Everything You Need to Host a Drive-In Movie Night at Home

Up your game for your next family movie night and make it a drive-in. Your littles will love the view from the seat of their own tiny car (or tricycle or scooter) in your living room or back yard parking lot. Ready to ride? Scroll down to get everything you need to throw your own Drive-In Movie Night.

photo: Sweet Daisy Designs

Tickets, Please!
Don’t let your kids sneak into the theater without a ticket, so make one up or use this easy printable.  To make things even more authentic, be sure to punch their tickets with a hole-puncher before starting the movie.


photo: Holly Hopson

Got Wheels? 
You can’t have a drive-in movie without something to drive. So let your little cruisers bring their wheels inside. That’s right: Line up the big wheels, the trikes, and the push-cars in front of your movie screen and let your kids watch the movie while they scoot back and forth in their “seats.” (This idea is especially amazing for kids who aren’t normally allowed to bring their wheels indoors).


photo: Kara/ Simplistically Sassy

 Or, Make Some Wheels of Your Own
Want something even cooler (and more Pinterest-worthy)? Gather up some cardboard boxes and make mini cars for your little movie-watchers. Let your kids paint and decorate their cars themselves and you’ve got a full day’s worth of activities! Get the instructions from Kara at Simplistically Sassy.

photo: Jen C. Catch My Party

What, You Don’t Have a Projector? Actually, You Probably Do! 
Sure, you could just pull up a movie on your flat screen TV and call it a day. But if you want to really wow your kids, give them an even bigger screen by projecting the movie on your wall (or on a sheet tied up on the wall). Don’t have a projector on hand? Try this awesome way to turn your smartphone into a projector for under $1!. It’s true, you won’t get as good of a picture as you do on your plasma, but who cares? Your kids will be sufficiently amazed at your homemade movie magic.

photo: Moms & Munchkins

Food, Glorious Food! 
Movies are nothing without popcorn and other goodies. So don’t forget to stock the concession stand with all their favorite movie eats. Make this custom cardboard snack tray for your kids to hold their items (or just use plastic shower caddies from the Dollar Store!). To make sure they don’t go totally overboard and grab four pounds of peanut M&Ms, give them tickets or coins so they can only “buy” a certain number of items

Pssst: Forget microwave popcorn and check out these amazing flavored homemade popcorn recipes

Now Showing… 

It’s hard to pick a movie that will be on everyone’s must-watch list, but we think these family flicks are surefire wins:

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (ages 3+)

The Peanuts Movie (ages 5+)

Charlotte’s Web (ages 5+)

Finding Nemo (ages 5+)

Frozen (ages 5+)

– Toy Story (ages 5+)

Mary Poppins (ages 6+)

Moana (ages 6+)

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (ages 7+)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (ages 7+)

Akeelah and the Bee (ages 8+)

The Princess Bride (ages 8+)

The Goonies (ages 10+)

Hint: Not sure about whether your kid’s movie pick is appropriate for her age group? See Common Sense Media’s movie reviews for the scoop on the kid-friendliness of almost anything your little ones want to watch.

What’s your favorite family film? Tell us in the comments section below!

Melissa Heckscher

featured photo: annca via pixabay

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Best Places to Have a Scavenger Hunt

By the time they turn five, they’ve probably heard us say “Look at that cow! See the red plane? Oh, over there! A rainbow!” a million times. Is it any wonder kids are explorers by nature? Our little Magellans love finding surprises in even the most simple of settings and from your backyard to the beach, here are eight great spots to set up a search for (extra)ordinary treasures. Happy hunting!

Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture via flickr Creative Commons

In a Forest

You don’t have to be Snow White to know the forest is full of enchantment. Take to the woods with your little critters in search of things big and small, and you’ll be amazed at what else they discover along the way! You can open their eyes with items as simple and straightforward as a yellow leaf, or as imaginative as a fairy house. In between, their list might also include a fallen tree, four ants marching in a row, a mushroom, a flower with six petals, or something furry.

Beach Combers Photo: Heaton Johnson via flickr Creative Commons

At the Beach

Nothing beats a day at the beach with kiddos in tow. They’ll be blown away at everything worth picking up when you send them splashing with a scavenger list on your next trip to the shore. Enjoy the view from your chair as they search for seaweed (or mermaid hair, for your imaginative child), sandalwood, a crab hole, coquina shells, a piece of string, animal tracks in the sand, and more. For the smaller set, see how many different colors they can find as you walk along the dunes.

bug house

In the Backyard

Dorothy found out the hard way that there’s no place like home. Give your kids a shortcut to this realization by handing them a list of backyard treasures to find, and watch as your home becomes more exciting than Oz. From garden tools to groundhog holes, bugs to bird nests, the letter “o” to something orange, you’ll have them looking at their backyard in a whole new light.

Bike Tandem

Photo: Umberto Brayj via flickr Creative Commons

Around Town

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood, won’t you … spend an afternoon exploring town? With a list that ranges from civic (can you spot a church, a school, a grocery store, a library?) to transportation (how about a red car, a bus with a “2,” a train, or a plane), there’s end to sites to be seen. Add people-watching intrigue while you’re out and about and try to find someone with glasses, a baby in a stroller or a dog on a walk. Won’t you be our neighbor?

PlaygroundPhoto: Ross Griff via flickr Creative Commons

On a Playground

Who knew playgrounds were full of science, just waiting to be discovered on a scavenger hunt? Before you go, spend a few minutes exploring simple concepts like a pendulum, a lever, a fulcrum, gravity, rotation, and revolutions. Then turn them loose to see if they identify the workings of a swing, a seesaw, a slide and a merry-go-round. If your small set isn’t ready for a scientific excursion yet, see how many shapes they can identify, or focus on textures (smooth, bumpy, springy, hard, grainy and squishy).

Hay balePhoto: David Amsler via flickr Creative Commons

On a Farm

Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i–o. And on that farm he had a: bucket, hoe, hose, scale, tractor, mulch, fence, barn, pasture, hay bale, livestock and crops, e-i-e-i-o! Whether you head out to a nearby u-pick farm or to a working farm with livestock and crops, you won’t have any trouble coming up with new and exciting things for your own little farmers to find. The best thing about a scavenger hunt on a farm? You’ll be teaching them all about where food comes from, and they might just be inspired to eat more veggies!


At the Pool

Just when you think you’ve played every pool game, wow your small swimmers with a scavenger hunt for endless end-of-summer fun. Whether you focus on finding shapes (a diving board is your rectangle, an inter-tube is your circle, the back of the pool chair is a square, the ice cream at the concession stand is served in a cone, and so on) or colors (expand the color category from basic to brilliant and include colors like teal, chartreuse, and tangerine), a pool scavenger hunt is just the ticket for keeping it exciting well after Labor Day.


Under the Stars

Is there anything that screams “summer” more than sweaty kids racing through the grass at dusk and giggling right past bedtime into the night? Add to the thrill of staying up late with a sunset and after-dark scavenger hunt. Start with the usual suspects (lightning bugs) and then wow them with staged glow in the dark objects. Don’t forget to have flashlights and glow sticks ready, because it’s always a blast finding frogs, fireflies, and rocks that look like rabbits in the dark.

What’s on your scavenger list, and where do you do it? Tell us in the comments section below

— Shelley Massey



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A Unique STEM Toy That’ll Keep Little Motors Running This Summer

Your little one loves all things that go vroom. You love a product that’s easy to put together and promises hours of fun. Good news! We found a cool toy that combines all three. Paper Trax is a recyclable race track that was created by a dad looking for a fast and easy way to entertain his tot. Its brilliant design, clever use of materials and edutaining potential has us totally hooked. Read on for the details.

What It Is

Paper Trax is a paper-based, one-hundred percent recyclable race track that adheres to the wall and fits all standard matchbox cars. Simply open the box, fold the trax (instructions are provided on each piece), and create a speedway. There are countless configurations—think jumps, sharp drop-offs, and more—the removable adhesive Command 22 strips won’t damage your wall (avoid using on wallpaper), and since you can create a bonus track from the packaging, there’s absolutely no waste!

The Fine Print

Paper Trax is offered in two different packs. The standard pack comes with four 14-inch long trax and a bonus box trax. The super pack comes with 10 trax and a bonus box trax. There’s also a new two-pack corner trax pack. 

Available at amazon.com, $24.91.

Find out more: papertraxtoys.com

Would you stick Paper Trax to your walls? Share with us in a Comment below. 

— Gabby Cullen


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11 Easy Ways to Surprise Your Kids for Wacky Wednesday

When it comes to goofy, no one knows quite how to embarrass like a “cool” mom or dad. Garner some affectionate eye rolls and squeals of delight with these fun and silly actions perfect for when you just feel like doing something different. All of them can be done spontaneously and are all about family time. Scroll down to get inspired.

photo: Harsha K R via flickr 

1. Eat breakfast outside. We know you’ve done breakfast for dinner before, but what about doing a quick picnic breakfast on your front lawn or front stoop?

2. A quick playdate. If you’ve got school-aged kids (or kids in daycare) and the policy allows, surprise your kiddo by joining them for lunch. Not enough time to do a lunch break? See if you can meet up for the first ten minutes of recess.

photo: cegoh via pixabay

3. Plan a surprise trip. It doesn’t have to be a whole vacation, you could just pack a bag and head to the zoo for the day. Just don’t tell them where you’re going. Up the game by offering little clues. For example, if you’re heading to the zoo, hand them a small toy animal, put a stuffed animal in the car seat next to them, and feed them animal crackers.

4. Nest. Build a fort in the living room and bring your tablet or laptop inside to watch a movie.

photo: Pexels via pixabay

5. Did somebody say ice cream? Eat dessert first.

6. No work day. If you can swing it, take the day off work (this is perfect for summertime) and spend an unplanned day with the kids.

photo: Viktor Karppinen via flickr

7. You can dance if you want to! Drop everything and start a freeze-dance party. Play music and then stop it at random intervals so everyone can“freeze” in place.

8. Regift at home. Have each person choose an item from their room to give to another member of the family. Spend time wrapping them and do a family-wide gift exchange.

photo: Camilla Nilsson via flickr 

9. Wear something backwards or upside down. (Come on, your preschooler does it all the time!) You can also have the kids pick out your outfit for the day. Or just wear PJs all day long (slippers, too!)

10. Have a talent show. Let each member of the family choose what they want to showcase for the “audience.”

photo: Brian Dewey via flickr

11. Get outfitted. Fill a box with hats, scarves, capes, silly wigs, old jewelry, neckties, sunglasses, etc. and play dress up. Stage a funny family photo shoot and a parade.

12. Make a wish. Make a book of wishes and let everyone write down their top three. Revisit the list in a month and see if any of the wishes have come true.

Beanstalk NE Fremont is celebrating its fourth birthday and we’re celebrating in style. Bring the whole family for kid-friendly fun including: • Face painting (10 am-4pm) • Raffle prizes from Beanstalk and neighboring businesses • Sidewalk sale on Saturday and in-store special discounts taking place all weekend up to 50% off Our Montavilla location will be hosting a store wide sale all weekend (up to 50% off) with raffle give-a-ways on Saturday as well. A portion of the proceeds from our sidewalk sale will support the fundraising efforts of local area schools. For more information, please visit beanstalkpdx.com. We hope to see you there!photo: Beanstalk 

13. Get a facial! Do some face painting in the middle of the day. Let the kids paint your face too. 

14. Take a glow bath. Want to wash that face paint off now? Take a (non-toxic) glow-in-the-dark bath. See the tutorial here. Or if you’re in the mood for a shower, take one with your raincoat on. Hot out? Try washing your hair with a hose on the lawn.

photo: Melanie Holtsman via flickr

15. Sleep in. Have a camp out in your living room: the whole family sleeps in sleeping bags and you can roast marshmallows on the kitchen stove. Co-sleep like you mean it. 

What are your wacky or fun ideas for surprising the kids? Share your ideas in the comments below! 

—Amber Guetebier with Sandy Pelto, Henrik Pelto, Steve Pelto & Ken Pelto

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11 Best Meal Delivery Apps for Families

Most Amazon Prime users easily can extol the virtues of Prime membership, but it’s likely that few know about using the Amazon Prime Now app to order meal delivery via Amazon Restaurants, which can deliver dinner to your door in an hour or less. Now available in more than a dozen cities and with select restaurant partners, Prime members also can use Alexa’s voice-shopping function on their Amazon Echo or Echo Dot to re-order previously ordered meals by saying a restaurant name or cuisine type. Best of all, delivery is free to Prime members.

Available for iOS and Android.

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A Nautical Dictionary for Kids

Your little skippers will be ready for high-seas adventure after learning a few fun words and phrases and their nautical origins. And if you like these, check out our pirate dictionary. You never know, one of these terms just might bale you out of the doldrums in just a couple of shakes. Read on!

photo: andreas160578 via pixabay

Adrift: Evolved from the word ‘drifte’ or float, it became a way of describing a ship moved by wind and tides. It is now used to describe anything that is lost, as in, “Her matching sock were adrift among the piles of laundry.”

Bale/bale out: To remove water from a vessel, this phrase now means to help someone out of a sticky situation. (Note: alternate, Old nautical English spelling of bail).

Becalm: To cut off the wind from the sails of a ship. Can be used interchangeably with sooth, as in, “The mother was able to becalm her child temporarily with the promise of a cookie.”

Booby: A fearless little sea bird that is known for being easy to catch. The term booby or boob is sometimes used to describe someone who may not be that bright.

Bumboat: A privately owned boat that sells goods or merchandise. Fun to say.

Caboose: Sure, you know it as the little red car at the end of a train but a ship has a caboose too! It’s the kitchen or galley on a small ship.

Cats paws: A term to describe small waves produced by light, variable winds on otherwise calm waters.

Chew (chewing) the fat: Salt pork or fatty, jerky-like meat was common food on sailing vessels as it lasted a long time without rotting. Sailors would complain about the food while gnawing away at the fat, thus the term became synonymous with gabbing, casual conversation or gossip.

Cranky: A crank was an unstable ship or vessel, now a term to describe a toddler who hasn’t napped.

Cringle: Not to be confused with Kris Kringle or the delicious pastry, kringle, this nautical term describes a rope loop at the corner of a sail for fixing the sail to the spar (see definition of spar below).

Dinghy: A dinghy can be a small boat carried or towed by a larger ship, often inflatable and used as a life raft; a type of racing yacht; or a rowboat.

Dog watch: A short watch period (for sailors on deck) from 4–6 p.m. or 6–8 p.m. it can also refer to any night shift, most often the last shift. As in, “Tonight Dad was on dogwatch for the little one’s feeding so mom could get some much-needed sleep.”

Doldrums: An area in the equatorial region of the Atlantic Ocean with calms, sudden storms and unpredictable but light winds. Because of the variable weather ships would get stuck in the doldrums. Now we use it as a term to describe being stuck or stagnant. As in, “Our nightly dinner routine is in the doldrums.”

Dolphin: A man-made structure in the sea or river used as a marker.

Earings: Nope, not (earrings) the kind with bling. These are the small lines that secure the upper corners of the largest sail to the yardarms. (See below for yardarms definition).

Fore and aft: From stem to stern or lengthwise of a ship. “Please vacuum your room fore and aft and not just the entryway.”

Ghost: To sail slowly.

Gob-stoppers: Grapeshot put in the mouth of a young, gabby sailor. Now used to describe the hard, chipped-tooth inducing candy.

Grapeshot: Small cannonballs; basically smallish balls of lead fired from a canon used to damage rigging or aimed directly at sailors on an enemy ship (canon balls would be used to cause more structural damage and sink the ship).

Hog: A rough flat scrubbing brush for cleaning the ship’s bottom underwater. No comment.

Horse: To move or adjust a sail by hand, using brute force rather than running rigging.

Hulk: An old ship that has become obsolete. (not all that incredible).

Jack, also jack tar:  A sailor. Also sometimes a flag on a ship.

Jury rig: The act of rigging temporary mast or sails, also the actual mast or sail that have been temporarily rigged. This is now used interchangeably with makeshift.

Mind your P’s & Q’s: When sailors would go to a port town and visit the local tavern, they barkeepers would give them credit. A “P” would indicate pint and a “Q” was a quart. So when payday came and it time to pay their tab, they’d be minding their Ps and Qs. It is now considered a term for good manners.

Ship Shape: A term now used to say something is clean, tidy and ready to go, in 1800’s ships were inspected to make sure they were okay to port. If a vessel was in “ship shape” it was free of disease or other unsavories. “Timmy’s room was in ship shape before the play date.”

Show your true colors: A warship would have many colored flags on board to try and deceive enemy ships. The true color would only be revealed when it was too late. Now it’s a term used to describe someone who has shown their true nature.

Spar: Not to be confused with the verb which means to fight, a spar is a pole, usually of wood or metal, used to support the ship’s sail. Sometimes called a pelican striker.

Spin a yarn: This phrase means to tell a story or a tale and is comes from the stories sailors would tell to pass the time while doing monotonous tasks such as making spun-yarn.

Starboard and Port: Starboard is the ship’s right and port its left. Fun fact: the term “posh” originated from port out, starboard home, said to be the way to get the best view, and so where the elite class were seated or bunked.

Two shakes or a couple of shakes: Used to describe a short period of time, as in, “Give me two shakes and I’ll have your PB&J ready.” Sailors would measure short periods of time by the shaking of the sails.

Whole nine yards: Old ships had three masts, each of which had three-yard sails, so the whole nine yards meant all sails were up. Now it means all of something.

Yardarms: Either end of a yard of square sail.

What’s your favorite nautical term or phrase? Share it with us in the comments below. 

—Amber Guetebier

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12 Birthday Party Ideas Trending This Summer

Adventurous spirits and long, sun-soaked days make summer the best time to throw an awesome outdoor birthday bash. Not sure where to start? Be inspired by the below summer birthday party ideas guaranteed to be a huge hit.

photo: Bashery & Co.

Mermaid Splash
You don’t need a pool to make a splash with a water-themed bash. Decorate with all things mermaids like this set up from Bashery & Co. Hand out sunglasses and set up a sunscreen station. Slip and slides, water balloon games, and a spongeball toss are just a few of the fun ways your guests can cool down in the summer heat. For more wet fun check out these ideas.

photo: Andrea Gurniak Photography via Spaceships and Laser Beams

Camp Out Adventure
Little explorers will have a blast at a camping-themed adventure party. Set up tents to give party-goers a shady spot to enjoy their s’mores. Pass out magnifying glasses as take-home favors, and create plenty of engaging entertainment with a nature scavenger hunt like this one from Five Little Chefs.

photo: Memorable Jaunts

Lights, Camera, Action!
It really wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the movies to watch a blockbuster. Bring the bigscreen to your backyard instead with a film fanatic’s bash fit for an award. Toss a few blankets and cozy pillows around the lawn, put together a popcorn bar, like this one from Pen & Paper Flowers, and project your favorite family-friendly flick on the side of your house or on a sheet while you relax under the stars.

photo: Secrets of the Faeries

Midsummer Magic
There’s something magical about those dog days when the sun is still shining long past most kids’ bedtime. Sprinkle your party with a little bit of that magic and invite the faeries and forest creatures to create an unforgettable summer birthday party. Pass out fairy wings and flower crowns to party guests, paint faces, make nature-themed crafts, and serve up some tasty treats, like these ladybug apples.

photo: SIMONEmadeit

Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Nothing says summer to sports fans like a day at the ballpark. Serve up hot dogs, Cracker Jacks, and baseball cupcakes like these from SIMONEmadeit. Have gloves and balls handy for kids to toss and don’t forget to have all the party guests sign the party-winning ball as a special token for your baseball-loving birthday kid to cherish.

photo: Jill Birkmann Photography via Project Nursery

Life’s A Beach
It really wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the beach. Set up a sandbox and let the kids dig for buried treasure. Play hot potato with a beach ball. Serve up refreshing beachy treats, like popsicles and watermelon. Give the guests sand buckets and shovels, or this adorable sandcastle kit from Mama Papa Bubba, as take-home favors.

photo: Living Locurto

Emoji Extreme
With ‪the Emoji Movie hitting theaters this summer, those yellow-faced smileys are sure to be a party hit and leave your guests :grinning:. Cover every inch, from cookies and cakes, to balloons and banners, in those playful emoticons. Play pin the face on the emoji and set up a photobooth with emoji props. For more smiley fun, check out these awesome ideas from Spaceships and Laserbeams.

photo: A Little Savvy Event courtesy of Allyson Wiley Photography

Gone Fishing
Cast your line and reel in some excitement with a fishing themed birthday party. You don’t have to have access to a lake to catch some fish, instead set up a kiddie pool and play go-fish with DIY fishing poles with magnets like these. Serve up kid classics, like worms in dirt, and send your guests home with these adorable skipping stones from Bash Please.

photo: Sugar Hero

Ice Cream Social
Ice cream and summer go together like… well, ice cream and summer. This match made in birthday party heaven will, not only give guests a sweet treat, it will also keep them cool in the heat. Set up an ice cream bar like the ones featured here and they’ll have a blast coming up with their own cold concoctions.

photo: Andrea Patton via Our Little Women

Get Your Glow On
Take advantage of those warm summer nights with a party after dark. Kids (and grown-ups) will have fun lighting up the night with a glow party. Set up you party space with black lights and pass out glowing accessories, like bracelets and glasses. Set up glow-in-the dark games, like hopscoth, and let your guests get creative with glow chalk, like this DIY recipe from Growing A Jeweled Rose. Check out these dark play ideas for more glowing activities.

photo: Shahrzad Warkentin

Let’s Go Fly A Kite
Send your party soaring to new heights with a kite flying birthday bash. For the main event, guests can make their own DIY kites from kits like these from Kites On A Roll. Serve up some kite-shaped cakes and cookies. If the wind is in your favor, your guests can spend the rest of the day flying their kites in the summer sun.

photo: Jolie Loeb

Sing Your Heart Out
Summer is packed with music festivals, so why not turn your party into a birthday-palooza with a backyard music fest. Instead of hiring a band, let your little crooners take the spotlight with a karaoke party. Pass out party invites that look like VIP concert passes. Set up a stage area with sparkly backdrop and mic stands and get ready to jam while the kids rock the day away. While the guests wait their turn, they can deck themselves out like rock stars with wigs and costumes.

What festive themes do you have planned for parties this summer? Share your shindig in the comments!

—Shahrzad Warkentin



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10 Outdoor Games to Get Your Party Started

The best part of your sidekick’s summer birthday bash? It’s gotta be the games. With plenty of sunshine, a big backyard or city park to use, and a bucket full of water toys locked and loaded, you’ve got everything you need to kick your party into high gear. Read on for our favorite ideas.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

1. Shaving Cream Race
Who needs a canvas when the Littles can paint each other with shaving cream? Pit two teams against each other in this race to completely cover lucky human “canvases” in white foamy fluff. Setting up this silly competition is easy. Empty tons of shaving cream into kiddie pools and then hand each kidlet a brush. The game runs itself from there. A word to the wise—bathing suits and a hose on hand are total “musts” for this one.

2. Balloon Relay
Turn your party decorations into props for this easy-to-run game. Line up the tot lot Madeline-style (that’s two straight lines), before handing each line leader a balloon and having them place it securely between their knees. Then it’s time to start the game! Players pass the balloon, knees-to-knees, down the row until it reaches the finish. It doesn’t get easier than that!

photo: All For The Boys

3. Cup Race
Think NCAA tourney when you whip out this fun cup race. All the tiny guests will get a chance to work their way through the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight for a shot at the big time—the Final Four—as they compete head-to-head, racing plastic cups down a string, propelled by squirt guns. Allison spells out the setup and racing deets on her blog, All for the Boys, so you can run the races like a pro.

4. Popcorn Relay
Little party-goers will get a kick out of this relay race that’s all about running popcorn from one bucket to another. Here’s how it works. To play, you’ll need to strap plastic cups to each runner’s foot (psst… gluing the rubber band to the bottom of the cup works best). When the whistle blows, each runner’s teammate fills up the cup with popcorn and sends it dashing very carefully down the yard to a waiting bucket. Then it’s dump and run (no hands allowed) before heading back and passing the cup to the next player. Work your way through each line to determine a winner in this pop-ular game!

photo: Valentina Powers via Flickr

5. Ice Pool Challenge
Chill out with this simple to play, simple to stage game kids of (almost) any age can play. To set it up, fill your kiddie pool with water and dump in a bag of party ice. Yep, it’s that easy. Then divide the Littles into two teams, each with a bucket. Their goal is to fill the bucket with as many of the submerged ice cubes as they can, using only their feet to move those little rascals from one place to the next. Brrr-ing it!

6. Bandana Tag
Transform the typical game of tag into a free-for-all (this one works best with older kiddos). The twist? They’re all “it.” To play, hand out bandanas to your crew to tuck in along their waistline. Then let the great chase begin! Players tag each other by snagging bandanas, while simultaneously guarding their own until one player is left standing. It’s a wild romp they’ll want to play over and over again.

photo: Rob Swystun via Flickr

7. Bob for Apples
You know how this one is played, parents. Apples. Barrel. Then sit back and watch as the kidlets take turns trying to grab a crispy piece of fruit using only their teeth. It’s the perfect way to cool off on a hot day!

8. Water Balloon Pop
The tot lot will log plenty of giggle mileage when they play this fast-paced game. Break your group into two teams, each with a heaping bucket of fully loaded water balloons. When you say go, one member of each team grabs a balloon, races down the yard, and tries to pop it with his or her body (think: stomping or sitting on it!). Guarantee a dousing by making petite partiers break balloons on a chair, or let the ground take the brunt of the splash. Once the balloon is popped, it’s back to the start to tag the next kiddo. On your mark, get set, go!

photo: Mike Gifford via Flickr

9. What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf?
If this classic game doesn’t ring any bells for you parents, think Red Light, Green Light with a lot more shrieking and mad dashing. A total blast, even for young kids, this is a must-try at your next kiddie-bash. Want to know how to play? We love the simple instructions offered up by Childhood 101.

10. Ninja Attack
In this game, ninjas-in-training test their skills by quietly sneaking up on a ninja master. Intrigued? Start by setting up a ninja course (think: paintball course) using oversized moving boxes, play tunnels, and other objects kids can quickly duck behind (or into). This is where the little ninjas will try to hide as the ninja master scans the yard for tiny foes. Then, have the master stand at one end of the yard, opposite her ninja attackers. When you say go, the ninja master turns her back on her opponents, while they stealthily make their way toward her. When you say stop, little ninjas duck behind whatever’s closest in the hopes the master ninja won’t spy them. If she does, they’re out. But if you’ve got the skill, and can reach her first, you become the master!

Need more ideas? Add one of these classic party games to your birthday playlist. Or soak up all the fun you can with these wildly fun water game ideas.

Do you have a favorite outdoor party game to add to our ideas? Share it in a comment.

— Allison Sutcliffe

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