As many of you will be in the process of planning and organising parties for your littlies at the moment, this post from Judy should prove helpful. Don’t forget to share any pics of your outdoor summer parties in the comments below, along with any additional tips you have for throwing the perfect garden party.
Throwing an Outdoor Summer Party for Toddlers
Outdoor parties are great toddler and parent activities, and while your house may stay tidier, there’s still plenty to organise:
Planning and Booking Entertainment
Start planning early, especially during the summer months when kids’ entertainers get booked up quickly.
Having several types of entertainment is good for variety and preventing boredom or tantrums, especially as toddlers won’t stay still for anything for long. Consider sectioning off part of the party area into entertainment zones, and have different games and activities in each. Face painting, ride-on toys, bubble blowing, a pop up tent or even a nylon tunnel they can scramble through are some ideas.
Make sure there’s supervision, not just for safety but to mediate when everyone wants to ride on the same toy at the same time!
Setting the Party Stage
String some bunting between trees, along fencing, or even along the washing line if all else fails, and add some balloons for good measure. If you’re theming the party, stick to theme colours to help pull everything together. People may not notice specific colours, but they will notice how everything seems to just ‘fit’.
For seating and tables, you could either have one long table with a finger buffet laid out, or put outdoor tables and chairs in cosy groups with a separate food bar. It depends on the space available and how many guests. If the size of the party warrants it, consider getting professional help for seating.
Serve toddler-friendly finger food so you don’t have to provide full cutlery sets. Sandwiches cut into quarters are fun for kids and adults like them too, and make sure there’s plenty of cake, and jelly or ice cream. If you’re inviting parents to stay with their toddlers, it’s okay to provide separate ‘grown up’ food, but still keep it simple. They’ll probably be spending too much time chasing toddlers to enjoy a sit down meal.
When you’re throwing an outdoor party for a group of toddlers, you’ve got to have safety top of mind all the time.
If you’re bringing in outside entertainment that needs amplification for sound, for instance, consider how you’ll make sure cables are safe. This applies whether you’re hiring professional entertainers and putting up a stage for them, or just running an extension cable outside at home.
It’s not just electrics and cables. Give some thought to safety if you’re having a bouncy castle, for instance. Ideally, have a couple of adults whose sole job is keeping an eye on them. The grownups could take turns so toddlers are never left to their own devices.
Other areas where curious toddlers can get into trouble are garden sheds and garages. Make sure these are locked up tight, and cover any ornamental pools.
Having organised games, food and decorations, all you can do is hope the weather stays fine. It might be a good idea to have indoor contingency plans – just in case.
Judy is a freelance writer who writes for Alistage, which provides all the equipment you need for a successful event.