bubble activity for toddler's outdoor birthday party

9 Fun and Easy Toddler Summer Birthday Party Ideas

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Children’s Summer Birthday Party Ideas That You’ll Love — They’re Simple But So Much Fun!

If you have a little one who’s about to turn two or three during the summer months, I’ve got some fun outdoor toddler summer birthday party ideas for ya!

It doesn’t take much to entertain kids this young, especially when it’s nice and they can run around outside with their friends. Set up a few stations in the yard, and they will find delight in running from one activity to another.

Check out these children’s summer birthday party ideas and choose a couple activities from this list when planning your toddler’s party.

(Or simply use these ideas as a starting point and take them in any direction you like.)

Let’s dive in!


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1. Set up a bubble machine or let them blow bubbles.

Bubbles are a constant source of entertainment for toddlers.

My parents-in-law generously provided a bubble machine for my daughter’s second birthday party this summer, and it was a HUGE hit!

With bubbles to chase and catch and pop, the kids didn’t need anything else to keep them entertained.


2. Set up a ball pit for your toddler’s party.

Plastic balls are usually a big hit with toddlers. Create your own birthday party ball pit using a swimming pool and plastic balls.

Set plastic beach pails outside the pool so, when they get bored, the kids can throw the balls into them.

Coordinate the colors of the pails with the balls, and ask them to throw the balls into their matching pails.


3. Engage them in water play.

I’ve recently come to learn that 2-year-olds love to play with water. They find utter fascination with pouring water from one container to another.

Set up a pouring station using either a water table, a pool, or a plastic tote and some smaller plastic containers. Of course, when there is water involved, constant adult supervision is always required.


photo of my girls playing with the water table


4. Send them on a birthday party treasure hunt.

This past Easter, my toddler was obsessed with searching for plastic eggs. We had to constantly hide them around the house so she could look for them.

Set up a summer treasure hunt for the toddlers by filling plastic eggs or small containers with little prizes, and hiding them around the backyard.

The birthday party attendees will not only have fun on the treasure hunt, but they will be excited to discover the treasures inside each container.


5. Set them up with (toddler-friendly) outdoor painting.

All you need to keep toddlers entertained during a summer birthday party are some large canvases or sheets of tagboard and finger paints or washable paints.

Cover the kids’ clothes with smocks or old t-shirts and let them make a mess! Air dry the paintings, then each child can take his or her masterpiece home.


6. Get a sandbox or sand table for the party-goers.

Sandbox play is another great summer birthday party activity for toddlers. As with water, sand is great for transferring from one container to another.

Fill a sandbox or sand table with fresh sand and hide little treasures in it. Then give them some buckets and shovels and they will stay occupied for a long time!


photo of my toddler playing in the sandbox


7. Set up an obstacle course.

Set up a toddler-friendly obstacle course in your backyard using whatever you can find around the house.


  • Place hula hoops on the ground so they can hop from one to another.
  • Use pool noodles to create a “tunnel” that they can crawl through.
  • Set a board on the ground (or on a couple concrete blocks for older toddlers) to create a balancing beam.


All these activities are not only fun for a summer birthday party, but they will help the kids develop their gross motor skills.


8. Set up a toddler-friendly version of yard games.

For example, set up a jumbo ring toss game with giant wooden dowels (driven into the ground) and hula hoops.

Show the kiddos how to toss the hula hoops and try to catch them on the dowels.

If it’s a small party, give each child his or her own hula hoop color — otherwise, divide them onto teams and let them take turns.


9. Wind them down with craft time.

When it’s time for the kids to come inside and settle down after all the birthday party fun, provide age-appropriate craft supplies that they can use to decorate brown paper “party favor” bags.

Fill them with little treats and trinkets, and send each child home with his or her bag at the end of the day.



Fun Toddler Summer Birthday Party Ideas

Here are a few additional tips and ideas to help make your toddler’s summer birthday party go smoothly.


1. Choose a birthday party theme.

Choosing a birthday party theme can be the most fun — or the most difficult — part of the party planning.

My daughter has had an Elmo birthday party, a unicorn theme, and now she wants a Frozen party for her next birthday.

Here are a few toddler party theme ideas:



2. Plan your party around mealtime.

If you don’t want to serve a full meal, block out a couple hours in the afternoon in between lunch and supper. Keep it simple with toddler-friendly snacks, cupcakes, ice cream or popsicles, and kid-friendly beverages.


3. Invite the parents, too.

If your toddler has a lot of little friends, it could be difficult to keep an eye on them all at once. Invite their parents to help supervise, and serve up some adult food and beverages, as well.


You have some toddler summer birthday party ideas to help you plan your kiddo’s bash, so now it’s time to get busy planning!


Recommended Reading:

Outdoor Family Activities to Enjoy at Home This Summer

7 Early Learning Activities for Toddlers at Home

10 Fun Indoor Activities for Kids + Toddlers at Home


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