When it comes to outdoor bar-b-ques and parties this season, the summer heat is a primary consideration when deciding what activities most guests want to do … and it often involves water! Because not every home has a swimming pool, here’s some great alternatives:
• water slides that are basically composed of a long sheet of plastic or vinyl kept continuously wet with a slow-running hose;
• several inflatable pools for little ones who are especially susceptible to the summer heat:
• rent a large, inflatable water slide (or have several families pitch in on the rental of one for the day).
Getting wet not only cools everyone off, but also is a great way to wash the ice cream and watermelon off clothing and skin!
For those party-goers who prefer to stay dry or simply take a break from being wet, there is something to be said about the old traditional outdoor games that, once in progress, lend to contagious laughter, great exercise and that surge of competitive spirit. Their longevity remains simply due to the fact that they’re just plain fun and inexpensive for any group activity!
Here are a few that my family of eight really enjoy playing outdoors:
• 3-legged races (especially fun when an adult is paired with a child);
• sack races (with old pillow cases or garbage bags);
• balloon or egg toss (balloons are less “messy”) — 2 lines of participants face each other, tossing the balloon back and forth while taking a step backward with each successful toss, until the last unbroken balloon team wins;
• treasure hunt — hiding an open roll of quarters in a drawstring sack, and giving a list of clues at which to find the next clue, etc.;
• scavenger hunt — give several groups of 3-4 participants a list of outdoor items to find, the first team to find all the listed items, wins;
• limbo — with a broom stick, lowering with each attempt … while playing fun, lively music;
• hide ‘n seek — just make sure the little ones don’t go too far off to hide;
• duck-duck-goose — especially fun for little ones;
• bubble soap with a variety of crazy bubble wants and pans — fascinating and fun;
• charades — with popular TV shows, movies, books, etc.;
• balloon stomp — taking turns being blindfolded, then trying to stomp on balloons;
• Nothing beats organizing and playing a competitive game of badminton, volleyball, softball, or frisbee!
Send your picnic guest kids home with memories of your party with a simply, fun idea. Take, for instance, baby food jars, fill them with a multitude of tiny items such as jacks, erasers, shells or other small toys or household items, so that each child can play a treasure hunt game right in their hands, identifying some objects as mementos of that very day that they spent having fun with friends and family. Each jar would come with a list of items to locate while turning the jar at different angles. It’s inexpensive, creative, and easy for adults and children alike to make for their friends!
What are your ideas?