Kid-friendly outdoor party ideas for the summer

15 May, 2014

The summer season is almost upon us, and if you have kids, this means plenty of opportunities to throw outdoor parties. You don’t have to be the parent who does the same schtick – pizza, pool and old games like pin the tail on the donkey. Use these outdoor party ideas to add a little bit of flavor to your event:

Carnival
Themed parties are all the rage these days, and what kid doesn’t enjoy the atmosphere of a carnival? Displaying bright colors and setting up fun games are your objectives at this party. Pinstripe tents are a must, but if renting one is outside of your budget, raid your linen closet and find some vivid sheets or light blankets that can be pinned to a tree. If trees are scarce around your home, you can opt to stick tent or volleyball poles in the ground. Arrange your outdoor furniture sets so the kids can watch an outdoor puppet show or a movie, creating a decent carnival atmosphere. Games should also be a priority. Bucket ball, a shooting gallery (using Nerf guns only) and ring tosses are all fun activities for kids. Set up a ticket system where they can win prizes for added drama and excitement.

Water party
Before Nintendo, Xbox and Playstation brought summertime activities inside, kids used to play in pools. Or if they didn’t have a pool, they hopped around a group of sprinklers for hours of fun. Set the mood for your party by putting up blue and green decorations. Consider offering a buffet spread that is inspired by sea creatures. Throw in a few aquatic activities like Slip n’ Slides or water balloon fights. You might also try creating a fishing game with plastic poles, string and magnets that catch plastic frogs, crabs and seahorses.

Obstacle course
Many adults are envious of the boundless energy kids have. You can use this energy to your advantage by creating a mini obstacle course in your yard. Not only is this an opportunity for kids to get out of the house, but it also helps build their self-confidence. The obstacle course doesn’t have to be on par with those on “American Gladiators” or “Ninja Warrior,” but it should be somewhat of a challenge for the young party-goers. Consider using items you already have in your house like a small step ladder, tables or inflatable pools. Set up two-person challenges like navigating a slalom course on a wagon or wheelbarrow, or tandem balance-beam crossing.