Affordable kiddie party

Years ago, after my daughters 2nd party I started to realize, hang on, these parties are breaking the bank!

And to give you a bit of a background, I’m a single mom, with no child support from the dad, so monies are stretched and planning takes 10 months before B-DAY!

But, like any other parent, you want your child to have the best you can offer and make their day memorable.

We have been invited to countless parties and one wants to be more elaborate than the other. It's almost as if the parents have forgotten that it’s their child's party and not theirs and that they have to keep up with the Jones. They have to do better and more expensive than their friend's parties. I mean really now! (Just so that you have to listen to the whining afterwards about how expensive it was and how bad the presents were that their child received... How ungrateful!) Giving a gift is not compulsory, it's an act of goodwill and we have to teach our kids from a very young age.

I have attached a few pics of my 7-year-old's party this year.

TOTAL COST: (excluding presents) R600!

The birthday cake

I couldn’t afford the 2 tear plates decorating in cakes (R550 - R750), so I got a local bakery to bake me a big square cake (I don’t own a oven) and well,  the results were great fun with Bella to helping to decorate her own cake that no-one can duplicate. (I just had to run to catch kids before they placed the figurines in there mouths as they WERE NOT edible. LOL! But they enjoyed it.)
The venue

This is another thing... Always the most expensive place were you sometimes have to pay over a R100 a head without food etc, has to be booked and we live in a flat, so a venue had to be found.

I drove past a local nursery and saw they had a play park with play grass for the kids. I stopped and went right up to the manager and said, "Thank you, your venue I want for x date for my child’s party." And I got it at no charge, and they through in a jumping castle for the kids as well. NICE!

The food

I kept it simple but nourishing. Having planning the time to be there and taking in consideration what I wanted them to do first before the got stuck into the eats, I made mini vetkoek, scones and cheese, chips, popcorn, and half slices of swiss rolls. No sweets. BUT before they could eat, I left the parents on picnic blankets in the shade, under a gazebo I borrowed. We, with the staff at the nursery, took the kids for a tour through the nursery and pet shop. They loved it! Learning about different plants and getting to hold the bunnies.

After the tour they ate and played a bit. Then it was time for them to work on there own “thank you” gifts to take home. I bought from the nursery pansy’s and small plant containers and a staff member showed them how to plant flowers. (Funnily enough 4 months after the party, the kids actually still have there “thank you gifts” and it has not like the others, landed up in the pile of forgotten/broken party heaven heap like normal.) They had fun getting dirty and learning at the same time, even the mommies jumped in and had fun. When the party was over  (I allowed only 2 hours) all recommended how much fun they had with this very different party.

But mostly the kids came up and thanked me for a great time (without being told to do so), and they are still talking about Bell’s Party.

I have also come to the realization that expensive tarts, cakes, savory platters, etc for the adults are out! They are not the one you invited. So they eat what the kids are eating, the real guests. I cater for them as it's their party. Mommies and daddies have there own parties, and then the kids have to fall in with the adults. Not so?

Oh and yes, each child had a small bag to take home with sweets etc, but no one really wanted any as they were full of the more healthy snacks, they ate and no "Duracell bunnies" were dragged to the cars.

Next year's party is already in planning and it will be the same, very different, less then R1000 and very fun-filled event, with more fun than this year!

One just has to think out the box, look at what your child and their friends want and then cater for them.

So having a boerie roll next to someones pool or in a park with animals, is much more fun and memorable than sitting in an expensive venue. Or rigging a gazebo on the beach with hotdogs and loads of sunscreen, really brings out the kid in every one!

Enjoy your next party planning and keep it simple filled with fun for the real guests, the KIDS.