Ideas For Kid's Birthday Parties

Article provides four ways to make toddler-K5 birthday bashes more fun and less costly, including location, menu ideas, invitations

Children's birthday bashes can be fun to host and attend. As a parent, however, you probably are learning that these kiddie parties also can be quite exhausting and expensive.

You can increase the fun factor, while reducing your cost and fatigue, of your child's next birthday party by exploring some of the following ideas.

1. Stick to one theme. Whether you decide to throw your child a party months or days in advance, it's a good idea to choose a theme that fits in with your child's age, personality, favorite toys or books and the location of the party. Themes include character parties, sleepovers, barbecues and pizza pig-outs. Sticking to your theme, will help you to reduce unrelated purchases - even if they are great birthday party ideas.

2. Think frugally. One way to reduce costs related to birthday parties for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners, is to set a budget and stick to it. When making your budget, consider whether you want your child's party to include such extras as a clown or some other similar activity. Remember that you'll need to allot at least 30 minutes or more of the total party time to include such activities, and that your party site must be accessible for the clown or performer. To reduce your costs, plan ahead and purchase invitations, party ware (cups, plates, plastic cutlery, hats), goodie bag treats, thank you cards and party favors from large retail chains, discount warehouses or outlets, instead of grocery stores and small card shops where items tend to be more expensive. You may also opt to buy a decorated birthday cake from a grocery store rather than a bakery. These days, many grocery chains sell made-to-order cakes that are as yummy as those sold by stand-alone bakeries. As with their bakery counterparts, the grocery cakes come in a variety of favorite TV or book characters based on those your kids love. Store-bought cakes also usually have one or more small figurines that can be used as toys or kept as birthday memorabilia. Another way to reduce costs is to opt for computer-generated invitations that you or a friend can whip out in no time. These can be printed on special card stock, colored paper or special party-related stationary. In either case, these invitations are quick, inexpensive (especially if you use black, not colored, ink) ways to get the word out about your child's pending party.

3. Reduce your invitation list. Does your child really have 20 friends? Or have you padded the invite list to make sure your party is filled and you won't waste money? As you plan your child's birthday bash, carefully consider your invitation list. By cutting the number of children invited to your party, you will reduce the time and money spent on it. When reducing the list, try not to hurt any child's feelings who may be expecting to attend. If your child is in day care, pre-school or kindergarten, one way to do so is to invite only your child's closest friends to the party. Then ask permission to bring in a small homemade or store-bought cake or cupcakes for sharing with your child's entire class.

4. Pick the right place. Kids birthday bashes can be held in homes, backyards, fast food restaurants and at other exciting venues. Your choice should reflect your budget and the amount of time you want to spend preparing for and cleaning up after the party. The party site should also be accessible to everyone attending and provide room enough for any special games or performances. Backyard parties are great because they allow young children to run and jump and enjoy the day with many more friends than perhaps a bash at a fast food restaurant. However, while a backyard bash offers these benefits, it also entails more preparation and clean-up time than a party held at a restaurant. A key is to remember that wherever the party is held it should allow for the maximum amount of fun and games for the time allotted.

5. Give thanks. Showing your appreciation to the children and parents who attended your child's birthday party is one of the secrets to better birthday bashes for kids. Whether you purchase thank you cards or create computer-generated ones, remember to thank everyone who participated - not just those who gave gifts. Don't forget those who helped with pre- and post-party activities, or those who sent gifts but could not attend the party. Also, if your child received a gift from someone, note that in your card.

© High Speed Ventures 2011