We made the birthday party complete in a rented location, but learned that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to give your child a special memory to celebrate their new age. Even a proper party of activities, favors, and treats can be achieved for a small price. Our best efforts to save money when we have 3rd birthday party ideas have taught us more.
We had a great plan – some of it went well, in fact – and we still spent over $ 150. Ouch! So, learn from my successes and mistakes, and take a look at some super cheap ideas for a three year birthday party.
3rd birthday party ideas – 5 tips to get them cheap
1) Limit the guest list
It cannot be emphasized enough that the easiest way to cut costs is to cut down on guests. Holden wanted a “big party,” so we started by emailing all of his friends (who come with their parents at that age), my entire family (most of whom are out of state and would not come), mean Colleagues, and all of our friends with children (who come with children, of course).
The e-vite was up to 37 adults before I asked WTF: Is Holden’s idea of a BIG PARTY that big at all? Just before sending the message; We decided no and picked a couple of kids who were his close friends (whom he would choose) and their parents. Ahhh, better.
2) Choose a free seat!
When you’re looking at your 3rd birthday party ideas, there’s nothing wrong with hosting your child’s birthday party in a location that costs absolutely nothing. In fact, we are promoting it!
We went to some super fun third birthday parties this year: a bouncy castle party, a game room rental party, a pirate theme party (also with bouncy castles), a Kickas $ backyard festival and had our own petting fantasies about zoos and king cobras.
Luckily we asked the kid where they wanted to party and they chose the local (and free!) Playground with picnic tables. Yeehaw. We had a bike theme and brought Holden’s trike and wobble bike to try out and encouraged his guests to do the same.
It was great. Between the kids we had a scooter and another tricycle to complement the mix. The kids were great at sharing and trying out the different sets of wheels.
3) Plan ahead – it’s about the kids!
Planning ahead for all aspects of your 3rd birthday party will seriously help you when time is running out. Before you know it, the three weeks you had left to plan what food will be served, what games will be brought, and what to wear to the shame has been reduced to just three hours before guests arrive.
One way to help plan ahead is to let your child choose what to eat at their party! After all, infant food is cheap food.
I offered a variety to live with: sandwiches, pizza or Mexican and Holden chose (emphatically) sandwiches. When asked for details, he wanted PBJ. Hecka cheap. He also asked for dried flakes, but that was too strange for me.
In the morning we cut about 5 sandwiches into quarters and then panicked about what the adults would eat. I went to the grocery store for last minute drinks (bottled water, juice boxes, milk boxes), berries, watermelon, and green salad worth $ 83.
I think a little preplanning might have helped. You don’t have to tailor the party to the grown-ups’ tastes. In the worst-case scenario, they’ll stay a little hungry and think that three-year-olds aren’t eating particularly well.
So what. Maybe they’ll have a snack before coming next year. At best, they’ll appreciate your simplicity and think that the kid planned a menu of their favorites (in which case, it was true!).
4) Budget your decorations!
Again, this is a place to go unnecessarily overboard, especially if you’ve scoured Pinterest for inspiration. For about $ 30 at the party point of sale, I got 3 helium balloons (best investment!), Blue plates, blue cups, blue napkins, plastic cutlery, a tiny number 3 candle, and a white tablecloth.
The solid blue was good because everything can be reused (Hanukkah !!), but we really only used the plates. All dishes are finger food (only one mom touched our green salad with a plastic fork, the rest was undisturbed) and beverage cartons. I could have probably only spent $ 5 on balloons, plates, candles, and tablecloths.
Another great idea to decorate the children’s birthday party is online shopping. Amazon is amazing when it comes to browsing various decorations (along with practically everything else you might need for the party).
If you have Amazon Prime, you can expect your delivery in just 2 days and avoid the party store. It’s a win-win situation!
36 Counts Hawaiian Leis – Perfect for every Luau theme party!
Mickey Mouse Birthday Banner – Simply the perfect tough for any Disney birthday party!
Star Wars The Force Awakens Wall Poster – Bring These Photo Opportunities!
5) Bake Your Own Treats!
Get smart! Baking your own goodies not only serves as a small mental break from growing up, but also saves you money in the long run. Plus … you can lick the spoon (and bowl if you decide to go a little crazy) in the comfort of your home.
For $ 5 instead of the $ 42 I spent on fancy bakery cupcakes, if time permits, you can bake some delicious mini cupcakes, or even bake great Minion cupcakes.
I went to one of my favorite bakeries and ordered (at least) 24 cupcakes like a sucker. Learn from my mistakes. We also baked cookies (because he was very deliberate asking for cakes and cookies, but the kids didn’t choose so they were tragically wasted).
My total was $ 257ish. $ 83 (food) + $ 30 (decoration + $ 42 (cupcakes) + $ 0 (venue) + $ 7 (sand toy takeaway favors) virtual $ 100 (invitations)
My revised grand total was $ 55ish. $ 45 (less food) + $ 5 (less decorations) + $ 5 (cheaper cupcakes or $ 12 for a dozen brownie bites) + $ 7 (reusable favors) $ 0 (for location and invitations)
Do you have any clever ideas for a 3rd birthday party? Let us know in the comments!
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