Parties and Entertaining
It’s summer, and that means it’s time for some fun in the sun. Summer is such an easy season for a kid’s party for several reasons: good weather means you can take the fun outdoors, and summer vacations and school breaks mean there’s less pressure to invite absolutely everyone.
Keep the following important tips in mind when planning your summer parties:
Feel free to limit your guest list.
It’s a great season to not invite everyone because everyone won’t be around. Invite the number of guests that works best for your time and budget, and then send the invitations to those who are in town.
Expect an extra guest or two.
As people may be returning from vacation and receiving your invitation late (even after the RSVP date), expect that some guests you haven’t heard from may just show up.
Parties may fall on weekdays during this time of year.
Because of more flexible summer schedules, you may find that parties fall on weekdays or even weeknights. If your child and your schedule can accommodate this, that’s great, but don’t feel pressured if you can’t.
Make a Plan B in case of rain.
If you are throwing your party outdoors, make an alternative plan in case of rain. Make sure that at least some of the activities you have planned can be done indoors, or you have alternate activities planned.
For an outdoor venue, prepare the food beforehand.
The easiest way to serve lunch or snacks at an outdoor venue is to have the food pre-packaged and prepared for easy hand-out during the party. Whether you serve it in lunch boxes, shoe boxes, or beach pails, writing each child’s name on the container will make for easy distribution as well.
Coolers keep hot food warm.
If you are serving hot food, wrap it in foil and place it in a cooler. Heat up microwave warmer pads and place them between and on top of the food in the cooler. Now you have your own portable oven to keep things warm when you serve them at your summer party.
At a pool party, designate someone to watch swimmers for the entire time.
Children and water always create a potential for danger. When lining up your party help, make sure to designate someone to watch the kids in and around the pool area the entire time. A neighborhood lifeguard would be ideal for this.
Plan time for free play.
Don’t fill the entire party with activities. Make some time for unstructured free play in the yard or park. The kids will want to play together, and scheduling free play into the party is a perfect way to handle this.
Limit time in extreme heat.
If your party is mainly outdoors, be mindful of the temperature. Children running around for extended periods of time in the heat can become exhausted, so limit outdoor activity if temperatures are extreme. Also, make sure you have plenty of beverages on hand. Cold water with crazy straws and fun ice cubes is a great treat.
On sunny days, make sure the kids are wearing sunscreen.
When the guests arrive at your party, have a bottle of sunscreen available for them to slather on before they head out into the sun. It’s an important precaution to take if the kids will be outside for the entire party.
Happy summer party season! Enjoy.
--Lisa Kothari, Peppers and Pollywogs
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