EVERYDAY HOME  | 7.5.16  |  by Julie Rhodins

Photo: Family Features Editorial Syndicate

One of the fun things about summer is putting on a child’s birthday.  There are so many more options because of the great weather and the kids being out of school.  Most of us here at SMG like doing our summer birthday parties outdoors.  You don’t mess up your house and kids can run around and get some fresh air.  You can use your backyard or local park.  To make your brainstorming a little easier, we’ve put together some summer birthday party ideas — after all, simple parties are some of the best!

Read on for simple summer birthday party ideas  

This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission if you make a purchase using one of our links.  Thank you!

Plan with a theme

Fun parties come a little easier when you have a party theme.  It’s easier to brainstorm — here’s an example:

  • Pick a recent kids movie or television program.  There’s bound to be party plates and other decorations at your local store.  For example, with the recent “Finding Dory” blockbuster, you could have a water / seaside / ocean theme.  Look for “Finding Dory” invitations, plates and cups, and hanging swirls you can hang from a tree over your picnic table.  For snacks, you can have kid-friendly Blue Raspberry Lemonade Slush Drinks and Goldfish crackers.  Keep your safety concerns at a minimum by avoiding a traditional pool party — instead, go small size.  Set up a couple of kid-sized pools (you might get some family or friends to let you borrow theirs), turn on the sprinklers, or pass out spray bottles (dollar store is best price) full of water to spray each other with.  Add a few bags of sand in one of the kid-sized pools, and bury little trinket treasures that the kids can find in the sand — they can also build sand castles.  Add a lunch (pizza is super easy, or quick sandwiches with cubed watermelon) and some cake with ice cream, and you’ve easily got an hour and a half of fun.

You could have a fun craft, like this Hank the Octopus activity by Desert Chica.

Decorate the guests

Some of the fun is outfitting your little party guests with something from your theme.  Here’s some ideas:

  • If you know how to sew, you can sew up little superhero vests with just side seams and the rest finished off with pinking shears (so the edges won’t fray).
  • Face paint with the party theme, just make sure you use hypoallergenic, non-toxic face paints.  There’s lots of kids’ face painting ideas on Pinterest — just print out the picture you want to copy as a guide.
  • Hand stamp with the party theme — Kindred Stamps have rubber character stamps and lots of interesting stamps that are unique.  AliExpress has a lot of inexpensive options, if you’re planning ahead.  Kids also love rubber stamping as a craft with paper, scissors, and glue.

This Spiderman fabric is from Fabric.com. There are many online sites that sell you superhero fabric for making kid vests if you don’t have a Walmart or some type of fabric or craft store nearby. And many crafting stores, like Hobby Lobby, have apps that give you a discount on at least one item in your purchase.

Keep party favors simple

We like the idea that kids can make their own favors or have experiences instead of lots favors.  You can always make a run to the dollar store for cheap stuff to put in the bag, but sometimes cheap doesn’t always mean memorable.  You’ll spend the same (or less!) with some simple crafts.  There’s no need to send the children home with a bunch of junk that nobody cares about.  Here’s some ideas —

  • Chocolate Pinwheels: Have the children make their own pinwheels (here’s a Hershey’s Kisses pinwheel to make).  This is especially fun if there is running room — kids love to make the pinwheel move in circles by running around to create the push of air.  The pinwheel might not last past the party, but the kids don’t care.  They just want to expend energy and have fun!
  • Ocean Theme Crafts: If we continue with our “Finding Dory” ocean theme, “A Night Owl” blog has over a dozen ocean-themed craft ideas.  We especially like the Paper Plate Hermit Crab because it’s not too hard to make and it’s likely to be enjoyed by both boys and girls — creates imaginative play.  If you have a sandbox, we can see the children putting their hermit crabs in the box during the party to create their own world.  Just be sure to put the kids’ names on the bottom of this craft.
  • Paper Spinners and Airplanes: Boys love to be active.  Why not make some low-cost paper spinners and paper airplanes.  Here’s instructions for the spinners.  And there are dozens of online sites that have free printables for fantastic paper airplanes.
You can have the children make paper pinwheels with chocolates in the center. Image Courtesy: Hershey's

You can have the children make paper pinwheels with chocolates in the center. Image Courtesy: Hershey’s

FIND MORE: nontoxicoutdoorssummerbirthday