As summer fast approaches, I am gearing-up for a whole host of sleepovers, birthdays and holidays (Memorial Day, Father’s Day, July 4th, shall I go on?). Every single party ends-up being a backyard party with a screaming, running mess of tweens dashing through the yard at top speed. That’s why I made this super-secret, easy-peasy formula for How to Throw the Perfect Backyard Party for Tweens.
5 Basic Steps for the Perfect Backyard Party for Tweens:
- Pick a theme, any theme! There are so many ideas out there, from Dr. Who Parties to My Little Pony Parties and even more, but this can be super-simple if you’re running last minute. I personally like to have a theme so I don’t just randomly buy stuff that doesn’t really go together (or end-up with an accidental red-and-green Christmas-looking theme by accident). So, I pick an idea and run with it, even if it’s not elaborate.
- Easy food = Happy Chef. I’m not going crazy with burgers, chicken, steaks and hot dogs all in one party anymore. That’s just too much and leaves someone standing over the grill all afternoon (and I will not volunteer again). At my house, we’re pairing-down to one main dish and one side if I’m cooking. Nobody minds a simple meal. Or we’ll be ordering-out from the local BBQ joint. Saves me time and makes me a happy chef.
- Have a Main Event. Every party needs a “main party attraction,” kind of like the giant roller coaster that everyone rides when they go to a theme park. Mine this year? The H2OGO! Slide. With the H2OGO! Slide, the whole neighborhood can pull races on the 3-lane version, do splash-and-dash tag on the single-lane Slide, or do a judged contest of slide-antics. Kids can come-up with hours of fun on this thing with it’s “ouch” reducing technology. Even if you’re party is going to happen after dark, don’t sweat it! The kids’ll love playing in the H2OGO! Slide while the fireworks light-up the sky. Just throw those kids some glow-sticks, scatter some on the ground along the outside edges of the Slide and WHAM! Suddenly, you have the coolest outdoor waterpark–that glows in the dark. Awesome. And super simple.
- Face painting contest, sparklers, s’mores, or other awesome, easy activity alternative. It takes less than 10 minutes to run into the local party store and buy a cheap pinata or face paints in every color of the rainbow. Less than that to pick-up sparklers at the fireworks stand and even less to add chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows to my shopping list. The key here is to give the kids something fun to do that’ll keep them playing for longer than 5 minutes. Now, they’ll be running around the H2OGO! Slide for like an hour, but they need some other little activity, too. So, set-up a yard-bowling set or horseshoes and send them that way when they’re too tired to splash in the Slide.
- Don’t forget the adults. There’s a reason we all gather in the backyard and let the kids run around. We enjoy being together. That means thinking about the adults almost (almost) as much as the kiddos. There’s no reason to not start-up a game of dominoes or a mix-ology station for fancy margaritas. I’m giving the adults an activity beyond just watching junior run across the lawn splashing around.
A Giveaway to Start Your Perfect Backyard Party for Tweens:
And because we want your backyard party to be the best in the neighborhood, we’re hosting a giveaway to give you a chance to win an H2OGO! Slide! But, even if you don’t win, you can totally get your own H2OGO! Water Slide at Toys R’Us, Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com to knock your party out of the park. Enter below to win!