Any parent knows that a kid’s birthday party can be 2 things – a lot of fun, and a lot of money.
Throwing a budget-friendly birthday party for kids seems simple, but pretty soon the expenses can stack up. Cake, balloons, party bags, and decorations can all be costly, and that’s without the venue or the activity added in! Here’s our rounded up of cheap birthday ideas that you can use for kids, so you don’t have to break the bank when you celebrate. Remember that it is not always about what you do, but about who you do it with – kids just want to spend time with friends, friends and more friends.
Party activity ideas
Why pay huge amounts of cash to hire a venue or an expensive activity when there’s so much you can do for little to no money?
Arts and crafts club
As many parents are aware, kids love getting messy. So why not host an arts and crafts birthday ‘club’ where the children don’t have to worry about the state they go home in? A bit of glitter in the hair adds a touch of sparkle anyway, right? Why not impress the kids by helping them make their very own sock puppets that they can take home to keep and play with after.
If you want something a little less messy then a simple friendship bracelets made out of wool, that the kids can wear and treasure all year round, would be a sure hit with creative children.
Sleepover club with karaoke
Sleepovers are always a need for younger kids, and they don’t even have to worry about buying a new dressing up costume for this idea! It is the king of cheap birthday ideas as all you need is comfy pyjamas, a living room full of sleeping bags and the Frozen soundtrack! Let them sing their favourite songs until their little hearts content.
Game night or quiz night
Game nights will mean every kid is involved. Whether it be Wii games, Guitar Hero, or 3 hours of playing Pie Face, they are sure to be entertained! Or create a mini quiz for them to play with easy questions and small prizes for the winners, adding some friendly competition.
Retro / old-fashioned games
If you don’t own the right consoles for Wii or video games, play Pass the Parcel, Musical Chairs, or Pin the Tail on the Donkey – the old games are the best!
Hold your very own Great British Bake Off! Decorate cupcakes and homemade cookies with icing and edible decorations. If you wanted to earn extra brownie points, chuck in a prize for the best decorated cake, then let the kids take the cakes home to show off to their parents.
Make and decorate your own pizza
Its not often kids are allowed to play with their food but you’ve just made the cupcakes, so why not let the kids make their own pizza too? Let them get creative with different shaped toppings, devouring their creation for tea. Simple toppings such as cheese, chunks of pineapple and ham will be enough to keep their hungry bellies at bay.
Make your own DIY perfume
Who needs Chanel No.5 when you can have your own made-with-love perfume? Host a party where the kids can use a selection of leaves, petals, and any other pretty looking garden nature with a spritz of real perfume and water, to make their own luxury scents. This will make the kids feel like a million dollars and stop them from stealing all of your everyday essentials!
Sometimes the best parties are the ones that are hosted in the comfort of your own home. Chuck together a few comfy bean bags, fluffy pillows and soft blankets, and accompany these with a few famous Disney movies. You can usually find cheap DVDs in big supermarkets or your local charity shops so the films won’t cost you a fortune. Oh and don’t forget the popcorn, of course! If you buy a big bag of popping corn, rather than the much smaller microwave bags, you’ll save yourself a few more pennies and the kids can have fun learning how to make popcorn on the stove.
Treasure hunt in the back garden or even the house
Kids love playing hide and seek, searching for friends that have hidden in the most awkward places! But why not get every child searching by giving them a list of stuff to find and get them hunting for hours! Hide little items and clues in different rooms around the house, or buried in the garden. You could even give prizes to the fastest finders. Simple maps that they can colour in as they go are easy enough to print out from the internet or simple make them yourself beforehand.
Sleepovers are always a big hit with younger children but if you want to make it even more inventive you can turn it into a camping trip! You don’t even need to own a real tent, a blanket fort in the living room is just as fun. For bonus points, toast marshmallows and sing songs in a camping circle before bed. Even just letting the kids sleep downstairs for one night will be sure to excite them.
Outdoor tea parties
For younger kids, a teddy bears picnic in a park can be a lovely way to spend an afternoon, especially as they already own the teddies! Kids want to take their favourite toy with them wherever they go anyway, right? This time the teddy is vital. Let them choose an outfit for their chosen toy to wear for their big day.
Kids can discover the fun side of science as you host a spectacular mad scientist party including chemical magic, mud pies, slime, and concocting potions. Visit ScienceBob for ideas on home science experiments. The more mess, the better!
Pick a sunny day and get active in a nearby park with a football or frisbee and host your very own party Olympics! For bonus points take along a picnic for half time and make your own score cards to add a bit of competition.
However, if you want to get out of the house and wear the kids out for a bit, most local leisure centres are fairly cheap for a birthday swim – ‘junior swimmer’ prices range between £2 – £3 per child. Let them pick a friend to take along, followed by a play back at the house afterwards.
Parks & Picnics
Kids don’t want mansions or castles for their party location. Throwing a birthday party picnic in the park is free – you just need to bring the food and a blanket!
For South Wales, there are lots of parks and outdoor places to visit for parties.
Cardiff’s Bute Park is a great location for picnics and parties. There are regular wildlife sessions for kids, and several trails (following the sculptures or using QR codes for a hunt, for example) can keep children entertained for hours.
Roath Park is a brilliant choice for parties; it already has a playground! There are ice cream trucks all over the place, and kids can feed the ducks or even go for a ride on a pedalo boat.
In North Wales, parks are in abundance!
Coed y Brenin Park is a huge expanse of land that plays host to mountain biking, nature trails and wildlife walks, but it’s also a great place for birthday picnics for children.
Bodafon Farm Park inLlandudno is a free farm park where kids can play and feed the animals. They also cater specifically for kids parties, and £10 a head will get you a tractor ride, pony ride, hot or cold food, fairy cakes, ice cream and goody bags.
Centres & Clubs
Community centres are relatively cheap venues to hire for a kids disco or party – depending on what’s in your area, you can swap ‘community centre’ for ‘rugby club’. Put up some pretty bunting (homemade if you have the time), colourful balloons and party hats will make the venue a place that the kids will not want to leave. And lets be honest, the food isn’t at the top of the kids priority list; a few cupcakes, mini sausages and cold pizzas will make the perfect buffet. Just add music and a few party games!
I hope this has given you some ideas for your child’s next birthday party. If you have any great suggestions to add then use the comments section below. Have fun partying!
Like this article? Check out some others:
- Guest Blog: ‘10 Things Under £5’ in North West Wales for Families
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- Top Tips for Your Family to Save Money
- Guest Blog: ‘5 Things Under £5’ in South Wales for Families