Flowers are blooming and the sun is shining --time to plan your child’s next birthday party outside.

This time of year many families prefer to plan their child’s next birthday party outside of their home in the backyard. Since the weather is warm and children love to play outside, a backyard party is ideal for parents too since many may be leary about having 15 children inside their home eating, drinking  and basically making a mess. 

When you plan an outside party you must 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, princess, Olympics, etc.  Newer themes include:  Unicorns, Emojis, Latest 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.  The first activity I would begin for the party is a

1.   Sign-In Sheet 

Upon entering the backyard 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.  You can find butcher paper at any arts & craft store or your local hardware store. It’s a nice keepsake for your child to review and enjoy long after the party is over.  This also keeps the children busy as they wait for all the other children to arrive. Not all families are punctual for parties and little ones need to be kept engaged.

2.  Treasure Hunt. 

Create a treasure list that you can hand out to the children once all guests have arrived. Children really love looking for things and the challenge of trying to figure out where items may be hiding. This activity will keeps their minds working hard too.  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. The following are three (3) treasure list examples to kick start your treasure hunt planning:

Pirate:  Eye patch, sword, bandanna, pirate hat, harmonica and mustache
Unicorn:  Horn, rainbow headbands or wristbands, rainbow candy, wands, stars
Olympic: Whistle, Head band, Olympic medals, red white and blue ribbons, stop watch
Relay Races:  Next up is to keep the children moving with different types of movement.

3. Legged Race

Divide the children into 3 or 4 teams based upon the amount 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 tie together across the yard and then come around back to where they start where their teammates are waiting for them to come back and then their teammates will go next until everyone on the time has raced across the yard. This is a perfect time to have your camera or video camera ready to capture some funny scenes and lots of giggles by the children.

a.  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 marshmellow or even an 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 staying on the spoon and then return to their waiting teammates so the next teammate can have their turn across the yard too. 

b.  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 for fun and that people may laugh when they fall but it’s all in good fun, not to worry falling down is part of the game.

c. Tasty Treat Race:  Everyone loves donuts so why not have a Donut 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 in your yard. Next tie a string to each donut across the string that you placed across your yard until you have a donut for each child attending the party. Line each child up in front of a hanging donut, making sure their hands are tied behind their backs (use bandannas 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. 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 of each event 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. 

By Dorothy Perretti, 
Owner of Dot Your Face Entertainment
18 Pine Drive, Millstone, NJ 08510 • 201.303.6227 •