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5 Budget-Friendly Birthday Party Ideas

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By Vicki Little

You want to throw your child an unforgettable birthday party, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. There’s no need to dip into their college savings just to jump on the Bouncy House bandwagon.

It’s a challenge this time of year, when you can’t take the party outside. Your options are definitely limited. Don’t worry — we’re here with fresh inspiration! Choose a theme from the list below or use these ideas to help design your own party.

1. Book Exchange — Have guests bring a book to swap with someone else. Share a list ahead of time of who needs what book, etc. If your birthday kid has a favorite series, make it a theme! Ask guests to dress as their favorite character and exchange a book from the series. Another activity would be for kids to decorate a book bag to tote their new reads home.

2. Video Game Party — Pretty self-explanatory. Try to get some extra devices for kids to play on so everyone can join in. As parents, we try to keep kids off video games as much as possible, but we know they love them, so — on their birthdays — give them what they want!

3. Tie-Dye Party — This is a surefire hit with kids. Kick it up a notch and have a contest for the best T-shirt or offer a variety of categories with silly prizes. For even more fun, tie-dye some sheets or lounging pants!

4. Artsy Party — Host a “canvas and cupcakes” party! Get some new canvases and set up painting stations around a table. Help them paint a picture or let them create their own masterpiece. You also can offer a stamp station, bracelet/jewelry making station, etc. One station can be where they make something special for someone else at the party.

5. Builder Party — What little (or big) kid doesn’t like using tools? Find a simple project, such as a robot that only requires random scraps from the house, and get building! This may be easier with older children, or even if you can get another adult or two to help out. Put safety first and supply safety gear! Goggles from the dollar store are great. The kids can first make their plans, then build, and finally paint their inventions!

Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. When she isn’t writing or trying to keep up with her kids she can be found volunteering, reading, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.

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