This is going to be one of those areas that probably a lot of people cut out that we didn’t. Kid’s Birthday Parties. I like having big birthday parties to celebrate my kids. All of their first birthdays were huge deals (averaging about 40 people) and it just wasn’t something I wanted to give up completely.
We’ve explored cheaper options (like sleepovers & taking one friend to lunch) but this year Lilo was turning 10 and she wanted a BIG, COOL party with all of her friends, boys and girls. You all know what I wanted, inexpensive and non plan derailing, but something that would be fun for her. I started thinking through the options we had. That is my first suggestion instead of putting the ball in their court and ask “What do you want?” Think through the options first and then present them with the options that you prefer and let them pick from those. Then you don’t end up trying to talk a child into a party in the backyard when they thought renting out the zoo for all their friends sounded like a great idea.
Anyway, I came up with 1 idea and I sold it well. 🙂 I suggested pizza and a movie at our church. We would use what we had available to us. The fellowship hall at our church is big enough for her to invite all of her friends (she gave us a list of 25 kids), the church has projector we could use for the movie & we went with her favorite movie, Soul Surfer. We already own it, love it and I felt safe (with the content) showing it to a large group of kids. It was also an easy movie to build a theme around.
Decorations were pretty easy. I spent about $20 on decorations and stuff that we would use for decoration. I bought leis (to use as decoration & party favors), cardstock (to make cupcake toppers), plates, napkins, tablecloths, 2 sheets (1 for a photo booth & another used as a tablecloth), paint & toothpicks. The “big” decorating expense was $24 on wood that we used to make three 5 ft surfboards. I had seen a couple of cute ideas from weddings where they had guests pose for pictures in photo booths. I knew that was an idea that Lilo would love! I decided that if we painted the surfboards to match the girls’ room then they could also be part of her gift and we could add them to their room after the party.
The photo booth was a huge hit for the kids! They spent lots of time crowding around taking pictures holding surfboards. It was such a fun idea. I’m glad I put the time & money into it.
Food always has the potential to be a budget buster but we were going for very simple and inexpensive. We bought 5 $5 pizzas ($27), 2 dozen cupcakes ($12), swedish fish ($5), stuff for Nutter Butter flip-flops ($5) & 3 packs of blue koolaid & a dr pepper ($2). We had leftovers of everything but the Nutter Butter flip-flops.
We spent $71 without the wood for the surfboards and $95 with the wood for the surfboards. We hung the surfboards on the wall in the girls’ room after the party so now it is fairly inexpensive wall art.