Fun Budget Party Ideas

Five ways to celebrate your child's birthday without busting your budget.

Party Idea: Have a Ball

child holding balloons


When it comes to celebrating a kid's birthday, what's most important is that the event is special and memorable. And there are plenty of ways you can keep the focus on fun without going over the top. Here are five ideas for an at-home party tailored to babies and toddlers.

Let's face it: At this age, the party is really more about you than your child. Since most toddlers don't have much of a social life, the party is likely to consist of relatives and other adult friends, plus their kids (especially if it's a first birthday). But if you have a crowd of toddlers coming, you might want to include an activity or two to give the party a bit of structure. Just don't be surprised when they're interested only for a few minutes and then wander away!

The Fun

Fill a play yard with plastic balls, or buy a ball pit for the occasion (which will still be fun afterward) -- and let baby and his guests roll, toss, and mouth them.

To extend the theme, place beach balls around the house, which will give older guests something to do if they can't fit into the ball pit. Babies and toddlers can play together or separately, and balls tossed all over the room won't make too much of a mess. If the guests will include older kids, you may want to let them take the balls home as favors -- instant cleanup!

The Food

Laurie May, of Boardman, Ohio, threw a ball party for her 2-year-old son Carter. She made cupcakes with brightly colored frosting, topped with little balls, and arranged them on a cupcake tree. "The snacks were ball-themed too: cheese balls, meatballs, tater tots, and melon balls."

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