Kids Party Entertainment Ideas On A Budget
Kids party entertainment can break your budget faster than you can say “time for cake”. If you’re on a tight budget or you just don’t want to spend a fortune on a birthday party here are some budget-friendly kids party entertainment ideas!
Preparing all of the food for a kid’s party takes forever if you wish to avoid the cost of catering services. A simple way to save some money without slaving away in the kitchen is having the kids prepare their own party food while at the party. Kids love to help in the kitchen, so asking them to join the food prep will keep them happy and entertained on the day!
All you need are a few prep stations like these:
- Hot Dog Bar – A hot dog bar is often a party favourite, and it’s cost-effective too. Prepare hot dogs and buns, put out mustard, ketchup, mayo, pickles, cheese, or coleslaw, and let the kids make their own hot dog sandwiches.
- Cupcake Station – If you’re looking for a dessert idea, you can go for a make-your-own-cupcake station. Bake cupcakes before (or buy bulk from the store) and prepare various frostings and sprinkles. Kids will love it and it’s great for party entertainment!
- Make-Your-Own Pizza Bar – Prepare dough earlier (it’s really easy to make and will save you a ton of money if you make your own) and roll it into kid-sized portions. Prepare toppings and tomato sauce and have kids choose their own toppings. Do the oven part yourself, of course, to avoid any injuries or burns and these can be an early activity they can enjoy eating later!
Have a Piñata
Piñatas are a smashing hit at any birthday party (pun intended.) You can buy them ready-made, or you can opt for crafting a piñata yourself. There’s loads of paper mâché recipes on how to make one. You can fill it with anything, but be sure to avoid unwrapped items and chocolate which can melt or be contaminated and stick to the ground.
Money-saving tip: A piñata can also take care of the goody bag part of the birthday if you establish a few rules. Before the kids start hitting the piñata, give a bag to each so that they can stash all the candy that falls out. This will be their goodie bag when they are going home. Explain that once the piñata is open, they must count to five (or ten) before they go for the candy to avoid chaos. After they collected all the candy, wrap each bag with colourful string and voila! A goodie bag is ready to go home.
Have a list of easy and popular birthday games at hand that don’t require a lot of prep or fancy equipment. Kids will play some for a few minutes but stick to others for hours. Don’t try to plan how much time each game might take – you never know this with kids. Make sure your list is long enough to hold their attention for a while. Here are some that you can add to the list:
- Pass the Parcel is very popular and easily learned. It’s a great option when you need the kids to be still for a while and you can hide sweets in each layer so no one feels left out of the prize.
- Duck, Duck, Goose is an old party favourite and can easily be adapted to fit popular cartoon characters. Call it Elsa, Elsa, Anna for fans of Frozen, or pick another fun cartoon that all kids love and let them go crazy.
- Sleeping Lions. When you need to calm the kids down a bit, suggest a game of Sleeping Lions. The herd of lions (kids) has to remain motionless (asleep), even when the adults walk around them and tell jokes. Anyone who moves, wriggles, or giggles is out. The one who remains the longest is the winner. Reward the winner with something sweet to ensure everyone wants to participate.
Of course you also have the other favourites; musical statues, musical chairs and a good old fashioned simon says if you get stuck!
Kids party entertainment has got to include music! All kids love dancing, so put their favourite songs and let them dance away. You can add fun games into the mix, like “Memory Moves,” where one player makes up the dance move, the second one mimics it and adds theirs, the third one mimics the first two and adds theirs, and so on. When someone can’t remember the move, they are out. The winner is the last player remaining. To avoid tears for those that are out of the game, suggest that they cheer for other players in hopes they win.
Singing kid’s favourite songs is the hit of every party. Choosing the songs they will sing depends on their age. The songs can be popular nursery rhymes, or favourite songs from various shows. There’s bound to be at least one “Let it Go” from Frozen in the favourites mix. Having a makeshift microphone will kick things up a notch. There are also kid’s toy microphones available at most toy stores, and they cost very little. If you opt for buying some microphones, just make sure they are sturdy enough to survive the inevitable “mic drop.”
Arts and Craft Time
Kids love arts and crafts, so planning a craft corner on a birthday party is a great way to keep them entertained. Since most of us have tons of art supplies at home, it won’t cost much to organise it. Even if you have to buy some supplies, try finding ready-made craft packs that will have all the supplies you need. Make sure to give a heads up to other kid’s parents so they can help by bringing some art supplies from their home. To avoid having too much pencils and too little paper, it’s not a bad idea to assign who brings what.
Decide on a designated craft area. If the birthday party is at a time of year when kids can be outside, have it outside – it will be easier to clean after. When kids have finished with their assignments, host a gallery where they can display all their artwork! You can also make the crafts themed to suit whichever party theme you’ve decided on.
Tell the kids there’s a treasure hidden somewhere in the house or your garden. Preparation for the game is very easy – write fun clues that they can decipher quickly and that will lead them to the treasure. If there are kids that can’t read yet, it’s best to set up picture clues. These sorts of games will capture their imaginations for hours, especially if you make an elaborate hunt with more than one treasure. Once they find it, they get a reward.
Easy and fun, limbo can be an excellent kids party entertainment idea that the parents can get involved in too! With plenty of music and full of energy, this is a game that the kids can set up and play themselves which also allows you time to set up other things.
Hide & Seek
Hide and Seek can work if you set up special areas that the kids can hide (remember to keep some places off limits.) The game is simple, the kids love it, and it will cause a great deal of giggling and yelling when the seeker finds someone. You can even kick it up a notch by adding a twist – instead of one seeker, have a team of seekers while the other team is hiding. Have a scoreboard up and give points to determine who’s the best seeker, who hides the best, or which team was faster with finding everyone. There are all kinds of variations out there, so try out a few and see what works best.
The Balance Game
This is a fun budget-friendly game at parties and kids love playing it. All you need is some masking tape and a bit of imagination. Simply tape down a line and challenge the kids to walk on it. Spark their imagination by telling them they are performers who must walk on a very high zipline to impress the audience. To make it more challenging, instead of a line, make zig zags or spirals. You can also make it a challenge and include obstacles and prizes at the end!