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7 Secrets To Throwing An Epic Birthday Party On A Dime

from planning ahead to going homemade

When I received the invite to my nephew’s, pirate party I was worried. The event was being held during the wintertime at his house, so all the 5-year-old kids were going to be cooped up. How would over 20 kids be entertained in a small area indoors? Would I hear so many chaotic screams of “Arrr’s” and “Ahoy’s” that I would want to walk the plank?

My fears subsided when I observed the enormous cardboard pirate ship in the living room. (If the boat hadn’t been so crowded with kids, I would have jumped inside myself.) Further, when I noticed activity stations set up throughout the house, I knew all the kids would have a blast. The party was a huge success that my kids still talk about—four years later.

It’s easy to go overboard on party decorations and goody bags for kids’ birthday parties though, so what is the secret to throwing an epic birthday party on a dime? Here are seven secrets you should keep in your back pocket for when you plan your next event.

Plan In Advance

Get ideas from Pinterest and other crafting websites or brainstorm ideas on your own. Planning ahead and looking at ideas in advance helps you have enough time to create all the activities and any cardboard centerpieces you might want to put together.

Go Homemade

Almost everything at parties can be homemade—from the cardboard centerpieces to the games, food, and favors. By making the majority of items needed at the party yourselves, you can significantly cut down the cost of the party.

Use Teamwork

My sister and brother-in-law work together to create their life-size centerpieces, games, favors and food They also include their kids in the process. By working together, you might not become too overwhelmed with the planning and creating involved. It also makes the process more fun for the entire family.

Pick a Theme

At the parties, consider offering simple games that everyone loves, and incorporate whatever theme you chose into the game. For example, instead of a typical water gun fight, create a water gun shooting range if you’re having a western themed party. Or instead of pin the tail on the donkey, it can be pin-the-lightsaber-on-Yoda for a Star Wars theme party; do a pirate scavenger hunt for gold coins; try a relay cowboy horse race.

Find Free or Discounted Items

Did you know you can go by some of your local stores for free or discounted cardboard boxes? Those boxes can be used for many of the items you might be planning to make yourselves. It never hurts to ask, right?

Use Coupons and Purchase Sale Items

Never underestimate the power of the coupon. Use a few at Michael’s and other craft stores for some of the items you plan to make. You can also use coupons at the grocery store to buy food for the party. Coupons can be found at the store’s website, app or by signing up for the store’s emails. Also, coupons can be found at online coupon websites like coupons.com.

Sell Your Items After the Party

After your party has happened, if you don’t think you’ll use some of the items again (or don’t think they can be repurposed), consider selling them to friends, family or on an online marketplace.

So who’s ready to party? Kids’ parties can be a lot of work, but the whole family can have a blast working together to create a memorable event.


Cheryl Maguire is a guest contributing writer and is the mother of three—twins and a daughter. You can find her at Twitter @CherylMaguire05

Image courtesy of iStock.