyard(no rental cost). I picked up a refrigerator box from a furniture store for free and decorated as a castle with my daughter with a draw bridge. Filled up our kiddy pool for water play and played hot potato Snow white style with a poison apple. For lute bags we made crowns out out bristol board and decorated them with sparkle glue and markers as well as decorated dollar store headbands with rhinostones from the dollar store. I made my one ice cream cake with oreo cookie crumb crust, chocolate sauce and ice cream. Our invitations were royal proclamations printed on my computer.

The pirate party we had a treasure hunting game with printed maps that we aged in the oven to find golden coins (chocolate). 

For an adventure party, we set up a pup tent (ours was inside because my son's b-day is March) we made hobo loot bags (stick from a nature walk and piece of square material) homemade trail mix (nut free) and little flashlights from the dollar stores. The only thing we slurged on was having someone come in with pets (snakes, turtles, frogs and such to talk about and show the kids) each child got a picture of themselves with a pet as well.
Invites were written on construction paper cut into a leaf.

Barbie party- for the cake I have a large measuring bowl and used it to bake the cake in for barbie's skirt. Stuck one of my daughter's barbies (covered the legs with saran wrap) into the top of the cake and just decorated with icing (koolaid package works very well for icing colouring and flavour, has to be the one without sugar) . We made our own jewelry with beads and ribbon that each child could bring home as well as decorated barrettes from the dollar story. I like to be more crafty with the little thing the kids can bring home. I find the lout bag stuff can sometimes be cheaply made and a lot of money for what you pay for. Usually they last a week then into the garbage. A lot of waste. I would rather the kids be sent home with one thing they made as it is more meaningful and tends to be less likely that it will end up in the trash. The kids spend time making their prize to take home which cuts down on games and prizes as well (some games for parties are expensive especially themed ones).

Thomas the Train party- make shift train from free refridgerator box. ( always call a week in advance to the furniture store to ask for them to save me one). Smaller box for the front and just decorate. Can also work as a truck for a construction theme b-day party. We borrowed a cake pan from the library for the Thomas cake. The kids played on the Thomas the train the whole time, we didn't even do games! We didn't even colour the train ornaments I picked up after Christmas on sale. I had made train lanterns for decoration with milk cartons painted black, cut two holes on one of the sides glued red and green tissue (left over from Christmas) to the inside, construction paper handle for the top (cut open the top of the carton). Use a flashlight or battery operated tealight inside. One for each child to take home.

From Stacy W.
Im a party planner and own my own themed birthday business for kids:)
1) the website oriental trading is a fantastic resource for supplys for decorations and goodie bags. Its my go to place
2) plan as far in advance as you can, im always hitting the clearance bins for wonderful finds at a fraction of the cost
3) we have a dollar tree's in kentucky that have colored plates cups napkins for $1! Some have themes on them also
4) the website birthday parties for kids is an excellent resource for mothers ideas that are brilliant and usually cheap
5) printing things off the computer is a time and money saver usually and can usually be personalized easier!

From JeanMarie E
I don't how well this would work now, seeing as most don't read the newspaper anymore but:
My parents (when we were little and didn't care) wrapped our gifts in newspaper, and told the guests to do the same. We were young and didn't really care what it was wrapped in as long as we could rip it off and have the gift inside.

From Gina D. R.
 I did so many theme parties on low budgets for my kids... one that comes to mind was the Mermaid party, we had the girls bring their swimsuits to wear(this was in Jan), then we maid the mermaid flipper part out of black trash bags and had races with those on! Oh yes, the floor was covered in various shades of blue balloons for the water. I made seahorses, octopuses, used shells, strung steamers, etc. Also for the cake I found a pattern using a 13 x9 and a round pan and made a mermaid. oh yes, I made a treasure chest out of a Styrofoam ice chest, covered it in alum foil and used construction paper to make the belts , etc on the chest, we had party favors, necklaces, etc in the chest. Remember the girls having a wonderful time.

We had the cat theme one year, we painted the girls faces like cats, cat cake, we played push the ball of yarn across the floor with your nose, then found some rubber gold fish and put them in a large bowl and they bobbed for fish, I think we had goldfish snacks too.

From Shara L.
For my daughter's slumber party this weekend, the girls are making homemade personal pizzas for dinner. I am making the pizza crust from scratch this week, baking them, and then freezing, so I can have enough on hand when everyone shows up. Then we will have all the ingredients laid out buffet style. Great activity, and much cheaper than chain store/ delivery pizza. 

From Lori B.
When my daughter was in jr high we had a glamour shot party, i found all kinds of formals and prom dresses. then hung up a curtain and decorated the area to which the girls would be photographed by me, they had a blast with all the make up and dressing up in the dresses and doing each others hair!! every girl from the party loved it and still talk about it

From Pat M. H.
The best birthday party I gave my son, when he turned 5 was in the park...lots to do and easy clean up....

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