PLAYGROUND PARTY

      

PLAYGROUND PARTY


Invitations

A playground party is the perfect party for kids, and it sure benefits the adults as well.  The children can enjoy everything from swings to slides, while the parents set-up and clean-up, all the while chatting with friends and family.  The cost is a bonus too - extremely inexpensive, all you need to purchase are a few decorations, food and drinks.   

Start with invitations - anything with swings, slides, seesaw, monkey bars, picnic tables and baskets, bikes, blankets, trees, flowers, animals (birds, butterflies), etc.  The images above are my favourite playground party invitations on the Internet right now.  

Why purchase invitations?  Stick with the inexpensive with free printable invitations on websites like, invitationland.com and greetingsisland.com.



Party Preparation 

Nothing makes a child's eyes light up more than a playground!  It's such an easy party to throw for your little one - just walk or drive to the play structure, set up a few decorations, BBQ some food, and party!



You don't have to decorate too much for this party - I would stick with simplicity.  Use helium balloons for quick and simple decorating.  Gather them in bunches, curl ribbon and attach them at the ends, and hang the balloons from the play structure, the picnic area, trees, bushes, etc.  You can also hang long strips of streamers from branches - it would be a great background for a photo (image 1).

For our little girls party, we thought it would be unique and special to display the precious moments of the past year (image 3).  We bought poster board, chose 20-25 of our favourite photos of her, and taped them to the board.  We set it up for display on an easel in the park.  Try it - your guests will enjoy looking at all the memories, and how much your little angel has grown.





If there are any parks in your area that include a splash pad, try and plan your playground party party there.  It's so much fun for both the children and the parents, and its just one more activity for the kids to participate in. 


Food 

Choose a park with picnic tables or a pavillion if you want the comfort of sitting at a table to eat.  But f you don't mind, bring blanklets and have your guests eat on their laps.  

Serve standard BBQ foods - they are best for this type of party - hotdogs, hamburgers, sliders, sausages, shrimp skewers, fish, etc.  That being said, make sure you pack a cooler to store all the meats.  We chose a playground fairly close to our house, so we wheeled the cooler over in a wagon.  

If you don't want the hassle of bringing a portable BBQ or hibachi, pack sandwiches instead - coldcuts, club, peanut butter and jelly, cream cheese and jam, tuna and egg salad.  Salads, cheese (and crackers) and meat platters are great choices as well.  And if you really want simple and inexpensive, order a pizza.  When we go to a playground, we like to stop in at a local pizza shop for the hot and ready special (only $5!) - just order a bunch of those.



Drinks 

Fill a cooler or bucket with ice and add all your drinks - bottled water, cans or bottles of pop/soda, ice tea, lemonade, and juice boxes.  You can also bring some beer or coolers if you are celebrating your playground party at a private park.  

Pour drinks like lemonade or real fruit juice into mason jars and stick decorative paper straws through the lid.  Download fun outdoors-type printable party lid covers or straw decor (see image 1).  Catchmyparty.com and birdsparty.com have some fun FREE printables.   


   
Treats 

Trail mix is a fun snack to serve children at a playground party - place them in mason jars like the drinks and add a pretty patterned cloth, fastened under the lid.  Cookies, gummy bears, and Rice Krispies squares are great snack ideas as well.  Another fun treat: icecream!  You can try to bring in your cooler, or choose a park that you know ice cream trucks visit often.

I know majority of us like to serve the sweet and salty treats at birthday parties, but healthy snacks are a must.  The kids may not be a fan of veggies but serve them with dip and they're more likely to dig in.  Fruit is a healthy sweet treat, so the kids will enjoy it - you can add a drizzle of chocolate sauce if you want (see image 4).


Dessert 


We ordered this cake (see image 1) from a grocery store but were not entirely pleased with it.  All they did was put flowers, bushes, and what seems to be hills I think, around the perimeter.  So we went to the Dollar Store and bought this little playground kit.  We placed it on brown sugar (for sand) and used pretzel sticks for the playground border.  We were ecstatic it turned out so well.

The other images are more beautiful cakes I have come across in my research on the net.  Love the kids sitting in the sandbox together in image 2, the seasaw and little animals in image 3, the skipping rope, hopscotch, and monkey bars in image 4, and the swing in image 5.  I love what you can do with the cakes for this party idea!



Games/Activities 

(Games for younger children)

BALLOON KITES
Flying a kite can be difficult for the little ones, so use this crafty idea for guaranteed success, regardless of the wind.  Get a helium balloon in your kids favorite color, some kite string, and streamers.  Let the string out as the balloon floats up into the sky, and watch the streamers flap in the wind.

BUBBLES 
This is a classic that never gets old.  Blowing bubbles is lots of fun for the little ones - challenge them to catch the bubbles.  
Purchase the coloured bubbles Crayola makes - it'll make for unique and vibrant photos.

PIÑATAS
Have the kids swing a stick at a piñata.  Not only will they have fun swinging, but they will enjoy the treats that come out of it.


(Games for older kids)

3-LEGGED RACE
The rules are simple, have 2 people paired up, and tie 1 persons left ankle with the other persons right.  Determine a starting line and a finish line.  Line up as many 3-legged contestants as possible, and when someone says ready set go, everyone must race to the finish line!  The winners are the first to cross the finish line.

POTATO SACK RACE
Determine a starting line and a finish line.  Line everyone up in potato sacks and when somebody says go, hop to the finish line.  First one there wins!

EGG ON A SPOON RACE
Determine a starting line and a finish line.  Line up all the participants with small spoons and place an egg on each persons spoon.  When someone says go, everyone races to the finish line!  The  winner is the one who finishes the race first without dropping the egg.


Party Favors 

Playground cookies decorated with slides, swings, seesaws, monkey bars, picnic tables and baskets, and things of nature are a tasty favor for the children to take home with them.  Wrap them up in cellophane and tie a ribbon or brown string.  

More fun items to include in the favor bag/box are bubbles, playground stickers, and sports balls.




 

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