Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Party Games for Lazy Parents

Summer is a time for being lazy. If you are hosting a party at your house, the LAST thing you want to do is chase all those kids around and entertain them. You'll get all sweaty and stuff.

Here are my ideas for EASY summer party games. Toss these at your crowd of children, sit back, and relax with a chilled drink. For most of these, all you need is dirt and water.

PS - These are also good for your OWN kids, any day that you are feeling lazy (so for me, EVERY day).

Summer Party Games for Lazy Parents (like me!)

Kid-Friendly Gardening

No yard? No free space in the garden? No problem. Get a big container (or a bunch of little ones) and fill it / them with dirt. Kids can plant flowers, vegetables, or even herbs. Look for fun-smelling herbs like chocolate mint or fennel.

If your kids are too young for planting, they can still have fun. Give them some natural objects to decorate their planter with - think rocks, pine cones, or branches.

If you have a burst of energy, you can also stick a little house in there for fairies, or for Lego people! Toss in some plastic animals or tiny dolls, and you've got hours of entertainment.

Water Play

This is the best because it is SO EASY. Give kids a big container of water - any pot or bowl will do. Raid your kitchen: toss in some cups, spoons, funnels, etc. Kids will have a BLAST.

If you are feeling really ambitious, you can add some food colouring to the mix. You can also throw in some ice (or even ice coloured with food colouring!) to kick it up a notch.

Summer Party Games for Lazy Parents (like me!)

Water Painting

Give the kids some water and a paintbrush. They “paint” the sidewalk with the water. NO CLEAN-UP. Enough said.

Sand or Fake Sand or Rocks

Kids like to dig. Give them sand or small rocks (both available for cheap at the hardware store). If you have very small children, use something edible like cornmeal or oatmeal. Dump it in a pile in your yard, or fill up a big plastic bin or a large pot. Give the kids some sand toys and plastic animals. Hours of fun!

Scavenger Hunt

Print out this scavenger hunt sheet with items for the kids to find. Try one with stuff they can find in your yard or at the park: a bird, a leaf, a stick, etc. If you forget to print this, you can simply shout these things out from the porch where you are chilling out.

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt for Summer - Party Games

Colour Hunt

I also like to do Colour Hunts in the summer. Again, I sit on the porch and yell at the kids like a drill sargeant: “Find me something yellow! Find me something purple!”

This game does NOT work in the winter - the kids get pretty tired of finding things that are white or grey, our only wintertime options.

Summer Party Games for Lazy Parents (like me!)

Back Yard Camping

Set up a tent in the back yard and toss some sleeping bags inside. Guaranteed adventure! Younger kids can participate, too – they can get into a tent for some bedtime stories with a flashlight before heading inside for bed.

Even if you don’t have a tent, you can still throw down some blankets and star-gaze. Break out some glow bracelets for extra fun!

Mud Pie Kitchen

Embrace summer messiness and make a mud pie kitchen. Give the kids some kitchen bowls and utensils. Add dirt and water. Done.

Digging for Treasure

Grab a big plastic bin and fill it with dirt. Bury stuff. Bury some plastic jewels, and your kids can be pirates digging for treasure. Bury some plastic dinosaurs, and your kids are paleontologists. Either way, you are mom of the year.

Digging for Treasure… In Ice!

Fill a plastic bin or bowl with water. Toss a bunch of toys in and freeze it. Throw the resulting block of ice in the yard, and have the kids chip away to free the toys! (With plastic implements, of course. Injuries would mean you have to get up.)

Summer Party Games for Lazy Parents (like me!)

For more summer fun, check out 25 Summer Loot Bag Ideas.

Full Disclosure: I am lazy and do these things all the time. This post is not sponsored, but if someone wants to give me money, I will take it.


  1. Awesome list! My kids love to play in a tub of water with ice cubes. It's so easy, cheap and it keeps them entertained for hours.

  2. Katie this makes me nostalgic for when my kids were littler and so easily (and cheaply) entertained. I used to keep a huge shallow bin filled with rice or dry beans on a low table in the kitchen all year round, then change up the toys in it seasonally...gardening, construction, dishes, was a lifesaver!

  3. Your scavenger hunt needs to happen at my house now! I was looking for fun rainy day activities (and got side-tracked clearly ;-)) and this might fit the bill since it looks like it's dry for the next little while. Thanks for these great (and easy) ideas! I'm off to scavenge now ;-)

  4. Awesome Ideas! I will be using some at my DD8's next party :)
    Thank you.

  5. Love your scavenger hunt printable! That's such a fun idea - love that it gets the kids moving and observing their surroundings!

  6. I'm a huge fan of scavenger hunts! Big or small, everyone will have fun doing this.

  7. great list, these are gonna come in handy for us who right now are dealing with no power from the hurricane that went thru.

  8. Great ideas! Pinned for future Kiddo's

  9. Again, another round-up of great ideas! Water play, mud pie kitchen? What's not for kids to love? Even as an adult, I still love scavenger hunts, too! :-)

  10. What a great round up of ideas! We'll definitely be trying some of these this summer! I'm featuring your post at tomorrow's party! :)


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