Your child’s birthday is rolling around and you’re staring down the barrel of having to plan another birthday party! Don’t fret that it’s going to be super expensive mama, we spoke with the creative cookies behind The Party Elves to get their top tips on planning an awesome party — on a budget!
Take the party outside
Singapore isn’t called the Garden City for nothing – so why not take advantage of all the awesome parks and playgrounds in Sing and host your kid’s party at one of them? There is plenty of room for the munchkins to run around safely, there’s playground equipment for them to climb over, but best of all most parks are free to use! Just remember to inform nparks in advance.
We especially love the train themed playground at Tiong Bahru Park – it’s super fun and perfect for little conductors! Best for children 4+, a picnic-style party in the park is a great casual option if you’ve got a relatively large group. If you’re worried about rain however, be sure to do a quick survey of your chosen park before the party to take note of the nearest shelters. Some parks, like the Singapore Botanic Gardens, allow you to book a sheltered pavilion for a small fee (check out the nparks website for further info!).
Go easy on the goodie bags
It’s easy to go a little overboard when it comes to goodie bags. There is nothing quite like a bag full of sweets or useless knick-knacks to send a post-party child over the edge! We suggest that you choose one major item – such as a storybook or craft materials or a bottle of bubble bath and package it to match the theme of your party. You can always add in a mini lollipop or a box of raisins if you feel the need to.
Another popular tip is to look out for the regular book sales at Popular — their huge sale at Singapore Expo every year is a treasure trove of bargains on children’s books and craft items. Your little guests will be delighted with their gift and their parents will thank you for the thought.
Tea time instead of a meal time
Hosting your party between the main meal times is another way to keep your costs manageable. Children tend to pick at food during a party anyway (they are usually too distracted by all the excitement!) so keep it simple with 2 to 3 items, such as nuggets, fruit sticks, finger sandwiches or even bee hoon. There will be more than enough sugar for them in the birthday cake so forgo the expensive cupcakes and sweets in your spread. We find Lee Wee Brothers or Delifrance Catering perfect for budget-friendly teatime fare.
Old school games are the best
We all have fond memories of growing up with classic party games like Simon Says, Musical Statues and Pin the Tail on the Donkey and children today still love them, especially those in the younger age groups. For the older kids, try putting together a scavenger hunt around the park or organize a mini-football tournament. Most of these classic games are easily customised to suit any party theme and are pocket friendly to put together; all you need is some music and a token prize for the winner! Try Chin Giap Soon at the Verge (aka: Tekka Mekka Centre) or online store, Daiso for affordable prizes.
Do the décor yourself
You don’t have to be a craft whizz to put together pretty party decorations. Check out Red Carousel or The Party Stuff for partyware that is coordinated by colours as well as themes, so you can easily mix and match to get the look you want. You can also try “dressing up” your food display to make it look more appealing. Use everyday items like books or shoeboxes covered in wrapping paper to create varying heights to display your food on. Alternatively, you can use a cookie cutter to cut shapes into slices of fruit or sandwiches or try serving chicken nuggets in cupcake cups. You can find these baking supplies (and more) at Phoon Huat.
The Party Elves are a bespoke party planning service that specialize in children’s parties and baby showers. Designing gatherings for the little ones in your lives, The Party Elves take care of everything — from coming up with a theme, to organising the cake, catering, the venue, invitations, entertainers, and even the goodie bags. The best part is they even clean up after the party! You can contact them at (+65) 9711 1418 or at [email protected]