If you plan to be in the host mode this summer, you can mix things up by employing one or more seasonal hosting tips.
Keep the Kids Happy
If you have a swimming pool, then the focal point of your outdoor activity will be the pool. Especially where kids are concerned. But, don’t let your lack of an outdoor pool stop you from entertaining the little ones with a variety of “wet” choices. Tell your guests to come attired in swimming gear.
One, fill up balloons with water and start a game of balloon toss. Two, provide super soakers as well as asking families to bring their own. Three, fill up a bucket with sponges and hold a game of sponge toss. Four, play water limbo where an adult or a teen holds a spray hose and children must slide underneath it to avoid getting soaked. Fifth, hold a three-legged race with a watery obstacle course. There are many water-centric activities that you can choose — make up your own!
Turn on the Movies
Bring back a taste of yesteryear when parents use to gather the kids, place them in the station wagon and head to a drive-in movie theater. Most drive-ins have closed down, but you can do the next best thing: show a movie on the outside of your home.
An outdoors movie option works if you have both a home projector and a laptop computer. Connect the projector to your laptop, choose your favorite family fun movie and shine it on a flat wall or set up a screen. Serve up popcorn and drinks and you’ll have the makings of a fun, outdoors movie adventure. Make it a double feature!
Snack and Food Bins
When entertaining, you can find your time filled with meeting the needs of your guests. You want your visitors to feel welcome and comfortable, but clearly there is room to allow people to help themselves.
Fill a large container such as a wide, but shallow bucket with ice and add in individual drinks. Do the same with the snacks and have everyone help themselves. When it comes time to BBQ, set up a spread where tables, flatware, napkins, condiments, cups and the like are within easy reach. Make sure you ice down what can spoil and, to avoid food poisoning, put Aunt Sheila’s potato salad in the refrigerator as soon as everyone has had a serving.
Ice Dream Games
You say, “ice cream” and I say, “ice dream.” As in dreaming up the craziest, silliest or most lavish ice cream dessert possible. This is where you want your guests to contribute by having them bring a favorite topping and with you supplying the ice cream, bowls, spoons, whip cream, fruit and toppings of your own.
Consider a themed contest as in banana-split building race. Set the contest by teams, with older children or adults pairing with younger children to make a dessert within five minutes. Give awards based on the most original, interesting, stylish banana splits — everyone is a winner because they get to eat what they made.
Host the Summer Olympics
Make your next event one to be remembered by hosting your version of the summer Olympics. Of course, your choice of games may not qualify for the next games, but don’t let that stop you.
Set up a badminton court, a horseshoe pit and a croquet area. You might also include archery, tug of war, lacrosse, golf and field hockey. Come up with your own awards and dish these out liberally.
If the weather turns particularly nasty — as in a scorching heat wave or a deluge, you can bring some of these ideas inside. An indoor scavenger hunt, a lights-out movie and a cook in are some alternatives when the weather does not cooperate.
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