The sun is shining and it’s time to plan your child’s next birthday party.  Here are some outside party ideas from Dorothy Perritti, owner of Dot Your Face Entertainment, a sponsor of NWLL.

A backyard party is ideal for parents who may be leery about having 15+ children inside their home eating, drinking, and basically making a mess.  When you plan an outside party you should have a game plan ready to go.  Start with a theme that you have discussed with your birthday child. Some tried and true ones are pirate, jungle, petting zoo, or princess.  Newer themes include unicorns, emojis, superheroes or a popular Disney/Nickelodeon character. Once you and your child have chosen your theme your activities will fall into place.

You should have at least 3 to 5 Activities for your celebration.  Some suggestions are listed below.  

  1. Sign-In Sheet – Upon entering the party area, have each child draw a picture and/or write a few words to the birthday child on a long piece of brown or white butcher paper.  This is a nice keepsake for your child and can be enjoyed long after the party is over.  This also keeps the children busy as they wait for all of the guests to arrive.
  2. Treasure Hunt – Create a treasure list that you can hand out to the children once all guests have arrived. Children love looking for things and the challenge of trying to figure out where items may be hiding. You can place items on your Treasure Hunt around your yard behind trees, plants, rocks, etc. Keep things on your list that tie into your child’s birthday party theme. Here are some list examples to kick start your treasure hunt planning:
    1. PIRATE:  Eye patch, sword, bandanna, pirate hat, harmonica and mustache
    2. UNICORN:  Horn, rainbow headbands or wristbands, rainbow candy, wands, stars
    3. OLYMPIC: Whistle, Headband, Olympic medals, red white and blue ribbons, stopwatch
  3. Races – Next up is to keep the children moving with different types of movement.  Races are a great way to do that.  Some classic races include
    1. 3-Legged Race: Divide the children into 3 or 4 teams based upon the number of children at your party. Next use bandanas to tie one child’s leg to another child’s leg for a 3-Legged Race. Have the children walk quickly with their legs tied together across the yard and then back to where they started, their teammates will go next until everyone on the team has raced across the yard. This is a perfect time to have your camera ready to capture some funny scenes and lots of giggles.
    2. Race with a Spoon: This activity requires that each child be given a spoon.  Next, place a ping pong ball, jelly beans, candy corn, a marshmallow or even eggs on the spoon –if you dare to get messy! Each child takes a turn racing across the yard keeping the item on their individual spoon. If the item falls off their spoon the child must pick it up and continue going across the yard with the item on the spoon and return to their waiting teammates so the next teammate can have their turn across the yard.
    3. Coffee Bean Burlap Bag or Potato Sack Race:  Each child is given a potato sack/coffee bean burlap bag to race across the yard in. This is a hilarious event and some of the children might need to be gently reminded that this is all in good fun and not to worry about falling down
    4. Tasty Treat Race: Everyone loves doughnuts so why not have a Doughnut Eating Contest
  4. Donut Eating Contest:  Line up a string across the yard either between two (2) trees or between 2 poles that have been placed securely into the ground. Next, tie a string to each doughnut from the string that you placed across your yard until you have a donut for each child. Place each child up in front of a hanging donut, with their hands tied behind their backs (you can use bandanas to tie their hands).  Then start playing fast-paced racing music to begin the contest. The first child to finish eating their donuts off the string is the winner although everyone is a winner for this race since having a sweet yummy donut is a prize unto itself.

Finally, remember to take lots of pictures and pick the best ones to place into each of your guests Thank You notes. They will appreciate that personal touch.  It will also be a great way for your guests to have a wonderful memory of your child’s super fun backyard birthday party.

• Dot Your Face Entertainment • 18 Pine Drive, Millstone, NJ 08510 • 201-303-6227 •