1. Don’t buy themed decorations
Your kid might really want those Paw Patrol-themed decorations, but they’re quite pricey! Going with simple, solid-colored paper products will save you a lot in the long run. So ask your little one which color he’d like and then buy napkins, paper plates and cups in that shade.
When it comes to decorating, buy one themed item and then craft the rest. Have scrap fabric, paper or plastic lying around the house? Try making a DIY banner or bunting.
2. Make your own cake
It may sound like a daunting task, but making your own cake is easier than you’d think! You don’t have to go searching for a complicated recipe—use boxed cake mix, but make it taste homemade.
3. DIY cake toppers
Why buy when you can DIY? Making your own cake toppers not only saves you money, but it’ll also give your cake that extra pizzazz you’re looking for. Make a trendy mini banner for your cake, try pom-pom lettering or even craft toppers with your kid’s face! It doesn’t get any more customized than that. Be sure to store them somewhere safe so you can reuse them next time.
4. Avoid parties at mealtimes
If you can, try planning the party at a time when you know the kids will be satisfied with just a few snacks. Cut up veggies and make hummus. Put out bowls of chips and popcorn. Aim for early afternoon (around 2 p.m.), which actually is the best time for younger kids because it doesn’t ruin their nap schedule.
7. Set up a cookie decorating station
Instead of goodie bags, have the kids take home a little bag full of cookies they’ve decorated. Buy a pack of simple sugar cookies from the grocery store (or bake them yourself—it’s up to you), and gather icing and candies for the decorating portion from a bulk store. Your pint-sized guests will not only be entertained, but they’ll be excited to show their parents their creations.