Birthday Party Help?- Kids / Children

I'm new to this list, so I hope that my question is not out of line, or "off topic." My son will be nine in Feb. and wants to have a "real" birthday party, where he invites friends, and not just a family affair. I'm a single mother on a very tight budget, so I am not really sure how to pull this

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  1. #1
    Deal GURU
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    Default Birthday Party Help?


    I'm new to this list, so I hope that my question is not out of line, or "off topic." My son will be nine in Feb. and wants to have a "real" birthday party, where he invites friends, and not just a family affair. I'm a single mother on a very tight budget, so I am not really sure how to pull this off. The big trend for birthday parties in our area is to rent one of those space walk things. I have priced them, and at $100+ per day, I can't afford it. Does anyone have any ideas for party games that will be fun and exciting for nine year olds, yet still inexpensive to pull off. Also, what about inexpensive favors? I have inexpensive source of papergoods, but the games and favors are still perplexing me.

    Thanks in advance,

    Vickie in SC
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  2. #2
    Deal GURU
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    Hit your local dollar store for party favors, also for a game you could have a scavenger hunt, you could theme it to a pirates treasure map and have the kids find the "loot"
    deb
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  3. #3
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    Try the dollar store for favors and stuff. Something my son's friends love to get (I have yet to understand why) is sticky note pads (the 3" x 3" size). You can get packs of mechanical pencils from your 99? store. Add some candy and a cheap game (like a maze) and you are good to go.

    For something fun, what about a treasure hunt around your house (including the couple on either side of it - on the outside only) with clues along the way. You could also make a cake that looks like a treasure chest.
    There are moon walks that are cheaper then $100. So I you wanted to do that you still could. I believe one place close to me (in Houston) was around $50, but you did have to get it set it up & bring it back (and reserve it about a month in advance). I did that a couple of years for my son, Then had a picnic table set up so they could play Pokemon or Yugioh games for some downtime. The kids had a great time.
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  4. #4
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    Vickie,

    Definitely go to the dollar store or factory card outlet if you have one. You can play pretty much any game, so long as you give a prize, they should have fun with it. Surprisingly I've had a lot of success with pin the tail on the donkey, even in older kids parties. I think it's all about the prize!
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  5. #5
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    Target also has a $1.00 section now. I have noticed though that you can get
    some things cheaper at Target than the dollar store! I recently bought playdoh
    at the dollor store and it was more expensive than at target!

    Zanna
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  6. #6
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    I have 2 books that you may be able to find at your local library. We did a bowling alley party this year and it was expensive so next year I?m planning to have the kids pick out something from the books.



    Birthday Parties for Children, How to Give Them, How to Survive Them by Jean Marzollo

    The Penny Whistle Party Planner by Meredith Brokaw



    I liked the penny whistle one best. When I looked it up on Amazon (to double check the title) there were a few others also written by her. Also, you said you had a source for papergoods. Another place to look is on your local Freecycle list. I have seen many offers of party invites, etc. for different themes come through on my list. Go here http://www.freecycle.org/ to find your local group.
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  7. #7
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    One word for favors..........pinata! I made one using a large balloon, newspaper and a flour/water paste and filled it with candy for my niece. We put tons of candy in it and the kids filled up small gift bags. That's all we did for favors. The kids had a ball wacking at it. Just be sure you can hang it in a safe place.
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  8. #8
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    Oh, if you don't have space to whack at a pinata you can still do
    them. Use a box, a computer paper box with a lid works great. You
    hang the box, top down so punch an hole for a hanger in the bottom
    of the box. Punch holes around the sides from the lid to the sides
    of the box and use toggles/buttons to hold the lid on. Attach
    string to the toggles and give each kid one to pull when it's time.

    Christie
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  9. #9
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    While a space walk may be the "in" thing for kids birthday parties,
    the price alone is scary, and unnessecary! There are many things you
    can do for a birthday to make it fun, memorable, and inexpensive!

    First, limit the number of kids he can invite. If it's a free-for-
    all, you'll likely wind up with his class, plus half of the other
    kids in his grade not in his class. A rule of thumb I've always
    heard is 1 kid per year old, so for a 9 year old, 9 kids. I
    personally usually limit it a bit more, but with 3 kids of my own, I
    just can't handle more!

    Next, get an idea on a theme he might like, but as a warning, as
    kids get older, "themes" aren't as "cool". Woe to the parents who
    give thier 9 year old daughter a barbie birthday, only to find out
    that barbie just isn't cool to her anymore! (yes, I have done
    that... oops). Food can be themed towards the event, as well, but
    keep in mind that snacks are much cheaper than doing a full meal.

    If you do want a meal, do a family only pot luck an hour before the
    kids party starts, and then after the kids arrive, do cake & ice
    cream, or what not.

    Once you have the guest list, and the food & theme figured out, look
    towards games. Again, many birthday games just are not "cool" for
    older kids. A scavenger hunt might be fun. Make it unique to the
    birthday boy- answer questions about his favorite colors, favorite
    foods, favorite movies, and give hints based on those answers. For
    instance, if you have his favorite movie on vhs or dvd, hide the
    next clue in the box. Or if it's a poster, hide it barely sticking
    out from behind the poster.

    Make it involve several clue's, some decoy clue's, and make it long.
    While it might seem like 5 clue's is long, it's not. They'll be done
    in less than 10 minutes. Make it more like 15 clue's.

    At the "end", have a box with the goodie bags as the prize, with
    enough so that each kid has one, and maybe a small gift for your son
    to unwrap.

    For the goodie bag/favors, shop the local dollar stores at least
    once a week to see what new stuff they have. Theme, if you get one,
    is the best way to look at new things. If it's an army theme, pick
    up a few bags of those little green army men, and stick a few in
    each bag. Find bags of inexpensive candy (shop the day after
    Valentine's to get stuff like hershey kisses, if the party is after
    that date), and stick candy in each bag. Have a few stickers, and
    some cool neon or metallic pencils in each bag, too.

    Don't go over board on things like favor bags, because chances are,
    unless you are willing to spend quite a bit, the small objects are
    just going to be pushed aside for the candy, anyway.

    For a cake, you could make up one yourself, or pay big dollars to
    get one at a bakery. OR, you could make up a bunch of cup cakes, buy
    two tubs of white frosting, mix those into a few different colors,
    and find sprinkles at the dollar store. The kids can spend time
    decorating thier own cupcake, which will take time, involve the
    kids, and give them "cake", as well. You could do this with cookies,
    as well.

    Between the scavenger hunt and the cupcake decorating, you might not
    even have to come up with another game at all. If you do want
    another one, make a pinata. Don't buy one, those things are over
    priced! You can make one using newspaper, paper mache mix (flour,
    water, and glue, I think?), a big balloon, and some paint for
    afterwards.

    Hope this helps!
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  10. #10
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    You might hit the Familyfun.com site for ideas. We've done a few of
    their party themes. The one we did for my DD when she turned 9 was a
    tie-dye t-shirt party. The T's were costly but were the party
    activity and the favor so it worked out.

    Christie
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  11. #11
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    I threw my son a 'fear factor" party---was a big hit!!!!!!!

    invites--made on computer--or hand made--post card style--I made the
    word "fear" in red in the background---then added my son's name on
    top---on back had party info

    you can have cupcakes with toy bugs on top, etc...for my son's we had
    the kitty litter cake---google it to see a pic--really cute---played
    a joke on his friends like he was going to eat it!! and then they did-
    -

    games---my son is 13 so I was able to be really gross with his items--
    but my 8 year old daughter did everything also---and she tied for
    first!!
    started with any gross kind of shake--beets or brussel sprouts
    have them eat what adults would--but since they are kids it'll be
    yucky for them;;sardines, clams, octopus, , etc...
    one the last to win was pickled pigs feet
    we also did getting the live worms(cleaned)from one plate to another
    by using only your mouth!!

    prizes---big candy bar for winner, gum, dollar store items
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