Tag Archives: summer party games

Outdoor Handprint Art

Outdoor Art

Outdoor Handprint ArtThose Quirky Mommas over at kidsactivitiesblog.com have come up with a great summer, outdoor activity that translates beautifully for a party! Thanks for reminding us that outdoors in the summer enables us to let the kids get substantially messier than in the winter in your living room, and clean it all up with the hose.

Preschoolers and early elementary school age kids LOVE putting their hands in paint– hence fingerpainting, the ultimate messy experience. Well, with washables paints and the great outdoors, you can give them this experience to their little hearts content.

Get a wide roll of paper at your local craft store– or tape narrower rolls together to make a wide one, and either lay it on your driveway or tack it up on your garage door*. Put lots of different colors of washable paints in plastic or foam plates (paper will get too soggy). Have the kids don the smocks or t-shirts they brought with them , since your invitation told them to bring same. And turn them all loose to create their group mural. Encourage handprints, footprints, fingerprints, finger paintings, and give them cut up sponges in varying shapes to add to it all. Even Jackson Pollack style dribbles and splashes. What Fun! This is more of a party game than it is a craft activity, but who cares.

Cleaning everybody up with your hose will just be part of the fun! 

*Just to be safe, since your garage door may not have been painted in a while and might be a bit more absorbent of the washable paint than you’d like, tack up a cheap plastic drop cloth behind the mural paper, so there’s no mess left behind on your garage door.

Ice Cream Cones

Scream for Ice Cream

Ice Cream ConesSummer’s in full swing, so these Ice Cream party ideas are right on the money. If it’s a birthday, maybe you can even get away with these instead of a cake- just have a candle for the birthday boy or girl’s cone.

The ice cream ‘buffet bar’ is an old idea that Vanessa over at Lella Boutique has delightfully updated for parties– so here’s a shout out to her for sharing these great ideas!

First off- these cones have been dipped in melted chocolate and then rolled in yummy things like chocolate chips, sprinkles, toffee bits. They certainly make a mouthwatering presentation.

Here’s something I never heard of– a mini marshmallow or two in the bottom of the cone to prevent drips.

Toppings can include all kinds of good things– cut up strawberries, the usual sprinkles, candies like Reese Bits or M&M’s, plus chocolate and caramel syrup.

Add in small cans of root beer and cola for an ice cream float station! Colorful cups and straws will complete the set-up.

Ice Cream Cone CakeAnd if  you can’t get away without a birthday cake, make this ice cream cone cake also featured at this Lella Boutique Ice Cream party. You’ll find the cake, frosting and ganache recipe links over on the site.

If your party kids are young enough to need help scooping the ice cream, go all out and dress the part of the Ice Cream Man, all in white, maybe even with a mustache.

Summer’s were made for ice cream, so it’s a perfect party theme.

Ever Hear of Slacklining?

If they’re adventurous and athletic, this video will definitely get your attention as a fun activity for your kids, be they middle school age or teens. Looks like a lot of fun! Of course, what you see here is at the ‘expert’ level- you can see the learner’s edition on the Gibbon website.

Needless to say, this is an inherently dangerous activity that needs to be treated with respect, but so are plenty of other things your kids do like snowboarding, heading a soccer ball, etc.

This is a great core exercise (balance) and the time your kids spend mastering this will be like sending them to the gym to workout. That helps with the price tag on the equipment to set up your slack line. Believe it or not, you don’t HAVE to have trees to work with for this- although that’s certainly the easiest. Trees do need to be mature and 24″ in diameter.

My bet is you’ll have lots of kids over at your house trying this out and trying to master the technique. And that’s way better than a lot of other things they could be doing.

Having an outdoor birthday party? Set it up along with the beginner video on your laptop and let them give it a go!

Deck Board Game

Outdoor Deck Board Game

Deck Board GameHere’s a great way to tie a bunch of different activities into one big game that gives your party a theme and a structure to help keep everybody engaged and on board with the planned activities. A big shout out to Desiree of 36th Avenue and to Toni at Design Dazzle for featuring this super party idea.

Create a game board as pictured here on your deck with tape or on your driveway with sidewalk chalk (drawn heavy so it doesn’t disappear). Create 2 dice either out of wood or cardboard, one marked as a normal die with 1-6 and the other with different actions such as “go back 3 spaces”, “lose your turn”, etc.

Desiree purchased various inexpensive games at the dollar store and laid them out in different spaces on the board, and had the kids make up activities for the remaining board spaces. These were things like sing a song, jump 25 times on one foot, whatever they come up with. Or, you can come up with the various activities beforehand and make the game board games without their input- your choice.

You’ll find great ideas here for the game board activities: things like a water balloon and a pool noodle ‘fight’, an egg and spoon race, put on a silly face. These will surely inspire you to come up with other fun and silly games they can play.


Another Outdoor Balloon Game

BalloonsJust when you thought I’d given you all possible party games played with balloons, here’s another one. And it isn’t limited to balloons- use a tennis or ping pong or whiffle ball to make it much more difficult for older kids. You need lots of vertical space for this game, so it’s an outdoor game.

Have your balloon or other type of ball and the kids in a fairly tight circle.  Have the kids count off 1-2-3-etc. and the last one moves into the center of the circle with the balloon or ball. As he/she throws the balloon/ball high into the air, they call out one of the kids’ numbers. That kids has to catch the balloon before it hits the ground or they’re out of the game.

Other players may make it more difficult by getting in the way or easier by batting the balloon/ ball back up– it’s obviously more difficult to bat it back up if it’s a ball rather than a balloon. It can also devolve into a game of keep-away, but that’s OK, it’s still a fun game!

Once the kid gets the balloon before it hits the ground, that  child assumes center stage to repeat the process. Add some interest for older kids by timing how long it takes them to get the balloon/ball, and awarding a silly prize for the least amount of time.

As I’ve said in many other posts, balloons are just FUN.


Summer Snowball Fight

SnowballsWhat fun to have a snowball fight outdoors in the summer! And it’s easier than you think- thanks to sleekgossip.com’s ideas for a pre-teen party. I would suggest that this will work equally well with slightly younger kids too- kids age 9 and 10 will get the irony of snowballs in summer.

Starting a few weeks before your party, wad up every days newspaper and/or scrap paper from your computer, and collect them in garbage bags. Count so you have the same number of snowballs in each bag- it will save headaches later. You’ll have accumulated a whole lot of ‘snowballs’ by party day.

On your driveway or in the grass, create a dividing line with a hose, rope, tape, whatever.  Count the kids off into 2 teams by 1-2-1-2 and send the teams to either side of the line. Dump an equal number of snowballs on each side of the line and explain that whichever team has the FEWEST snowballs on their side when the game ends, wins. Remind the kids that they can not only throw their own snowballs at the other team, but they can also throw the other teams snowballs back!

Start the game with your whistle, and then watch, and when it looks like interest is flagging, blow your whistle again to end the game. Charge the kids with counting up the snowballs on their side.

Assuming the count is close and the snowballs on each teams side don’t need to be adjusted to keep everything somewhat fair, follow up with the spoon game. Have the kids pile up all their snowballs, and give each team one small plastic spoon. Line the kids up behind their piles, and relay style have them carry their snowballs on the spoon to a (clean) garbage can or two on the other side of the line. This gives the losers a chance to redeem themselves!

They’ll be expending their energy and sugar highs playing these games, and it doesn’t cost you a thing. My kind of party game!

Orange Battle

The Orange Battle

Orange BattleHooray for the great ideas people share on Squidoo and thanks to kappuke-ki for sharing this marvelous game that’s just perfect for those hard to please teens. Yes, younger kids can play it too, but they won’t bring the same amount of theatrics and panache to make it just that much more fun.

All it takes are two oranges, 4 normal sized spoons, about a 12′ diameter circular ‘field’ on your grass and your party teenagers. Use tape, a garden hose, or flour to mark out the circle in your grass. 2 players then face off within the circle with a spoon in each hand and an orange on one of the spoons.

Think fencing here: the object of the game is to separate the opponent from his orange without getting separated from yours. Use the free spoon to defend your orange. Step out of the circle and it’s automatic disqualification. Lose your orange, lose the game. Matches can be best 2 out of 3 if you wish.

You can have several circles and several games going simultaneously, winners facing off in the finals, or one game at a time with challengers taking on the winner of each game until you have a champion. Or, just two circles working up to the final between the winners of each of those games.

I’d suggest demonstrating the game for the kids before they start, and hamming it up when you do so.

This is a perfect game for any group of teens- be it all boys or all girls or a mixed group, and perfect for a summer, backyard get-together.

Water Gun Range

Water Target

Water Gun RangeSytrofoam to hold up your water cannon targets- BRILLIANT! So simple, but easily overlooked as a great way to set up a target for a variety of games. Thanks to fingerthumb.typepad.com for sharing this great idea.

Styrofoam coolers are inexpensive, but any styrofoam you’ve got or can get your hands on will do, as long as it’s stable enough to support your targets. It’s easy to add weight to coolers for stability. Those pictured are ping pong balls supported on cut lengths of plastic tubing. These make great targets for water pistols or water cannons. Bigger plastic piping and tennis balls or whiffle balls might work as a larger target for younger kids.

Older kids might need a bit tougher challenge, and something that moves in the breeze would be harder. String some colorful paper plates from your tree limb as targets- the plates will catch even a small breeze to become moving targets for the water pistols or cannons. Give different plates different point counts, written or painted on the plates. This can be scored either individually or on a team basis. And put older kids farther away from the target.

While this is perfect for an outdoor summertime party, with a little tweaking you can even have indoor target games. Set those ping pong balls up on the plastic tubes but have the kids use rubber band sling shots to score their points. This too can be either an individual or a team competition.


Frisbee Golf

FrisbeeDid you know there’s actually a PDGA– Professional Disc Golf Association? Me neither. But it’s a game with rules, an association and ‘courses’ around the country.

You can create your own frisbee golf course, or at least a couple of holes, in the park or in your neighborhood (with your neighbors permission, of course). And the kids will have a fine old time trying to get to the ‘hole’ in the least number of throws- just like in regular golf. Just set up ‘tee’ areas and  target holes a suitable distance away and provide the frisbees.

Like real golf, use nature to make the course more or less difficult, depending on the age of your party kids. Plan your holes with trees or shrubs, or even houses or garages, in the way. It’s not always the longest frisbee toss that wins the day- there should be some strategy and short shots involved too.

If your space is more constrained make it frisbee darts instead. Use garden hoses, tape or flour poured out on the ground to create a big bullseye target on your lawn. Give the rings different point values and set up your throwing area an appropriate distance from the target- again depending on the age of your kids. Spice the game up with other targets that reward extra points when hit- a pail, a watering can, whatever you find to use will do the trick.

And if your frisbee golf  devolves into a group game of frisbee – so much the better! Frisbee’s have been around all these years because they’re fun, and making a game out of them will work great at your next outdoor celebration.

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Maybe the Ultimate Summer Birthday Cake

Ice Cream Sandwich CakeThis is too easy and too yummy not to serve at your next warm-weather party. Who doesn’t like ice cream sandwiches, and who doesn’t like something nice and cold on a hot summer day? It’s a sure-fired hit with kids. Here’s a shout out to the creative folks over at thyhandhathprovided.com for coming up with this and sharing it.

You will need 24 ice cream sandwiches, a 16oz tub os cool whip, a jar of caramel sundae topping and your favorite chocolate candy, such as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped coarsely.

Line a 9″x13″ pan with foil, or not – it appears that it works both ways. Lay in 1/2 the ice cream sandwiches, trimming as needed. Top with 1/2 the cool whip, 1/2 the caramel topping and 1/2 the candy, and then repeat.sandwiches. Cover and freeze. That’s it- your birthday party cake is all done.

You’ll probably need to thaw the cake for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.

24 ice cream sandwiches from the supermarket are going to be significantly cheaper that a store bought ice cream cake, and probably not take any longer than driving to the store to pick it up. I love it when a good idea saves money too! Do enjoy this perfect party treat.