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Birthday party ideas(free ones or darn close to it) for ds

He's turning 6 in a few weeks and he and I both would like to have some of his friends at his party. This is a big deal to ds because he is in kindergarden and this is his first birthday with people other than immediate family. There's just a few snags: Our budget is stretched as far as it can go. 2- there isn't a lot that our small town has to offer for birthdays. 3- I know I could have kids over to my house but I also know that parents would see that as a reason to drop off their kids for 2+ hours and a free "babysitter" and I don't want to do that with the 17 kids in ds' class, nor do I want to play referee to my kids' and mine and dh's belongings. 4-I'm not sure if I can get away with inviting just 2-3 kids that are closest to ds or if the school requires you to give an invitation to all kids. Personally, I don't think its any of their business what the heck you do away from school in your own time at a private party! So what can I do??? Anything that I invite kids to, its going to be assumed that I pay for their stuff(like at a pizza place or indoor playground) and if I put on the invitation that they need to pay they're gonna think that's rude or just not come at all! I suggested bowling to my mom but she thinks they're too young plus again, I'd have to pay for all kids...


Asked by Anonymous at 3:11 AM on Dec. 7, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • What if you took them to a mcdonalds play park and had ice cream cones or ice cream sundaes and let them run around in there?

    Or take them to a local ice cream restaurant to either share one of those specialized gigantic sundaes (if you have something like that) we have a place that calls it a kitchen sink, and it is about 6 scoops with everything in the world. The kids would get a huge kick out of that (even if they don't finish it) and it is something you could put birthday candles in, and one for all of them to share is not much expense. If not, you could take them for individual sundaes somewhere.

    Do you have a chuckie cheese, you could pre purchase tokens, like 20 tokens each and just take them there to play the games, and maybe take along a birthday cake that you made to cut expenses?

    What about a local movie theater to see a movie? Buy some boxes of candy from the dollar store and bring them in your purse?

    Answer by spottedpony at 11:40 AM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • Why not send out invitations to all of his friends/classmates and request on the invitation that they either bring a picnic type food item and/or a small present? That is what I would do, I am also on a "stretched-out food budget" as I was for my son's 2nd b-day party in July! Although my food budget is most-likely much more complicated than yours because my SO is a full-blown idiot and was in jail for our sons party , so I had more money to spend on his party. But I would not hesitate to put that on an invitation to a child, frankly the child is the one who matters in that situation and most children would think nothing of it! But I am also not one of those parents who cares what any other parent thinks of me, as long as it's the truth (which in your case would be that, you just want your childs first b-day party with friends to be special for his sake and you are simply requesting a bit of help from the parents of his peers.

    Answer by truthteller0722 at 3:54 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • Invite just a few of his closest friends, not the entire class. Do not send the invitaions to school. Keep it separate from school and give them the invitaions through the mail or hand it to their mom. One of the most fun parties my son had was going to a pizza place. The "birthday child" got to help make a pizza and then the kids had that pizza. You'd have to call a few pizza places and see if they allow that kind of thing. I wouldn't ask kids to pay for their food at a party. If you can't afford a party you might do something special with just one friend. Have him over for the afternoon and make it fun for your son and him. They could make a pizza at your house, play a game, and have cake. Just ideas...................

    Answer by elizabr at 4:07 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • Due to privacy laws the school is not suppose to give out mailing addresses. I have this same issue in my town. I have had a fairly cheap birthday party for my son every year. Here is what i have done. I find websites that you can print invitatios for free from. They are usually pretty cute. Second I do invite all the kids from his class which is usually around 28 but usually only have around 15 that show up. Next i only do the party from 2-4 so all i have to serve is cake, ice cream and something to drink. His first party the kids just basically played at our house and i didn't even have to do any major party games. You can also do those pretty cheap. Mostly home made. as far as gift bags go. Just do some web searches and you will get tons of ideas. If you are wanting to do a family party i would just have everyone bring something to serve and make it more of a family get together, Hope this hep

    Answer by sonsmom at 10:07 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • Do you have a local bowling alley or a local roller skating rink. Our bowling alley gives a pretty good deal and my son was invited to a birthday party there and on the invitation the parent just stated that any spending money parents needed to provide. so they only paid for the bowling. You could do just one game and then have the cake and opening of presents and call it a day. Anything you do your son will have fun and that is the most important part

    Answer by sonsmom at 10:11 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • I assumed you probably knew his closest frineds mailing addresses because you might have had play dates with them, etc. I agree for security reasons the scholl will not, and should not, give out any of this info. You and he do not see even his closest friend outside of school? Do you know the friends' last names? Maybe the phone book then. GL

    Answer by elizabr at 10:23 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • It's perfectly all right to indicate on the invitation that you would like the parents to stay, this is what we did and it turned into a wonderful networking opportunity for the parents. We also had a zero budget, and I made scratch pizza and "Krabby Patty Cupcakes", which were plain vanilla cupcakes cut in half crossways with a brownie round (cut with a round cookie cutter) sandwiched in between along with drizzles of red, green and yellow icing--they looked exactly like little hamburgers, the kids loved them and the parents thought it was a great idea. We all played games in the yard--tag, hide-and-seek, Duck Duck Goose and I made a pinata that looked like Spongebob's Pineapple House out of a large balloon, paper mache and spray paint and filled it with $3 worth of dollar store candy. Everyone had fun!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:07 PM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • If you call the 2-3 friends personally and don't send out invitations at the school, you don't have to invite the whole class.

    Answer by Pnukey at 8:59 PM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • If you only want to invite 2-3 kids, send the invitations in a large envelope to his teacher with a note explaining what you're doing. The reason they don't want you handing out invitations at school if you're not inviting everyone is to avoid hurting the feelings of 5 year old kids. But if you do it thoughtfully and let the teacher put the invites in the kids folders or backpacks subtly, then she probably will.

    The school isn't going to MAKE you invite everyone. They just don't want your child handing out invitations to a few kids and making everyone else feel bad.

    Answer by sweetpotato418 at 9:33 PM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • elizabr, how can I obtain the kids' mailing addresses without asking the teacher(which I'm sure she wont give them)? I can't hand them to their moms because the way the school is set up, when parents come to pick up their child, the principal stands out there and parents are NOT allowed to get out of their cars. The principal goes and gets the child out of the gym and walks them directly to the car. They do this for security reasons. If a parent tries to get out of their car, the principal makes them get right back in. Plus, there are about 75% of his class that ride the bus, so the parents are never at the school. If I try sending 2-3 invitations with ds to hand out to friends of is choice, teacher will most likely yell at him(she's not one bit nice). Should I just give up? Do you think there's a way I could go to the principal's office and get a list of mailing addresses or do you think that too will probably be frowned at?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:06 AM on Dec. 7, 2010