Summer is winding down, and kids who aren’t already back in school will be over the next few weeks. Whether your children love school or are already dreading the alarm clock on the first day, throwing them a party for one last get-together with friends is a great way to send the summer out with a bang, and will be loved no matter your child’s age.
Have a Backyard Barbecue
What better way to say goodbye to the summer months than with a traditional barbecue? Set up by renting a few folding tables and chairs — or asking friends or family to donate theirs for the day — hanging some balloons and streamers, and breaking out the grill. Grill traditional foods like burgers, hot dogs, and chicken breasts, and serve them up with pasta salad, corn on the cob, fresh fruit, and anything else you love to have at your barbecues. Complete the event with traditional backyard games like croquet, horseshoes, and water balloon fights.
Have a Pool Party
If you don’t have a pool of your own, most local swimming pools allow you to rent the facility for parties on specific nights of the week. Most of the time will be spent in the pool, so save money on decorations by keeping it to a few simple balloons and streamers. Set up a concession stand that serves hot dogs, ice cream, and other foods you’d normally find at your local pool’s concession area. Older children can usually supervise themselves, but if small ones are attending, be sure there are enough adults to watch the pool and swim with them.
Invite Everyone to a Sleepover
There is nothing quite as fun as staying up all night to watch movies, gossip, and eat junk food with your friends, and your son or daughter is likely to love a slumber party before the school year begins. Serve popcorn, candy, and other movie theater concessions for a night of school-related movies such as High School Musical, Harry Potter, and other family-friendly favorites. Don’t forget to buy a simple breakfast such as cereal or scrambled eggs for the next morning.
Have a Tea Party or Dinner Party
Do your children like to get a little fancy? If you have elementary-aged kids, invite their friends over for a fancy tea party. Ask everyone to dress up in their best party attire and serve tiny sandwiches and desserts with kid-friendly—meaning caffeine-free—flavored teas. Bingo, Memory, or other quieter tabletop games are a great way to have a bit of fun after lunch.
If your children are older, a tea party may seem too childish, but a dinner party could be the perfect compromise. Again, everyone can dress up in their fanciest attire, but you can serve more grown-up foods and provide sparkling cider or juice as a drink. Music, conversation, and maybe even a bit of dancing can end the evening.
Have a Backpack Packing Party
This type of party is a great way to get small children excited for school, especially if they are starting kindergarten and feeling a little scared. Have your guests’ parents bring their new school supplies and backpacks with them. Together, everyone can pack their bags and get ready for the first day of school. Let the kids ask questions, talk to them about what they’re excited about, and play fun school-themed games to help ease the transition. You could even purchase Styrofoam trays and serve a school lunch of a pizza slice, fruit, veggie, and carton of milk.
Healthy Treat Options
Of course, even during party time, you want your children and the children in your care to be healthy and happy, and part of that is ensuring they are eating nutritious, delicious foods. Unfortunately, most condiments and desserts aren’t very healthy, but luckily, a company called hamptoncreek is trying to combat that. Their condiments and cookie doughs are organic, gluten-free, and dairy-free, making them a safe option for kids with allergies as well as a healthy choice for any child. Don’t let the word “healthy” scare you, though. The products are just as delicious as any you’d find on a regular store shelf.
The new school year is always a time of transition, whether it is to earlier bedtimes, after-school homework, or a new daycare. Regardless of how many years your child has been in school, the transition can be difficult. By providing them one final summer party, you can help keep a smile on his or her face during the walk into school on the first day.