10 eco kids birthday party tips
Organising a birthday party this summer? Read Zoe’s tips on how to have a great green and affordable summer party.
The summer seems to be filled with birthdays and this means weekends filled with children’s parties. While the kids are busy having fun though, you may be busy worrying about the costs both financial and environmental of hosting and attending these parties. So how can you limit the impact on your wallet and the environment during the party season? Well I have 10 top tips which will help you to do just that:
- Host parties at home, or in a park and save on the cost of hiring out a venue. If your child doesn’t have a summer birthday, you could delay their party until the weather gets better!
- Make all your own food. Homemade sandwiches, cakes, biscuits, dips, chopped veg and so on are likely to be better quality (you control the ingredients) and cheaper if you make your own.
- If your children are young, play traditional games and make the props yourself. As your children get older you will need to adjust the entertainment, but there is a plethora of ideas out there either at your local library or on the internet. A movie party, a pyjama party, a sports day party and a treasure hunt are just a few ideas. Remember you don’t have to do it all yourself – ask friends and family for help.
- Replace disposable plates, cutlery and cups with reusable ones – that way you can use them year after year, costing both you and the environment less.
- Make the going home bags from old newspapers, magazines or sticker books. Fill them with homemade fairy cakes, biscuits and other homemade gifts. Last year for my son’s 3rd birthday I added some simple homemade bean bags and some little packets of sunflower seeds for planting (if you grow your own you can use homegrown seeds!).
- Only allow your child to keep a few of the gifts if you can get away with it picking the ones you know they will use and save the rest. This may seem harsh, but with so many homes already overflowing with toys that children don’t play with you are eliminating mess and waste right from the outset. Plus for the younger ones it is worth reading up on the value of heuristic play.
- Re-gift as many presents as you can (make sure you don’t give them back to the person who gave them).
- Save the birthday cards given to your children, cut out the pictures on the front and return them as thank you cards.
- Make birthday cards and envelopes using materials you already have.
- Buy gifts from charity shops and car boot sales – there are so many good reasons to buy second hand items, or even better give experiences such as a cookery, gardening or even chess playing lessons for example – kids love attention more than anything.
Don’t worry that you haven’t spent money on a venue or entertainment, as your kids don’t care how much money you spend, they care how much time you spend having fun with them. By following the tips above you will definitely save yourself money, reduce your impact upon the environment and create lasting cherished memories for your children. How do you make your children’s parties green and affordable? I would love to hear your tips!
Photograph: Indy138 @Flickr