Baby News

A Budget Party for Under 5s?

Monday 20th of May 2013  |  Category: Baby News  |  Written by: Alice Edwards

Children's parties are great fun for kids and adults alike. Kids get to run around tiring themselves out and letting off steam, while parents can socialise together over a glass of wine. Kids parties can however, get very expensive and parents can end up spending a fortune throwing their birthday girl or boy a memorable party. Kids' parties don't have to cost very much at all however. Here's our guide on how to host a fantastic party that both the children and your bank balance will love!


Make your own invites on the computer and simply print them out. Or look for templates on the internet. Netmums has party invite templates you can print out. Alternatively you and your child can make the invites together out of plain paper, with you writing them and your child being in charge of decorating them with pens, crayons and glitter.


Having a dressbaby enjoying their birthday theme on the invite is a cheap and fun way to get the kids in the mood for a party. You can carry on this theme if you want to throughout the party; for a princess theme make crowns out of gold card and hand them to the guests as they arrive, or alternatively make decorating a crown into a party game by providing the guests with pre-cut out crowns and pots of glitter and jewels made from crepe paper to decorate their crown with. For a fairy theme, make wands out of silver or gold card. For a pirate theme make eye-patches out of elastic and black card and hats out of black card with skull and crossbones painted on. Themed plates and cups and serviettes are a cheap way to continue the theme (and easily available in supermarkets), and involve no washing up afterwards!

Party bags

A children's party isn't complete without a favour to take home, but buying toys and treats for party bags can get expensive, especially if you have lots of children coming. Shop around in pound shops to get super cheap toys and treats for party bags, as they often cost much less there than in supermarkets. Alternatively do away with party bag full of mini toys and treats and give the children home-made cupcakes each to take home.


Make your own bunting by cutting out triangular pieces of card or material and sticking them to a piece of string. You can also make your own party banners by cutting out letters from pieces of old birthday cards (or even coloured card) to spell out "Happy Birthday". Staple the letters to a piece of string for a home-made banner.


If you're hosting a party for a baby or young child, you'll need to put food out not just for the children but the adults too. Why not turn the birthday meal into a 'pot luck' tea, where everyone brings a dish to share. Or, if the weather's being uncharacteristically good, ask parents to bring a burger and a bun and fire up the BBQ. For ideas on what to serve at an under 5's birthday party, have a look at these great tips on Mumsnet.

Instead of buying an expensive birthday cake from a cake shop, bake your own! Coolest Birthday Cakes have lots of great ideas and recipes for how to create a cake to wow kids and adult alike!

Outdoor activities

If you're hosting a party when the weather is good, make good use of your garden (or a local park). Although it might be tempting to hire a bouncy castle to keep the kids entertained, if you have a garden that's all you'll need to keep the kids happy! If the children are old enough, get some water balloons and let them cool off having a water fight (just make sure the adults stay back unless they want to get doused with a balloon full of water!). Beg, borrow and steal as many outdoor toys as you can, and if you ask around you'll be surprised at how many of your friends and family have plastic slides, portable see-saws, pop-up tents, water/sand pits and other outdoor toys that you can borrow for the day. Fill up your paddling pool if it's hot, or if the weather is cooler fill it with coloured balls to make a home-made ball pit.

Indoor activities

There's no need to hire entertainers or magicians for a child's party, which can add a significant amount onto your child's party cost. Instead have vintage favourite's such as pass the parcel, musical statues, musical chairs and musical bumps, with small prizes for the winners (these can be fun sized chocolate bars or sweets). Pass the parcel is a firm favourite with pre-school children but supervise carefully as some get upset at having to 'pass' the parcel on to the next person! For more games ideas, visit ivillage's activity page.

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