16 Best Cheap Kids Birthday Party Ideas

Throwing your child a birthday party is so much fun, but when it comes to checking out at the party store, paying the total is not. Whether you’re on a low budget or you are trying not to spend a fortune at a birthday party, we have some tips on how to shop smart for your party and find the cheapest options. Here we have 16 Cheap Kids Party Ideas!

Cheap Kids Birthday Party Invitations and Decorations

Cheap Kid's Birthday Party Invitations and Decorations

1. E-vites

In a world that is so technologically driven, why not send an electronic invitation? It’s not weird at all! There are several sites that you can send bday themed invitations from. All you need is the email of the parents of the children your child wants to invite. If you cannot find an e-vite template online that works for you, you can create your invitation by dressing up an email. Use some fun clip art and colorful fonts to communicate to your guests who, what, where, when, and why.

2. Keep Decorations Simple

As Kelly Johnson once said, “keep it simple, stupid.” Going all out for a kids birthday party is fun, but once everything is over, looking back at how much you spent may give you buyers remorse. Of course, every birthday is a big deal to a child. Growing up is a big deal. But, there is nothing wrong with scaling the birthday budget back for a less significant age. Keep decorations to a minimum if you want to take off from the grand total. Streamers, balloons, table cloths, and napkins are all great options to add pops of color to your party without spending a whole lot.

Cheap Kids Birthday Party Tips

Cheap Kid's Birthday Party Hacks and Ideas

3. Shopping Smart

Shopping at a party store can be expensive. That’s because you are paying for everything to be in one place. If you want to save money and host an affordable kid’s party, you’re going to have to do some digging beforehand. Look online at sites such as Amazon, Walmart, or Target for good deals. One tip is price matching: if you find something priced for less online and Walmart has that same product, they will price match it. This is a great tip to utilize, but it will require prior research.

4. Back to Basics

Back to Basics

When did it ever become the unwritten rule that your kids birthday party has to have a theme? Nobody said you have to get the themed table cloth, matching plates, the matching mini cake plates, the cups that go with it, and the napkins that pull it all together! All that sounds like to me is a cash register opening and taking all my money.

Have the theme for your child’s birthday, but do back to the basics when it comes to tableware. You don’t need to buy every themed tableware item because we all know how kids parties go. Kids forget which cup is theirs every time they put it down, and 30 minutes into the party, you are already out of cups. Consider purchasing decorations that will go along with your child’s preferred birthday party theme.

For example, if your child wants a race car theme, consider decorations that are black, white, and red instead of buying all the decorations in the “race car theme” section of a party store. Of course, to pull it all together, you can splurge on some distinct race car decorations.

5. Reuse Kids’ Party Favors

A great tip in hosting a cheap kids birthday party is to try saving as much money as you can. Typically, when a child goes to a party, they get to bring home candy and toys from goody bags or a piñata. To save some time and money, try to reuse the candy and toys that they did not eat or forgot about. These items can be used to make your own goody bags or even to fill up a piñata of your own! There are some places that sell piñatas for affordable prices.

6. Making your own Favors

Making a party favors that guests can take home is a great idea in hosting a successful, affordable kid’s party. The best parties for kids are those which allow the children to have some say in their favors! Allowing the guests the opportunity to make their own favors and take them home can be fun and exciting. Some favor ideas for an cheap kid’s party are tie dye shirts, painting little flower pots, and making home-made play dough. These are all some ideas you can incorporate in your affordable kid’s party that can be either purchased in bulk or can be achieved by using supplies from around the house!

7. Skip The Traditional Party Ideas

There are a variety of cheap kids birthday party ideas that can save your bank account. Usually, parents throw huge parties for kid’s who won’t even remember their first through seventh birthdays. Possibly taking the child to an ice cream shop or their favorite toy store to pick out one toy could be better than throwing a huge party. These ideas could be great in sticking to the cheap kids birthday party theme and won’t have as big of an effect on your wallet!

Cheap Kids Birthday Party Dining Ideas

Pin on In-Home Dinner Parties

8. Channeling Your Inner Chef

Catering food is convenient, but it’s not the best way to save money, especially for a cheap kids birthday party. Certain dishes work great for children’s parties that can be prepared before the day of the birthday party. Mac N Cheese is always popular among children and can be easily stored until the party’s day. Pigs in a blanket are also super easy to make, and children love them. Use mini hot dogs and Pillsbury crescent rolls to make this for your guests. It has a sweet and salty taste; they’re so good!

You can make these before the party and heat them up the day of. They can also be served room temperature. If you are hosting the party at your house, buying a couple of large bags of chicken tenders and throwing them in the oven a few minutes before you serve lunch is an affordable option.

9. Beverages for a Cheap Kids Birthday Party

Drinks are an obvious factor when planning a cheap kids birthday party. The best options for the biggest bang for your buck are Capri-suns or similar juice pouches. Because kids are constantly active, an alternative could be water bottles to balance the sweet with some fresh water. Water can be either store bought however, pre-serving water jugs from an at home filtered water faucet is free, and who doesn’t prefer free? Capri-suns and juice pouches usually come in bulk and are good to disperse between all of the kids.

10. Dessert Ideas for a Cheap Kids Birthday Party

Hosting a successful and cheap kids birthday party can come in many different forms. Some of these can include surprising your guests and the child of honor with a plate of cupcakes or a cake! These items can be homemade or store bought. Baking a cake at home can be more beneficial because the ingredients can be reused as well as the frosting and decorations can be personalized. Overall, a cheap kids birthday party can be made more fun by giving the kids cake!

Organization for Cheap Kids Birthday Party

Organization for Cheap Kid's Birthday Party

11. Guest List

Consider only inviting some of your child’s closest friends to their cheap kids birthday party. Have a number of guests that you see fit to invite to your child’s birthday party. Then, sit the soon to be birthday girl/boy down and write down their top X amount of friends to invite that fits the number you have in mind. Hosting a party with a limited guest list is a major step in hosting an affordable kid’s party.

12. Don’t Host Party Too early

When the idea is to host a cheap kids birthday party, hosting at the wrong time of the day can be a mistake when trying to party on a budget! Hosting a party at 12pm is prime lunch time, so of course, food is mandatory. Hosting an affordable kid’s party at let us say 5pm, is prime dinner time. If you do not want to cook or have food at this child’s birthday, it is imperative that you select a specific time that will take that into account.

Cheap Kids Birthday Party Entertainment

20 birthday party games for kids - Care.com

12. Music

Did someone say dance party! Music is an important part of any party and serves as children entertainment. Some options for a cheap kid’s birthday party could include the radio and even online streaming devices, (Spotify, Apple Music, or SoundCloud). All of which have free options if not subscribed to! Depending on the theme of the party, and a kid can also be surprised by a family dressed up in character as well!

13. DIY Games

A great way to save money and host a cheap kids birthday party is to host the party at your house. It seems intimidating, I know. You may be wondering how in the world you will entertain X amount of kids for 3 hours. But, I promise you, there are plenty of ideas out there. All you have to do is simply go onto Pinterest and search “easy games for a (theme of your party) party,” and a bunch of ideas for games will pop up. From there, there will be options of things you can purchase, or if you want to get artsy, there will be DIY (do it yourself) options. Have fun and get creative!

14. Turn To No Cost Activities

There are a series of games that are fun and can keep the kid’s entertained throughout your party! All of which are free and can be played in the best place… At home! These games include Hot Potato, Charades, Simon Says, Musical Chairs, and even Hide and go Seek! These games are all classics and can be played over and over and will never lose the excitement. A reward for winning can also be an option and it will add an incentive to get the kid’s to participate in the given activity! Another great option for a cheap kids birthday party could be a scavenger hunt!

15. Saying Thank You

A fun and cheap kids birthday party idea after the fact, can be thank you cards. Thank you cards serve as a personal remembrance of the celebration. When a child attends your cheap kids birthday party, they might bring a gift as a thank you for the invitation. Once it comes time to open all of the gifts, it could be a great idea to snap a photo of the two kid’s together to remember who gave what gift. After the affordable kid’s party is over, sending those thank you cards could be sweet, to send and receive!

16. Stress Less

Understand that you do not have to throw the party of the year, you want to make the best of the fun yet cheap kid’s birthday party. Your child is going to have so much fun and appreciate anything you do for their special day whether its extravagant or simple, and big or small. It may seem like the end of the world to your child if they aren’t getting the specific party decorations, but I promise you that will be short lived. Once the party is on, the day’s excitement will make them forget they ever even cared. Do your absolute best on the budget that you can afford, and it will all be worth it.


Celebrate your child with these helpful tips that won’t break the bank, but allow you to host a great, cheap kids birthday party. Don’t stress too hard about everything being perfect; it’s a children’s party. Any time they can hang out with their friends, eat cake, and be sent home with candy is a good day for them. Do your research, channel your inner chef/baker, and shop smart and you will throw an amazing party on an affordable budget.

We hope you enjoyed this list of cheap kid’s birthday party ideas!

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Edited by Tiawnie Castrejon

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