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So a friend of mine just had her two boys turn one and three, respectively. She and her partner decided to throw them a gorgeous joint Superhero party with all the trimmings, something they aren’t planning to do again for a few years so they went all out.
It was incredible, the spread was insane, there was a huge bouncy castle and a variety of soft play including a ball pit. My husband took photos for the day and set up a backdrop with superhero photo props for fun, almost everyone dressed up and a relative of the family brought his guitar and sang Disney songs for entertainment!
My eldest little man was so exhausted from all the bouncing and food and fun, he fell asleep right on the floor before we even left!
All in all, the soft play and bounce hire, food, custom made superhero cakes/cookies/birthday cake and the hall hire cost rather a lot of money, but it was all worth it.
However, we discovered in hindsight that the costs could have been cut dramatically!
So here are some party hacks for you!
(Because it turns out throwing a big party doesn’t actually have to cost as much as you think.)
4 Awesome hacks for throwing a kids party on a budget!
DIY the food, but plan wisely!
All in all my friends did an amazing job on food but at the end of the party they were encouraging people to take some home, there was so much left!
It gave me a few ideas for saving in this area:
- Nothing has to be brand name! Just think about it, you want to supply the drinks table with a wide variety of fizzy drinks, right? If you check the prices of brand name stuff (like the big Cola we all know), then head to Aldi, the cola they have is a third the price. A third. It also tastes exactly the same, and no one at a party is going to notice! (This goes for everything, crisps, cupcakes etc)
- Say you’re inviting 20 people, try to think realistically how much each person or child will eat. Plan to make leftovers your lunch/dinner for a few days after just in case. For example, with all the options available people might eat one, maybe two little finger sandwiches, so instead of making a sandwich per person, make half, so for 20 people you only need 10 sandwiches!
- Personalised or themed goodies are great, but can you make them yourself? Say you want cookies with a specific deign on top, could you perhaps youtube a demo? How about the Birthday cake? If you only want a simple design it could be a huge saving to just DIY!
2. Don’t be afraid to ask family/friends to help
(If my friend hadn’t have done this, the party would have cost over £100 on top of what it did!)
- A photographer isn’t cheap, granted you don’t often see them at kids’ parties but if you happen to know someone who’d like to increase their portfolio and build their experience, why not ask? It’s a lovely way to make the party unique and build some awesome memories for everyone after, not to mention the aspiring photographer just got some exposure with your guests and some experience to help them improve!
- At the Superhero party a relative brought his guitar and sang some Disney songs! Why use a CD on repeat when you could have a real person who could engage the kids and encourage them to dance along? Just like with Photographers, Musicians are always glad of the exposure and could use the chance to perform with a real audience, why not ask around?
- Friends and family can take a massive strain off of the big day overall. If you need to put up decorations and set everything up, you don’t want the kids under your feet or to be stressed about not having it done before people start arriving. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends to come and help you set up! Leave the kids at the grandparents or with someone who won’t mind for a few hours, delegate tasks and get cracking!
- Going back to that Birthday Cake, if you feel you won’t have time to be baking with everything you’ve got to wrangle, do you happen to know anyone with a flair for decorating? Paying a friend to do your cake could cost you less than half the price of a professionally made cake!
3. Electronic Invites and Free Printable Decorations!
Decorations can be the difference between a party and a PARTY. They can bring the whole thing together and make it look simply stunning with something as simple as bunting! My friend chose some awesome stuff to bring together her superhero theme. You can find some excellent stuff for reasonable prices. (Check out these incredible Superhero cookie toppers! and super cute Retro comic bunting!)
What could be more reasonable than free?
Pinterest is the home of the printable! You can find links to amazing blogs hosting free party printables for just about any theme you can imagine. Mickey Mouse? Check. Superhero? Check. Princesses? Check!
You can make your own bunting with some paper, string and a glue stick. Or why not make themed cups by printing the labels and sticking them to regular pound shop paper cups? No-one will ever know!
(Don’t forget to send out your invites via Facebook or email! Why pay for paper when everyone is online!)
4. Take advantage of Baby Groups and Church Halls
This one is my favourite party hack by far.
Pretty much the best tip I have ever heard!
If you’re a parent of a young child, you likely go to baby/toddler and parent groups. Most often you’ll find these through designated childcare centres in your area, which are government run and offer multiple services.
You will find other options, these are hosted by local volunteers who are usually parents themselves, and the groups will usually be held in a large, safe area which serves the community, such as a church hall.
We have three groups on our weekly rotation, two of which are volunteer run at two different churches nearby. Hiring a Church hall is not an uncommon idea for a kids’ party, but if you happen to be a frequent church goer or baby group member, you might be in luck!
- My friend hired one of our baby group halls, they used it from Sunday lunch to evening and as the woman who organises these things knew her from the group, she only asked 50% of the usual hire price! If you aren’t offered a friends discount off the bat, don’t be afraid to ask!
- The baby group store all of their donated toys and things at the hall. My friend only found out after hiring her own that she could have used them! Don’t hesitate to ask if you can use the toys the hall already has. Most of the time the answer is yes, but no one realises because they’re too afraid to ask! Our baby group even has a bouncy castle they pull out every couple of weeks! If your group has one you could be missing out big time, by not taking advantage of what is already on offer!
There we are! A couple of hints and tricks learnt from throwing a mega kids bash, theme and all. I hope you find these useful and can save yourself a little money using them!
Your little superheroes will enjoy their day more knowing mum and dad are enjoying it too! *wink*