How to Do Children’s Birthdays on a Budget

How to Do Children’s Birthdays on a Budget by Yombu
Yombu Post Author Chanel Hoole

Written by (Author):  Chanel Hoole
Last updated:  November 14, 2023

As parents, I really want my kids to have wonderful birthday parties. But the cost can really add up if you’re not careful. That’s why I’ve put together this list of hints and tips for having a great kids’ birthday party without the huge price tag.

Your child’s birthday is, of course a momentous occasion in their life and in yours, which is why it is so important to make sure that everyone has fun. Naturally, you will want to make the party space look its best so rolling out the bunting is essential and making sure there’s a big enough cake for everyone and getting all the food in order is also important. And activities? Where do you start?

Don’t worry. I’ve had plenty of practice answering these questions! So, here are some fantastic ideas for party activities that will keep everyone entertained:

Cookie/Cake Decoration

I find it the most adorable thing ever to watch everyone sitting down to decorate their own cake, cookie of gingerbread man – it is a fantastic way to bring out your guests’ creative sides. All you need is some pre-made cakes or biscuits, some colored icing tubes and of course some cake decorations and when they’re done, they also have something to eat!

Paper Folding

I know, it doesn’t sound like the most entertaining of activities but, trust me, simple origami is a fantastic way to keep the kids focused (and quiet) for a while. Swans, cranes and even pigs are fairly easy to make and can cost as little as a few pieces of paper. If my kids aren’t too interested in origami on a particular occasion, I always have paper airplane races up my sleeve.

How to do children's birthdays on a budget Yombu
Decorate cookies
How to do a children's party on a budget Yombu
How to do a children's party on a budget Yombu
Pin the tail on the donkey

Party Games

No kid’s party would be complete without party games and fortunately, on the whole these will cost you next to nothing to organize. I usually choose classics like musical chairs or sleeping lions, or sometimes I invest in some presents – then pass the parcel is always popular, and treasure hunts can be equally fun.


I mean, what is a party without balloons? Balloons are likely to feature at you kid’s party anyway, so why not make use of them and incorporate them into a game or activity. I rile the kids up to have a balloon decoration competition, where they make a self portrait of themselves using the balloon. Other things I try are simple balloon party games – either seeing how many can be popped in 10 seconds or passing the balloon without using their hands.

Bouncy Castles

Who doesn’t love a bouncy castle? Whilst the bouncy castle may require a little investment they can be an extremely fun activity for all involved. I’ve worked with some wonderful kids inflatable vendors, who have amazing slides and ball pits too, so it does not even have to be a just basic bouncy castle. Just make sure that if you do have a bouncy castle that you supervise everyone using it.

How to Do Children’s Birthdays on a Budget Yombu Events
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Pin the Tail on the Donkey

I pull out another classic for children’s birthday parties – pin the tail on the donkey. The premise is simple; all you have to do is have a drawing of a donkey on the wall, a tail and a blindfolded child. Essentially, the child that pins the tail closest to the donkey’s rear end, wins. You’d be surprised how kids love the simplest games!

The Mystery Box

I always enjoy adding a bit of magic and mystery to my kids’ parties. One that never fails is filling a covered box with mystery items and having each child have a go at feeling each one and then writing down what they think each item is. The child or children that guess correctly then get a small prize, which I usually find at trusty Amazon or the dollar store.

I’ve found these activities work wonders with my kids and hopefully yours enjoy them too! I hope they’ve inspired you and helped make planning your child’s party way less daunting.


How much should you spend on a children’s party?

A recent survey has shown that parents spend around $400 dollars on a child’s birthday party – but here are some ways to cut costs:

  1. Use free printables to decorate
  2. Make your own cake – there are awesome tutorials online!
  3. Use the dollar store for party supplies – Yombu also has info on awesome local suppliers.
  4. Make your own invitations
  5. Have the party at home

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