This summer many of us find ourselves hosting family, neighbors, and friends for gatherings and often theses friends come with kids. Whether these summer get-togethers are meticulously planned or on a whim, there are a few tips to entertain the kiddos and keep the adults relaxed and happy.
Keep Kids Busy
For impromptu visits create a quick scavenger hunt around your house and yard. For example, “Find five blue flowers, basil leaves, and three pieces of chalk.” Quickly incorporate these items into your soiree, place the flowers in a vase, use the basil to garnish a salad, and ask the kids to draw a welcome sign on your sidewalk. For parties that allow you more time to plan, designate a kid’s area with summer crafts, or kiddie pool fun water accessories, like squirt guns and water balloons. To keep the kids and adults engaged, design easy yard games with adults verses kids, games like bocce, ring toss, or a potato sack race are all summer games to keep your party lively for all ages. Try making your backyard a bowling alley! Add food coloring and water to clear plastic two-liter bottles, use streamers as lane margins, and a soccer ball to knock down the pins.
Kid-Friendly Food & Drinks
We all know how picky some kids can be when comes to food. If your budget allows, keep the up-scale menu items for the adults and have a simple, yet playful menu for the little ones. Kids summer favorites like hot dogs and cheeseburgers. Allow the kids to feel grown-up by setting up a make-your-own food station with condiments, and kid-friendly sides, like fruit skewers, mac and cheese, baked beans, or corn on the cob. After dinner is served use this same station for a cupcake bar or sundae bar! If a dessert bar seems too messy, simply set out a cooler with Popsicles and ice cream bars.
Aside from lemonade and sodas, consider making a special “mocktail” for the children. This will make them feel just as cool as the adults and as a plus, a homemade drink recipe is a healthy alternative to any canned soft drink. Watermelon lemonade, summer fruit punch, or this tropical non-alcoholic twist on the piña colada are great beverages for summer heat and youngsters. Use small cookie cutters to cut fun shapes out of fruits like melons and pineapple for garnish.