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
Target audience: 8- to 10-year-olds
One week her favorite color is red. The next it’s yellow. Definitely yellow. Her tastes are all over the spectrum, so make the rainbow connection and throw a multicolored extravaganza. Rainbow candy, primary stripes everywhere, and—should you decide to do a sleepover—a screening of The Wizard of Oz, with a sing-along to “Over the Rainbow,” will make this party an overarching success. Roy G. Biv himself couldn’t imagine a more vivid tribute.
It’s not going to beat the candy, but aim high with a bright crudités platter: multicolored peppers, purple cauliflower, cucumber sticks, and hummus. Do a taco bar with red tomatoes, green lettuce, and yellow cheese; skewer kebabs with cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew. Serve juice-and-seltzer spritzers in rainbow hues (red cranberry, purple grape, orange orange) with striped straws (try Biodegradable Straws, $16 for 144, greenpartygoods.com).
Inside, it’s a mind-blowing swirl of hues. The secret? Food coloring. Prepare 1 box of white cake mix according to the package directions. Before baking, divide the batter among 6 bowls and tint each with a few drops of coloring. Dollop the batters into 2 cake pans, keeping colors separate (they can touch but shouldn’t mix). Bake according to the package directions. Layer and frost with white icing; decorate with rainbow candies and top with pom-poms.