Category Archives: Summer Parties

5 Tips To Give A Birthday Experience Instead Of A Traditional Party

We’ve all seen it…the pile of gifts at a traditional children’s birthday party.  It is exciting at the time, but ask them in six months what they received and most won’t remember.  However, take them to that event they have always wanted to go to and they will surely remember it.  In a world where “stuff” seems to overwhelm our lives, consider giving the gift of an experience this year instead of a traditional party.  Make a memory with your child they won’t soon forget.

  1. Setting a budget…just like a birthday party, birthday experiences can be provided at any budgetary level.  Make sure you consider not only the cost of the tickets (for sporting events, concerts or theme parks for example), but also food and any other souvenirs you are willing to purchase.
  2. Choosing the experience…every child is different, professional sports events might top the list of some, while others may want to visit a theme park or new museum they haven’t been to yet.  Others may simply want an over-night stay at a hotel with a pool or to see the professional ballet or symphony.  A ride in a helicopter or a limousine might be what other kids have always wanted to do.  Decide whether you will offer choices to your child or select it for them.
  3. Inviting friends…depending on the experience and your budget, you may be able to invite a few friends to go with your child on their experience.  Having someone to share an experience with can not only increase enjoyment but also help create even more special memories for your child.
  4. Giving other gifts…just because you are giving an experience doesn’t mean a traditional gift is not possible.  Consider giving a gift that coordinates with the experience or maybe something to help time pass on the trip if there is a long car ride to the experience.  A new baseball glove if you are going to a baseball game, new tennis shoes if the event requires a lot of walking, maybe let them chose a souvenir from the gift shop or a camera to take pictures during the experience.
  5. Making it special…Birthdays are all about having a special day for your child.  Send invitations if inviting others for the experience.  Make a paper announcement or special certificate to detail the experience for your child.  Consider ordering a special dessert or maybe bringing a cake to the experience.  Give a t-shirt or hat as a party favor if it fits into your budget.

Memories last a lifetime.  Give your child an experience they won’t forget this year.

Back To School: Childrens Party Themes

The end of summer can be a conflicting time for some children. The light-hearted days of summer are coming to an end but it is also an exciting time for them that includes learning new things and meeting new friends. This is a good time to have a back to school childrens party celebration.


Send out invitations at least two weeks prior to the party. Invitations should contain the party location, the host, date of the party, start and end time of the party and RSVP deadline with phone number. If you would like parents to stay during the party state this on the invitation.


Decorations add some excitement to the party and it need not be expensive decorations. Decorate the party area with balloons and streamers in red, blue and white or use the child’s school colors. Have large paper cut outs in the shape of a school bus, apples, letters and numbers. Purchase party ware like napkins, plates, cups and tablecloth in a color or theme that suits the party. Decorate the dessert table with balloon bouquets using an uneven number of balloons and arrange them at different heights. If you use helium filled balloons tie a ribbon around each balloon and let them float from the ceiling.  Arrange streamers around the doorway and they also look nice hanging from a chandelier as this gives the party a celebratory feel. If having a centerpiece use something that relates to the theme of going back to school.


There are many games that children can play at this party such as 20 questions, bingo, back to school word search, Simon says, pin the tail on the donkey  or musical chairs.  Children also like arts and crafts so set up a craft table for painting, collage and clay sculpting. They might also like to decorate pencil boxes and book markers to show their artistry.


For this party serve peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, string cheese, baby carrots or celery, grapes or strawberries, pudding or applesauce cups, chocolate chips cookies and juice boxes. Pack the lunches in brown lunch bags and put the child’s name on a bag. You might also consider serving school bus cupcakes or some form of dessert that relates to school.

When the party has ended send each child home with a favor bag filled with pencils, crayons, note pads, stencils and erasers. This should be a fun filled party which ends the summer on a happy note.

Visit our website for more information about planning a theme party for your back to school child.

School Bus Folded Notecard


Childrens Party Ideas: Stepping Beyond the Typical Backyard Bash

A recent gathering in Raleigh, North Carolina saw children and adults literally taking off their shoes. Not only did they walk barefoot, but they spent the day without their shoes to call attention to the fact that over 400 million young people go without a necessity most of us take for granted — literally the shoes for their feet. It was all in good fun — and for a worthy cause. Those participants now know that their few hours of fun and discomfort have helped put shoes on other feet that desperately need them.

Just down the road, 13-year-old Grace was greeting friends arriving to celebrate her birthday, brightly wrapped gifts in hand. Nearby, the gift table was already overflowing with gifts. All were open and on display for all to see. Guests “oohed” and “aahed over bags of dog food, cans of cat food, and even a sack of horse feed.

An animal lover since birth, Grace had invited all her friends to celebrate her entry into her teen years. Fun-filled activities were definitely on the agenda. In lieu, however, of the usual assortment of teen gifts, Grace had requested that guests bring a food item to donate to the local animal shelter.

A growing trend in parties and gatherings is one of the best things about today’s social scene. The idea of giving back, of socialized donations, and helping deserving causes while having fun with friends and family has become infectious. More people are getting in on the act every day.

In today’s culture, families find themselves giving parties, attending parties and increasingly tiring of spending time at one cookie-cutter event after another. Many are also concerned that such an environment of abundance has placed too much emphasis upon the receiving rather than upon the giving. They love the idea of giving back and of calling attention to the needs of others in our sometimes too materialism-driven world.

While no one wants to give up birthday parties or celebrations in their lives, why not couple a few such events with a call for action for a favorite cause or charity? Shoes, pet food or any other worthy giving act of kindness can be just the icing on the cake.

AmyAdele Stationery, Invitations and Gifts prides itself on being a part of celebrations of all kinds. For childrens party ideas, invitations, thank-you notes, address labels or small gifts, check out our website and blog for inspiration.

Children’s Birthday Party Themes

Your child’s birthday is in a few months and you want to do something special. How about a themed birthday party? Talk to your child and see if he/she has any ideas—I’m sure they will! There are many ideas for children’s party themes and they can be designed to fit your child’s personality, number of guests, location and most of all…your budget.

Barnyard or Wild West PartyThis is a good party for your small animal lover. You can have it at a nearby park, your home, or on a farm. For invitations, design your own in barn shapes with little farm animals on them. For decorations, balloons in farm animal shapes or that have a cowboy hat or animal on them are cute; barn red streamers or confetti are always fun; why not a personalized banner? Have the children make their own party hats when they arrive. Pin the tail on the cow, relay races, “feed the animals” bean bag toss or balloon stomp are just a few of the games you can choose. Also, pony rides or a petting zoo would be fun activities. It’s always fun when you grab some red paint and some cardboard boxes and have the kids create their own red barn; or just simply paint a red barn on paper. Give the kids some modeling clay (for older kids) or soft colored play dough and let them make farm animals. Children love to pretend so give th em a pre-made mask (plain paper plate with elastic through each side) and let them pick an animal they’d like to be and then draw the animal’s face on the mask. For food, kids like Sloppy Joes, cheese cubes, beanie weanies, pretzels and apple slices. For dessert, either cupcakes or a cake with cowboys/cowgirls or small toy farm animals and make root beer floats. Send each child home with a barnyard or wild west favor box and include barn animal stickers, cowboy/cowgirl plastic or straw hats, stuffed or plastic barn animals, punching balloons or bandanas.

Brave Knight or Princess PartyYou can set this as in medieval times or according to the life of who your child’s favorite fairy-tale Knight or Princess is such as Sir Lancelot or Cinderella. Create invitations in the shape of a castle, unicorn or dragon and if they’re being delivered in person, then roll them up like a scroll and tie them with a fancy red or gold ribbon. Decorate with blue, gold and purple balloons and streamers; hang up drawings or pictures of dragons or unicorns. There are many games to be thought up, so use your imagination! Pin the tail on the dragon (or horn on the unicorn); show a movie such as “Sword and the Stone” or “Cinderella”; let them play dress-up by providing swords, shields, capes or fancy dresses, tiaras and dressy shoes; they can “slay” the dragon piñata or children would love a scavenger hunt. For the girls, they can use pipe cleaners to make and decorate tiaras or f or the boys, modeling clay to make dragons; put a personal coat of arms on a cardboard shield; make a fairy godmother wand; or decorate an already assembled castle made of cardboard boxes. For some fun foods, you could have chicken nuggets, fruit kabobs, baby carrots with dip or cheese and crackers is always a favorite. The cake can be a castle with colorful sugared stars and sparkling apple cider to drink. Some ideas for a favor bag would be spinning tops, magic stones or crystals, stickers, gold foil chocolate candy coins, hair accessories or blowing bubbles.

Circus PartyYou could go to a real circus….but wouldn’t it be more fun to create one in your own back yard? A big top invitation would be neat—guests can read it by opening the two flaps in front, just like a real circus tent! Decorate your yard (& house) with brightly colored balloons and clown faces, play fun music, a colorful personalized banner would work great too. You’ll stump the kids with the “guess how many jelly beans are in the jar” game, play ring toss, pin the trunk on the elephant, relay races, have face painting or teach juggling. If you have enough money, hire a clown. Buy some paint and let the children paint a circus mural or let them make their own clown face masks. Hot dogs, cotton candy floats containing sherbet and a lemon-lime soda, popcorn and peanuts are just a few food suggestions. Let the kids decorate cupcakes with colorful sprinkles and an animal cracker. Send kids home with colorful bag s filled with whistles, funny glasses, a yo-yo, blowing bubbles, paddle balls, or animal crackers.

Dinosaur PartyThis is a fun party for those who can’t get enough of dinosaurs. Set up the party at home or a natural history museum. Small children will love the Land Before Time dinosaurs while older children would like to learn about the lives of real dinosaurs. For invitation ideas, create a dinosaur footprint or dinosaur and, if hand-delivering, place it in a plastic egg with a tiny dinosaur. Decoration ideas could include plastic ferns, stuffed animal dinosaurs, rocks, dinosaur footprint cut-outs or photos of dinosaurs. Kids can do prehistoric drawings with chalk or make clay dinosaurs and would love making a volcano out of vinegar and baking soda! Put on winter jackets, hats and mittens and have an ice age race, do a dinosaur matching game putting picture to names or a prehistoric trivia game. Many dinosaurs were vegetarians so serving veggies and dip would be appropriate. Hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken fingers and fruit salad are some other ideas. For the birthday cake, decorate a cake with jelly bean dinosaur eggs, toy dinosaurs and cookie crumb rocks. A favor bag or box could contain dinosaur gliders, stickers, fruit leathers, toy dinosaurs and chalk.

Jungle Safari PartyPlan to have this party in a park, at home, or go to a zoo to see the real thing. You can either buy personalized jungle animal invitation cards or make your own with a favorite photo of a jungle animal. The décor could be stuffed jungle animals; green streamers; a personalized safari banner; green, orange and yellow balloons; vines, ivy and other greenery scattered around. Let the kids have fun by giving them modeling clay or pipe cleaners to make jungle animals. Make animal masks, paint a colorful jungle mural, play pin the tail on the zebra or barrel of monkeys. Using cords and wooden beads make tribal necklaces; have a jungle safari where the kids have to search for jungle animal photos; if you want to show a movie, “Tarzan” or Disney’s “Jungle Book” would be a hit. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are always a kid’s favorite! Fruit kabobs are fun or fruit salad; trail mix containing nuts, M&Ms, and raisins is good too or critter crunch. The cake could be a tiger or other jungle animal. Some goody bag ideas are finger puppets, stickers, disposable camera, small stuffed or plastic animals and toy binoculars.

Luau PartyYou can have a luau anywhere—local pool, beach, your backyard are just a few examples. If you’re creating your invitations a map of Hawaii, a surfer or volcano are some good ideas. Decorate your party location with palm fronds, coconuts and pineapples, surf boards (Styrofoam or real ones), a personalized luau banner and play some Hawaiian music. Children would like painting bright designs on t-shirts, learning to hula dance, painting a tropical island mural or build volcanos and set them off. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches, tropical smoothies and goldfish crackers make a delicious kid’s meal. There are lots of options for the cake: a surfer, volcano, hula dancer, beach scene or make a pineapple upside-down cake. Hawaiian leis, a jump rope, sunglasses, sand toys, blowing bubbles or a beach ball are a few suggestions for a goody bag.

Magic PartyA lot of children love magic and even want to do some tricks; if this is your child, this is the party for them! Invitations can be made into a white rabbit or top hat. Your décor could be silver or gold confetti, bright streamers and balloons and magic props such as deck of cards, hats, boxes or scarves. For games and activities some choices are: ring toss, house of cards contest where the highest wins, twister, face painting or hire a magician; glue stickers, ribbons and sparkles to wooden or plastic rods to make a magic wand. Snacks can be popcorn, cheese cubes, seedless grapes or animal crackers. Let the kids decorate cupcakes with sprinkles and have sherbet floats for drinks. To fill the favor bag you could choose: silly putty, magic tricks, rubber balls, a puzzle or deck of cards.

Pirate PartyJust about any child would like to be a pirate so create the invitations in the shape of a treasure chest or maybe design a map with X marking the spot of the location of the party. If hand-delivering invitations, roll them up and put each one in a bottle with some sand and shells. Red and black balloons and streamers could adorn your house along with a treasure chest, a treasure map and a pirate banner with your child’s name on it. Make pirate flags from fabric or paper, read a pirate story to the children which will set them up for a treasure hunt, play a revised game of coin toss by tossing gold coins into a treasure chest, make jewelry from cords and sparkling beads, play walk the plank or tug of war and have a pirate ship piñata are a few suggestions for fun activities. Pizza, fruit kabobs and goldfish crackers are always a good choice for food. Decorate cupcakes with “treasure” they can eat like jewel-colored cand y or chocolate gold coins. Send the kids home with a bag full of goodies like coins (chocolate, plastic or real), costume jewelry, tattoos or stickers.

Space PartyThis is a party for any age and can be anything you want it to be—science fiction or about science exploration and astronomy. If you’re creating your own invitations, you could do it in the shape of a rocket ship or have photos of astronauts on it or the solar system or alien drawings. Decoration possibilities are just about endless for this party; foam or paper planets and stars hung from your ceiling, space toys or star charts are some good ideas. Kids would love to design and decorate space ships from cardboard boxes; make aliens out of pipe cleaners, pompoms or modeling clay; play the “How much would you weigh on other planets?” game; complete a spacewalk treasure hunt or obstacle course; create alien masks; space trivia or pin the eye on the alien sound like fun too. Sandwiches or pizza, pop rocks candy, and space ice cream are some ideal food choices. Make a rocket cake and use the lit candles as the rocket flames. You could fill those goody bags with modeling clay, stickers, toy aliens, glow in the dark stars and toy astronauts or space ships.

Tea PartyThis is a fun “grown up” party for the younger girls to have. Those invitations could be made using a real tea bag with a large connected tea bag label invitation; or in the shape of a tea cup with a paper doily. Pink and white streamers, paper doilies, fresh flowers, silver foil balloons and dolls and stuffed animals are good decorations. Let the girls help make sugar cookies for their party; making jewelry with cord and some beads or decorating paper hats is always fun; play musical chairs, coin toss into tea cups, or dress-up; let them have free time to play with stuffed animals and dolls. The menu could include: finger sandwiches, fruit flavored decaffeinated tea, cookies, cheese cubes, nuts and let them decorate cupcakes with little paper umbrellas. Buy pink little bags for their goodies that could include: lip balm, stickers, blowing bubbles, hair accessories and sidewalk chalk.

Under the Sea PartyThis is another party that’s good for any age and can be held at home, an aquarium, or beach. Making invitations could be fun since you could use drawings or photos of fish, whales, octopus or undersea scenery. Decorate with paper fish or other sea creatures, sea shells, silver or blue balloons and streamers and a personalized sea banner. Create sea animals using modeling clay, play beach ball or water balloon toss, make undersea murals or shell collages, designate an area for giant bubble blowing and sand play or have a treasure hunt are just some fun activities for the kids to do. Food ideas can be: seedless grapes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, 7-up floats and goldfish crackers. Create and decorate a mermaid or under the sea cake for the birthday girl or boy. Fill their goody bags with a toy boat, small water gun, beach ball, toy sea animals, sand toys and sunglasses.

There are many, many more themed party ideas for children’s birthday parties, these just happen to be the popular ones.  So pick a theme, use your imagination and, most of all, have fun with it. At Amy Adele LLC, we have lots to choose from for invitations and birthday party banners, so be sure to check out our website!

Outdoor Fun: Keep Your Family Happy and Healthy This Summer

Children ages 8 to 18 spend on average 7.5 hours a day engaged in entertainment media, watching TV and playing video games, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Stop the unhealthy madness! Summer is the perfect time to help kids learn healthy habits and embrace an active lifestyle with these fun ideas:

#1: Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt

Who can forget how much fun playing capture the flag was as a child? A neighborhood scavenger hunt is just as thrilling— especially if you let your kids stay up past their bedtime! Partner with your neighbors to create a fun scavenger hunt that takes your kids on a whirlwind adventure around the neighborhood. Create a treasure map and write clues on the reverse side of the map. As children discover new clues, they’ll slowly piece together the map that leads them to their treasure.

Photo by Ryan Ruppe via Flickr

#2: Make your own natural summer refreshments

Sugar-filled juices and sodas are a major trigger for childhood obesity and cavities. This summer, treat your kids to the deliciousness of freshly squeezed juice. Squeeze your own watermelon, lemonade or orange juice for a refreshing summer drink free from artificial sugars and additives. Sip on these natural beverages through mason jars with your kids while playing Kool Smiles dental bingo or doing a wordfind on the backyard patio. 

Photo by Flickr user twodolla

#3: Camp out in the backyard

Not up for a full-blown camping excursion? No problem. Stage your own mini camping trip in the backyard. Pitch a tent, roll out the sleeping bags, barbeque with the family, stay up late playing card games, and tell ghost stories with a flashlight. Backyard camping is just as fun as a real camping trip— and everyone will appreciate the easy access to hot showers and running water.

Photo by Flickr user ex-magician

#4: Watch the sunrise

Wake the kids early for a pre-dawn hike to an elevated spot in your neighborhood or local park. Watch the sunrise and salute the day with a yoga pose. Basic yoga postures, including the sun salutation, are easy for kids to learn and practice. Bring along healthy snacks like fresh fruit, granola and Greek yogurt for a post-yoga picnic breakfast.

Photo by Flickr user Crystl

#5: Host an inaugural family Olympics

The next summer Olympics may be three years away, but that’s no reason for not hosting your own family Olympic games. To beat the summer heat, plan fun and silly aquatic activities, such as garden hose limbo or a water balloon fight. Give out medals for “lowest limbo” or “last water balloon standing.”

Photo by Vincent Angler via Flickr

#6: Plant a family garden

You don’t need a huge backyard to grow a garden. Even a small space on a fire escape or apartment balcony can be transformed into a mini-vegetable garden. Plant summer squash, eggplants and peppers for delicious vegetable dishes all summer-long. If you want to plant tomatoes, be sure to choose a location that will receive at least six to eight hours of full sunlight. Use stakes or trellises to support the tomato vines.

Photo by The Greenery Nursery via Flickr

#7: Explore your neighborhood on two wheels

Leave the car at home for a day and bike to local shops, parks and playgrounds. If it’s too far to bike to the park or store, take the kids for a bike tour of your neighborhood. Remember, both children and adults should always wear a helmet.

Photo by Jamie Beverly via Flickr

Fun Summer Party Ideas for Kids

Does your child have a birthday in the summer time? There are plenty of fun and innovated summer party ideas for kids that give them memories to last a lifetime. Being outdoors in the summer sunshine is the best way to celebrate a children’s party, so here are a few ideas you could try out that are enjoyable and memorable.

Pool Party

Having a pool party is the perfect way to beat that summer heat. You can have the party at a local public pool or if you want it to be extra special, find a private pool. Cater this event yourself by bringing typical kid friendly summer foods such as hotdogs, corndogs, cheeseburgers, and ice cream desserts.

Artistic Party

This is a simplistic party that allows children to show off their creative side. Purchase all types of crafts including paper plates, construction paper, beads, but tons, glue, glitter, crayons, markers, etc. You can either designate a theme of what crafts they should make or let them make whatever they wish. Bake your own finger foods or use a catering service to provide healthy snacks like different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Since this party is art inspired, let each party goer design their own cookie or cupcake’s topping.

Tea Party

A Victorian style tea party is quite an interesting and charming way to celebrate a child’s birthday. Create old fashioned invites and let parents know that their child must dress in pretty ruffled dress or a tailored suit. Decorate your backyard with ribbons, white arches, and old wood tables and chairs. The type of games kids can play are ring around the rosy, musical chairs, and London bridge. As for the food bring out vanilla cookies, tea cakes, and small sandwiches.

A child’s summer party should have plenty of invigorating gam es and other things to do in a safe and relaxing environment. These ideas are simple, affordable, and keep children occupied for the day.

10 DIY Swimming Pool Games You Can Make with your Kids

The temperature is quickly rising outdoors which means it will soon be time for some fun in the sun and cooling in the pool. But when mere splashing and swimming has lost its sparkle, introduce some of these games specifically designed with a swimming pool in mind. Minimal pool accessories required.

Underwater Telephone: This game is similar to the classic game of Telephone except that the secret sentence must be delivered under water and only the final response is to be announced out loud to the players.

Stuck in the Mud: This game involves a single person being elected as “it” whose job is to tag as many people as possible. Those who have been tagged are required to stand in the “mud” at the shallow end of the pool and wait until another player releases them by swimming under their legs.

Whirlpool: Participants can create a whirlpool by moving in a circle and gradually picking up the pace. After a few minutes, just stop moving and allow the force or the whirlpool to “carry” everyone in a circle around the pool.

Follow the Leader: Everyone takes turns being the leader by taking the other followers on a journey around the pool. Anyone who does not do exactly what the leader does is “out”.

The Invisible Bottle: Just remove the label from an old plastic bottle then fill it with pool water. Have the players turn around before tossing the bottle in the pool then have them race to find it first.

Dolphin Race: Players must race from one side of the pool to the other by pushing a beach ball with their noses only. Anyone caught using anything else is disqualified.

Secret Agent: Toss ping pong balls into the pool then have players race across the pool avoiding the “land mines”. The first to safely reach the finish line is the winner.

Number Crunch: Write numbers on ping pong balls with a permanent marker, toss them into the pool, and have players collect them and find the sum of the numbers. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Scavenger Hunt: Find sinkable but waterproof items from the house and toss them into the pool. Then have players dive to find specific items.

Ice-It: Add food coloring to ice cubes and toss them in the pool. The player who is able to collect the most cubes is the winner. This works well in kids’ pools, too.

Have a great time in your swimming pool and be sure to use these simple DIY pool games to bring the pool party back to your back yard!

Outdoor Party Themes for Children

You’ve got another birthday around the corner, or maybe your little one just wants to play hostess.  Either way, it seems like every year the stakes are raised on childrens party themes.  Bigger crowds, larger venues, bounce houses rented and caterers hired.  But in the beautiful sun of spring, it’s hard not to want to simplify and take advantage of the season and its offerings.  Here are some ideas for simpler, but no less exciting, kids parties this spring.

The Treasure Hunt

This one’s a classic, and flexible in terms of setting.  Choose a large park with lots of grass, trees and play-structures; the beach, if you’re near the coast; or just spread the hunt across your own neighborhood.  Wherever you place it, a treasure hunt will get the kids outside, exercising and charged to use their critical thinking skills.

First things first, sit down and figure out your route.  How many clues do you want to place?  Remember that you will have to write some sort of riddle for each location, so don’t overextend yourself.  On the other hand, if you’re feeling particularly creative, go crazy!

After you’ve determined how many clues you want to place, write your starting clue.  Your starting clue should lead the kids to their next clue (you’ll then write a clue for each location).

Perhaps you want the kids to go, first, to the jungle gym.  For younger children, the clue can take the form of an image – maybe monkeys playing around (“how do monkeys play?” “they climb and swing in trees!” “what if there aren’t trees?” “the monkey bars!”).  For children who are just learning to read, a simple “Go where monkeys play,” might do, but to really challenge yourself (and the kids) trying writing the clue in a rhyme or in the form of a riddle.

Finally, choose a treasure.  Especially if the hunt gets difficult for the kids, they’ll need a reason to keep playing (and thinking!).  The treasure can be home baked cookies, your party bags, even the birthday cake and pile of presents.  Anything that’s exciting enough to keep them interested (and sometimes surprises are the most exciting of all).

Party Olympics

We all know kids have a lot of energy.  Now multiply that by all the kids in your child’s class.  So, at party time we have to ask, how do we harness that energy?  The Party Olympics theme is great because you can plan a list of activities and engage in as many, or few, as you have time for.  It also gets the kids moving and engaged in friendly competition.

Game ideas for party olympics include sack races, three legged races, hula hoop competitions, jump rope competitions, ring toss, spitting fruit loops into a bowl (good for less athletic kids), or even quick skit competitions for the more creative.  The list of possibilities is as endless as your imagination – and research ability, the internet is full of these.

Try to have small prizes (printed awards work great) for each event, and make sure every child gets a prize.  Expanding outside of the standard 1st, 2nd, 3rd places into “Silliest Faces,” “Loudest Laugh,” and “Best Team Player” really helps make all the kids feel special and successful.

Garden Tea Party

Okay, this one might be a little more specific, but whether because of Alice in Wonderland or those wonderful costume dramas, most little girls (and some boys) dream of hosting a real tea party.  This is a little more low key, though it still takes advantage of the sun.  Borrow some card tables and set them up in the back yard with tablecloths (or white, floral sheets if you haven’t got enough real cloths).  If you haven’t got lace, or you don’t want it ruined, buy a few packs of doilies at the dollar store.  Most children will love these just the same.

A pot of tea for each table is essential, and well decorated (if sturdy) tea cups for each child.  The secret to tea treats is, make them small. Sandwiches – peanut butter and jelly will do fine – with the crusts cut off and divided into four triangles, scones, mini cupcakes, tiny tarts, Madelines half dipped in chocolate.  Again, the list can be as long or short as you like and as adventurous as you feel ready for.  The internet is full of tea recipes, so explore!

Finally, and most importantly, make sure you give the children an opportunity to don the right attire.  At its heart, a tea party is a dress up party.  Include “appropriate dress” on the invitation, but then make hats, gloves, shawls, anything you can get your hands on, really, available at the door.  If there are a couple boys, make sure you have ties ready.  After the eating is over, the kids will have fun swapping outfits and continuing with the make-believe.

Whatever the theme you choose, represent it on your invitation.  A good graphic only enhances your young guests’ anticipation.

Pool Party Plans: 5 Tips for a Safe, Fun Time

It’s hot outside, it’s the weekend and your kids’ friends are calling. If you have access to a pool, it’s time to throw a pool party. Here are five tips to help you organize a fun, safe get together for parents and kids alike.

Think Theme

In many ways, a pool party is already a theme itself, but you can get even more creative to make your bash especially unique. Throw a Jamaican-themed party with steel drum marimba music and lots of Bob Marley; or a Brazilian bash Rio de Janeiro style, complete with cultural food, music and décor. If you are hosting mainly kids, make a splash with a Hawaiian luau theme using beach balls and bright colors.

Your party doesn’t have to be expensive or exploding with decorations, but a good theme will give you a starting place for invitation design and food selection.

Hire a Lifeguard

Before your guests arrive, consider what safety measures you are going to take to prevent injuries. A fence, alarm system or pool cover at In The Swim can help keep guests safe before and after the party, but what about during? Decide on a pool supervisor schedule. Ask adult guests attending the party if they are willing to act as life guard sometime throughout the night. Have an assigned adult watching the pool at all times. Consider using a water watcher tag so they’ll remember they are the one with the assigned pool-watching responsibility at the time. If they need to run to the bathroom or grab a drink, they can hand the responsibility to someone else.

If you are hosting a large party and don’t want to worry about assigning guests to water-watching duty, hire a couple of lifeguards by contacting your local lifeguard association or YMCA. Or you could pay two or three responsible teenagers in your neighborhood to come over and lifeguard for the night. Make sure they know CPR and have the right certification before offering them the job.

Food and Drink Frenzy

Your food selection may depend on your theme, or you might just want to have an assortment of easy, tasty, fuss-free items. Whatever the night’s menu is, you don’t want to be tied up tending to the food all night. Before hand, set up a beverage station with lemonade, water and soft drinks for your guests to choose from. Have a table with previously prepared mini salads, fruit cups, finger sandwiches and maybe even a snow cone machine for guests to snack on at their leisure.

Sometime toward the end of the party, guests are going to get really hungry. If you are planning on the typical pool side barbecue, consider your non-meat eating guests and have more options than just hamburgers and hot dogs. Or order pizza and have it set to arrive an hour or two after the party begins.

Discuss Safety

Most of the time, guests won’t arrive at the same time. In order to establish safety rules that everyone is aware of, include them on the back of your invitation. To help monitor the children in the pool area, limit everyone to a single point of entry. Make sure your guests with children know what flotation devices you have available and what they are expected to bring.

Keep rescue equipment and a phone nearby, and have a plan of action in case an accident does occur. Who will make the emergency call, drive to the hospital or lock up the pool area in the event something happens? Make the decisions and share them with your adult guests.

Play Games

A pool party doesn’t necessarily need planned games, but having a few up your sleeve may prove useful if kids get restless or the party hits a plateau. Most pool games can be adapted to whatever age group you are catering too, meaning they can be equally fun for kids and adults.

There’s nothing like a good belly flop contest to bring everyone together. Line up your contestants, find a prize for the winner and have the audience judge by applause. Other game options include playing F-I-S-H, the pool equivalent to basketball’s H-O-R-S-E, except players do pool stunts (like flips and swan dives) and try to copy each other. This can be potentially dangerous, so make sure to establish rules before playing. Also, diving for glow sticks or toothpicks can be fun to do and hilarious to watch.

With these tips and your creative style, you can easily host a fun, safe pool party for children and their parents.

Don't Have a Pool? Throw a Pool Party Anyway!

It’s swimming pool season, and you can still have a great pool party even if you don’t have a pool. Here are our two favorite pool party ideas:

1. For smaller kids, you don’t need a large pool anyway. Our own Amy Adele production manager, Whitney, just threw a pool party for daughter Clara who turned 4. Whitney bought a couple of small wading pools for $8 each. The guests could jump from pool to pool and still make quite a big splash. An hour before the party, Dad David and Grandpa Tom assembled an easy, run-thru sprinkler out of PVC pipe. Whitney added a slip-n-slide, another sprinkler, some $1 water shooters, a slide, a bubble machine, some tunes and the garden hose. She even used an idea from our blog post last summer for the cake. It was an inexpensive party, and everyone had tons of fun.


2. For bigger kids, host a slumber party at a local hotel with a pool. This is a great option for any time of year — just choose a hotel with an indoor pool during the cold months. Limited sleeping quarters is a great excuse to trim the guest list down to just the closest friends, or get adjoining rooms or a suite for a bigger party.

Arrive at the hotel early on the day of the party and decorate the room(s) just as you would for any birthday party — balloons, streamers, the whole works. Put goody bags on the beds and stock the room with lots of snacks. Bring along some board games for after the pool closes and you find yourself with a roomful of excited kids.

Here are some of Amy’s Pool Party designs. Have a great summer everyone!

Swimming Pool Party Banner
Swimming Girl Invitation
Swimming Pool For Boys Photo Invitations
Pool Party Invitations