Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fun and Frugal Birthday Celebrations

What $9 can buy for a 3-year-old princess from the dollar store

As I posted before, yesterday was my little girl's 3rd birthday, and we had such a fun time celebrating with her. As I was thinking over our activities, I realized that while we seemed to have a fun-filled day, we didn't have to spend much money. Here are a few frugal things we did to celebrate.

The night before her birthday, I went out to the Dollar Store and did some shopping. We had already bought a couple "big" gifts for her, but we wanted to save at least one of them for her party which we'll have later this month. I decided to pick up some fun and useful things that she could have the joy of opening on her big day. I got:

- a fleece hat
- a matching fleece scarf
- a foam Dora the Explorer puzzle
- a kitten figurine (she LOVES cats and I knew that having a "statue" in her room would make her feel so grown-up)
- a purse
- a spiral-bound notebook for drawing/coloring (one of her favorite activities)
- a sticker book (stickers are another favorite activity)
- animal hologram stickers
- a magic wand bubble pen with a stamp at the top

These gifts aren't exactly sophisticated, but she's 3, so to her they are treasures. I wrapped each one individually so she could enjoy the fun of opening them, and to a 3-year-old, it's the little things that count.

I also bought 2 foil helium balloons, and when I got home from my shopping, I snuck into her room while she was sleeping and tied them to her art easel. Little ones sometimes forget that it's their birthday, so I love to give them a reminder of their special day that they can see first thing in the morning when they wake up. It's a great surprise!

After the excitement over the balloons, I made my daughter her favorite breakfast- pancakes. Then we pretty much went about our usual activities for the day, but she got the VIP Birthday Girl treatment- first choice of book during story time, dessert after lunch, and she got to pick the song we sang during morning devotional and before bed.

When Daddy got home we took the kids out for another special birthday treat- Chuck E. Cheese! To save a little money, I used 2 coupons- one I got in my e-mail for my little girl's birthday that gave her 20 free tokens, and another one from the Chuck E. Cheese website that gave us a large pizza, 4 drinks, and 25 tokens for $18.99. We went, we played, we had a blast. The kids absolutely loved it, especially getting to spend the time together with Mommy and Daddy. And honestly, Chad and I loved it too! It was well worth the money.

After Chuck E. Cheese we came home and did cake and presents. She loved all the gifts, and was making us laugh by saying in a wondrous tone, "Oh my GOSH!" as she opened each present. All in all, it was a great day.

As I mentioned before, we'll be having a "friends party" for her later this month. Next week I'll post some of my favorite frugal ideas for kids' birthday parties as I plan my daughter's. I am always a little shocked by the extravaganzas I attend that masquerade as children's birthday parties these days, yet I want my kids to still have a birthday they will never forget. I'll cover everything from invitations to decorations and activities, and share how I've been able to give my kids some fantastic birthday blasts on very little money!
Do you have any fun and frugal birthday traditions in your family? Leave a comment and share!


  1. What a great day she had. And what a sweet mom you are.

  2. Sounds like a great party. See my web page about some more great frugal ideas for kids parties here they sure have saved me a lot of money in the past.

  3. Sandra, thanks!

    Kate- I checked out your site and those were some great ideas! Do you mind if I put up a link to that on one of my birthday posts later this week?


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