Cheap B-Day Party Ideas

cupajoeFebruary 10, 2004

Youngest son turns 10 this weekend and wants the party at our house. Any frugal tips would be welcome. Anyone have some cheap ideas for the dreaded gift bags? I hate those things.It seems like everyone sends one home at the parties and my personal view is that they cost money and contain a bunch of worthless snacks and candy the kids need like another hole in the head anyway.But in the interest of providing a normal childhood memory....

Thanks in advance, Sandy

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What's the theme?

My boys will turn 2 and 4 in March and April. I'm doing a combined outdoor/gardening/dirt digging type theme for them. The $1 or less store has straw hats. I'm going to hot glue some green leaves, worms, bugs, frogs or whatever I can find on them for party hats and the kids get to take them home. We'll have dirt cake cake made of chocolate pudding and gummy worms. I'm not planning any games. The kids can just play together with the toys. For favors, I'm thinking of planting a flower in a cup of dirt or letting the kids do it themselves. Also, I'm asking that no presents be brought. Maybe I can set some sort of precedent for the rest of the group.

Maybe instead of a gift bag, you could just buy one bigger thing and send it home with each kid like a can of silly string or something else age appropriate. (I'm not really sure what 10 yo boys are into.) I'd just choose one bigger itemand attach a note saying something like "Thank you for coming to ds's party."

    Bookmark   February 10, 2004 at 3:34PM
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I've been pondering this because I don't have boys and know much about them. But I do know that ten is about the age that boy scouts start teaching knife safety. Local woodworking/whittling groups often provide the training and labor (one on one) to teach whittling.

The gift at the end of the party are small pocket knives (I've seen cheap ones at the dollar store and nice ones for a dollar at flea markets/antique stores). The bags could include small pieces of throwaway wood or branches for them to whittle. You could get some safety/whittling information off the internet.

If you do it yourself, try to have one adult per child or have some kids watch while others do. Start by making paper knives and teaching how to open safely.

They could practice cutting food by preparing their lunch (carrot sticks, etc..) as well.

Give the knife to the PARENT at the end of the party and ask them to keep the knives and use them WITH their child. The gift bag could be a hobo bag (bandanna on a stick). The bandanna could be made out of leftover fabric or an old dress.

You could make a fire and let them cook out. Not many kids get to go camping or learn camping skills so it would be met with excitement.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2004 at 10:08AM
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Themes are a good place to start. You could have make your own pizza party; you could do decorate a cookie stuff, decorate a gift bag-give small prize for most original, etc, making sure not to leave anyone out. The Tightwad Gazette talks about a pirate party. You could also check out, and look under parties, lots of good ideas. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2004 at 6:44PM
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Maybe you could have different bowls full of little gift items, also some fruit and candy--------give the kids a gift bag and let them choose what they want----say they get a choice of 5-8 items. I think kids like choosing their things.

Some things kids might like---seashells, themed pencils, small soldiers, ships, army things.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2004 at 12:02PM
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I couldn't post this in the link box. It's an article with some inexpensive suggestios. I like the idea of putting favors in balloons.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2004 at 5:37PM
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Just a follow up. I decided to buck the trend and skip the party bag. No one seemed to miss it . My sons usually lose theirs five minutes after they bring it home. They've yet to pull out anything other than candy that they actually use. We did an egg toss. That was a huge sucsess, maybe because most kids don't get to play with them at home. The eggs didn't break till they were across the yard from each other and shooting them like footballs.We also did water balloons which were prefilled in two different colors before they arrived . I miscalculated with those. They broke a hundred balloons in less than five minutes. Should have done 500. Got the balloons at the dollar store.The third activity was a small karioke machine that we already had. Eveyone had fun with that. After the cake they tossed a football around, then I sugested a human pyrimid, and they had a lot of fun with that till parents picked them up.Looked like they were having fun to me. Thanks for the ideas, Sandy

    Bookmark   February 14, 2004 at 7:54PM
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