For kids with summer birthdays, planning their parties can be a tough task. Gathering their friends together in the busy swirl of summer vacations, camp, traveling, and activities, can be hard to accomplish. They often end up disappointed if they can’t celebrate with their school buddies.
On the other hand, throwing a summer party is the best. Fresh air and sunshine, or a balmy evening under twinkly stars… what better time to host an outdoor party? So don’t let the summer chaos stop you. Plan something fabulous.
When planning a kid’s summer birthday party, the theme ideas are endless. Be creative and you can turn your own backyard into another world! A jungle, a petting zoo, a circus, fairyland, Legoland… Plan an over-the-top, amazing, backyard party, and I guarantee all your kid’s buddies will be there!
My favorites are simple, but fun…
Top 3 Kids’ Summer Backyard Parties:
1) Backyard Movie Party
Grab a blanket and pop some popcorn and you’ll have your very own drive-in movie theater, minus the cars, right in your own backyard.
A friend recently hosted a backyard movie party for her son’s 6th birthday, and it was awesome.
Some movie party tips:
When planning your party, the first thing to consider is how to show the movie. You’ll need a screen, and a movie projector.
You can make your own screen with a king size white bed sheet. Iron it well! Then hang it on two poles, a fence, on the back of your house, or even on a volleyball net. You can also purchase an inflatable movie screen or a fabric screen relatively inexpensively, if you would rather have it look slightly more professional.
To show your movie, download your favorite flick onto your laptop and hook it into a video projector to display. Projection systems are usually available for rental at your local party supply or AV rental shop.
If you are having a larger party, outdoor movie rental services, such as Fun Flicks, will set up a screen and all the projection equipment you need. It’s not the cheapest option, but it is all taken care of for you.
Pick a movie that is age appropriate and all the kids will love. Classics can be a good choice, like E.T., The Wizard of Oz, or Star Wars. Avoid the scary ones, like Jaws or Poltergeist!
Have plenty of popcorn and movie snacks. Also, pause the movie mid-way and have an “intermission”. Most kids can use a break, and a few minutes to stretch their legs. This is a good time to play a game or two, do a raffle, or a silly “intermission dance”.
Enjoy the show!
2) Backyard Carnival
Clown around and have fun at a Carnival themed birthday party.
The kids can play carnival games and win tickets which they can redeem for prizes. The best old-fashioned carnival games, are also the easiest to recreate at home. Some ideas are…
Water Balloon Toss
Penny Pitch (throw pennies onto a mat with squares indicating their prize)
Guess How Many (items in a jar)
Go Fish (magnetic fishing set in a kiddie pool filled with water)
The kids will have a blast playing each game. Then they can turn in their prize tickets for some awesome goodie bag fillers. Fill the jars with candy, small prizes, stickers, etc… and let them make their own take-home treat bags.
You can also hire a tattoo artist (temporary of course!), or a face painter, who can draw clown faces on the kids. If you practice beforehand, you may find you can do it yourself. My husband painted my daughter’s friends’ faces at her 8th birthday party. He became an expert at drawing butterflies and peace signs, and the girls all loved it.
3) Camping Party
Another fun birthday theme is a backyard camping party.
The actual “camping” part can be adjusted, depending on the age and quantity of kids:
You can have an real camp out / slumber party in tents in your backyard (personally, I wouldn’t do that, I like my bed too much!).
Or you can set up an indoor camp-out with tents in your family room.
Or an evening campfire party, with no sleepover.
Or for younger kids, a daytime “pretend” camp out, is a great idea.
Have fun with the food at the camping party.
The kids will love a weenie roast, and drinking “bug juice” (fruit punch). Don’t forget to make s’mores, and “cups ‘o dirt” (cups of chocolate pudding with Oreo crumbles on top and gummy worms stuck inside and peeking out), bear claws, and fire logs too.
There are lots of fun camping themed games to play too:
Set up a wildlife treasure hunt around your yard. You can hide a list of items and give a prize to whomever finds the most.
Play flashlight tag once it gets dark.
Hold a shadow-puppet competition (Who can make the funniest? The scariest?).
Sing campfire songs and tell spooky (or not too spooky) stories.
A battery-powered lantern, or a flashlight, with each child’s name on it, can be a great take-home gift, for each attendee.
The main thing to remember if you are having kids sleep over, is to make sure Dad is the one who has to sleep in the tents with them!
Happy party planning!
Do you have any favorite backyard party ideas you’d like to share? Comment below!