Remember that “Keep It Simple Stupid” phrase from a decade or so ago? It wouldn’t hurt to dust that one off again next time you’re dreaming up an end of summer party for the kids. And why not, if it helps avoid a bounce houses that could get airborne on a windy day, or the expense and hazards of a three-story high inflatable water slide in your backyard!
Here’s a starter list for some highly entertaining, low cost, safe and hassle-free party activities. Feature any of these in your next birthday party invitations, or just as an excuse to gather a few kids for an afternoon!
Low-cost, High-fun Activities Worthy of Birthday Party Invitations
- Nature Scavenger Hunt
Kids love gathering the simplest of items. Sticks and stones become more interesting when points are attached! (Finding a blue jay feather is definitely worth 25 points!)
- Obstacle Course
Use what you have. Swimming pool noodles and hula hoops are handy, as is your swing set and sandbox. Dress in camo, Sarge, and get out the stopwatch!
- Dress-up Relay Race
Your own old clothes are perfect if you don’t have the requisite “dress up” box. Put those old bridesmaid dresses or shoulder-padded suits to some use after all!
- Treasure Hunt
Bury a shoebox of candy and plot out the course as a map on a brown paper bag. Promptly wrinkle, fray the edges, and roll up the map pirate style.
- Water Balloon Toss
No explanation needed, right?
- Yard Game Olympics
Set up the old time favorites like badminton, croquet, horse shoes, boccie ball, or create your own modified yard bowling lane.
It’s up to you how elaborate to go, or whether to combine more than one of these activities. All of these suggestions are low to no cost, but do require a decent amount of supervision and intervention to keep things moving. Offer dollar-store prizes and set up an ice cream sundae bar to notch up the fun.
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