POPSUGAR Celebrity

Party Time! Martha Stewart Editors Share Outdoor Party Ideas For Summer

Jun 8 2011 - 5:36am

Move the party outdoors this Summer! Space constraints are always an issue when planning a party for tots, but when the temperatures warm up, it's the perfect opportunity to make use of the great outdoors. The June issue of Martha Stewart Living is packed with warm weather recipe and party ideas, and Marcie McGoldrick, MSL editorial director of holiday and crafts, was eager to show us how to transform them for the kiddie set.

Since summer is the perfect time for gathering outdoors – we thought it would be fitting to include a family reunion story in our June issue. A "Grand Old Time" has a lot of great ideas for kids and parents alike. These ideas are not specific to a family reunion and would be great for any outdoor kids party you may be throwing.

For some light and easy Summer dishes inspired by the June issue, visit Busy Cooks at About.com [1] and visit Examiner.com [2] for some fun, adult-friendly Summer cocktails!

Photos by Francesco Lagnese. Copyright © 2011, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Originally published in the June 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Classic Kids Games

Classic games like a three-legged race, water balloon, and paper airplane toss [3] can be grouped together and turned into an Olympic competition [4] complete with medals or achievement certificates [5]. You could make your own or download our clip art version [6] of t-shirts that can be made based on any theme that you choose. A number can be added to the backs to make it feel more like a sporting event.

Afternoon Scavenger Hunt

Turn our grandparents walk into a scavenger hunt. Little toys, snacks [7], and favors can be hidden along a path to be hunted for. Inexpensive tote bags are a great way for kids to collect the items that they gather on the hunt. Consider embellishing them with a party motif or have the kids personalize them with some basic craft supplies.

Alfresco Party

Celebrate a birthday with an alfresco party that’s fun for the adults and kids alike. Setting a table for many outside is much easier than trying to get everyone in the dining room, so try decorating the table with fun and colorful handmade votives [8] and make an easy, beautiful centerpiece with what you have growing outside: flowers and herbs in simple glass jars will make a beautiful display. Place butcher or craft paper as a cloth [9] and place crayons in different spots along the table to make it fun for the little ones as well.

Pick a theme, like a carnival party [10] or a Mexican fiesta [11] and have fun with the invitations, decorations, and menu for the evening.

Bedtime Story Party

For an evening birthday party: lay some blankets on the lawn, have some dessert, and celebrate with an outdoor "story-hour" that the kids are sure to love (perhaps a favorite of the birthday boy or girl's choosing). Ice cream is always a crowd-pleasing favorite in the Summer, so consider root beer floats or ice cream sundaes [12].

For older kids, set up a few activities like card games and board games [13], and for the young ones, try setting up a simple craft station and make easy and creative party favors [14] for everyone to take home.

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