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This isn't the post I had planned for today; I had planned a letter of sorts to Harry as it was his birthday today. Sadly I didn't get round to finishing it, partly due to my procrastination, partly due to not being able to find the words and partly due to being busy! It is now 11 pm  and this is the first chance I have had to blog today so, to meet my target for #BEDM, I am determined to get one out so you have a few snaps from today; a full post will of course follow once I have some energy back!

I spent the evening before wrapping his presents and setting the scene. My Auntie had bought some balloons and various party bits from a local shop for us before coming to drop his presents off. Usually we would see the family around Harry's birthday but with it falling on the bank holiday weekend, they were away.

The first gift Harry opened, was the Kidizoom camera from my Auntie and Uncle. I had actually left it on his bed the night before to open when he woke up, hoping to bide a little extra sleep in the morning. Sadly he still came bounding in at 5.15 am, the present still wrapped. He wanted to wait until the husband and I were awake, which I thought both very restraint for a four-year-old and sweet.

He was a bit confused with the balance bike (although so were we!) and rather unsure of what to do but, needless to say. he still insisted on bringing it to the park!

A very brief and much needed late morning rest at the park.

Finally for now, the cake picture, minus the cake which you shall see in my main post. I think it's safe to say he was rather pleased with it!

 

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With Harry's fourth birthday coming up, I am still trying to decide what to do. Should we have a party for him or a family treat? If we were to have a party, when? His birthday falls across a bank holiday weekend with lots of people going away but then again any attraction will be crazy busy as well! I thought I would try to come up with kid’s party ideas but failed miserably. So I turned to Google. The good news is there are hundreds of ideas you can use. From costume parties to special themed parties, there’s something to suit everyone. Focusing on affordability as well as quality, you’re bound to find something to suit your little one here.

A small budget doesn’t have to be limiting
Last year, it was estimated that the average children’s party cost £214. The Daily Mail published these shocking results after research found some parents were even spending up to £800 on their kid’s birthdays. The main reason given for this extravagant cost was that parents often feel they are in competition with each other to organise the best birthdays. With gifts such as iPads and gift cards being placed into goody bags, it’s no wonder the cost is adding up!

The truth is, kids don’t care about the amount of money you spend on their party. What they do care about is having a great time with their friends. As a parent, you can limit your own costs simply by hiring a large space, like a village hall, and making it a fancy dress party. Kids love dressing up, and with a huge range of costumes available – you could go topical and make it a superhero-themed party (check out the Morphsuits range) - a pretty basic idea becomes a lot of fun.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

The best party ideas
The Guardian has put together a great list of how to organise a kids party on the cheap. It’s surprisingly easy to save money while still ensuring your kids have a great time. Just some ideas you might want to try out include:

  • Tea party
  • Treasure hunt
  • Cinema hire
  • Ten pin bowling

Tea parties are a slightly different idea. They especially appeal to young girls, but don’t be surprised to find young boys enjoy a good tea party too. Parents who have thrown this type of party have said how nice it was to share special moments over cakes and biscuits. Parties are often more about screaming children running around, and you have no time at all to sit down. So a tea party can make a refreshing, calmer change.

Treasure hunts tend to be really popular. Give the kids clues that they have to follow until they finally reach a prize. Not only will this fill them with excitement, but it will also keep them quiet for quite a while! It helps to have small gifts in place for all the kids to avoid any potential fallout at the end of the hunt!

If you face the prospect of throwing a party for slightly older children, consider ten pin bowling, or a trip to the cinema. Bowling is pretty affordable, and most centres have equipment to ensure even total beginners can enjoy the experience, by putting down lane blockers to prevent the ball spinning into the guttering (so ensuring at least one pin goes down with every go.)

The cinema always works well. You can take a group along, or even go the extra mile by hiring out a private screening, so that you have the place to yourselves. This isn’t as expensive as it sounds!

Overall throwing a kids party is hard work, but it needn’t cost a fortune. Try out some of the ideas above and if you’re still struggling for inspiration, look online. There are parenting forums offering advice on kid’s parties. Other mums can give you advice and tips on how to save money and still have a great time.

Disclosure: This is a guest post.