June 24, 2010,
S.B. asks from Copperas Cove, TX on November 18, 2007
G.G. answers from San Antonio on November 20, 2007
Have a makeover/sleepover party! Get some cheap cosmetics, inexpensive hand mirrors, spray on temporary hair color, mud masks, cucumbers for eyes, etc. Have them paint on colorful socks for "slippers" to wear the next morning. Make a cake and use twinkies, marshmellows and vanilla wafers for girls in sleeping bags on the cake. The twinkies are the bodies using icing as a blanket, marshmellows the heads, wafers the pillow. Or let the girls decorate the cake as an activity. Let them have fun!
T.B. answers from Houston on November 19, 2007
There are lots of on-line sites to print out Free b-day invites, try DLTK.com (all kids stuff). We recently had a "mock" slumber party, the girls came over in their pj's, they played outside, we painted their nails, made foamie crowns, ate cake and chick-fil-a--esentially a girls night with b-day cake. And if they will sit through a movie, a movie and popcorn would work great. Also, you could do a savenger hunt and hide some $ store toys or "prizes". good luck.
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A.S. answers from Corpus Christi on November 19, 2007
I like the tea party idea. My daughter went to one last year and the mom had cheap dollar store hats and necklaces for the girls to wear during the party. The mom painted their nails and put lip gloss on. She had made plain sugar cookies in fun shapes and the girls iced them. The table was set with her own china and tea cups. My daughter was so excited when she was served real warm tea. They had sandwiches cut with cookie cutters, strawberries, pretzels dipped in chocolates. She also had a cake but you could do cupcakes and display them pretty on one of those cupcake stands. Hope this helps.
L.S. answers from San Antonio on November 19, 2007
Those huge SAMS pizzas are under $8 a piece cooked and make your own cake and buy a big bag of candy for the favors. Make Koolaid (the imitation stuff is just as good) and tea or water for the drinks. Go to the dollar store for inexpensive treats for the kids if you want something more than candy for their treats. You can go ahead and get paints or crayons and paper and have the kids create a picture for your daughter that she can keep and remember who was there. Those are some of the things we've done.
Mom of 5
I.M. answers from El Paso on November 20, 2007
Hi S., My daughter once had a party she enjoyed so much, she didn't realize it was done on a very tight budget. My theme was 'Fun' and all of her friends talked about it for years. To replace expensive stuff, I gave all of my time to her and her friends, creating games and projects for them to do. At our dollars store, I bought pebbles and glitter glue, two or three small acrylic bottles of paint, a bag of plastic eyes for crafts. For a few dollars I had all the stuff I needed for them to create their Pet Rock and other creatures the kids could think of. With glitter we also personalized the party hats I gave out. With chalk, we painted a game on the cement and gave away prizes I bought at same store (picture frames, fake nails, lip gloss). Musical chairs and tape the tail on the donkey (some swear it was a wolf, my crayon colors were limited). I bought a set of face paint markers for five dollars, I had a very long line and many requests for butterflies and hearts. For decorations, I took out all the christmas lights I put all over the place. Pepperoni pizza, sodas, cake and ice cream were enjoyed by all of them.
As gifts were open, friends took turns reading the cards attached.
Parents had to wait an extra hour or so because kids didn't want to leave. Kids were priority for me and had all my attention; My daughter had a blast.
L.S. answers from Odessa on November 19, 2007
We, for some reason, have always been broke when birthday party time comes around. For one thing, we have happily established that we do not give as many gifts for birthdays as we do for Christmas, and this has worked out very well. One year, my youngest daughter needed shoes really badly, and I had to make a choice between the shoes and a present, so she got shoes for her birthday. :) When we have parties, I make the cake myself, and if we serve food, it is usually something easy and inexpensive like nachos or hot dogs. Make kool aid instead of buying canned drinks. Go to google.com and look up keywords such as "frugal birthday party games", "frugal party ideas", etc. Write down all of the games that you would like for the kids to play, and make a list of the supplies that you need. Try to find games that require more kid power than supplies. For example, one year, we had a three legged race, a hula hoop contest (whoever can keep their hoop going the longest wins), a balloon stomp (tie a balloon to one leg of each child, on "go!" they try to stomp each other's balloons. The last one standing with a balloon unpopped wins. When we couldn't afford a pinata, we put a few pieces of candy in each of many balloons, blew them up, and when the time came, let the kids stomp on the them, sit on them, or whatever they could do to bust them and get the candy. Some balloons had confetti instead of candy to make it more interesting. Paper lunch bags make nice goody bags to carry their candy home in. If nothing else, have cake and punch at the park. Parks are instant parties, because all you have to do is serve the refreshments and watch the kids play on the playground equipment.
C.L. answers from Beaumont on November 20, 2007
My niece had a "Survivor theme." They took things from around the house and made an race ot of it. They ahd a basket ball goal so they had to get into to teams and make so many baskets and then move onto doing the hulla hoop and then blowing up a balloon and carring between their knees to a spot and thenpopping it and then limboing under a pole then going to tag their team mate. It was loads of fun.
E.C. answers from Dallas on November 19, 2007
We ALWAYS do birthdays on the cheap! It is really easy, and can be super fun too.
Invite her friends over via some cheapo invitations from the dollar store. Then, when they are all there, get some cheap pizzas from CiCi's, bake a birthday cake, get a movie that they would all enjoy (like Princess Diaries), and pop some popcorn. Get some $.88 nail polish from Wal-Mart (2 or 3 colors) and give them all manicures. You can even make a "pin the crown on the princess" game. Heck, draw the features on there and have the girls color it in!
Presto! A fun, inexpensive birthday party for under $30!
C.M. answers from Houston on November 19, 2007
The tea party idea is a great one - icing cookies, rasberry tea (with lots of sugar!)served on mismatched tea cups, and homemade cupcakes make this party fun. I found a tea party bingo template on the internet and used hershey kisses as the markers, and played dressup with halloween costumes and old prom dresses from friends.
If your daughter is not into the dress up party, another cheap idea is a cheerleader party. We made a megaphone shaped cake (basically a round cake and a triangle shape put together), bought pom pom sets at the dollar store (which also were the party favors, and invited 2 high school cheerleaders to teach the girls 2 simple cheers at our party at the park. Good luck!
S.H. answers from Houston on November 19, 2007
I was fortunate to have 2 teenage children by the time my youngest was turning 6. If you can recruit a teenaged friend or relative to help or pay a neighbor with a lot of energy to assist you can set up "stations" which I have used a lot of times with my kids. One station may be a craft- something really inexpensive (decorating cookies or cupcakes or making something with inexpensive materials), another face painting or manicures or hairstyling (here is where a teenage girl can really help). You can add some glitter to the hair or some inexpensive temporary tattoos for fun. When my older son helped he would run a kick ball game or something active. I have found that putting on music and having everyone dance can be lots of fun for girls too. Basically we would set up as many stations as I had helpers for, and the little girls would rotate through their favorites until it was time for refreshments and gift opening.