8 Things Your Child’s Party Doesn’t Really Need

Image credit: sxc.hu

Image credit: sxc.hu

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.

Pixie's first birthday had a ladybug theme.

Pixie’s first birthday had a ladybug theme.

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

Poppet's second birthday party.

Poppet’s second birthday party.

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 really don't want this guy there. (Image credit: horrorhomework.com)

You really don’t want this guy there. (Image credit: horrorhomework.com)

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.

Image credit: sxc.hu

Image credit: sxc.hu

What would you add to this list?



  1. Over packed over priced party packs! The kids fill up on sweets at the party anyways – they don’t need that much sugar! – if you want party packs keep it simple – the party packs don’t need to cost more than the party and a cheap simple toy (if you desire one) is just as good as the expensive one – the children don’t even notice 🙂 my two cents worth

  2. Oh yes, my kids love that I bake their own cakes. The 9 year old even love to decorate it themselves, In any event kids do not eat those sugarpaste creations – they love old fashioned cakes.

    Party packs – you can do without them. Also I have found that a sweetie buffet works out much cheaper than a party pack.

  3. Oh yeah! Finally someone who sings my song! I agree with all your points. When did every birthday become what used to be reserved for 21st’s? What I have also found is that children sometimes enjoy the preparation for a party more than the party itself. My children help to bake their own cake and have so much fun helping with decorating, so what if it is not perfect, they take such pride in being part of the creation. I’ve so often wanted to write a post like this but have been afraid that I may offend the parents who go over the top.

  4. Pingback: Acacia decorated her own 4th birthday cake | Skimming Stones | Sula's Blog | Sula1968

  5. I agree, simple is best! Nothing too fancy and over the top. My one friend gives the best party packs. This year it was a breakfast themed come in your PJ party so the party pack was a pack of tooth brush and tooth paste. And for my one year old who doesn’t use toothpaste yet we got a nice baby toothbrush.

    Only thing I plan is ot have a professional birthday cake. I am not much of a decorator and I don’t trust that the cake will not get burnt. BUt I am sure when my daughter is older, we shall be having home made cakes for her birthday!!!

    Some of these event planner birthdays would put many weddings to shame, but it just doesn’t feel homey

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