Throwing a cheap kids party comes with quite a lot of pressure and stress and as a mother you want to to make sure you do it properly. In all honesty though, I think that most of this pressure and stress actually comes from my own desire to give my children the best party experience possible!
If you choose to do a themed party then you have to decide what theme you are going to do. Then you have to decide how many children you are going to invite, which will then decide the size of the venue, what range of food you will provide and the list goes on. With all of this in mind, a friend of mine and I decided that we would throw a party together for our 4 kids so that we could share the load in some way, and it worked out to be a great idea!
The amount that you are willing or able to spend on a kid’s party will determine exactly what kind of party it will be. Will it be a cosy party at your house or something bigger at your local village hall, possibly with a bouncy castle? Or maybe your favourite all catered soft play centre?
Well it was a huge relief to find out that my friend had a similar budget to myself which was a little over £0!! It had been an expensive couple of months, the summer holidays had just started and we already had a holiday and a few other days out planned so we really weren’t in a position to splash out on a party, but we still really wanted to give our kids a fab one. So this is what we did…
At first you might think that having a party in a park would make it quite difficult to make it feel like a real ‘kids’ party, but this is when being cheeky and thinking out of the box a bit really pays off.
We borrowed a pop up gazebo and a couple of camping tables from a friend, which looked great once we had put a load of bunting* up and covered the table in a cheap paper table cloth.
Once we had decided on the park as our venue the theme was really easy to pick. I have 2 boys and my friend has 2 girls so we couldn’t go with the usual stereotypical themes. So we decided on having a teddy bears picnic. All of the kids had to bring their favourite teddy bear along with a picnic, which really added to the ‘kid’ element.
As you can tell by the theme we were able to keep the costs low by asking all the mums to bring a little picnic for themselves and their children. We did still provide some cheap bits of food such as sausage rolls, sandwiches, crisps and of course cake, to make it feel like a party and also just to be prepared in case someone forgot their picnic but by and large people remembered to bring their own.
Being out in the open area of the park gave us a lot of freedom. We brought a couple of footballs along which kept all the boys very happy. We also set up a couple of obstacle courses and pass the parcel games with rewards for every child, also being outside meant that we could send them on a scavenger hunt. Each mum and child had a list of 10 items that they had to find and bring back to base with of course, more rewards for the kids. And not forgetting the beloved teddy bears, we labelled each teddy with their owners name and hid them around the park along with their own goodie bag.
Being able to cut out the cost of the venue to zero was a huge help with the cost of the party, but of course that doesn’t mean that you can get away with not spending a penny.
Teaming up with a friend was a brilliant way to keep the cost down. We went on a big shopping trip with 4 very excited kids to get everything that we needed for the Goodie bags* and games. Our one and only stop for this was Poundland. We split the goodies down the middle so that I bought everything for the boys and my friend bought everything for the girls. We each spent £15 which gave us more than enough to make sure all of the kids would be really pleased with their rewards and presents. All we then bought was some bunting, plates, party bags and a table cloth which came to around £5.
After nipping to the supermarket to pick up the food and cake my total spend for the party came to just under £30!
Was it a Success?
Everyone had a great time, the kids loved being out in the open with the freedom to run as fast as they like and get muddy (if their mum allowed it). Plus all the mums really enjoyed joining in with the games and nobody complained about bringing a picnic 🙂Would you give a party in the park a try? Or have you got any other great cheap party ideas?