It’s hard to impress children today. When their parents were youngsters in the 80s and 90s, birthday parties were simpler. Balloons, ice cream, blowing candles on the cake and a lot of dancing. Plastic and Styrofoam replaced the china and glass, and soon enough everyone was using sharpies and writing their names on the cups.
Nowadays it’s a different story. Children have access to the wonders of the Internet, hundreds of TV channels, a variety of games and all sorts of entertainment. So it’s very difficult to find just the perfect theme for a birthday party. But you can make it easier at least by throwing it in your backyard. That way you will have more options and possibilities, and can even create plan B, C and D if the first idea falls through.
1. Bubble station
Bubbles will always be fun. And the bubble station is not even that complicated to set up. Also, this is something you can do as a DIY project, no need to hire an entertainer. You’ll need a small outdoor pool and your own homemade bubble solution recipe.
Now, you can buy hula hoops and use them to create one giant bubble around a kid. Or, you can get a bubble bottle for each child and they can fill it from the station and have fun. To add more fun to the mix, make two pools with bubble solution and pour some artificial colour in each.
2. Outdoor movie theatre
An outdoor movie theatre is a great idea for later during the party. This can be another DIY project, and with some effort and a little bit of money you can build your own screen. You’ll need a white canvas and wooden boards for the frame. But you can also buy the screen and save yourself the trouble.
When it comes to seating order, just place some blankets on the grass and create a relaxed atmosphere. The movie selection depends on what’s popular at the moment so don’t try to play some of your childhood favourites. You can also organise a sing-along screening, but make sure that boys participate, too.
3. Sweet surprises
One of the main attractions of birthdays are sweets. This is probably one of the rare occasions children are allowed to eat as many as they want. So make it all about that, then. Whether you’ll make them on your own or buy them, ensure that they’re on the healthy side.
Healthy sweets is a paradox, but using healthier ingredients is something easily achievable. Make sure that the pastry chef uses only the items you approved. Order cookies like macaroons in all colours and decorations on cakes which will be as though from a fairy tale. Since children who eat too much sugar can be very active, organise some games and sporting activities for them; soft tip darts or bowling might be an excellent game choice.
4. Scavenger hunt
Fun and games is something kids enjoy, and a scavenger hunt will combine those two perfectly. This is also the activity that will keep the children occupied for a long time. Depending on the children’s age, use pictures for the young ones and words for the older ones.
You can reward them with something small, like toys, dolls or anything child-appropriate. Or you can let them choose the movie you’ll watch later or a game to play. If you have a really big backyard, then create an elaborate story for the children to follow. Dividing them into teams is also another way to help them feel comfortable and solve the puzzles.
5. Under the sea
Summer is the perfect time to use the “under the sea” theme. Use mint, pink, yellow and blue colours to recreate the feel of being in the sea. You can buy the shells, rocks and sand in bigger stores. Fill a big pool with water and let the kids swim around and snorkel.
The sand you used in your backyard to create a beach can stay there and serve as garden decoration later. Hang paper fish on the pergola or tree branches, and hire a face painter to mask children as sea creatures. Of course, don’t forget to make sure that the birthday cake is also synchronised with the theme.
6. Water fun
Another summer attraction is water. Lots and lots of water, since kids really like to play with it especially on hot days. Organise a water gun shootout or purchase quality irrigation equipment which is safe for the children to use, like the one that Hose Link and few other brands have to offer. Then let the water games begin.
Instead of the usual paper-mâché container with candy, use a water balloon piñata. This is really simple and easy to make. Pick some colourful big balloons, fill them with water and hang them on a tree branch. Then give the kids a bat or a stick and let them smash the balloons until they pop. Since this is really fun for the children, fill as many balloons as you can and replace the ones that have exploded.
7. Floral party
Flowers are a lively and elegant theme for young ladies. You can use artificial flowers in combination with the real ones, to make sure they stay fresh longer. You can let girls participate in the workshop to make ikebanas and bouquets, which they can later take home with them.
The floral theme is perfect for the cake and food since it always looks beautiful. Another fun part would be to give each girl a seedling and let them plant it in your garden. That will make the party more special and teach girls about the environment. Butterflies usually go hand in hand with the flowers, so hang some around the backyard so it appears as though they’re flying.
All in all
It’s all about fun when it comes to children’s birthday parties. Kids can be a handful, but as soon as the party starts to unfold, they will start enjoying themselves. Also, remember to include your children in the planning and organisation of the party. After all, they know best what their peers are interested in these days.