A birthday is cause for celebration any time of the year but summer season birthdays can be a little easier on the party-planning mom. Why? There are so many outdoor ways to entertain young party guests and burn off that kidlet energy! You’ll still want to include decorations, cake or a few treats, and party favors, but you can do a lot of celebrating in the fresh air and wide open spaces. Choose a party theme and plan your activities…or turn that around and choose an activity and find your theme.
Here are a few of my favorite summertime birthday party ideas:
- Dinosaur Dig; although there are lots of ways to make this work indoors, why not use dirt or an outdoor sandbox and avoid a mess? Large cardboard dinos can turn a backyard into your own Jurassic Park. Add pith helmets (craft stores usually carry an inexpensive kid version) and vests (from brown paper bags or felt/fabric) for more fun.
- Scavenger Hunt/Nature Hunt; for younger guests you can hide items around your yard (and maybe a willing next-door neighbor’s yard). Older kids can venture a little further. A photo scavenger hunt is a fun option, too, if each team has access to some type of camera device.
- Camp-Out; a summertime perennial favorite, especially when campfires and s’mores are included. Sterno pots are an agreeable stand in if you can’t have a bonfire in your yard. Sing-alongs are optional!
- Water Party; pools, Slip n’ Slides, sprinklers, water balloon fights, squirt guns, water bag piñatas—any outdoor party and water spells COOL!
- Star-Gazing; bone up on a few constellation locations and have a star-finding guide on hand to prepare guests for the night sky. Treats to eat and sparklers that shine will keep kids busy as dusk turns into dark-enough-to-see-the-stars.
- T. Bubble Chase; mix up enough giant bubble solution for each child and prepare for lots of giggles! Play games with the bubbles: largest, travels the farthest, lasts the longest, hits the target, etc.
- Tournaments; set up a round of game stations and let the kids rotate through the events.
- Art Party; fresh air and sensory creation are a great pairing. Chalk drawings, finger paints, and giant murals are just a few of the ideas to engage kids. Craft stations are another possibility.
- Picnic Party; this idea is especially nice if you can go to the woods or a park. Include a nature lesson on cloud types, lay on blankets and sky watch for shapes…or identify bugs…or trees.
- Drive-in Movie; outdoors and treats make a good movie even better.
Of course several of these themes can be used with success any time of year, but why not take advantage of nature? Bug spray and sunscreen are good tools to keep nearby. Think through what you’d do if fickle weather blows in, but do enjoy wonderful outdoor summer birthday parties.