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Birthday parties can be as much fun for Mom and Dad as they are for the kids.  Seeing you child’s happy face and hearing his or her shrieks of delight, are what a parent lives for. 

Unfortunately, a birthday party can end up being a lot of work and costing a lot of money if you aren’t careful.  You really don’t have to wear yourself out or work overtime for a month in order to plan a great birthday party. 

Try these ideas:

Limit the Number of Guests

Have your child make a list of children he or she would like to invite.  Tell you son or daughter to only write down the people he or she really, really wants to have at the party.  Give the list back and tell your child to cut it in half, thirds, quarters, or whatever will whittle it down to the number you have in mind.  If your child simply cannot choose, agree on a number, put all the names into a hat, and have your child pull names.

Don’t Have a Party at Mealtime

To save money, plan a birthday party for a neutral time of day, such as after lunch and before supper.  Generally, 3:00 is a pretty good choice.  People will want to snack, but they won’t overdo it especially with cake yet to be served, when they still have to eat supper.  This way, you can provide chips, nuts, and light snacks instead of a full meal. 

Make Your Own Items

Make as many of your own party favors, decorations, and other items as possible.  One fun idea is to purchase a plain, white, paper tablecloth and let the children decorate it with crayons and markers.  You get a cool decoration and it keeps the kids entertained while you set up the games.