Children’s birthday parties are just the best. The other week I dropped my eldest at a birthday party around the corner. The candy floss machine had exploded and with the window open and the high winds, the candy floss had spread all around the room. The dad looked like a santa claus gone mad, covered in white candy floss. Poor parents! The mum was most unwell in hospital last year when her daughter turned four. Thankfully and quite miraculously she has made a good recovery and this year she commented at her daughter’s fifth birthday party that it was easier lying in a hospital bed than it was organising a birthday party! I know what she means. Parties can be alot of work. A common criticism of children’s birthday parties is that they are too over the top these days. But it doesn’t have to be a competition and it shouldn’ t be. My philosophy is that if something causes me undue stress, then I won’t proceed, and really, the children won’t care about all the little details. A simple party in the park with a cake and ice-cream cones, a handful of balloons and a couple of kids is a wonderful party and the kids will love it. For me party planning is a hobby and a passion. I have a lot of fun thinking of ideas for children’s birthday parties, I arrange celebrations for the pleasure and joy it brings me, and not because I feel I have to. And birthday parties can be frugal too. Here are some fun and frugal ideas for children’s birthday parties that I have used recently. My number one top tip is to bake the cake and any other items well in advance and freeze them, that way you are not doing everything at the last minute. I always ice and decorate the cake the day before (or even 2-3 days before if it is fondant). To save money, I have stopped buying licensed party wear, preferring to purchase plainer plates that are half the price or decorating them myself.
A Frozen Themed Party Table
For my daughter’s latest birthday we had a World of Wearable Arts Party (see blog post on this). And for the food I threw in a frozen theme as she is a frozen fanatic. She had an Elsa cupcake dress and shoes cake, Elsa’s Endless Winter Fountain (a white chocolate fountain), Sven’s Veggie & Cheese Platter, Olaf’s Popcorn, and ham and egg sandwiches with a sign saying ‘We finish each other’s sandwiches.’ I wanted to make this party table healthy-ish, but other ideas that I considered were white chocolate snowballs, blue lamingtons, blue jellies and a blue triffle.
A Beatrix Potter Inspired Nursery Rhyme Party
Much fun was had organising a little nursery rhyme party for my youngest who turned two this week. It is such a lovely theme and I thought that it may be the last time I could host a nursery rhyme party before the children grow up too much. A play on the words of Old McDonald had a farm formed the basis of the invitation. We had three families over and ten children in total. We listened to a Beatrix Potter nursery rhyme CD, played pass the parcel and sang nursery rhymes, accompanied by my husband on the guitar. We had a craft station with nursery rhyme theme colouring pages and crayons. You could also make nursery rhyme sock puppets but we kept it simple.
For the food we had:
‘Mary Mary Quite Contrary Vegetable Platter’
‘Three Blind Mice Cheese and Crackers’
‘I can sing a rainbow fruit platter’
‘Three Little Pigs pigs in blankets’
‘Sugar & Spice and all things nice ice-cream cupcakes’
For drinks we had pink lemonade (lemonade with a dash on pink food colouring).
I often find that children don’t eat cupcakes, but the ice cream cupcakes were a hit with the kids and the grown ups. To make them, mix up a cupcake batter and pour a small amount into patty tins lined with cupcake papers. When baked and cooled completely, top with ice cream (I used vanilla or strawberry) and push down into the shape of a cupcake. Then freeze for at least 24 hours. Just before serving put a dash of dairy whip on top and a few sprinkles and serve.
Doilies and a large blackboard formed the basis of the decorations in the dining room, as well as a number two balloon garland in the living room.
Our last activity was singing Humpty Dumpty while the Humpty Dumpty pinata fell off the wall. In fact he was so hardy that we had to take him outside and have him fall off the roof twice before he split open and the sweets were demolished. The kids thought this was a hoot. The design for this Humpty Dumpty Pinata was based on a pinata from the company Wunderland Home & Celebrations: http://wunderlandhome.com/shop/mr-humpty-dumpty-pinata/.
A Glow in the Dark Soccer Party
My soccer mad just seven year old requested a soccer party for his seventh birthay. So we managed a glow in the dark soccer party with the help of a soccer ball and some glow in the dark bracelets taped on with thick tape. We also played soccer with a soccer pinata and games or ordinary soccer. The party table introduced the soccer theme.
Snacks at Half Time
Soccer Ball Pinata for a Soccer Party
Have you seen how expensive pinata’s are in the shops? And they are only thin cardboard. But a paper mache pinata is easy to make. And it’s a fun activity for kids. Even preschoolers can help. Here’s how. Blow up a balloon and rip up pieces of newspaper. Glue on using a paste made from flour and water. Do one layer and then leave to dry. Repeat the next day or when balloon is dry. For the final layer paste on plain white paper. Leave a hole in the top to put the sweets in. Then pop the balloon when dry. Fill the ball with sweets. Then paper mache to cover the hole in the top of the ball. Then paint as you like.y
Here is a Humpty Dumpty pinata that I made for my daughter’s nursery rhyme party. It will be a little sad when it is time for Humpty to fall off the wall!
Here is a Friday free printable – soccer party printables for use as cupcake toppers or the like.
And here is another free printable – an invitation for a super soccer party….
If you can’t print it, just message me and I will email you a copy.
And a certificate of participation for the guests….
Soccer/Sports Party Frugal Favours
Are you looking for sports themed party favours that do not cost the earth? Instead of a take home bag at the soccer party this weekend I plan on giving each guest a personalized certificate, an easter egg trophy (as it is Easter Saturday) and a chocolate coin medal. I made the medal by purchasing some plastic ones and glue gunning a gold chocolate coin to the front. The trophies can be found at the $2 shop or the Warehouse.
Balloon Rosette Wreath
Who knew that there were so many different ways to present balloons? I saw some ideas on Pinterest that I found pinteresting and I decided to emulate them. But the cone centrepiece below is original. These decorations were simple to make and frugal too as balloons are cheap, around 10 cents each. The beauty of them is that you can re-use them – bringing it out whenever there is a birthday party. I upcycled an old christmas wreath that wasn’t all that nice and simply added around 60 balloons to it, placing them onto the foam wreath with sewing pins and making the rosettes by folding the thinner part of the balloon into the middle.
Balloon Centrepiece and Paper Bunting
Here is a balloon cone centrepiece to brighten any party table. It was very simple to make. I had a polystyrene cone left over from when I made a truffle tower, and I simply pinned around 100 balloons into the cone and blew one balloon up and placed it on top. Very simple but nice and colourful. And the bunting? This is very simple also, I simply cut out paper triangles and glue gunned them onto a piece of ribbon.
Balloon Number Garlands
Sharks & Sailboats Jelly:
Here is a simple dessert ideal for a kid’s party or summer BBQ. You’ll need: 2 packets lemonade jelly one drop blue food colouring chocolate fish 1 tin apricots toothpicks, paper, scissors and red felt pens to make sails. Make jelly accourding to instructions. When it is half set, pop the chocolate fish into the jelly. When jelly is set add apricots with sails on top to make sailboats.
Pizza & Drive-In Movie Party
This was the most enjoyable party I have organised (for my son’s sixth birthday) and although it involves a bit of effort it was inexpensive to run. We handed out ‘movie tickets’ as the invitation which the kids had to bring along to be admitted to the drive-in cinema. We held the event at our church function centre and I stockpiled boxes from the supermarket, which with personalized number plates (see link: ) and paper plates for wheels and a steering wheels made fun cars. The kids made & decorated their car in the designated ‘cinema carpark’. Then we moved into the next room and parked the cars at the drive-in and watched ‘Madagascar 3’ on the big screen. We had a treat table where kids could help themselves to treat cones with popcorn and sweets, and fizz. Then we had an intermission where we served pizza (courtesy of Pizza Hut).
Hi ho, hi ho, the ‘Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs’ Party was all go…
My three year old daughter is mad on Snow White and so it was only fitting that she have a little Snow White party to celebrate her third birthday. To create a ‘Snow White’ theme we asked the guests to come as their favourite character from the story. We downloaded the original Snow White album off the internet which has lovely music. The theme was red, blue and yellow in keeping with the theme. This was a refreshing change from pink, as apparently there are other colours in the rainbow. I simply decorated the table with red and blue & white polka dot plates and cups (less expensive than licensed partyware), some white doilies plus we had red, yellow and blue balloons. I made some dwarfs by blowing up some pictures off the internet and pasting them onto cardboard., and some lacey princess crowns by upcycling an old lace curtain and glueing it onto some card. For invitations I cut out an apple shape, then laminated the invitation and glued a magnet on the back so it can be placed on the fridge. Snow White free printables inlc cut out snow white treat boxes that I used for goodie bags, are available from: For games we played: Pass the Poison Apple – This is a bit like Pass the Parcel except that the kids have to pass around an apple and if the music stops they have to take a bite and then pretend to pass out. The person who wins is the person who is still sitting at the end (not for kids or parents who are worried about germs!). The Dwarfs Treasure Hunt – We hid chocolate gold coins in the garden leading to a treasure chest dug in the garden with treats in it, which the kids filled their treat cones with to take home as a simple goodie bag. Make a Mirror Craft Station – Caution: may cause mess. I cut out mirror shapes out of cardboard and set up a table with glitter, paper, scissors and glue etc for the kids to decorate their own magic mirror. Food – We kept it to a red, blue and yellow theme and had toffee apples, Snow White jellies (red, yellow & blue), pigs in blankets, cupcakes, and a basket with chips & pretzels. You could also name the food after the dwarves, such as ‘Dopey’s Dorrito’s, Sleepy’s Sandwiches, Happy’s Hamburgers etc.
Looking for simple party invitation inspiration? One option is to cut a piece of card into a shape such as a flower or an apple (see Snow White invitation above) with a picture of your child in the middle. You could laminate the invitation (I didn’t bother with this one) and you could also fix a small magnetic strip on the back so that it can go on the fridge.
Queen’s Birthday Children’s High Tea
Last year we decided to have a little high tea to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday. My husband’s family in the UK may think it a trifle odd that we celebrate the Queen’s birthday, but anything for a celebration. I just love tea parties and we kept it simple by inviting one family over for scones with jam and cream, dainty sandwiches and fairy cakes. Oh and a pot of tea of course. And we decorated our small dining room with union jack flags left over from one of their Dad’s birthday parties that had a British theme. And this year’s Queen’s Birthday High Tea I just made a sponge cake this year, and a few sandwiches. But why doesn’t my sponge ever look as high as the one in the recipe book? Master Seven wanted to know if we could send the queen a slice of her birthday cake. But I reckon she probably has a personal chef who could make her a much better sponge! Lol.