Any birthday party ideas for 6yr old girl? Budget friendly - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 01-14-2012, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dd will be 6 the beginning of March and this year she wants to invite more than one friend to her birthday party. Last year she invited her best friend and her mom and then we had close family. It was pushing the limits of our small house.

 

She has been to quite a few parties of classmates such as a gymnastics party, princess party, rock star party, ect. Now these parties had like every single person from her class at it including their parents. There is no way that I can afford to do something like that right now. It is hard to tell dd that she can't have a party like that. 

 

So now I am left trying to decide something that we could do and I have no idea. The real bummer is that it is winter here and cold and will be cold when her birthday is so it's not like we could go to a park.

 

Any ideas? Thanks!


Dd Sydney 3/06 & Dd Lola 2/10
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#2 of 24 Old 01-14-2012, 09:12 PM
 
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When we were in a somewhat similar situation with our ds, we opted to have a really quiet family party on his real bday, and then had a "six and a half" birthday party: because it was in may we could do it outside. Going to a public parc, bringing cut up watermelon and some other fruit, home made cake, games can be really easy like relay races or just let the kids play! the key is to scout out a really good park.

So, could you do an outdoor party where you live in September?

Also, on invites, I typed them up and instead of a start and finish time, I specified a "drop off" and "pick up" time. The parents got the hint! Otherwise, you could have a birthday potlatch? Have people sign up to bring a dish each, like crunchy snack, fruit, drinks? It depends on your area and how comfortable you are with the fellow class parents.


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#3 of 24 Old 01-14-2012, 11:13 PM
 
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I did make your own pizza and decorate your own cupcakes a couple of times for my girls. All had fun and it's not an expensive activity at all.

 

 


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#4 of 24 Old 01-15-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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It depends on how many kids she wants to invite. Are you saying you absolutely can't do it in your house? Is there a local rec center? We have quite a few inexpensive rental options through our city's Parks & Rec.

 

We did a really cute tea party for my DD's 5th bday that wasn't expensive. You can scout thrift stores for fancy tea cups -- then those are the favors as well. Lots of finger food (I cut PB&J sandwiches with cookie cutters, among other things) and some crafts and you're set.

 

Hope you figure out something that works!
-e

 

p.s. Another thing to consider -- if she's having a friends party,  don't invite your family to that one. If it's kids only, then maybe you can have it in your house.


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#5 of 24 Old 01-15-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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I agree with the pp to not try to have classmates and family all at the same time if your place is small.  Why don't you figure out the number of friends (just kids) you could comfortably host and tell dd to choose that many people to invite.  That's what we do.  We always do a separate "family" b-day party on the evening of the actual birthday (we do dinner).

 

Last year for dd's 7th b-day we did "make your own sundaes".  I bought a couple of flavours of icecream, and some toppings.  The kids loved it!

 

I think your best bet is to come up with a theme, based on dd's interests, and then brainstorm (with our help, if you like!) some low-budget ways of "doing" that theme.  We're always on a pretty low budget around here, but with a little creativity have managed to have some really cool parties.


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#6 of 24 Old 01-15-2012, 11:38 AM
 
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Do you have any Michael's craft stores close by? They have a birthday party option that is relatively inexpensive. You probably wouldn't be able to invite the whole class but she could choose 5 or 6 friends and it wouldn't be too expensive. We do low-cost b-day parties around here to and we did Michael's parties a couple of years in a row. They were always a hit.


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#7 of 24 Old 01-15-2012, 11:55 AM
 
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My daughter went to a cute tea party birthday party that she really enjoyed. She was invited to bring her favorite doll, and the children made little crafts (doll sized) and then they celebrated with a doll/child tea party. The crafts also served as the take home favors. I can't remember all of the crafts they did, but for example, they decorated tiny wooden circles with markers for "cookies" for the dolls. American Girl publishes books on tiny crafts and foods, so perhaps that would be a source of ideas. Making matching bead necklaces and bracelets for participants and dolls might also work.

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#8 of 24 Old 01-15-2012, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think she wants to invite 4 girls for sure. Then she wanted to invite one of her cousins that lives in town. He's a boy, so I don't think that he would have much fun. Then she said she could invite a boy from school so there would be two boys. 

But I do like the idea of having a separate family birthday. I suppose we would invite the cousin to that one, that makes more sense. 

And her sister is turning 2 a week before so we would celebrate them together with family.

 

I don't think dd would go along with having a half birthday, although I like that idea. There are lots of nice parks around and it's nice here in September. But I think that option would be out. 

 

It probably wouldn't be too bad with 5 max girls from school here at our small house. But I wouldn't want the parents to come, that would be tight. 

 

Make your own cupcakes and sundaes sounds like a good idea.

Also, the Michaels one sounds fun. Will have to call and check on cost as the web doesn't show the price. 

Tea party sounds fun too. 

Will have to run some of these ideas past dd. 

 

Thanks for the help! 

 

Any other party ideas or money savers?


Dd Sydney 3/06 & Dd Lola 2/10
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#9 of 24 Old 01-15-2012, 03:10 PM
 
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We do the ice cream sundae bar for DD1's bday every year - she has a core group of friends over for a sleepover. DD2 has generally had park parties where DH organizes some games and they play on the playground equipment. We have also had a good response with "science" parties - we made oobleck http://www.instructables.com/id/Oobleck/ and did Coke & Mentos outside http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/original-mentos-diet-coke-geyser Everyone really enjoyed those - girls and boys and kids from 3 to about 8.

 

There are lots of instructions online for cool decorated cakes, which saves money over ordering from a bakery. I'm not much of a baker, though, so I have generally done pretty simple ones. One memorable one was for DD1's insect bday party - put chocolate cookie crumbs on the cake for dirt and top with plastic insects. I did say simple! :-) It can get much more complicated from there.

 

One fun party favor we did was burn copies of a CD of the birthday kid's favorite music. I guess I just dated myself with the CDs! (Must have been at least 5 yrs. ago) We have also done small coloring book & cool pencil. One popular one was a wooden wand. You can do easy ones with ribbon and dowels. Cute and fun to play with. I personally enjoy giving party favors, although I know a lot of people don't.

 

You're getting good tips here!


Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (14) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"

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#10 of 24 Old 01-15-2012, 05:12 PM
 
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One year for DSD 14's 7th b-day (november b-day so too cold outside), we did a spa b-day party. I got a container of green face mask stuff from Target and put it on the girls' faces. We painted toe nails and finger nails and took silly pics w/the green faces. We had b-day cake and pizza and it was a blast. DSD 14 still talks about it. Very cheap.

 

Also, you should check in to places around town that do b-day parties. They may not be as expensive as you think. We did DSS 11's 8th b-day party at an ice skating rink. The room was free for two hours, the b-day boy skated for free and it was $10/head per kid. He had 7 friends I think. Oh and two grownups could skate for free. I bought a large cheese pizza and made the b-day cake. Cheap party and he LOVED it.


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#11 of 24 Old 01-15-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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DD had a pajama/pancake party when she was 6... we had it at 10AM on a Saturday so the kids just got up & came over for breakfast. I got lots of interesting toppings for the pancakes (including whip cream in a can, which was a huge hit) The parents liked it because it wasn't in the middle of the day and they still had lots of time to do whatever their family was doing for the weekend. It was a pretty low-key party... I didn't do any games but there were balloons and they played with them a lot. The kids had fun... how often do they get to have 4 or 5 friends over on the same day? That's a big deal. Some of those really big parties seem like they're too overwhelming for kids.


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#12 of 24 Old 01-15-2012, 09:38 PM
 
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Cheap entertainment we've done includes:

 

Treasure hunts where they have to find and follow clues. Depending on how their literacy skills are you can make them pretty simple or fairly complex to figure out.

 

Old stand-bys such as: hot potato, freeze dancing and musical chairs are also fun. Really, I often just blow up a bunch of balloons and the kids love chasing them around (even in a small living room). I've set up a volleyball "net" across the middle of the floor (yarn, strung between 2 chairs), and had them play volleyball sitting on their bottoms (kicking with feet not allowed). Allow 15 minutes for everyone to come, 20 minutes running around with balloons, 20 minutes with organized games, 10-15 minutes with an easy craft (e.g., create something out of popsicle sticks), and 20 minutes for cake/ice cream/presents. If there's time left, you might play twister or something else. I've found that 90 minutes is a great time period for a 7 year old birthday.


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#13 of 24 Old 01-16-2012, 06:42 AM
 
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Recently there have been tons of groupons and living social coupons for 'birthday places' near me. I don't know if it would be the same for you or not. But like 1/3 of the regular price.
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#14 of 24 Old 01-16-2012, 06:48 AM
 
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My daughter went to the most fun birthday party just recently. It was a sledding party! She drove most of the kids and some parents wanted to drive their own, but they went to a sledding hill, went sledding, then went back to their house for hot cocoa and cake. It would be even better if you had a sledding hill within walking distance.

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#15 of 24 Old 01-16-2012, 10:07 AM
 
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We did a tie-dye party for DD's 6th in October. The kit was about $16 at JoAnn, and it more than covered the shirts for the kids we had there. I bought a couple of packs of Hanes T-shirts, but you could always just ask the kids to bring something to tie-dye. Just cover everything in plastic and tell them to wear old clothes-- and make sure you pick up a box of latex gloves! We sent everyone home with a knotted up shirt in a plastic baggie and washing instructions (the dye has to sit for 24 hours). Only a few parents stayed; most dropped off, which was great-- we are short on space, too. 

 

DD just went to a fun party for a classmate, too-- the birthday girl invited 4 friends to join her (the mom had a car w/ a 3rd row seat, so she picked them all up after school) at the local beauty college for hairdos and manicures. Then they went back to her house and had a fashion show-- they all brought their favorite dress-ups and the mom took pictures. The whole princess/ beauty queen thing is not really my favorite, but these little girls had an absolute ball. 

 

Re: too many people in your house-- could you specify "drop off at 3, pick up at 7" or whatever on the invitations? That's what the beauty school party mom did. 


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#16 of 24 Old 01-16-2012, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow so many good ideas ladies! I asked dd about make your own sundaes and she was very excited and wants to do it. Then I said how about decorating cupcakes? She was even more excited and now cannot decide between the two.

I really like the idea of a sledding party, but unfortunately we have no snow. None. And we are in northern WI! Not sure if mother nature will give us any this year!

 

Would love to do the tie dye, but maybe when she is a bit older.

 

I do think that specifying drop off and pick up times will definitely be a part of the invitation. Sad to say that the entire class plus one or two parents isn't going to be happening for us.

 

 

What do you all think of gifts? Dd keeps saying so and so is getting me this and they're getting me this for my birthday. None of the parties we've gone to have we brought a gift. We did a couple times bring a book, once for a book exchange and the other time for a book donation.
We certainly do not need any more toys. But when dd says about her friends getting her something, I kinda think it's cute.  


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#17 of 24 Old 01-17-2012, 03:43 AM
 
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I don't think you can get around presents. It's generally considered polite to bring a gift to a bday party, though in my circle of friends it's not mandatory (and is discouraged when finances are a problem). If you get lucky, parents will ask what she wants/needs but by six, parents often let their child pick the gift.

 

 I agree that decorating cupcakes or making sundaes is always a hit. One thing I've done that the kids had fun with was decorating picture frames, which they get to keep as favors. Then I use a digital camera (even the one on a phone will do in a pinch!) and print out pictures of the guest and birthday child to send home with them for the frame. Ideally it's printed out while it's there, but it can always be sent later. If you do thank you cards, that would be nice in the card.

 

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#18 of 24 Old 01-17-2012, 04:10 AM
 
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Decorating cupcakes always seems to go down well when I've done it with kids, that siad it doesn't take some of them long to spoon on  a blob of icing and add sprinkles. Drawing with the little tubes of icing does take a while so they might be a good option to get.

 

I usually put the decorated cakes on a paper plate and cover in cling wrap to send them home. Goodie bag sorted!

 

Threading a bead braclet or making a friendshi braclet of some sort might work. We thought about decorating t shirts for DDs 7th party, as we already have fabric pens.

 

If you're happy with some TV how about movie night. Pick a DVD and get some pizza and popcorn to eat while watching it.

 

 

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#19 of 24 Old 01-17-2012, 04:35 AM
 
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My soon-to-be-five daughter has a similar request.  In her case, she wants a party either at the YMCA or one of those "bounce house" places - both out of our price range.  The compromise we settled on was a party where she could invite all of her class and then a "bounce house" date with just her best friend.  Our house is too small to hold everyone, but we have a church down the street that is letting us rent their community hall, which has a kitchen attached, for $50.  My plan is to go to the local Toy Library for a parachute and some other toys that would make for good group games.  She wants it to be a "fairy" birthday, and I found some large, wearable cardboard wings at a big-box craft store for about $1 each - decorating those with markers, glitter, feathers and ribbon will serve as a craft activity and as a "favor". 

I think sometimes when you ask your child what might make the party special, the answer might be very simple and doable. When I asked my daughter what would make it a fancy party, it turned out that she really wants a decorated cake from the grocery store, rather than one of my homemade ones or the cupcakes I usually make.  I remember as a child all I really wanted to make my birthday special was lots of balloons.  I think that ultimately a party in a church basement will be as special to her as an expensive party at a YMCA as long as there are lots of luridly colored buttercream roses involved.

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#20 of 24 Old 01-17-2012, 06:04 AM
 
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We have always allowed gifts. I chalk it up to a great opportunity to teach thank-you card writing!


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#21 of 24 Old 01-17-2012, 08:08 AM
 
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Good thread.  We have a policy of number of invitees equal to child's age at birthday.  Keeps the numbers low.

 

For dd's 4th birthday, we had a grab bag gift exchange for party with friends at our home.  This way I did not feel like I had to go overboard on party favors (I sewed a headband for each girl).  Daughter wasn't super keen on the gift exchange at first ($10 or less), but that was a non-negotiable for the party.  I don't want her to have a strong association that party means presents.  The other girls who attended really liked getting to go home with a gift and other parents were also supportive of the idea. 

 

In addition, when DD attends friends birthdays, we have recently been giving "science experiments" as gifts.  Most recently we have given the baking soda/vinegar volcano experiment.  It was a hit!  My daughter helps my husband prepare the gift (check the ratios and the appropriateness of the container for making the volcano) and it gets her more involved in the gift.  We'll probably give a different experiment every year; so 2012 will be volcanos, 2013 something else, etc.

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#22 of 24 Old 01-17-2012, 08:12 AM
 
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I would say 90% of the birthdays we go to are 'your presence is present enough' parties. Although I think 5 is the oldest age we've gone to that was so.

At ds's school that is the norm more than not and I love it. We do presents for close friends and those who don't have no gift parties but most of the invitations ask for no gifts.
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#23 of 24 Old 01-17-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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Quote:

Decorating cupcakes always seems to go down well when I've done it with kids, that siad it doesn't take some of them long to spoon on  a blob of icing and add sprinkles. Drawing with the little tubes of icing does take a while so they might be a good option to get.

 

I usually put the decorated cakes on a paper plate and cover in cling wrap to send them home. 

ALSO - 

 

my local grocery store does events and at Halloween they had decorate your own cupcakes - they frosted them and put them into quart plastic container (ones that you would get deli salads in) and the children dropped on the toppings- very easy- no mess and popped the lid one and took it home- the containers you can ask to buy and they are great reused for homemade play doh- the cupcakes are the perfect size and didn't move around inside- you could sent it home and attach a play doh recipe to the container or have her think up other uses and make a sign and attach it to the container


 

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#24 of 24 Old 01-17-2012, 02:04 PM
 
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We lived in Indiana and my son's birthday is in Jan. One of the birthdays he remembers most is his Laua party. We lived in family housing at a university and had a 600 sq ft apartment and 3 boys. It was very small but when we look at pictures there were about 10 kids that were there. I made pineapple upside down cake and we had a coupon for free pizza and we got ham and pineapple. We bought and made decorations and played games related to the theme. There was snow outside but we had warm fun inside. It helped make up for a couple of his birthdays that were during snowstorms and few people were able to come over.

 

There is no reason for parents to be coming to your daughter's party. If you have family over that could be at a different time than the party. When you send out invitations state that the party is kids only and you might suggest kids wear clothes they can play games in.


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