Backyard Party Decorations

An Invitation to Create

We’re going to make some decorations for our backyard tea party!

You can make decorations to hang from trees or maybe in your yard it would be better to make a garland.

For a garland you will need:

  • Long piece of thick string
  • strips of fabric
  • ribbons (optional)

Attach the strips of fabric and ribbons to your long piece of string by tying square knots or a simple knot and pull tight.

You will be able to slide the ribbon and fabric around so it all points the same way or to space them out.

Balloon Painting

This is a collection of a few ideas I’ve seen around the net. Hanging balloons to paint is in and of itself a unique, simple and super fun idea! The second piece of string securing the balloons to the ground came from Meredith at Homegrown Friends and the bird cage came from Piika Street melded together to be one giant process art project. Get out your drop cloth this one has the potential to be messy!

You will need:

  • a balloon
  • a piece of yarn dipped in white glue
  • two long pieces of yarn about as tall as you
  • tape
  • paint & paint brushes
drawing on balloons

Grown-up Setup 1:

  1. First you are going to blow up the balloon & tie it.
  2. Tape the end of the balloon to the table as best your can.
  3. Place a selection of markers on the table.
  4. Let your child draw on the balloon as desired.

Many children will easily spend 10 or more minutes experimenting with holds and drawing on the balloon. A sharpie yields the most satisfying results but that is to your discretion. I tend to have a more of an eye on my child when a sharpie is in their hand than I might otherwise, almost like a knife.

Sharpies are dangerous. But satisfying and wonderful to draw with.

Grown-up Setup 2:

  1. Get a small dish, jar or cup and fill it halfway with slightly watered down glue. Like 1:3.
    Or less. We used flour glue and it worked. Stickier the easier.
  2. Take one of the longest piece of string or yarn and tie the end of it to the balloon.
  3. Place the balloon and the cup on the table where your child will be working.

For your child to do:

  1. Dip the rest of the string into a shallow dish of glue.
  2. Wrap the string around the balloon until you get to the end of the string.
  3. Each pass should go from top to bottom securing each using the end.
    This bit was tricky. I had hoped my little 6 could do it but he doesn’t really like messy fingers. Stickier glue would make this better.

Tuck the end of the string along side another piece and place somewhere to dry.

Grown-up Setup 3:

When the balloon is dry.

  1. Choose 2 or 3 colours of paint and brushes and set out on a covered clear area in which to work.
  2. Tape the balloon to the table.
  3. Let your child paint the balloon.

Instead of brushes you could easily use sponges instead.
They are a little easier to manage along side the challenge of the moving balloon.

Grown-up Setup 4:

https://capturingparenthood.com/balloon-painting-two-ways/
Painted Balloons from Capturing Parenthood

When the balloon is dry from the previous activity.

  1. Choose 2 or 3 different colours of paint and brushes and set out on a covered clear area in which to work.
  2. Take the second piece of string and tack it or tape it to your ceiling above the work area.
  3. Tie the other end to the end of the balloon.
  4. Let your child paint the balloon to their hearts content using brushes or sponges. Preferably not their fingers, that’s cheating!
  5. Let dry.

Depending on your area you can tie the balloon to the back of a chair or a hanging light fixture or a post. You want the balloon to swing freely without hitting your walls or any uncovered areas.

Because the balloon is going to swing freely.

Maybe do this in your garage. Or in the driveway.

Novel play prompt:

http://prepare2play.blogspot.com/2011/09/our-new-lanterns.html
Balloon Lanterns from Prepare2Play

When everything is dry, pop the balloon.

Depending on how thick your child’s paint project is the balloon might not peel away as nicely as it would have before we added all the paint.

But would be a perfect fine motor exercise to keep those little fingers busy wouldn’t it!

Now you have a bird cage – if you add a little paper cutout bird. Or a hanging decoration for your backyard tea party.

Or maybe your child wants to make some bird food for their pet bird.

Backyard Tea Party

Is there somewhere special in your yard where you can have a tea party?

Who might you want to come to your party?

Would you decorate?

Set a table? Put out a blanket?

Let’s make a very special place in your yard where you will host your party.

Can you gather some things?

  • picnic/outdoor blanket
  • metal bowls & spoons
  • dishes you can bring outdoors
  • a bucket
  • tree stumps and rounds – for tables and chairs
  • ribbons, strings or your garland decoration
  • clothes pegs

Bring all your things outside and begin to setup your very special place.

Now what are you going to serve at your party?

Maybe some spring tea, mud cakes or spring soup.

The recipe card for spring soup is in your kit or you can print it here.

I got some scissors and a watering can to help me make it.

When you are done making all the lovely things you will serve it’s time to invite some guests.
Maybe your brother or sister, maybe your grown ups, maybe some stuffed animals.

Make sure you set the table and serve all of your guests.

To the grown up:

I encourage you to choose a day this week when you will all eat a meal together in your backyard. When your child invites you out to their party bring along a little something extra….and maybe a wet cloth to wipe hands!

The activities each week are in preparation for a May Long Great Adventure Backyard Campout. I am going to invite your child to sleep outside in their backyard in a few weeks. I have a few extra tents if anyone would like one feel free to drop me a line.

Signs of Spring

Spring is about to burst into blossom and bloom downtown here where I live. The city streets are full of buds and blossoms are beginning to emerge. Warmth is in the air and jackets are scattered in the yard. Seems the perfect time of year to begin collecting colourful treasures to play and create with.

This weeks scavenger hunt comes to you from my amazingly talented daughter and you can download it here you can also follow her art account on Instagram here. She takes commissions and makes beautiful art.

You will need:

  • Scavenger hunt list
  • Container for collecting
  • A thick heavy book (later, when you’re done)

There are two extensions this week for your scavenger hunt items a spring nature collage (below) and making spring soup for a back yard tea party.

Have your child choose which items they’d like to put in the book and which they’d like to leave outside to play with. It helps to press the items you are going to use for this in a big book before you begin to make your collage.

Once you’re done collecting grab a sheet of contact paper and start creating.

Spring Nature Collage

Another classic that will yield marvelously different results if repeated in the fall and spring.

You will need:

  • Contact paper
  • Pressed nature items
  • Additional materials for their collage
  • Backing – tissue paper, contact paper, construction paper

Tape one of your pieces of contact paper to the table where you are working.

When you are ready carefully peel the contact paper backing and have your child test the stickiness with their finger.

Begin creating.

Things might rip or tear if you try to lift them off the contact paper so if your little one is a stickler for layout you might want to hold off on peeling the backing.

When they are all done gently lay your second piece of contact paper over the first and trim the edges.

Hole punch the top and add a string for a beautiful wall or window hanging.

This can turn into a beautiful gift for grandma for Mother’s Day.