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Backyard Birthday Party Ideas for 6 to 14 year olds!
Inexpensive ideas for your child's next backyard birthday party!
A couple of summers ago, my son celebrated his birthday with a backyard birthday party. Well, mostly backyard anyway!
The kids had an absolutely fantastic time shooting one another with waterguns and nerf guns, while ducking behind and running between trees, tables on their sides, and other homemade forts and shields! The watermelon eating contest was a lot of fun too! And you already know the kids loved the wii tournament part of the party!
Interested in planning a backyard birthday party for your child? I'll tell you more about our party and give you a few tips on setting up your own, below!
All photos on this page were created by Janiece Tobey, unless otherwise indicated below.
Wear a swimsuit, bring a towel, and be prepared to get WET!!!
The first activity for my son's backyard birthday party was a watergun fight! We begin the preparations for this event by asking all the kids to bring their favorite watergun with them to the party. (We had several extras on hand for those kids who didn't have one.) The morning of the party, we set up "forts" and other things for the kids to hide behind and run back and forth between. These included tables on their sides (a large folding table and also a rectangular glass patio table), a homemade soccer goal with a piece of plastic tied on the front of it, a boogieboard, and even our large rolling garbage cart!
This photo was taken before the party started. The patio table has a hole in the middle (where the umbrella goes) which was just perfect for sticking a watergun through! The fact that the kids could see through the table allowed them to be prepared when the other team ran up to "shoot" them!
It's an ambush!
See the purple boogie board on the right in the photo? That quickly became a portable shield the kids could carry with them as they ran! I suspect those two boys who are right in front of the other team's "fort" are needing that shield right about now!!
A homemade soccer goal (made from pvc pipe and net) was easy to convert to a watergun fort! We just used twist ties to fasten a piece of plastic onto the front.
The trees made great hiding places too!
One team decided to set up fort in our tree house. It worked great because they could see the other team coming from any direction! They even had gravity on their side!
Even though there were lots of forts and other places to hide, one can't stay hidden forever, right? After all, getting WET is part of the thrill of this activity!
Great Water Guns - Water guns are so much fun, especially on a hot day!
Here are some of Amazon's most popular and highest rated water guns!
The Eliminator is the most economical of the selection! It can be refilled from a bucket of water. If you want to have a few water guns on hand for any kids who don't bring their own to the party, this is what I'd recommend!
This watergun holds 8 oz of water, which it can shoot up to 38 feet. It requires pumping.
These won't hold a lot of water, so the kids will have to refill them often. But it is an inexpensive way to provide the same size and type of watergun to every child in your party, if that's what you'd like to do. If you go with these, you don't have to ask the kids to bring their own waterguns. They also make great party favors for a backyard birthday party.
Watermelon Eating Contest! - It's a good idea to do this one in swimsuits too! Then let the kids hose themselves off afterwards!
As the kids were finishing their watergun fight, we cut a watermelon into 8 equal pieces for the watermelon eating contest! We told the kids that anyone who didn't want to participate in the contest, but was still interested in eating watermelon, could eat their piece at leisure. No one took us up on this though! They all wanted to participate in this most tasty competition!
The rules were simple. Keep your hands behind your back. Don't touch the watermelon with anything but your face! The first person to finish the red part of their watermelon wins! On your mark, get set, GO!
After rinsing off from their watermelon fun, the kids went into the house for a short wii tournament, followed by the opening of the birthday presents.
A Wii was my son's first gaming console. It was the only gaming console my husband and I purchased for our son. We like that many Wii games get kids (and their parents!) off the sofa and into the action. In fact, although my son has gone on to purchase other gaming systems on his own (with money he earned mowing people's grass), the only gaming console that we use for family time is the Wii.
During the party, two kids played one another at a time. Then the winners of those rounds played one another, and so on. The game they chose to play was Super Smash Brothers Brawl.
You can purchase this either with or without the Wii Motion Plus controller. If you don't already have the Motion plus controller, I'd recommend buying the game bundled with the controller. The Motion Plus controller is needed for this game.
Motion Plus is an extra piece attached at the bottom of a regular controller. It's circled in the picture shown here.
Different games require different controllers. Some require a nunchuk in addition to a regular controller. When you are purchasing a new game for your child, make sure you have whatever type of controller(s) you'll need to play it.
Nerf Gun Battle!
Then it was back outside again for a nerf gun battle!
As with the water guns, we asked the kids to bring a nerf gun or two to the party, but we had extra on hand for anyone who forgot or who didn't have one. As with the waterfun fight, the kids divided into two teams and made various strategic plans together. They also decided on the rules before each round, but the rules did change some from round to round. For example, with the first round, once you were dead, you were dead until the next round. But in later rounds, they changed that to allow for a certain number of "lives" so that no one had to be out of the game for too long. The kids really seemed to have a ball with this activity!
Some Popular Nerf Guns - These are some of Amazon's best rated nerf guns!
My son has this one and really likes it a lot. He said it's probably the best nerf gun out there!
With a red light beam, these nerf guns are great for evening games of nerf tag!
Here's another one that's fun in the dark! This nerf gun comes with 10 glow-in-the-dark disks and a Firefly Tech magazine that charges them!
Time to eat!
Between nerf gun battles, we called the kids to the table to eat. They had hotdogs, grapes, chips, juice, and of course birthday cake! Then they went back to playing nerf until time to go home!
Birthday Party Poll - Just for fun!
Which birthday party activity is your favorite?
How old will the child you're planning a birthday party for be?
Hit of the Party: The Complete Planner for Children's Theme Birthday Parties
Do you have preschoolers or elementary aged kids?
When my children were young, I used this book for their birthday parties every year!! The book covers 12 birthday party themes such as pirates, safaris, fairy tales, space, dinosaurs, and more. For each theme, there is a very charming printable invitation and thank you card, as well as printable crafts, ideas for fairly easy-to-make yet very elaborate-looking themed cakes, craft and game ideas, and more. Although my teenaged children have outgrown the ideas in this book now, I sure did love this book when they were little! I really can't say enough good things about it!
© 2010 JanieceTobey