Budget-Friendly Birthday Party Ideas for Kids
Save the serious check writing for her Sweet Sixteen. These three parties (with throw-it-together themes) are big fun for the 10-and-under set. And not paying for a bouncy castle? That’s our gift to you. By Sara Hicks Malone; cake ideas by Dawn Perry
More Messy Party Ideas
Decor and Favors
Plastic or canvas tarps placed over the lawn (or the garage floor) should set the scene well enough. But you can also decorate a paper tablecloth with painted handprints. Fill a garbage can with ice to chill drinks. And hand out colorful goggles as favors as soon as guests arrive; they’ll need them to shield themselves from the onslaught to come.
It can begin innocently—a Silly String war or a piñata filled with a slimy surprise, like cooked spaghetti. Then have a Jackson Pollock–style free-for-all with buckets and squeeze bottles filled with washable paint (tell guests to wear old clothes or bathing suits). To get really dirty, make an old-fashioned mud puddle. Fill a kiddie pool with potting soil and add water. When the party is over, hose off the guests and pass out clean towels.