Low cost kids party?

A reader has written in asking if anyone has ideas for fun, no or low-cost activities for a child’s party. If you have some ideas, new and old, that will make for a memorable kids’ party then let us know.

We like the idea of themed parties, like a mad scientist theme, where kids dress up like a professor (the Einstein look is fun) and have interesting experiments for party tricks – like making volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar, and stink bombs!


  • Oily Rag Ed' says:

    Daniel from Whangarei writes, “We had great fun at a party recently playing Twister with the kids – most were young, but one was 50+! We also bought some long balloons and made all sorts of shapes, which looked nothing like the ones in the instructions, but nevertheless became hats or swords and lots of other imaginary things.”

  • Oily Rag Ed' says:

    Michelle from Invercargill has these ideas for a kid’s party on a budget:

    • Treasure hunt using items you already have. For small children, keep it simple “Something Red”. Bigger children can have more complex clues or actual items.

    • Balloon games are always popular. There are tons of ideas on the internet but a favourite has been the popping game with a balloon tied to one leg with string. The longer the string, the harder it is.

    • Decorate muffins or biscuits or make marshmallow and fruit sculptures.

    • Pin the tail (or scarf) on a favourite character. You can download and print a picture of almost anything from the internet.

    • Musical chairs or cushions.

  • Oily Rag Ed' says:

    Maureen from Glenfield has this tip. “Get hold of a roll of butcher paper or similar. Get each kid to lie down and trace their outline. Then they get to draw and colour their shape in.”

  • Oily Rag Ed' says:

    A reader from Gisborne, writes,

    “Two ideas for birthday parties our children and grandchildren have enjoyed.

    A bad manners dinner where bad table manners were ignored. Very quiet to start with and then away they went – a very loud messy dinner. The only rule was not to touch any other persons food.

    The other was a back to front dinner with everyone wearing any thing they liked inside out and back to front. The dinner started with dessert. Carton of ice cream in the middle of the table.

    We did one which combined back to front AND bad manners. It was a huge success.”

  • Oily Rag Ed' says:

    MC from Wellington writes,

    Party ideas for kids (grown-ups too!). These ideas were perfect for 4 yr and 7 yr olds, for a party held at a local park outside Sat arvo.
    1. Tug-o-war. All you need is a long rope, bit of adult help, and divide kids (and adults if keen) into 2 teams, and say GO!. You can keep this game going a while by, firstly helping the littlies a bit, and also re-distributing the odd adult to counter a winning team. Lots of fun.
    2. Pillow or sack races. We used old pillow cases, lined kids up, set up rope or tape stop point down the field and off they go. Older kids or adults can be hampered by them having to do a 3-legged version (2 people and 1 pillowcase). Hillarious!