Seize the opportunity to soak up the warm weather this August with party themes best executed in the great outdoors! Our Scout Elves are offering up ideas and inspiration for how to pull off these four, fun birthday bash themes that can take place in your very own backyard.
Come on, y’all! There’s no better fodder for a birthday party theme than an event chock-full of quick, easy cuisine and hands-on games. Use the ideas below to create a down-home, good time in your own backyard!
- To Eat: You’ll have easy clean-up with this party theme where finger foods reign supreme. Think store-bought corndogs, kettle corn, watermelon slices and pre-made soft pretzels. If you’re feeling ambitious, try recreating famous fair fare—like cotton candy, caramel apples, snow cones and funnel cakes. Skip the cake and bury the birthday candles in a blue-ribbon-worthy pie!
- To Do: Most games you’ve seen at the local fairgrounds can be scaled down for your backyard bash. Set up a ring toss using old glass soda bottles and plastic rings or have children shoot empty cans off of a table using water guns. Sack races and pie-eating contests are other activities children will hoot and holler for!
- For Party Favors: Give each child an empty gift bag with their name on it. Have them tote it around to different game and contest stations - they can collect small prizes as they go!
A Roaring Good Time
Take it back to the Jurassic period for a fete crawling with adventure and scaly behemoths—well, scaled down versions of them, at least! Decorating will be a breeze thanks to the abundance of dino décor available at discount and party retailers.
- To Eat: Use dinosaur-shaped cookie cutters to give any standard party dish some prehistoric pep (think dino-shaped sandwiches, quesadillas or cookies). If you want to skip a step, go straight for the dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, found in the freezer aisle at most grocery stores. To top off the meal, have your party guests dig for their dessert by making dirt pudding cups; use layers of crushed up cookies, chocolate pudding and whipped cream to create a lovely, layered treat.
- To Do: Use your backyard sandbox—or create your own in an inexpensive kiddie pool—for a dinosaur dig. Hide plastic bones and “dinosaur eggs” (a.k.a. Easter-style, plastic eggs) in the sand and let each petite paleontologist sift their way through the granules with strainers, paint brushes and small plastic shovels.
- For Party Favors: Grab a bag of inexpensive dinosaur figurines and let guests adopt a reptilian friend to take home with them. A plant fiber liner can be used as a nest to hold the dinosaur; plastic dino eggs filled with candy make a perfect addition to the parting gift.
Cinema Under the Stars
Bring Hollywood home! Make your own small, outdoor movie theater by screening a film through a projector and onto a large white sheet or tarp. The entertainment’s built into the theme, so once set-up is complete, sit back and relax as kids enjoy a flick of the birthday child’s choosing!
- To Eat: Put a twist on the classic movie theater snack by creating a popcorn bar. Offer different flavors of popcorn and fun seasonings that kids can sprinkle onto the popcorn, like ranch from a salad dressing packet, cheese dust or a sweet cinnamon-sugar mixture. This same bar concept can be applied to candy, nachos or any other movie theater munchies that you choose to serve at the party.
- To Do: Since the movie will be the main attraction, have guests come dressed as their favorite film character. Start the party by having a costume contest – the winner gets a prize!
- For Party Favors: Purchase plastic popcorn tubs—available at most dollar stores—and fill with a candy, popcorn packets, or themed favors that reference the movie you plan to screen.
Flit with the Fairies
Free children’s imaginations with a party that will let them play the part of magical, woodland creatures for a day. Kid tested, Mother Nature approved!
- To Eat: Try making sandwich wrap “snail shells” by using tortillas and the filling ingredients of your choice. Fill the wraps with cheeses, meats, or peanut butter and jelly. Once the fillings have been spread across the wrap’s surface, roll it up, slice and serve. Trail mix filled with nuts, raisins, and twig-like pretzel sticks is another yummy, nature-inspired offering.
- To Do: Outfit each guest with a pair of glittery fairy wings—available at many dollar stores—and engage in an arts and crafts activity using items found in your own backyard. Start by providing some crafting basics like glue, pipe-cleaners, and pom-poms; then let children create wands, fairy crowns, and other creations using the flowers, twigs, leaves and other earthy treasures around them. Once children are outfitted in their spritely gear, hand out bubbles, hula hoops, and jump ropes—and let them prance about the yard like pixies!
- For Party Favors: Let guests take home their crafty woodland creations and the fairy wings that you’ve already provided.
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