11 answers

Need Ideas for 3 Yr Old Girl B-day Party on a Tight Budget

My daughter is turning 3 on Jan 26. This will really be her first real birthday party with friends - she missed her birthday party last year because she was in the hospital. She had a heart transplant this year and I really want to make it special for her. Unfortunately we are on an extremely tight budget for this. Any ideas? It will probably be at our house, but what do you do for a home party? She hasn't been able to go to any either so I am seriously in the dark here. Help!!

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

You can do a princess party on a small budget. There is a lot of great costume jewelry available at places like Party City. Have each child come dressed in a "princess dress" (warn the parents that they may get messy). Pre-make cupcakes for the children to decorate. Play some typicaly party games with the princess jewelry as prizes. Little girls love to dress up.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You can do a princess party on a small budget. There is a lot of great costume jewelry available at places like Party City. Have each child come dressed in a "princess dress" (warn the parents that they may get messy). Pre-make cupcakes for the children to decorate. Play some typicaly party games with the princess jewelry as prizes. Little girls love to dress up.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I used a lady for my 3 year old's bday in Oct and she was great and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg. She did the invitations, the thank you notes, the cake, the decrorations, the set up in the back yard for the kids.........and cleaned it up as well. Her name is Laurie Krupala and her email address is ____@____.com have a website too, onlyyoungoncecelebrations.com. Good luck!

We are always on a tight budget for our girls' birthday parties. We've done a doughnut making party before that was a really big hit. I got the recipe off Food Network. All you need to make the doughnuts is pizza dough (I got the off brand from Wal Mart which is dirt cheap) and cut it into doughnut shapes. Then deep fry them (the oil was the most expensive part of this). I set out on the table all kinds of toppings like powdered sugar, sugar glaze (just a bit of milk and powdered sugar) and chocolate ganache (melted chocolate and whipping cream). I think I also had some sprinkles and some other bits. This was a huge hit and everyone had so much fun making their own doughnuts. They were SO good...we ran out and people still wanted more. Another one we did was a make your own sunday party. I just got some of those really inexpensive ice cream tubs from Wal Mart and these cute little plastic cups and set out all kinds of toppings. It was very inexpensive and we all had a lot of fun. On top of all that, Party City usually has some kind of inexpensive decorations on sale and you can make one fantastic cake with just a cake mix, some home made buttercream frosting, and some marshmallow fondant. All of this can be made on your own on a tight budget and is much less expensive than buying a cake. You can look at the Wilton website or cakecentral.com for some ideas and recipes for marshmallow fondant. The cakes are yummy and fantastic!!

As long as you make her feel special it will be a great party! You don't have to spend a lot of money. Pick a theme and look online for some simple games. I have lots of experience with princess parties if you're interested in some of the games we've played. There are a lot of great birthday party planning sites, and you can make things instead of buying them. Instead of baking a cake, bake cupcakes or cookies and let the kids decorate them (a tup of cool whip or icing and a package of sprinkles will make them happy).

The kids can play games (you do not have to give prizes), dance to music or play with whatever toys you have at your house.

The kids are going to have fun as long as they get to play, sing and eat cake! Happy birthday to your daughter!

We've always done rather frugal parties - life w/ 4 kids is all about budgeting, lol. I used to think I was pretty good at it, until I saw a show on TV about a family w/ 9 kids (12 kids? 14 kids?? - a lot of kids, I forget how many, lol) - and they have one party a year for all the kids and they were going to have 100 people at the party and they only spent $100 on food!! I was so impressed!

Anyhow, I think you have gotten a lot of great suggestions! 3 year olds are easy to entertain, and they're great at simply playing w/ each other!

When we have parties, I usually set up something small, and most of the time the kids are just running around playing w/ each other.

I usually have a craft table set up w/ glue (or glue sticks for the smaller ones) and pre-cut shapes, paper, stickers, shells, beans, shaped pasta, foam letters, popsicle sticks, etc and let the kids make something. Once or twice it's been themed, like when my dd had all her friends bring dog/cat food to donate to the animal shelter instead of bringing gifts, we did foam animal picture frames.

For food, you can do simple finger foods like chicken nuggets (Tyson frozen dinosaur nuggets are reasonably priced), chips, carrots, canteloupe, grapes, apple slices, cheese quesidillas, sandwiches, mini pizzas, etc.

I love the ideas about making cupcakes or cookies for the kids to decorate. We do that sometimes also. The kids ALWAYS have fun doing that, no matter how old them are!! We prefer to do sugar cookies, simply b/c they can decorate and eat more than one or two w/ me feeling like they really ate too much junk, lol (as opposed to cupcakes where I just would not want them to eat 3 at one sitting!).

Most importantly though (in my humble opinion) just let the kids play and have fun and go w/ the flow. I think sometimes birthday parties become so over the top and parents end up spending a ton of money. I do know a few people who go way out for their kids parties, and really I think it is just too much. We no longer go to those parties b/c they are just too stressful and competitive and all about show.

These days, we and most of our friends have home parties, we invite lots of kids and everyone in their family and we always have so much fun just hanging out w/ each other and the kids have so much fun playing!

Good luck to you, hope she has a great party! How fabulous she was blessed w/ the gift of a new heart and parents who love her! God Bless!

I have a face painter every year for mine and it is the hit of the party. Last year we got a bounce house, but the face painting was so popular and SO GOOD, the house barely got used. Even the adults were getting their faces painted. They are very reasonably priced and I have never seen anyone do as good of a job on the kids as they have. Their website is www.dallasfacepainters.com If you let them know I sent you she may offer you a discount? Good luck.

We're planning out oldest daughter's 5 year old birthday party for February. We have 3 girls whose birthdays are within 1 week, and this will be our oldest's first "friend" party. In trying to do something fun, while sticking to a budget, we're going to have a "Rise and Shine Pajama Party". Kids will wear their PJs and come from 9:30-11:00. Our house is pretty small, and we couldn't imagine having 10 kids plus parents filling the house, so I've got some helpers and we're going to encourage the parents to drop off the kids and go get some coffee or something. We're going to let them "decorate" donut holes by dipping them in chocolate and sprinkles and also decorate pillow cases. So, that's our idea. I'm looking forward to reading others' suggestions.

I just recomended this site www.birthdaypartyideas.com to another mamasourse mom who is having her sons bday at the firestation. I live by this website. I have 3 kids whose bdays are within 10 days and right after Christmas so I know tight budget!! Have fun! L.

I have had almost all of my children's birthday parties at home and their friends always say it is the best party they've been to- it just takes a little creativity! Check out the website www.birthdaypartyideas.com for ideas for just about any theme. Also look at the family fun website for lots of great ideas. Don't stress out about it - three year olds are thrilled with the simplest things, so as long as you have cake and balloons, they'll be happy!

finger painting
pin the tail on the donkey
musical chairs
make puppets out of mittens or gloves
dress up with boas & mommy shoes

hope these help...

D. G.

I had a princess tea party for my daughter's 3rd birthday. She just invited 2 little friends. There is a store in Plano-- is it USA Toy Company? It is near Parker & Alma-- they have inexpensive party favors-- lots of jewelry & crown type items that you could get for not much money. Ask the girls to dress in pretty dresses or if you know they already have them, dress up in princess dresses. They can put on their "treasure bag" jewelry from you and have a little tea party. I used the little Tupperware princess tea set which you may already have-- they had apple juice and I made little tea sandwiches with peanut butter & jelly and ham & cheese. I bought a "pin the crown on the princess game" I think at US Toy Company, but you could draw a simple princess on poster board and make construction paper crowns. My girls danced to princess music & just enjoyed some simple play time together all dressed up. You could try musical chairs with pretty music, too, but 3 can be interesting for party games! You can decorate with some balloons and streamers to make it more festive. I have heard it is best to have the number of guests match the child's age-- so 3 children for 3rd birthday-- that is hard for me to do because I have mommy friends too and don't want anyone to feel left out, but I honestly think it is best. If you bake- you can make one of those doll cakes and decorate her like a princess yourself-- I have heard you can use that large Pampered Chef measuring cup that has the lid if you know anyone who has that to make the dress, and then hollow out the top and put a Barbie or other doll that you already have inside-- the cup forms her gown? Or, you could make just a sheet cake, frost it pink, and put more of the plastic jewelry on top like a jewelry box. I was a magazine once that made a cake like that and used those pink wafer cookies as little dividers-- it was very cute, wish I had saved it!
So glad your daughter is doing well-- what a wonderful celebration you will have of her 3 years this year!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.