As the weather gets warmer and the days grow longer, it's fun to throw open the doors and take the birthday party outside. Here's some great outdoor party ideas for kids of all ages.
Teddy bears, bubbles and bouncing
Young tots are easily entertained outside. Ask guests to bring their favourite teddy or soft toy, spread out a picnic blanket and serve traditional picnic fare. Gingerbread men make ideal cookies and little guests can decorate their own to look like their teddy. If you're looking for something more active, you could hire a bouncy castle or bubble machine to keep little ones entertained.
Mad Hatter's tea party
The fantasy world of Alice-in Wonderland makes a fun outdoor party theme. Spread out the birthday tea on a long trestle table with “drink me” and “eat me” labels, and serve drinks in teapots and cups and saucers. Play pin the smile on the Cheshire cat and your own version of croquet on the lawn. Try making giant roses from white paper and ask guests to paint them red or decorate in their own style.
Beside the seaside
You don't need your own swimming pool to throw a water party. Fill up the paddling pool, turn on the sprinklers, get plenty of water pistols and water balloons and make your own slip and slide. Turn it into a beach party with the addition of a sand pit or sand box and beach balls. Treat them to fish and chips, ice-cream cones and starfish shaped cookies. For a great party bag, fill a bucket and spade set with sweets.
Entertaining active kids
For sports-mad kids, hold a little football or tennis tournament. Or how about a mini-Olympic games, with a mix of team and individual activities. Build your own podium out of different size boxes for the medal ceremonies. Alternatively, set up an obstacle course around the garden. Use a mix of outdoor toys and water games for obstacles and introduce a time-trial element for extra excitement. You could also arrange an outdoor treasure hunt and get teams working together to solve sets of clues formed from anagrams, riddles, pictures, etc.
All the fun of the fair
Hold an old-fashioned style carnival or fair with traditional games like skittles, a coconut shy, apple-bobbing, ring toss and target games. Make sure you have plenty of prizes to win! You can also have face-painting, fortune-telling and serve up carnival food like hot dogs, burgers, candyfloss and toffee apples.
Slightly older kids always enjoy a sleepover in the garden. Put up a few tents and ask guests to bring their sleeping bags. Light the barbecue or fire pit for hot dogs, baked potatoes and toasted marshmallows, and play some fun outdoor “survival” games.