As we know planning a birthday party for your little one can be stressful, let alone spendy nowadays. I won’t even be modest, we spent $500 on the 1st Birthday. Can you believe that?! I mean, it was the first Birthday and we will never do it again. But, it was a lot of dough for a 2-hour celebration. I also had no idea what I was doing or how to cut corners to save a buck properly and still have style. I would search around and everything was just all over the place. So many times I had wished everything was in one place. The list of the Basics to throw the party, some ideas, and budget-friendly options. Doesn’t that sound amazing?!
So here I am just shy of 6 months out of planning my daughters 2nd Birthday. Holy moly I can not believe that. Well personally, we decided on Rainbow colors with splashes of Unicorns. Instead of it being Unicorn everything with splashes of a rainbow. You see we came to realize it is going to be way more expensive to buy everything Unicorn rather than buy a bunch of colors of stuff creating a rainbow effect. We will buy small things to add the Unicorn touch and feel of the party. Also, it doesn’t overbear the party with a million unicorn items. (Even though Unicorns are fricking amazing)
Well, I wanted to put together my personal task list of what I do when I plan a party for my daughter. I am not claiming this will solve every problem you will have, or answer all your solutions to what you’re looking for. But, I can tell you that this is a good place to start.
I am going to offer Images for visual thoughts, links that lead you to websites which will offer items referred to in the images. I will also attach Budget-friendly options with some DIY and home crafting to help save some money, add your personal touch to the party if that is what you like. However, for those moms that just would really like a party in a box, I got you covered. I will share information that will allow you be at a click of a button to save.
My Personal Task List for Planning a Budget friendly Toddler Party
Pick a Date
I know this seems like an obvious to do. However, it is the most important thing to have the date set in advance. I mean sometimes you gotta have the birthday the weekend before or the weekend after. Sometimes, their birthdays fall in the middle of the week, and they throw a tantrum because they want to have their birthday on their actual birthday. You know what I am talking about because I have seen it with my own two viewers. Personally, I have not run into this issue with picking a day. This year it falls on a Sunday, thank you, Jesus. So we are having it on a Saturday because that works better for everyone. So, Pick a date!
In my experience, I have a daughter that has a September Birthday. Which allows us to have outside celebrations because it is right at the end of our summer season. So, we don’t need to concern ourselves (as of now) with booking a location or space. But for those of you that will need to book a space or maybe a Bounce house if it is in your location. Here is just a local business that offers that. If you are looking for something like a bounce house for your backyard celebrations. Here is a quick Google search engine to find it! (Search Bounce House)
You will find a neat link Here that offers a way to just find the bounce house for your toddler party. All you need to do is put in your zip code and it will let you know if they serve the area or have locations to offer! That simple. Also for those of you who like Park parties, which I am a huge fan of. I would just suggest getting to the spot you want, EARLY. Set up and hang out!
If you have a cold season birthday, don’t worry. I will be talking about all sorts of indoor options for celebrating and finding cost savings while doing it in style.
Creating the Invite List
First, to admit, this is the one part I do not personally enjoy. Sometimes you actually have to Not invite people. How mean is that? Ha Ha. But this is me being real, even tho I am trying to share some serious tips. I am allowed to still be my sassy self, yeah?
So when making your invite list, be sure you put all things into consideration. Here is my list of where my brain can go.
- How many are staying the night?
- Is anyone even staying?
- Is anyone sick? (My number 1 ha ha)
- Are you the carpool home the next day?
- Is is a ACTUAL meal being served at the party or just finger foods?
- Boys and girls?
- Boys and girls staying?
- Do I have enough Wine?
- Is my closet clean for my getaway???? ( Just kidding…)
I mean do you see? There are some real serious questions to put into place before you go inviting all sorts of people to your home. Plus, if your child is super popular with the other children. You are gonna have a wild night ahead of you. Feeling my Sarcasm?
Please for the love of Jesus make some Invites. I know that social media is the free option and I completely understand that. But here you find options to some very fair prices in ordering and custom making your toddlers birthdays invites. Keepsakes are so special in the long run. For those of you that are in a bind and really just need some budget friendly ways to DIY. Here and Here are two ways to inexpensively create your own beautiful and thoughtful cards. I also found Free printable options Here!
Tip– Go buy the Stamps the day you order the Invites. Have them set aside and ready for when they arrive.
If you can: Order a stamp that offers you your mailing address made on it. It will save your hand from writing more than you need to!
THEME or COLORS or BOTH
This is when I started getting confused and totally scatter brained because I had no idea which way to go. I mean do I focus on color, a cartoon type theme, or should I throw them together and make my job WAY tougher? Of course I choose to do both and make my life harder. But I mean that is what we do for our kiddos, right? I mean at least the first one. (Giggling) So here are my thoughts and tips on how, now that I did go thru it.
Do both! I am going to share with you ways to be able to do both, save money, have it look stylish, and eat good! I mean, that is a win when I look at it. Some of your own personal creativity will be needed. Only you know your little one best.
If you had to just do colors, it might look sorta boring and not as personal to that person. Not that I am against it or think it cant look good. because it totally can! But obviously throwing in some characters in the party really adds that splash of personal touch knowing what the little one likes. it also allows the birthday star to enjoy having their favorite character around for the party. So be sure you narrow down the character your little one is dying over currently and Here and Here are two link options. The first one you will find it is a little less custom as the second option allows you to go more in-depth with options. (Second link is literally Birthday in a box, just more options.) Which I seriously find amazing and simple and budget friendly!
These are the types of prices I am talking about! Even if Emojis is not the style of choice its the price that blows me away for such stylish and hip characters.
DIY Time If your Making Decor
I know that a lot of time you can get the small things and decor done in a short period of time. However, life happens and hiccups can cause a delay in anything. So as soon as you have the supplies you need, I suggest sitting down and getting crafty until you are finished. Get the crafts done way ahead of time if possible, I am telling you that you’ll feel a million times better knowing its all done and ready. This is a massive reason why I mentioned Number 1. ( Picking a date and being prepared)
I am really big on being as prepared as I can be on a day today. I also show myself, Grace, a lot because I forget also. Another reason I am always taking notes.
I want to share with you some Link for some Ideas and Instructions on how to make some fun and general Decorations which will be budget friendly. Now if I share a link that is a boy option for decorating, just change the colors to girl colors if that is an option with the links idea.
- Here is a fun link for those little ones that Love Mermaids!
- A really Fun way to create Activity and Decor at the same time.
- The Ballerina Daughter? Here is a link for some fun decor on that budget!
- Disney Mickey party under $200!! That is a great price for “Disney”
Activities to keep Them busy and you Sane
Toddlers use a lot of energy. Their own energy and still manage to suck up the rest of everyone else. Wait… Did I just solve how they continuously keep energy flow?! Because I mean once I run out I notice they get crazy. Wow, I am gonna think on that one more. Ha Ha!
So this is also one of my favorites because its the actual fun part of the party. So I am going to share with you just 4 ideas for some activities that can consume some time for the kids. Now they may still involve some parents and also some cleanup. But I mean, how can we get away with doing neither with a toddler? Yeah, you can’t.
My Four favorites I have discovered
- Balloon Scavenger Hunt
- Under age 5 Indoor Activities
- 29 Finds Outside! Dollar Store Friendly
- Squirt Gun Fun Grab your Paint!
Food Options and Ideas
I am a big believer in feeding! But I know that finger foods are best for toddler parties. So last year I did bite size hot dogs in crescent rolls and baked them, homemade Mac and cheese in the slow cooker for 3 hours, pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate, rice Krispies drizzled with chocolate, fruit on sticks and of course we had homemade and decorated cupcakes. My mom made her Smash cake, which she did not eat. I am telling you all of this because it was a ridiculous amount of options and I should have kept it real simple. It turned out beautifully and I am so glad I did it but, it was way more work than needed.
Now I think Finger foods are the way to go! Plus maybe one item of substance. So I will share the list I think is basic and probably would be fitting for any child’s birthday.
- Cake or Cupcakes- Having both was completely not needed and I ended up giving a lot of food away.
- One item that is substantial. If you have a summer birthday, maybe do some cold sub sandwich. Just get one big one and cut it up! Easy.
- Only 2 sweet items and keep them as simple as possible. I will share a couple ideas below.
That’s it! Those 3 listed options, don’t make it complicated for yourself. Unless you want to.
Here are some Pinterest inspired ideas I came across that I really like and could be simple and affordable.
You could do these with any colors of your choice. One bag of chocolate to melt, some cheap food coloring, and a bag of pretzels. Simple, colorful, and tasty for anyone! ( Be gluten conscious for those that may be intolerant.)
Apples with Frosting! I mean you can not find more amazing kid balance than that for a celebration. They are getting the fruit nutrition along with the sugar for celebrating. Win!
This one is always a classic favorite. Very cost friendly, tasty, and very colorful! What kid does not absolutely love Fruity Pebbles?!
Its the day of Celebration! Hopefully, you listened and you chose to get 75% of everything done ahead of time. If you didn’t I am sure you are stressed and wishing you did. Don’t worry, Next year will come quicker than you know. Be ready!
For those of you that did the preparing and organizing, enjoy sleeping in today. Because you did all that and allowed yourself time. You can sleep in, rest assure you have it all set up and ready to start decorating and cooking what is needed. If you are looking for some recipe ideas for warm item foods. Here is a link that will take you to some basic ideas.
Go get that oven going, get cleaned up and ready to head to decoration land! About time to do the actual Party Set up!
We use tables and chairs and have seating for everyone for outside for our daughters birthdays. So if you’re doing an outside celebration, be sure you get all the seating set up!
Tip- Have strong tape on hand to potentially need to tape anything down due to the possible wind! ( Consider all things! )
Have an amazing Celebration!!!
I hope you found help and some guidance here today. Please share your successes thru this article below in the comments. Thanks for reading!