Back-to-school parties are a great way for kids to get to know other students outside of school and for you to get to know other parents. Aside from everyone making new friends, they are also a fun way to mark the transition between the end of summer and the start of the school year and are just a good excuse to throw a theme party.
Since COVID continues to spread at a steady pace around here, it is still a good idea to do social gatherings outdoors. So, let’s go over a few tips and ideas to make sure your backyard back-to-school party is a hit.
Let’s start with decorations. You can check out Ben Franklin or Ojai Creates for themed party supplies, order them online from a small business on Etsy, or hit up Party City or one of the dollar stores in Ventura to find inexpensive plates, cups, napkins, and centerpieces. Alternatively, you can use school supplies to create your own decorations, such as making crayon bouquets or filling mason jars with colored pencils or erasers.
Consider using mini chalkboards as place cards and swapping out tablecloths for butcher paper. Choosing butcher paper to cover tables and scattering around some crayons or markers makes cleanup easy while offering a quiet activity for kids who might need a break from the excitement.
Other activities you might consider include craft projects like decorating water bottles or bookmarks, hosting a school supply swap, renting a photo booth with school-themed props, or organizing simple games with school supplies as prizes.
Every party needs party favors, and this is an easy way to make sure kids that don’t win prizes won’t go home empty handed. The perfect party favors for a back-to-school party are inexpensive, age-appropriate school supplies. Kids can always use more notebook paper, pens, pencils, markers, crayons, or other items that are on their classroom’s supply list. You might also consider water bottles, stickers, or small mason jars filled with school supplies and candy.
You might want to put together some fun party favors for the parents too, such as a home spa gift basket to help them include a little self-care in the busy days to come.
Simple is usually better when it comes to food for an outdoor party for kids. Order pizzas, grill hotdogs and burgers, or set out finger foods they can grab between activities. For something a bit more fun, consider a DIY ice cream sundae bar with lots of options for toppings, cookies for them to decorate before devouring, or having an ice cream truck on site offering sweet treats.
If you opted for mini chalkboards to use as place cards, you might also want to use them to label dishes and list ingredients to help out folks with dietary restrictions.
It is never too early for kids to begin learning about giving back to the community, so one more thing to consider for your party is including a note in the invitation inviting your guests to bring school supplies or books to donate to organizations that assist students in need.
AimeeJo Davis-Varela is a freelance writer specializing in real estate, sustainable home improvement, eco-friendly landscaping, green living and travel writing. She is also the owner of Mind Your Manors, which provides second home management services.
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