You don’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars to make your kid’s birthday party a great one. All it takes is a bit of creativity and you can engage all the little party guests (adults too) in fun, unique and memorable activities.
Comic Strip Wrapping
Save your comics from the Sunday papers, these are great for wrapping presents or making up a pass the parcel. Kids never take time to slowly open a gift, they just rip off the paper, so save your pennies and do some recycling at the same time. This is fun, it’s helping the environment- a great way to educate the kids from early age, and it is cheap!!
Save those spare buttons that come with kids clothes, and make some unique “prizes”. Everyone can sew on a button or two. Arrange a few of similar or complimentary colours on a Bonds singlet and WOW a funky top is made.
You might even give a few buttons, some cotton, a needle and a singlet in an organza bag and give this “craft” gift for a child to make with their parents. You can also do this with pillow cases and those calico shopping bags are great too… Again easy and cheap and it is great to get the kids involved in recycling.
Something for the Boys
For similar ideas for boys, go for a walk in the backyard or your local park and collect some feathers. Sew these onto a singlet or t-shirt or bundle them together and sew them onto piece of leather… instant wizards magic pendant! Or use masking tape to attach them onto the end of a painted stick to make a magic wand.
Another idea is to use large size tap washers, super cheap from the hardware shop. They make great robot, snake or dragon scales decorations for singlet tops or library bags or robot or sorcerer necklaces, and the dads can get involved too.
Decorate your own Bags
Pick up some calico shopping bags and fabric paints from a $2 shop (sponge rollers are great for this activity, but paint brushes work just as well). Get the kids to decorate their own bag. They can either paint a picture directly onto the calico, or even do hand and foot prints. Just remember to lay down some newspaper inbetween the 2 layers of fabric. Why not gather some leaves, feathers or other things from the garden to create a great stencil pattern. Use paint on a sponge roller to paint over the top of the leaves, then peel them away at the end.
These bags are fun to make and come in very handy for library books, sport clothes or for shopping. You could even do a similar thing using pillowcases. The kids will love making a present for their friends, and again it teaches a great recycling message for valuing our environment.
Boxes and Frames
Get some plain wooden jewellery boxes for the girls and photo frames for the boys. Glue on some beads, buttons, shells, or get your kids to paint them and give them as gifts. Pop in a photo of your child and their friend. Again you can get all of this stuff at $2 shops, too easy!
Treat bags can be costly and often are filled with sugar laden lollies… Go lolly free! I am sure the other parents will love you for it. Try these:
- Small organza bags filled with sunflower seeds. A huge bag of seeds will only be a few dollars in the supermarket, use the left overs to scatter at the park or in the backyard to feed the native birds. Those little bags are cheap as chips at $2 shops. The kids can the go home and plant the seeds and grow amazing sunflowers. These need very little water to get them going, very good in this time of drought. These are great treats for christenings too. You might like to use lavender or rosemary instead to make fragrant pouches; easy and cute for keeping your clothes smelling nice.
- Make your own colouring-in book. Have your child help you pick out about 8-10 pictures of things they like to colour in. Cut out from colouring books, get them off the net , or even draw them yourself. Print or photocopy them two to a page set in landscape, fold the collated pages together to form a book. Either staple, or grab a hole punch and some curling ribbon, like you use to wrap gifts, and tie the pages together with a bow. You might like to add a small pack of pencils and pop it in paper bag which you can have your child decorate. There you go an easy treat idea that your child can make themselves.
- For girls a great treat is a small organza bags, about 12 beads or so depending on the size and some hat elastic. Then the girls can make their own bracelet. For younger kids use bigger beads, about the size of grapes, to avoid a choking hazard. Maybe get the kids to make them together at the party as an activity and they can then take them home.
Get the kids back to living in the 70’s with some tie dying!! White t-shirts and singlets, aprons, calico bags, pillow cases even cotton serviettes. Grab some cold water dye, some salt (it helps set and keep the colour) and loads of rubber bands. Have the kids roll up the singlets etc, and place rubber band along the rolled up garment. Or you can make little scrunches all over the item and put a rubber band around each scrunch to make flowering pattern type tie dye. You can make singlets to for dad for father’s day, gifts for other kids, or make some tie dyed serviettes or table cloths for mum for mothers day.
This is a great one for school fetes etc. Even do this as a party game: at the very beginning of the party get the kids to roll up singlet, pop it in the dye for 1 hour, then rinse under water and pop it in the dryer for 20 minutes and it should be ready for each child to take home by the time the party ends! When you are doing the dying remember to wear gloves and if you have other items of clothing around the house that could use a bit of brightening up, like lightly marked white kids clothes or babies bibs, pop them in too!
In the Garden
Kids love gardening. It’s great to get them out into nature an understanding how things grow from an early age. Give a child a gift of some bulbs or seeds and pair of gardening gloves; they are easy to get in kids sizes. A good tip is to give a plant that will flower when a child has their birthday, it will remind them of who gave it to them and it’s a lovely birthday treat from nature. You could also give a pot with seeds or established seedlings that kids can water and help grow. It’s great if you live in a unit or have a balcony garden. Kids can easily grow herbs like mint and parsley or easy vegies like carrots. It will get them into gardening and healthy eating at the same time. It’s easy and cheap.
If you have any more ideas or tips for a birthday party join in the discussion on the Huggies Forum and let us all in on the secret.
This article has been provided by Tracey Corbin-Matchett.
Last Published* December, 2022
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.