As the summer heat strikes, the holiday season is in full swing, and more and more invitations to the holidays are reaching the mailbox and social networks, and moms are happy, and at the same time are looking for ways to keep up, plan well, not to overburn and often – save. I have to admit that some of them have a lot of experience in it - for example, Ieva Arnauskienė, the author of the blog and the brand “Two Makes Six”, who raises two sets of twins, and is a children's stylist.
Children's holidays with a limited budget
Raising four children, I. Arnauskienė tends to look at everything and especially the concerns with children, creatively. When the children’s father and Ieva’s husband had a serious accident, the family had to squeeze in, but that didn’t take away the desire to create beautiful memories for their children.
"Holiday playrooms are already a bit boring for us," notes the mother of two sets of twins. For her children’s celebrations, she has been looking for less conventional solutions for some time and usually takes the organization herself.
According to her, if possible, a trip to the coveted amusement park or the like is one of the most memorable gifts for a child, but sometimes you don’t have to travel far: “This year we were supposed to celebrate Ula’s and Mėta’s 5th birthdays in Disneyland Paris, but the global pandemic adjusted our plans for us, as for everyone. Instead, we will celebrate birthdays in the Dinosaur Park near Klaipeda.”
The well-known mother also notes that it is much easier and cheaper to organize celebrations for children where they are allowed to take care of their own food. By the way, Ieva uses only cloth napkins, tablecloths, ceramic dishes, bamboo straws for celebrations: "It is not only practical, but also sustainable," she says.
Another way to save money is a creative workshop: "Before a birthday, you can all pool forces and make decorations at home on a chosen theme."
More ideas without spending for a children’s holiday
According to Ieva, creative solutions in the decor and children's menu helped her to repeatedly reduce the holiday budget and create a fun birthday even in her own home: “The mood makes a huge impact, and it costs nothing. In addition, there are endless activities that can be implemented in the home space,” she adds.
One of the ideas is a treasure hunt. If the children already know how to read, it is possible to make reference cards where and what clues to look for until the treasure is finally found (i.e. a prize that can become a great variety of inexpensive little things that delight children).
It is also possible to organize art workshops at home during the festival - production of photo frames from straw, white t-shirt painting hour, confectionery production workshop, etc. And after completing the more intensive program of the day, it is possible to invite everyone to the premiere of a new cartoon - a rest not only for children, but also for parents.
A cake can also be baked at home or ordered from masters: “Experience shows that 99 percent of children do not care about taste, but appearance", - smiles Ieva. "If the birthday boy/girl sees a beloved character on his/her birthday cake - success is guaranteed!"
Finally, by escorting the guests home, each little guest can be allowed to choose a decoration or a balloon - a trifle, but pleasant and very economical.
With age, gifts become more and more long-lasting
It is difficult to dispute that one of the most important birthday moments for children is gifts. So it is very important not to "miss it". The mother of four little ones has collected really good "statistics" during that time, which makes the children happy:
“Gifts depend on age. Ūla and Mėta are still small, so they are happy with toys first, and dresses in the second place. For the elders - Džiugas and Mažvydas - the toys are of no interest any longer. They save now, so they want practical gifts: coupons or money.”
Meanwhile, Ieva herself would not be homemaker if she did not look at children's gifts even more practically: “Longevity is a great criterion for a gift. For example, for Ūla and Mėta I annually donate a new set of quality bedding. I especially adore linen!” says Ms. Arnauskienė.
If only she could make linen products, and especially bedding, she would give it to all her acquaintances: “Not only because of aesthetics, but also because of durability. It is the most perfect fabric in all seasons - when hot it dissipates moisture and maintains the same body temperature, and in winter it warms up,” Ieva notes.
According to the mother of many, her family not only sleeps in linen bedding in the summer, but also adorns herself with this fabric: “Steamed linen is soft and pleasant, so it is perfect for the little ones. Another indispensable feature is air permeability, which reduces sweating and cools the body.”
Among the most popular gifts for children, which do not go out of fashion and rarely "fail to serve the purpose", Ieva includes themed costumes, home delivery of donuts or other delicacies, paints and other equipment for painting and drawing, Lego constructor, various board games, tickets to events for children.