Your boy wants a birthday party with all of his friends, which often means inviting his entire pre-K or elementary school class. How do you ensure these kids have a good time, and not reduce your son to a social pariah, without breaking the bank…or overtaxing your sanity? For simplicity sake, consider having the party at a public park: These venues are usually free, provide lots of space for kids to run around and play, and you do not risk trashing your own house.
Secondly, plan your timing right – too early or too late in the day and you might be expected to provide a meal! A late morning or early afternoon time, either 10:00 AM or 2:30 PM, is optimal. The kids have early had breakfast or lunch and do not yet expect another full meal. You can get away with providing snacks and sweets. One idea would be to fill a pinata with candy, such as old Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, or Easter candy – generic chocolate and whatnot so that they aren’t confused – and use it to entertain the kids. They get goodies, you get to rid your house of candy that’s tempting you, and you don’t have to splurge on a meal!
Third, do not feel obligated to provide a lot of party favors or take-home treats. Letting the boys run and play, with plenty of candy and drinks provided, should more than suffice to make your child’s party a hit. Buying a bunch of plastic-y party favors that will quickly be broken, lost, and forgotten in kids’ closets and under their beds drains your budget unnecessarily. Instead, consider borrowing a stereo and speakers or a projector and a projector screen to play music or a movie for the crowd of kids.
Finally, choose a party theme that guests will be able to fill without having to buy new clothing. For example, most boys have plenty of superhero-themed shirts or shirts depicting sports. Being too specific with your theme, or going with a theme that is not depicted on shirts at stores like Wal-Mart and Target, may end with you feeling obligated at the last minute to buy some extras to make sure all guests are properly outfitted. A specific “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme, for instance, may result in you having to scramble to buy stuff at the last minute.