Making Memories with Summer Birthday Parties
Everyone knows hot summer days are ideal for outdoor children’s parties. Planning a summer birthday party is a blast, and whatever their age, boys and girls enjoy seeing their friends and classmates during the summer away from school. Some local moms share their unique ideas to keep kids engaged and entertained.
A great idea for summer fun in the heat is to host an everything water party! Hang water balloon piñatas from tree limbs and have kids use a baseball bat or stick to hit them. The water falls on them and cools them off! Or have a game of water balloon baseball and watch them hit the balloons and laugh as they break. Play pass the water: Children stand in a line, the first passes a cup of water over her head to the one behind and so on. See who spills the cup! Send each child home with a bag of balloons and create a fun balloon cake or cake shaped as a swimming pool.
A way to have some tail wagging fun is to have each child bring his dog (socially friendly ones, of course). Set up plastic kiddie pools around the fenced yard and let the dogs run and play in the pools. You even can find birthday cakes with pet-safe ingredients for dogs at some local specialty pet stores. It’s fun to watch them snarf that cake! Send each child home with a bag of dog treats for their furry friends, and bagged-up homemade Chex cereal puppy chow (find the recipe online) serves as a great party favor for the kids.
Local mom, Michelle Spigarelli, creator of Painting Petunias, shares some ideas for parties she has held for her three sons.
“With three boys, my motto was always keep it simple and avoid the meltdown, especially in summer when it’s already hot. Even boys like to be involved, so have them help with the planning and the prep and flow of the day. Great summer themes are mini carnival with potato sack races, tractor races, ball toss, cake walk and the like. Make sure everyone wins a prize for something. Soccer parties are fun, and you can hire someone to teach the kids skills and have a soccer game after. Trophies all around. Soccer themed foods round it out. If the children are older, hold a book exchange, especially for a rainy-day summer party. The children can read an excerpt from their favorite book and act out parts, then swap books. Being an artist, I think it’s fun to have the kids be Picassos and set up stations of finger painting, sponge and rock painting, then they can bring their works of art home. All treats can be in party theme. I feel one or two activities go a long way!”
A favorite party I planned when my children were young was a neighborhood scavenger hunt. This works perfectly if you know all the neighbors on your street and they can join in the fun. Have children go in groups of three and make sure you and some other adults walk around with them. Make a list of items such as a marshmallow, paper clip, piece of gum, toothpick and any other common household items. Give each group a baggie and have kids go door to door, asking for the items. Whichever group fills its list first wins a prize!
Princess parties are always a hit! You can find people who do this online, and some bring trunks of dresses, feather boas and crowns to your home so each child can choose and dress up. Use cell phones or even hand out those disposable cameras so party-goers can take glam shots. Make tiny cupcakes and serve on themed princess trays and have pink lemonade. Give each child a crown to take home by cutting plastic visors and using glitter paint to write their names on the created crowns. This party can be held out on the patio or screened porch or even in the backyard.
Little ones will enjoy a fishing party. If you have a lake or pond nearby, transport the party there and help kids thread worms on the hooks or use fishing lures. Make an Oreo dirt cake, complete with worms (find the recipe online), for the finale.
Embrace summers with your children—especially on their birthdays!
An avid outdoors girl, Judy Goppert live in Lee’s Summit and enjoys all seasons, especially summer. She enjoys drawing on her personal experiences to write about the nuances of everything wonderful about life.