Throw a fun birthday party for a young girl, even while working with a tight budget. Here is how:
1. Plan ahead. I keep a ‘birthday party box’ which contains a couple fun, reusable tablecloths, birthday candles, and various items I find on clearance such as balloons, streamers, plates, cups, napkins and party supplies.
2. Together with the birthday girl, choose a theme for the party. A ‘princess’ theme can be fun for a young girl’s party any time. Some other ideas for possible themes could be a water theme in hot weather, or sledding in winter. At this point the child and I check if any of the items in the ‘birthday party box’ fit the theme; then we make a list of supplies needed.
3. Get creative! Balloons are inexpensive and can make any birthday party theme festive. Some examples: pastels for a princess party; water balloons for a summer water-themed party; white balloons for a snow theme. We use lots of balloons! We use them for decorations (attached to streamers, on chairs, strung along walls or completely covering the floor of one room), for games, and included in gift bags. If you do not want to be left with lots of balloons to pop after the party, you might have a ‘balloon popping’ contest, or string a bunch of balloons together to let each guest take home with them. Check clearance sales and dollar stores for other decoration and party supplies. Making a homemade banner can also be fun and festive.
An idea for entertainment could be to ask a family member or friend to dress up and visit the party for a short time; a ‘queen’ might come visit the princess party, or a clown to toss water balloons at a ‘water-fun’ party. Perhaps you will have the party at a local playground or park (this cuts costs quite alot; you do not need many decorations at a park); at this party a ‘fairy’ could arrive at the park to lead your princesses on a treasure hunt, or hang a pinata for them.
4. Together with your child, make party invitations. When working with a tight budget, you might keep your guest list quite small. Make invitations to match your party theme (‘princess party’ invitations shaped like a tiara or crown, or decorated with princess stickers (or prince stickers for boy guests.) Ask guests to dress for the theme; dress-up clothes for a princess party or a tea party, appropriate outside clothing for a sledding party, etc.
5. Plan the birthday cake and other food. There are many fun cake ideas on the internet. If you purchase a cake, check prices ahead of time so you know where you will find a cake which fits your theme as well as your budget. Or consider serving cupcakes instead of a bigger cake. We once had party guests frost and decorate their own cupcake, and they had fun!
If the party is at lunch or dinner time, serve pizza or hot dogs (approved by budget as well as most children) as well as the sweet treats. If the party is not at a meal time, it is okay to serve only snack items.