Home Party Ideas

Updated on August 26, 2009
S.W. asks from Villa Ridge, MO
30 answers

Hello Mamas - My baby girl is turning 6 in July and has asked to have her party at home. Which is fine, except that I don't know what to do with a group of 10 6 year olds for 2 hours. My princess wants to set up our slip and slide (which isn't really a slip and slide it's a tarp that their daddy truned into one) and just play in the yard. But I'm scared that won't keep them happy enough. We have a kids sprinkler that I could also turn on. But would it be OK to just have these kids come over to play in our couple of water toys, eat cake and ice cream and then send them home? I just feel like we should do something, like a game. But I'm not sure what. Any ideas?

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for all the advise. We are going to use a few of the ideas, but I'm going to stick with just letting the kids play on the slip and slide and sprinkler. We ususally have our parties at a skating rink or something and was just worried that they wouldn't have as much fun just playing at our house. I'm also going to get a couple of crafts to do as a back up plan in case we have rainy weather. I figure that if we don't do the craft then I can send them home in the goodie bags. Thanks again!!

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C.W.

answers from St. Louis on

We went to a 5 year olds "water party" a week ago. My kids LOVED it. They had a slip n slid, kiddie pool, and fun sprinklers. The kids just moved from one thing to the next. They also bought these water shooter sticks that suck up water and then shoot it out. Their were buckets of water around to fill them up. They got to keep their water stick as their favor.

When it was time to do the pinata, no one wanted to do it. They didn't want to leave the water. We finally dried everyone off and went inside for cake, ice cream, and presents.

My kids had a great time and still talk about that party.

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M.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I think they would have fun. You could add a couple of water games, like water balloon toss, water/sponge relay race, giant bubbles (I've seen them at Walmart). Maybe add some 3D sidewalk chalk from crayola. Good Luck!

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S.T.

answers from Kansas City on

You could do water balloons or a pinata which is easy to do. They usually just have fun playing with each other I think.

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R.M.

answers from Topeka on

I think the water toys sounds like a great idea but you need to have some other things in mind, in case the weather doesn't cooperate or the water toys lose their "Magic" before the 2 hours is over. Maybe you could fall back on some of the old classics....have them divide into 2 teams and have relay races, carrying hard boiled eggs on a spoon, or 3 legged races. I googled "classic party games for children" and it took me to this page...looks like it would have a lot of great ideas in it!!
http://ezinearticles.com/?Classic-Childrens-Party-Games-F...
Relax...enjoy and have a camera handy to capture the memories!!!
R. Ann

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K.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I saw an ad on craigslist for bounce houses for $45 which is unheard of but you could check it out. http://kansascity.craigslist.org/for/1243601498.html

I would say do a craft. You could make some cute bead necklaces, then you could skip the gift bag too. I remember a party as a kid where we decorated tshirts with puff paint and I loved that. I also have a cupcake business if you are looking for cake ideas. www.crumbscustomcupcakes.com

Good luck!!

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H.M.

answers from Topeka on

Kids love to play outside in the water, so I think inviting them over for cake, ice cream, and water play is a great idea. I think the sprinkler and the slip and slide would be great. As far as games, you could always do something with water balloons. I remember when I was little going to outdoor partys, there was always a game with an egg and a spoon and you had to walk/run without knocking the egg off...that may be something....water guns also provide hours of entertainment. You could always do a cook out if you wanted, have some hot dogs to go along with th cake. Either way I think that her birthday will be wonderful!!!

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D.R.

answers from St. Louis on

We actually did this same type of party for our son when he was about the same age. We found it was actually easier and the kids enjoyed not having an organized game. It is so much more relaxed. My son, now 10, went to a party the other day at a friend's house, and all they did was do water play and the mom BBQ'd some hamburgers and hot dogs. It was very relaxed, and my son said it was one of the most fun parties he had ever been to.

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M.V.

answers from Kansas City on

At my nieces 6 b-day they had a scavenger hunt in the yard everybody had a different color for their clues that ended up at the end a party favor (for example your party is water related the favor could be a water toy) all the kids had a blast

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T.K.

answers from Kansas City on

My daughter just turned 10 ...and we have been doing simple parties at the house for years. It started off more finacially, because she wanted to invite so many friends. But, we've offered other options the last few years - and she still picks the home parties - which the last two years has graduated into a sleepover in tents.

But, I think you will be surprised with how much little girls will just like free play together. The water toys, balloons, relays all work well. Along with the other ideas you've been given. Make sure to have fun music playing - our girls often make up routines or have "dancing contest" for anyone who wants to participate.

I think though, if you have water games, etc. available for them and then, cake, ice cream and presents - you'll realize that couple of hours goes by quick.

One thing you might want to do is do the presents, cake and ice cream first - to make sure you allowed enough time - then the rest of the time is for play - you don't have to worry about cleaning or drying up in between. If you wanted to do a easy/fun craft - they make foam cup holders or visors. Then, buy some of the decorating foam pieces already sticky on one side. Last year, I sorted through the alphabet letters and spelled out everyone's names ahead of time...and had them ready to go in a bag - then had them put on and decorate and they really liked that. They had a fun craft that they made - and it was part of their "goodie bag". I like to do things that are fun crafts as part of their goodie bags - instead of "wasting" money on little fillers for bags- that they probably really won't use.

Another idea is to tye-dye bandana's - can be fun, but a little time consuming for you to assist with.

Good luck and have fun!

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A.P.

answers from Kansas City on

I think its great that your daughter wants a [email protected]____.com about setting up an obstacle course with the slip & slide, sprinkler & swingset.
You could purchase some cheap water bottles and water balloons for a water fight. Get some blowup beach balls or water soaked sponge balls and play a sprinkler version of dodgeball.

Snacks could be a snowcone bar (I think you can even buy Sonic's ice without the drink), popsicles, & fruits & veggies with dip. We just went to a party where the host set up a tub of ice full of all natural juice boxes, sodas & bottled water. The ice was the hit of the party for the kids

Invitations would be easy, a beach ball shaped card inviting the guests to come in their swimsuits & beach gear. I bet you could even find an email or evite version.

Have fun!

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C.M.

answers from St. Louis on

We just did that for my daughter's 5 year old party last week. we had about 12 kids over and I had a kid's sprinkler set up, a toy that also hooks to the hose where you drop balls down a spiral thing and the water shoots the balls out the top (walmart/walgreens $10), a 6'x4' pool set up and water balloons. We let them play for about 45 min - hour, ate lunch, water balloon toss, cupcakes and opened presents. Everyone had a blast and the time flew by. I too was worried about not having more organized games but the kids just loved getting wet and jumping in the pool. I did an internet search of water balloon games but due to a lack of time we just did the basic water balloon toss.

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L.K.

answers from St. Louis on

I did an outdoor luau party for my daughter's 6th party last year. We had a water balloon toss and did the limbo. They did a relay race where they had to dress up in a hula skirt, run to the end point, spin around with their head on a baseball bat, then run back & remove the skirt & pass it to the next person. They had a lot of fun with that (even the boys). They also made foam visors with tropical stickers. I purchased a medium sized blow up pool to keep them cool. They got popsicles midway through the party to keep them cool since the party was in July and very hot. You can also just blow up some beach balls & let them play with them. You'll be surprised how much fun they can have & before you know it the party is over. I sent each child home with a tropical cup filled with goodies. They all had a blast!!!

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V.Y.

answers from Wichita on

Why not a barbecue? Also a decorate your own cake. A Pinata. Water balloons( have big containers to hold them before the party.) Obstacle course. bicycle trip through the neighborhood with an I spy treasure hunt.
That's all I can think of on the spur of the moment. Hope some of it helps.
Have fun. I always did. Birthdays are the best times. Because it is only one person that you really have to concentrate on. The birthday child (or adult).
Good Luck
V.

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

Good Morning S., What better fun to beat this heat then playing in the water. It's a great idea and plan. You could get some water balloons for them to fill up also, there are all sorts of small water toys at Wally World you could get for them to use and play with.

I think it's a great idea. If you have two small blow up or the plastic pools you could put a little water in each one with a CLEAN toilet plunger in the bottom and have ring toss team games, with floaty rings or embroidery hoops.

Cake, Ice cream, water fun, Sounds awesome to me. Can I come tooooooooooooooooooo lol

God Bless you, have A Fantastic Party
K. Nana of 5

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S.G.

answers from Kansas City on

How about you get water guns and set up some light weight objects on your deck rail and see who can knock theirs off first. Then you can set up teams and get those nerf balls and buckets of water. Hve them get their ball full of water and then run over to a container and squeeze the water out to fill the container. Start with a big mouth cantainer and work your way down to a small mouth container. Have someone sit in a lawn chair with a garden hose with a sprayer, set the sprayer on a straight jet. Then have the kids play water limbo. You can even play dodge ball with the water soaked nerf balls. You should be able to find all your supplies at the dollar store and even prizes for each game. Have fun.

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C.A.

answers from St. Louis on

S., home parties are so much fun. Many of the ideas I had were the same ones others have already given you. Water balloon tag or throw to each other until it drops and breaks, squirt guns, nerf balls/sponges and buckets, the relay using the slip and slide, maybe a small pool filled with plastic fish, etc.........
someone mentioned tie dye an easy one would be to buy shoelaces and colored permenant markers have them color them they will need to be heat set. The other would be to do a bandana, socks, t-shirt and again use a permanent marker. This time rubberband the item before the party have them color the item then spray it with alcohol just to dampen this will start the color moving (do not use more than 3 colors possibly 4 they will get muddy if not careful). If you would like to spray it again do so until you get the look you want. The alcohol dries quickly and just make sure it gets heat set when they take it home. You could also decorate a picture frame with water foamies or summer theme and take pictures of them as they arrive and either print pictures on your home computer or have someone take them in for one hour processing to put in their frame. Another game would be the bucket relay have 2 teams and a bucket of water at one end and an empty bucket at the other. have a big dipper or deep type spoon whichever team ends up with the most water in the bucket at the end wins.

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J.G.

answers from Kansas City on

My son went to a 6 yr old birthday party recently. The mom had purchased wooden frames that the kids painted & decorated. She was really organized and had pics of her son with each child printed out. It was a fun activity & a great party favor.

You don't want to over program the party, but you might have some games prepared in case there is a lull in the free play. I've used red light/green light, simon says etc.

Have fun!
J.

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L.B.

answers from St. Joseph on

One more suggestion...why not fill a bunch of water balloons and play the toss the balloon game (just like tossing the egg)...that way, still a water game but fun nonetheless...you could also get some waterguns and play freeze tag with them...if "it" hits you with water from their gun you are frozen until someone "unfreezes" you...just put some spin on some old games and add water to them! ;) Sounds like a ton of fun to me! Sure wish my kids birthdays were in warmer weather so we could do the same!

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D.K.

answers from Kansas City on

When my daughter turned 6, we had an 'arts and crafts' party. I set up stations that were pretty much self-directed activities with some make and take items. You could decorate 'glass' slippers with jewels and sequins, draw on the driveway with sidewalk chalk, decorate picture frames, make 'sandy candy' tubes (like pixie sticks), decorate sugar cookies, paint ceramic figures... Obviously, this could get expensive, but I'm sure you could come up with a few to before or after the waterplay---just to make sure there are enough activities to keep them occupied. Good luck and have fun with it!

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D.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Get a hula hoop for each kid for games - some you can plan others will organically happen - then the hula hoops go home with the kids as a favor. Google "outdoor games" or something there are tons of ideas. Water balloon toss, bean bag toss, (make fabric "pillows" filled with...you guessed it, BEANS!) Toss them into the hula hoops placed at various distances. Making the bean bags could not be easier and really fun with fabric that matches your theme. A little more work and planning but super fun...scavenger hunt.

C.M.

answers from St. Louis on

We're having a pool party for my daughter's second birthday, but we too aren't planning any specific activies. If it's a 2 hour party, I would think that for the first hour, they could play on the water slide/sprinkler then the last hour could be for food and opening presents. What about giving each child a blow up ball (when they get there) with their name on it? I'm sure they will find tons of fun games (with and without the water) to play with the balls!!

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S.S.

answers from Wichita on

If you are going for a water party (which it sounds like you are!) I would invest in some cheap water guns, 1 for each kid and then they can take them home with them and I would also get water balloons, have them filled up ahead of time and play a water balloon toss game kinda like the egg game! In my years of kids birthday parties ( and that has been quite a few) and the planning of scouting events. Most of the time the games and plans that I make never get done kids are content playing outside in the water for hours. I would suggest however that youhave cake and open gifts first and get everything inside done first so u don't have to pull sopping wet kids back into your house!

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

S.,
I think it is wonderful that your little girl wants to have a party at home without the mindset that you must one up all of your friends. It sounds to me like you already have a great plan but if you feel you want to do something more have you considered renting one of those inflatable jumping toys like you see at carnivals? I know a couple of people that have done it and said the kids loved it. The place will bring it out, set it up and come back at the end of the day to take it away. Just a thought. Hope you have a great party.

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L.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Try a 'water park' theme. Use your slip & slide & sprinkler. go to target or Deals or something of the like to get some water toys like water balls (those balls that have a sponge-ie thing on the inside that fling water all over when you throw them) & have like a water ball dodge ball game, play 'hot potato' with water balloons instead of bean bags. I went to a party like that when I was that age & it was one of the most fun parties I had gone to @ that point. Good luck! & Happy B-Day to your little one.

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C.M.

answers from Springfield on

Hi S. ,Well my little girl turn six last yr and i made homemade friuty playdough ,and they all played it our back yard w/water guns a slip and slide homemade too and water ballons the had a blast! heres's the recipe for the playdough: 2 1/4: c .flour
1 c salt
2 Tbsp. unsweetened powdered drink mix
4 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 c water
Combine flour,salt, and drink mix in Lg. bowl .stir in cooking oiland water .continue stirring until mixture is the consistency of bread dough. Remove dough and knead on a flour surface 2-3 mins until firm. store in ziplock bag . the girls and help you make it or you can make it a head of time and give the girls there own bag. Or you can make homemade face and body paint here's the recipe for that
2 Tbsp.soild shortening
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
4-5 drops of food coloring
small make-up sponges or Q-tips
Mix shortening and cornstarch together in a sm. bowl until smooth .add the food coloring . mix untill the color is evenly blended . apply to face and body w/the sponges or Q-tips . Remove w/ soap and water.
Hopefully these help you out my daugter had a blast.

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D.I.

answers from Wichita on

Here are a few ideas:
*dress-up race--put a pile of oversized shorts, shirts & hats in a pile. Have the girls race to see who can get one of each put on over their clothes first. Have prizes for everyone. (Makes for great pictures.)
*tea party--complete with fancy little tea cups (can get cheap at second-hand stores or plastic cups at discount store) and little finger sandwiches (pbj or just jelly)
*build their own icecream sundaes. Provide different kinds of syrups, sprinkles and chopped fruit. (Might want to avoid nuts in case of allergy concerns.)
*If you have a sand box, they can build sand castles and then rinse off by playing in the sprinkler.
*At gift time, have a little something wrapped for each child to open too. It doesn't have to be expensive. Maybe a bottle of bubbles (which can be used outside during their play time.)
*It's ok to have unstructured time where they just play and use their imaginations. These kids will remember that they were happy, not that you had a well-orchestrated "event". Enjoy them and relax. Good luck!

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S.D.

answers from Topeka on

I have home parties and never do any games there is way to many people and children that they just run around have fun and play with whatever they want to.We do however have a meal for our guests followed with cake and icecream while the gifts are being opened.I either have a pinata or party bags to send home with each child and it's not expensive to do.One year we had a pizza party at a local restaraunt and I bought crazy straws for all the kids to use and thye loved it.

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

How about a princess birthday party with costumes, hair, makeup, nails, goody bags, fashion show, music, and all the fix'ns... for $15 per girl. We are offering $30 OFF for mamasource users as well.

Please check it out!!

www.bellebrigade.com

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S.K.

answers from Joplin on

Kids LOVE to play so letting them is the best way to go! You could make some contests out of the water toys, i.e. who slides the farthest. Also remember that cake and gifts take up some of your time. A simple party is less stressful on you and therefor more fun for the children. Your daughter has let you know what she wants, so go for it and have a blast.

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H.H.

answers from Kansas City on

you can do the slip and slide, have a small pool set up in the yard and invite them to bring waterguns and use the pool to fill the water guns. Have some water balloons filled up and play some games with them. In general birthday parties last about 2 hours so they will probably be content with the water slip and slide, pool, water guns for 30-45 minutes, then you can start playing some games with water balloons, relay games, pin the tail, pinata, or whatever games you come up with. Basically you are going to entertain them with several activities for 2 hours then they go home. Save the cake and presents until the last 30-45 minutes or you will have all those kids wanting to play with everything and pieces of their toys will be everywhere before your child gets to enjoy their new gifts.
My kids have had some big birthday parties with as many as 40 people and I learned that as long as you have a plan and keep moving on to the next event about every 15 minutes and keep them all together in one area your party goes more smooth and don't have kids getting upset that someone isn't sharing or someone hit them etc. The chaotic parties I have been to is where the kids just went anywhere in the house, played in the kids bedrooms or wherever they wanted and had screaming kids all through the house while adults were talking. The kids have more fun when everything is focused on them and they all stay together and participate even the kids that don't want to participate need to stay in the same area and watch. They will usually join in the next game because they have nothing else to do.
We usually played pin the tail, had a pinata, played a target game, Disney Trivia if we needed more activities to fill the time for an hour and 15 minutes, had cake and icecream, then opened presents the last 1/2 hour and gave out the kids goodie bags right before they went home.

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