Just call me a party animal. One of my favorite ways to love on my kids is hosting parties for them. We have parties all the time. From holidays to birthdays to the completely mundane, my children’s friends are always crowding in my house for a good time.
I’ll go fancy and pull out all the stops for the truly special occasions in life. For everything else, I go low stress. Kids are one of the easiest audiences to please, and I take advantage of that. Low-stress doesn’t equal boring. I have a few tricks that make the simple special.
Dollar Tree is my one-stop shop for tableware. A table set with a coordinated plastic tablecloth, plates, napkins and forks only costs a few dollars and takes a few minutes yet makes a great impression. (If you want to go really high-tech, grab a few of their helium balloons, too.)
Many of my snacks are store-bought, but I like to transfer them into nicer looking serving containers. I keep a stash of plastic and faux metal party wear in my basement at the ready for any occasion. I mix and match with serving pieces from my every day or holiday dishes as appropriate.
Here’s a list of my 20 favorite children’s party menu items. I’ve kept the list on the inexpensive side. You can lower the cost still further by making everything homemade, but that’s not low-stress for me. If you need even quicker-to-prepare items and are willing to shell out a bit more, check out the freezer section of your grocery or Costco for some great higher-priced options.
- Hot dogs or frozen pigs in a blanket. You can cut them in half as younger kids don’t always eat a whole one.
- Crustless ham or turkey sandwich triangles (white or wheat bread with mayo)
- Mini meatballs in crockpot with barbecue sauce
- Banana halves
- Watermelon or cantaloupe cubes (in season – summer)
- Mandarin oranges (in season – winter)
- Packaged fruit snacks or Fruit by the Foot
- String Cheese
- Chips (either served with tongs from a large bowl or in individual packets)
- Animal crackers
- Popcorn (I usually buy the bagged kind and pour into serving bowl.)
The truly healthy (Sometimes I just skip it because the kids don’t care, and it’s a party!)
- Carrots with Ranch dip or hummus (This makes other moms happy, and you can make it fun by putting the dip into a serving pitcher)
- Mini cupcakes (Make from a box or buy for cheap from Walmart.)
- Brownies (From a box – super easy – or go easier and purchase ready made.)
- Cookies (From dough you make ahead and freeze, slice and bake, or purchase). Kids are not picky about cookies!
- Sheet cake or cookie cake (From a box or bakery. Great for special events!)
- Juice packs (Capri Sun 100% juice from Costco is my go-to staple – no cups required.)
- Sherbet punch (Mix together any flavor sherbet, Sprite, and Hawaiian punch, serve in large bowl with dipper – easy and always a hit!)
Linky parties I love: Literacy Musing Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Mom 2 Mom, Mama Moments, Manic Mondays,Life of Faith, Titus 2sdays, Missional Women, Wise Woman, Tell It To Me Tuesdays, Raising Homemakers, Works for me Wednesdays, Coffee and Conversation,Hearts for Home, Mom’s Library, The Mommy Club, and Grace and Truth.