Kid Pleasing Birthday Fun on a Budget

Birthday parties create wonderful, life-long memories for children. Every parent wants to provide their child with the best birthday experience that they can afford. When money is tight, there is no reason why a child’s birthday party cannot be outstanding. Check out these five ideas and save money on your child’s spectacular birthday party this year.

Party favors

It has become customary to send every child home with some kind of party favor. Even cheap, junkie favors can end up costing a lot if many guests are invited. Save money on party favors with a little creativity.

1) A few months before the party, start saving items like rolls from paper products, egg cartons, butter tubs, etc. At the party, have a contest to see who can build the most unique creation. Let the kids take their creations home as party favors.

2) Take fun pictures at the party. While they are all eating cake and ice cream, print off one 3×5 picture for each guest. Before the party, create cardboard frames. Provide stickers or markers and let each child decorate their own frame. Put the pictures in their frames and hand them to the kids as they walk out the door.

3) Let each child make their own party hat. Easy directions can be found here. Use inexpensive scrap-booking paper for the hats. 


Children are not as fussy as the parents think. Make simple games that are easy to play and fun for the kids and you will have a great party.

1) Use balloons, paper chopped in to small pieces and a paper machê to make a pinata. The best thing about pinatas is that you can make anything from Lego-looking blocks to Darth Vadar to a princess crown. Your child is sure to be pleased and can be invited to help you decorate it with tissue paper or paint. 

2) Use colorful markers to draw a Pin the _______ on the _________. You can go with the tried-and-true donkey or create your own fun. Kids can pin the tail on the mermaid, pin the crown on Cinderella, or pin the heart on Raggedy Ann. Again, use your child’s interests to dictate what the game you will make.

3) Put black plastic on a hill out back and spray it with water. The kids will enjoy their own slip and slide.

4) Resort to games that need little equipment, such as musical chairs or Simon Says. Some games just never get old.


Keep the food simple. Fancy dishes are not necessary. 

1) Make Poor Man’s Pizza using a jar of pizza sauce, hamburger buns and cheese. 

2) Make sandwiches and cut them into four squares each. Many such finger foods are low-cost and yet child-friendly.

3) Pretzels, chips and crackers are easy to serve and loved by kids.


Be creative. Make the cake yourself. Opt for individual cupcakes and save on plates and forks. Use the cupcakes to create cute ‘cakes.’ Line them up and add licorice to make a caterpillar. Place them in circles on a large sheet of foam board covered with leaves and stems and turn the cupcakes into flowers. Use your imagination and have lots of fun.


Decorations do not have to be complex or expensive. Children will learn to expect what parents teach them to expect. Keep them simple and concentrate on the activities. 

1) Buy three helium balloons from the dollar store and tie them to a heavy object like a flower pot or a stone. Use the balloons to decorate the table. 

2) Go to the dollar store in town and buy a banner for a theme party buy skip the rest of the stuff. 

3) Skip the decorations altogether. Odds are, the kids won’t even notice.

There are many ways to save on a birthday party. Just having it at your own home can save you tons of money. Use your own personal creativity and great ideas to have a great, yet affordable birthday party for your child this year.