You want to give your child a party to remember, but your budget means your choices are limited. Here are a few things your child’s party can do without while still being a lot of fun.
1. An events company
I know, I know, organising a birthday party when life is already so crazy-busy is the last thing you really want to do, but it’s not as much work as you think it is. You do not need to hire a party planner– it’s not a wedding. Think of all the “dead” time you can use for your preparation– waiting outside school, waiting as your child takes an hour to finish her sandwich, waiting at extra murals, waiting for your sleep thief to stop jumping around in her cot at 1 a.m. . . I have most of my best ideas in the middle of the night. (Thanks, Pixie, for the sacrifice you make for Mommy’s creativity.)
You are an amazing mama – you can do it yourself (with Hubby’s help, of course, and possibly extra coffee).
2. An over-the-top theme
I love Pinterest as much as the next mom, but there’s so much pressure to keep up with all superbly decorated and photographed parties that are pinned. While the grown-ups in attendance will ooh and ahh at the elegant dècor and cute table settings, the kids are not going to care. If they do comment, it will be something like, “Cool,” and the thought will be forgotten as they rush off to play, shoving sweets into their mouths.
Keep it simple. Your bank account as well as your sanity depend upon it.
3. A professional cake
I like to bake my daughters’ cakes. They look like I baked them. In some places the icing is a bit iffy, my kitchen looks a bit like a warzone, and the house smells amazing. It’s more work to bake a cake yourself, but it’s a lot cheaper than a professionally-made cake.
4. A zillion guests
Poppet wanted to invite her entire school to her third birthday party. I sent sweets and cupcakes for her class instead. The party-goers were limited to close friends and family.
5. A jumping castle
Yes, the kids love it, but if you’re on a tight budget, then it’s around R600 you can save. They (probably) won’t even notice it’s not there, especially if you have some games planned to keep them occupied.
6. Professional entertainment
If money’s not an issue, then go for it. Just be careful who you hire.
You can always get some inexpensive face paint and rope a family member into painting the kids’ faces.
7. Too much to do
The kids will entertain themselves. Too many party games and not enough free play is just added stress for you.
8. Too much to eat
Stick to a few food items you know the guests will eat, otherwise you’ll end up with a lot of leftover junk food. And if it’s sitting around in your kitchen, you’re probably going to eat it it.
What would you add to this list?