Birthday activities do not need to be expensive to be fun. You can use items around the house as well as in the neighborhood to keep children busy for hours.
Being active is a good way to keep children happy as well as healthy at a birthday party during the summer months. An active theme,such as taking children to a soccer field or other park, cuts down on the mess that you have to clean up after the party. Bringing a soccer ball to kick around can provide immediate entertainment for the party goers. Don’t arrange a formal game, however, because the emphasis should be on fun activity and not on competition. Make sure the participants keep hydrated with plenty of fluids and schedule periodic rest breaks so the children do not get heat stress.
Indoor Active Play
Indoor active play is also important during the winter months. The children can play games such as Traveling Basketball where the adults place a large bucket in each room and give each player a rolled-up sock. The players stand in the doorway and try to get a sock into the bowl. The player who makes a basket can go to the next room until completing all the rooms. Another active game for rainy day birthday parties is Indoor Bowling. This is a great way to recycle used plastic bottles that you have at home. Line six water bottles up at the end of a hall and place a line of duct tape at the starting line. Grab a medium-sized indoor ball such as a tennis ball and start bowling.
Don’t discount traditional games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, or Clothespin Drop where the adults place a large mouth jar such as a Mason jar at the base of a stable chair. The children, one by one, stand or kneel on the chair and try to drop clothespins into the jar. The children must hold the clothespins at chin level before dropping them. Each child gets five clothespins to drop. A variation on this could be small toy cars or other toys. Let the children keep five toys for party favors, regardless of how many they drop into the jar.
Keep the food choices simple for young children. Ordering a pizza and having fruit juice is a quick way to fill your menu. Add plain, unsweetened carbonated soda or seltzer water to pulp-free juice instead of serving soda for a healthy drink. This recipe works with juices like orange, blackberry, and cherry but not apples or lemons because the pectin in these fruits diminishes the fizz. Other easy choices are chicken tenders, mini-sandwiches, hot dogs, and vegetables or fruits with dip. However, don’t forget the sweets! Small slices of birthday cake or mini-cupcakes won’t subvert the appetite for nourishing food. Be aware of guests’ dietary restrictions and allow those children to bring substitutes for the food you serve or offer alternatives.