Throwing your child a birthday party? You’ll first need to have an idea of your budget to make the party affordable for you. Create fun games and activities that will be a hit with the birthday child and the guests. Finally, with COVID-19 and restrictions in place, there is a list of how to follow guidelines and still have a great time. You’ll be sure to keep their interest and have a great time by keeping these ideas in mind.
Budgeting a Kids Birthday Party
Decide where you’ll be hosting your party. If you’re planning on hosting the party outside your home then you’ll have to have enough money for the venue. Whether it’s a bowling alley, laser tag field or batting cage you will also need to figure in expenses for the cake, food, invites and party favors. Keep track of your budget to make sure that you have everything you need when you need it and that your child’s party doesn’t go without cake!
2. Decide on a size
How big is your party going to be? Figure out the guests that your child must have at their party and go from there. The whole class does not need to be invited if your child only wants a few guests. This can make the party more manageable and less expensive.
3. Costs and Benefits
Weight the costs and benefits of doing something yourself versus having others do it. Think about both the long run and time it will take. Will it be more expensive? Do you have room in your budget? How long would it take to make yourself? For example, depending on the number of guests, a cake could be in either category. For a smaller party, making a small cake yourself and decorating it would be less expensive. For larger parties, a giant sheet cake at a grocery store would be less expensive and waste less time.
4. Theme Decorations
When choosing decorations for the theme, trademarked characters can be extremely pricey. In order to cut back on costs, an easy way is to choose one or two items with the character (if there is a specific character theme). Then have the rest of the decor be a color-coordinating solid color. For example, choosing solid color plates and utensils that match the themed tablecloth.
5. Food and Drinks
If your child is younger, you may have the parents at the party as well, making the guest list a bit bigger. Food and drinks should be included in your budget, especially if your party is during dinnertime. Some choose to buy food to reheat beforehand, but this is often more expensive. Try cooking finger foods, which can usually be bought in bulk, like chicken nuggets, pizza bagels, and many more. Offer a few options of fruit as well. Finally, pick a few drinks to serve but be sure to include water.
Fun Games for a Kids Birthday Party
1. Last Balloon Standing Wins!
Divide kids into teams of two and spread them out equidistant apart. Have them toss a water balloon back and forth and with each completed toss they each take a step back. They keep doing that until only one team is left with their water balloon intact.
2. Don’t Get Wet!
Place two sprinklers a considerable distance away from each signaling a start and a finish. Have one kid control the sprinklers by turning them on and off at random while having the other children try to run back and forth between the two without getting wet. This is perfect for the summer weather!
3. Guess Who
Tape a picture of a character from a show (if that’s the theme) or object onto each kid’s back. Then they have to ask questions to the other guests about whom they are or what they are. The trick is, they can only answer yes or no. Set a timer for 1 minute and have kids switch partners if they still haven’t guessed. First person to guess correctly wins.
Have a little down time before or after lunch to give yourself, and the kids, a break with a game of bingo. It’s a classic game everyone loves. You can print out cards easily online and have the kids mark their spots with markers.
5. Don’t Drop The Egg
Line everyone up and give each a spoon and an egg. Find a good distance for a finish line and have them race to it with the egg on the spoon without dropping it or holding it. First to the other side with their eggs on their spoons wins.
6. Kick It
Divide the kids into two teams and have them each form a single file line. Place an object in front of each of the first kids in line like a pillow, can, etc. The first kid in line will kick it once and then run to the back of the line. The second kid gets to run up and kick and so on until the first team to get their object across the finish line wins. This is an easy activity to set up and can be played at birthdays in the park.
7. Three Legged Race
Have the kids pair up and tie one of their legs to each together so they’re facing the same way but appear to have only one leg. Make a start and a finish line and have them three-legged race to victory!
8. Stomp That Balloon
Tie up one balloon to a string about 2 feet in length and make as many of those as there are kids. Tie the balloon on the string to each kid’s leg and have them try to stomp on the other kids’ balloons and pop them without their own balloon getting popped.
9. How Long Can You Hula?
Give each kid a hula hoop and the idea is to see who can keep the hula hoop off of the floor the longest without touching it or having it hit the ground. This is a great game for parties. Additionally, you can have kids walk around hula hooping to another side to make it more challenging.
10. Simon Says
Simon says is a classic children’s bday party activity idea that will surely entertain your guests. Let the bday girl or boy start off as being Simon and make sure you don’t do anything without Simon saying or you’re out!
COVID-19-compliant Kids Birthday Tips
1. Follow State Guidelines
Be sure to look up your state’s guidelines about COVID-19 quarantine or reopening rules. Since many states are in different phases, be sure to check your news for specific rules. Remember to look for recent updates since many states are changing daily.
2. Host a zoom game call
Can’t meet in person? Have a zoom game call. Email parents of each child bingo cards for them to use while you read out the numbers that are called. Another idea is to create a custom jeopardy game. Categories could include different TV shows, sports the kid’s play, or local facts around town.
3. Birthday Parade
Have a birthday parade! Send out invitations to the families to drive by your house with posters or balloons attached to their car for your child’s birthday. This way your child can see their friends from a safe distance while feeling celebrated.
4. Video Montage
Ask friends to send in short clips of themselves answering questions. These questions can range from “What is X’s favorite food?” to “What do you appreciate most about your friendship with X?” Combine these all together to form one long video for your child to cherish.
5. Wear a mask and wash your hands
Most importantly, if you’re able to meet with people while socially distancing in your state for the party, be sure to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently.
This list should help to answer and help with your planning. Be sure to ask your child about their preferences and brainstorm ideas with them. This way, your child can get involved and help make it a party they are excited about.
Written by Nicole Scepkowski, Chelsea Muzar, and Caitlin Connell
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