Despite what they want you to think, children enjoy keeping busy. The trick is to plan activities that are engaging and age-appropriate. Look to the party’s theme, the season or upcoming holidays for inspiration. When all else fails, revert to classic games like tag, three-legged races or an egg toss. The children will thank you for it.
Kaboose.com suggests coordinating the party’s theme with the planned activities. For a Blue’s Clues party, hold a Blue’s Treasure Hunt. Use simple clues for the younger children to follow, like “I bloom in the spring” to send them to the nearest flower bed for their next clue. Make the clues more complex for older children, like “I like to go back and forth” to send them to the swingset. Hide a prize for them at the location of the last clue.
Scavenger hunts are also suitable for all ages. Keep younger children in the backyard searching for items, like red leaves or pinecones, and send older children through the neighborhood searching for items like a signature from someone whose name begins with the letter M.
Plan the party food with kid chefs in mind. Toddlers to teens will enjoy creating their own pizzas using a variety of toppings or building their own tacos or salads. Finish off the meal with an ice cream sundae bar or assortment of plain cupcakes waiting to be frosted and decorated with sprinkles, chopped-up candies and icing.
Hosting a party around a holiday opens the door to many fun themed activities. Play pin the tail on the turkey for a Thanksgiving get-together, have an egg hunt at Easter, decorate miniature pumpkins for Halloween or play Christmas charades for December parties. When hosting a kids’ fourth of July party, invite the guests to bring their own bikes and let them decorate them in a variety of red, white and blue trimmings before embarking on a neighborhood parade.
Whether the event is a birthday or family get-together, plan some events around the season to keep everyone happy and entertained. Bob for apples in the fall, make outdoor bird feeders from orange halves, peanut butter and seeds in the winter, build sand castles in the summer or plant seeds in small pots in the spring.
Send Something Home
Young children enjoy creating things, especially when they can show off their creations to their parents. Make Christmas stockings using felt or construction paper, glue and decorations, decorate Easter eggs or make macaroni or bead necklaces. Scour local garage sales for vintage clothing. Let the kids dress up in the outfit of their choice and take photos. The children will enjoy decorating picture frames for the finished piece of art.