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Fun and frugal party ideas for 7yo boy?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

We've always done parties at the "party places"- inflatable jumpers, Chuck E Cheese, etc. I'd like to have a reasonably priced party at home for DS, turning 7 in April. It usually runs us close to $400 for the party places and I think it's ridiculous. Any super fun ideas that can help me convince him that a home party can be just as awesome? Please!!??

post #2 of 11

We just had a part for DS who turned 10.  He invited five friends for a simple supper, hanging out and playing (mostly Wii plus some old school pretend play), plus cake and ice cream later.  Three friends stayed overnight and we had homemade waffles in the morning.  We just ate on regular plates and skipped the decorations.  We did buy five little lego figurines and gave them in leui of a "goody bag."   Anyway we had about $15 into the legos and another $20 or so on slightly larger quantities of food and slightly more more fun too (we bought a case of 7 oz. glass bottled local soda).


Anyway this is DS1's party of choice and aside from the noise that seven boys (five guests and our two) in our not so big house (just over 1000 sq foot.) it works really well.

post #3 of 11

Can you rent a bounce house?  We can rent them for about $100 - not cheap but cheaper.  Can you do it at a park and have games, races, obstical courses.  My son went to a party at his buddies and they built model rockets (estes) then they walked to a park and launched them.  They took them home as favors.  Lego theme with tons of legos and they build "insert open ended name here" and then take them home (lots of legos can be really cheap on Ebay.  April would be a great time to build a kite, go to a park to fly come home eat cake, presants and then kids go home with a kite.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks! Some of the local bouncer rental companies won't let you set up at parks because of some insurance/liability issue re: public parks, but I might be able to find one that will. April is tricky here- it can be really warm or cool and really windy, outside would be great for a bunch of 6-7 year olds, lol! They're still young enough that they need a bunch of structure (or a large place to play and stuff to play with), so the idea of making something that they can take home/play with is awesome. We bought 2 tubs of Legos for a killer price before Christmas and one of them is still in my closet, that might work out great. I could make cupcakes and let them decorate their own, too. That would kill time and be relatively inexpensive.

Keep the ideas coming- I need to convince him, lol. His 9yo sister just got an overnight at a hotel (in a suite, with 6 friends) that had a pool and waterslide, so he has high expectations of a "destination" birthday, but I really really want to get us back to simple but fun home parties.


post #5 of 11

DS had his sixth birthday at the park and is eagerly awaiting his sister's park birthday party later this month. For his, we did a craft (canvas water bottle holders) and then they played. A scavenger or treasure hunt would be a lot of fun.

post #6 of 11

So, I have four kids who all have birthdays coming up in March (well, and the 28th day of February).  We've been talking about parties this year and I was thinking the opposite of you.  I was looking into ABQ Jump or a nearby bowling alley, b/c last year we spent too much money having parties at home.  Maybe I'm doing it wrong?  But we didn't even have anything crazy going on (though we did buy our own jumper and re-used it for all 4 parties -- but it was off Amazon, and not too expensive).  Still, we spent a lot of time and money and invited too many kids, I guess. 


I know there are ways to throw a kid's party frugally, I just wonder if it's worth all the headache and clean-up if it's not too much cheaper in the end than having it at a destination. 


A park would be good, but with the winds in April, I dunno how well that would play out depending on the weather that day, yk?


I'll be watching this thread for ideas.  We had told the kids that this year we should just take a quick trip to Disneyland instead of have parties since they are all within like 31 days.  I swear in might end up cheaper... well, maybe. 

post #7 of 11

For DS1's 6th birthday we did a dinosaur theme.  I bought the cake plates, napkins, invites, and cups from Oriental Trading.


Cake:  I made a triceratops cake using this as my inspiration.



Decorate your paleontologist bag-  At the beginning of the party they each got a paper lunch bag that said "Paleontologist xxx".  They decorated it w/ foam stickers of dinos, leaves, etc.  This bag held all their goodies.


Dinosaur dig- we filled an inflatable baby pool w/ sand and buried plastic dino skeletons and little plastic dinos surrounded by a playdough/ fossil rock recipe that breaks open.  We gave them paintbrushes and had them brush their "fossils".


Paint a dino egg- we made paper mache dino eggs by paper mache-ing balloons.  When they were dry, we popped the balloon, took it out and covered the hole.  When everything was dry and set, we painted them a base color and let the kids paint them to look like dino eggs.


Pin the plates on the stegosaurus- I made a posterboard stegosaurus and construction paper back plates.  The kids had to try and get the plates onto the stegosaurus' back.  After each turn, they got a dino tattoo on their hand.


Pinata- bought a dinosaur pinata.


Favors: We stuffed prepainted paper mache dino eggs w/ dino pencils, tattoos, grow-a-dinos, etc.  The kids took the eggs into the driveway and broke their "eggs" to get to the favors.


Decor:  Hung fake vines, green streamers, and jute (to look like vines) around the party space.  We also cut out dinosaur footprints from cereal boxes to mark where the kids were to go.


All in all I'd say the party cost us about $100 for about 15 kids.

post #8 of 11

Just thought of more.  For my DD1 one year, we had a dress up theme party.  Her theme was fairies, so all the kids came dressed as fairies, but I'm sure you can do it for any theme really.


Usually I google a party theme idea and pick and choose what works for me and try to keep costs down where I can.  This usually means making/ decorating the cake myself, upcycling things for decorations, activities that require moving on the kids part, etc.


This year we think we're going w/ 1 big party in the summer for all 5 kids combined.  We have 1 January b-day, 2 April b-days, and 2 November b-days.  If we do a party for EACH child, it gets expensive and the same friends come to every party.  Having 1 big summer party enables us to take advantage of the weather and use our 1/2 acre yard (usually rains in April and too cold most Novembers and Januaries).  ON their b-days they'll get their gifts from our immediate family, have their special b-day dinner, and have cupcakes w/ immediate family as recognition of the day.

post #9 of 11

At 6, my son had a party at home. He invited about 7-10 kids and I had a magician come to the house. The kids were mesmerized by this. Before the show, they entertained themselves with free play outside. After the show, they came in and ate (I forget the menu, but I had lots of cut up veggies, perhaps pigs in a blanket, pretzels, popcorn, some candy dishes....things my child requested) and cake. The inside was decorated with balloons and a banner. After eating they opened presents and played inside while the parents came and collected the kids.  The cost may have been around 350 (maybe 150-200 for the  magicians, and food). Magician wands and top hats as parting gifts. (For the past two years, he has had about 5 kids and a sleepover - that is all he wants!)

post #10 of 11

For my oldest son's 7th birthday, we did a "Mad Science" theme in our backyard. I made the invitations on the computer and made sure to warn the parents to send the boys in old playclothes that could get dirty. They played with baking soda and vinegar, dropped Mentos candies in diet sprite, and made slime with white glue, water, cornstarch, and vinegar.   It was SO MUCH FUN!!!!   The boys were talking about it for months.  Actually, later that year, my son was invited to another boy's birthday party (a boy who had been a guest at ours) at Chuck E Cheese. I overheard the mom telling another lady, , "He wanted to do a Mad Science party, but I just wasn't up to it." But it really wasn't hard, and it was pretty cheap. 

post #11 of 11

What about skating?  We don't live in NM but my son has played hockey there and there is that cool ice rink that has the two rinks attatched during open skate.  It looked really fun.

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