Money saving tips for 3 year old birthday party.

Amanda - posted on 03/11/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am throwing my son a Thomas the Train party for his 3rd birthday at the local park. I already made the invitations but I am looking for some money saving tips. Any thoughts for a train theme? Between decorations, party favors, food and cake, it can get very expensive. Please help. Thanks so much!

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Tiffany - posted on 03/13/2010

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with four kids I've gotten really good at parties on a budget.

Let the kids make goodie bags with lunch saks, markers, stickers. Then you fill them up before the kids go home with toddler appropriate things like dollar store cars, balloons, and fruit snacks. With all boy parties I've made my own Gack and/or playdough and given little zip lock baggies of that in goodie bags too.

I like to use cup cakes vs. sheet cake. Home made cupcakes taste so much better, are cheaper, and easier to clean up. They can be decorated with Thomas cake decorations sold at craft stores and grocery stores.

Food should be simple, finger foods for this age group. I like fruit, pudding cups (I make my own with Jello pudding and dixie cups. In summer I stick a popscicle stick in the center and freeze them, let the kids eat pudding pops outside) and popcorn is always a hit, so are oreo cookies. I make juice instead of buying sodas or juice boxes. Each child gets their own plastic cup that I label with their name in sharpie.

I would look up some pictures of Thomas the Train on the internet, print them out in color and take them to the office supply store to laminate them. You can use these for decorations, placemats, thank you notes, pin the smoke stack on the train games, etc. I like to print out small ones to attach to tooth picks for decorating the food table. Or print some out in 5x7 size and hole punch the corners, use yarn to attach and make a long swag/banner to decorate with.

If you don't want to make goodie bags I like to make candy lei's or use toilet paper tubes, fill with candy and wrap like giant tootie rolls with themed wrapping paper.

Thrift stores can be your friend, if you're lucky. You might be able to find a Thomas the Train sheet, or some other types of decorations that you can incorporate into your decor. Sheets are great to use as table clothes, or back drops for photos of each of the guests with your child.

If I set up one of these photo back drops I like to include the photo with the thank you note we send out after the party.

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Storm - posted on 03/13/2010

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try asking the other mums to bring something along... drinks, treats, party pies etc.

Suzi - posted on 03/11/2010

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If you have any older kids you could get some craft materials and get them to make train decorations, party bags etc. As far as the favors are concerned buy multipacks of candy and split them as these are much cheaper than buying them separately. If you are a baker making a train cake is quite staright forward ( I think I may even have a recipe and the instructions to make one somewhere, I'll have a look for you.)



Hope all this helps and have a great time. If you'd like the recipe and instructions, private message me with your email address and I'll send it on to you.



Suzi

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