DIY Children’s Party on a Budget
I love throwing parties – kids parties, I mean. I enjoy every minute of the process from gathering ideas, planning, shopping; all the way up to the party itself where I am the MC for the kids. Fantastic!
For as long as I can remember, I have always hosted my children’s parties at home. Unlike parties held in your local McDonald’s or Chipmunks, having one at home gives you so much flexibility. You can do whatever you want; invite however many you want – and there is no time limit except for the one set by you.
With two kids of my own, I know that throwing a full on party is not always practical. And that’s why, I’m showing how to DIY your own party on a budget!
Oh and before we get started – I have included a FREE Birthday Party Checklist which you can get at the end of this post 🙂
1. Let’s start with the THEME
A good party starts with a good theme. So think about what your child is into – is it a new Disney movie? A superhero? A specific interest like baking or art?
A theme doesn’t always have to be based on a children’s movie. It can also start with a color! Does your child like pink? Or blue? Orange maybe?
I like organizing parties that aren’t necessarily tied to a movie or anything like that.
Here are some generic theme ideas:
- Ice Cream Party
- Wild West Fest
- Movie Party
- Camping Party
Now, for this post, I’m going to focus on a Pancakes and Pajamas Party I did for my daughter when she was younger.
2. Make a list of everything
Now that you’ve decided on a theme, you can head on to the planning phase, which is the best because you get to spend as much time as you want on Pinterest crushing on all the many different ideas – and call it planning!
So, think about:
- How many and who your child is inviting
- Party Favors
3. Create a Schedule of Events
Having a schedule is important to getting everything perfect. I mean – of course, nothing can be perfect, especially when you’re dealing with kids…. but you know what I mean.
So, create a schedule of events. These are the key points you should have in it:
Now at first glance, you might think – what?! Five activities? Crazy! But the reality is you won’t end up doing all of that. It’s good to just have some back-up activities in case the children need your guidance. This all depends on how old the kids are. Also, bear in mind that it’s a Pancakes and Pajamas Party – and my preference is to have it at mid-morning, because then you can get away with skipping breakfast. Plus, the parents will thank you because they just pop their kids into the car – in their PJ’s!
4. Decide on your activities
Again, this depends largely on how old the children are.
Let’s say, the kids are aged between 5-7 years old. Here are some great ideas you can do for activities
Activity 1 – Design-A-Cupcake – Using playdough, ask the children to design the perfect cupcake. Get some parents lined up to participate as judges. I had some old playdough around the house, so I used that. But if you wanted to make your own, here’s a good 4-minute recipe…. or you can buy some from the dollar store. Whatever suits you best! Activity 2 – Pass the Parcel – OK. So a kids party is not a kids party without a game of Pass the Parcel. If you’re not familiar with Pass the Parcel, you can find a quick set of instructions HERE. Activity 3 – Pancake Relay – A Pancake Relay is like any other relay, except you get the kids to run around using spatulas and pancakes!! Here’s a TIP – When preparing brunch, just add a few more pancakes to the cooking and keep them aside for the game 🙂 Activity 4 – Pin the Cherry on Pancakes – Exactly like pin the tail on the donkey… but just using a cherry and pancakes, ya? Activity 5 – Simon Says – I always have this game as a back-up activity. Like I said earlier, you probably won’t need so many activities; but just in case… there’s always Simon Says!
5. MAKE A LIST OF THE FOOD TO SERVE
I love brainstorming about the food. It’s got to connect with the whole theme of the party. So again, thinking about a Pancakes & Pajamas Party, it’s pretty simple. You can totally serve breakfast foods. Here are some ideas:
- Pancakes (yup!)
- Cheese Rolls
- Sausage Rolls
- Cereal and Milk
- Don’t forget your CAKE!
- and on and on I could go… but you know what I mean!
6. CHOOSE YOUR PARTY FAVORS
Breakfast and Brunch parties are so easy to create party favors for. You can get a dozen plastic bowls (or however many for the number of kids you’re inviting) from the dollar store. Pick up some individual boxes of single serve cereal, a couple of bags of lollies (candies), and some cling wrap.
Wrap it all up together, and you’ve got yourself some pretty neat party favors. Easy peasy!
7. CHOOSE YOUR DECORATIONS
I tend to choose simple decorations. If there’s anything I learned about Children’s Parties, it’s that the children don’t notice the decorations – trust me! So I just go for really simple balloons, streamers, and pom poms from the dollar store.
Your invitations will tie all of your planning together. Now, you can choose to go old school and send an actual invitation to school with your child to hand out. I find though that the children end up losing it… or forgetting about it in their school bags; and so it takes a while for the parents to get back to you. So instead – I design an invitation on a simple Canva, PowerPoint, or even Microsoft Word. Then I save it as a jpeg file and send it via text to the parents. Easy! Of course this only works if you know the parents of the children being invited. My phone is full of names like Talia’s-Mom-Jody, Eden’s-Mom-Olivia, or Amy’s-Dad-Greg. Hands up to who can relate? Yeah!
If you zoom into the photo of the schedule, you’ll notice that I have an activity for when the children arrive. It’s a great way of getting the children busy when they first arrive, so that they don’t stand awkwardly around. SO – what I do is, I get a craft gift bag for each child, and give it to them to decorate on their arrival. I lay out a bunch of crayons, felts, and stickers on a table and off they go coloring, drawing, and sticking. When they’re done with it, I ask them to put in specified place. Over the course of the party, they can put whatever lollies they win into the bag. At the end of the party, they walk away with the bag in hand 🙂
Are you planning a party?
Get your FREE Birthday Party Checklist HERE
ABOUT MELISSA AND WAYNE
Wayne is an Accountant and the brains behind our personal finances. Melissa is the ex-Recruiter turned homemaker, writer, and serial mompreneur! We write about Smart Money Practices like How I Paid My $24,000 Debt Off In 16 Months, Practical Parenting and Why You Should Tell Your Daughters They Are Beautiful, and Career.