Gone are the days when a sandwich, a bowl of jelly and a couple of games were enough for a party. Endless pictures on social media and peer pressure can make parents feel like they have to throw an elaborate, expensive party. However, we believe that’s not always necessary, especially if it’s not financially feasible and you have multiple children that you have to throw parties for. Children are happy just having fun with their friends and blowing out the candles, they won’t remember if it’s a simple or an extravagant occasion. So, on that note, here are Cayman Parent’s top tips on keeping the costs down.
Pair Up – Consider holding a joint party with another child who has
a birthday around the same time as your child so that you can
split the costs. Make sure you get two cakes though!
The Venue – Cut costs by hosting the party at home, or if you
can’t face a house full of kids then head to the beach, it’s free and tons
of fun! If you live in a condominium complex then hosting the
party at your condo pool is a good way to save money. You
could also look into hiring a church hall/meeting space which is
usually very reasonable.
Invites – Utilise free digital email invitations such as those on Paperless Post or Evite.
Traditional Party Games – Games such as musical statues,
sleeping lions, blind man’s bluff and pass the parcel are suitable from about the age of four and offers lots of fun for little or no cost. You could also organise a craft activity such as cookie decorating – it’s messy but fun!
Party Food – Make the sandwiches and cakes yourself or you can even just order pizzas or throw some burgers on the BBQ. Serve with chips and fruit skewers.
Guest List – This is an easy way to keep costs down. Don’t feel pressurised into inviting the whole class if it’s not financially possible or you do not wish to host a large party. Also make it clear that siblings of guests are not invited.
Party Bags – Ditch the party bags altogether and give each child a small memento or slice of birthday cake to take home.
Décor – Keep the decorations simple with just some balloons and streamers – or even better, create your own bunting – you will find plenty of free templates online.
Ask for Help – Ask friends or family to help you out on the day whether it’s supervising children, distributing food and drinks or organising games – you can’t be everywhere at once! Ask someone to be in charge of taking photographs with your camera so you can concentrate on the fun. Don’t forget to let them know if there are any key pictures you’d like, such as blowing out the candles.
How long should a child’s party last? Parties for children aged seven and under need only last two hours. For children eight and up a three hour party is better. To avoid any confusion it helps to write the finishing time clearly on the invite.
How many children should I invite? This can be a minefield and many parents worry about making children feel left out. School etiquette suggests that for the first two years (KG and Year 1) the whole class should be invited, but this may not be feasible for everyone. If you decide to throw a smaller party for just a few friends then that is totally acceptable, however, to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings, you may want to avoid distributing the invitations or talking about the party at school.
Should parents be invited? The general rule of thumb is that if children are under five years old, a parent should be present. There may be exceptions, especially if it’s an activity based party, so to avoid any confusion, state whether parents should be present on the invitation.
How long do I have to send thank you notes? Generally, it’s thought that children should write thank you notes for gifts within two weeks. Turn it into a craft activity so as well as teaching your child good manners, it also becomes an enjoyable activity. If you have used online invitations, then you can send out a single email of thanks, with a promise of individual thank yous to follow.
Need some help getting organised?
Take a look at our Perfect Party Checklist!
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