Thursday, February 23, 2012
Birthday on a Budget: A Fun & Feasable Sleepover for an 11-year old Girl
1. ORGANIZE A LOW COST ACTIVITY
The highlight of the evening was an inexpensive Find It/Make It scavenger hunt ($5), where I basically use what I already have in the house -- old magazines, things that are purple, something that begins with the letter "M," paper scraps, and so forth. Because I mix craft (make a 12 ring paper chain) and educational activities (a moderate level word search, making words from Scrabble Cheez-its, etc.) with basic scavenging, it takes a good long time and the girls LOVE it!!! It's fun and friendly competition and they never want it to end.
2. TREAT THEM TO FOOD OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE, BUT NOT DINNER
Kids love to go to restaurants, but I don't take them out for dinner because that can get expensive and cheap greasy crappy food places are a waste of money. So we ate at home; I served homemade mac-n-cheese plus salad bar ($13). I took them out later for frozen yogurt ($25) and then we went out for a very reasonable deli breakfast ($40). I feel like I got two fun outings for the price of a dinner.
3. CHEAP CRAFTS
We decorated flip flops. Each girl got a pair ($2 each, so $10) that they transformed with strips of fabric. I have plenty of colorful swatches around my house so I just cut them the night before. At first the girls were kind of unenthusiastic, but as they started tying more and more fabric on, their shoe loving personalities came out.
4. PLAN AHEAD AND USE COUPONS
Spin art is an all time favorite, so I went to Michael's and used a 50% coupon to buy it ($10). It is normally $20.
5. FREE DOWNTIME
And then they just like to hang out and talk and take pictures of themselves that they can post on Facebook.
I spent a bit more money on those extra reassurances such as snacks ($15), water balloons ($2), beads and elastic for bracelet making ($6), and an on-demand movie ($5) Each girl left completely exhausted. And their mothers called to thank me and tell me what great fun they had.