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Ah, pool parties. A summer staple with their pizza dinners, giant floaties, and the sweet sound of lifeguards reminding Billy not to run on the pool deck for the umpteenth time. Pool parties aren’t going anywhere and will always be an anticipated summer tradition, but if you’re looking for a break from the norm and for a fun and creative way to celebrate outside during the warmer months, how about a garden party? Kids can get crafty by painting their own birdhouses or flower pots, play fun games like watering can relay races, and indulge in tasty treats like chocolatey worms in dirt. Keep reading for ideas that will be sure to make your child’s party the talk of the summer!


These garden themed crafts get children’s hands dirty and help introduce them to the fun of gardening! Craft activities are also a great way for kids to have fun creating their own party favors that will help them remember the celebration. Plus, kids love showing off their artistic talents and will be proud of their cool new creations.

Painting and Planting Flower Pots

  • Materials: Terracotta pots, craft paints, brushes and sponges, potting soil, easy to grow seeds (such as pansies, marigolds, or African violets)
  • Instructions: Allow guests to paint their pots how they please! But do so early on in the party so that pots can dry before painting – many kids like to paint layer upon layer of paint, so this may take more time than expected. Once the pots are dry, show kids how to scoop soil into the pots and plant the seeds!
  • Bonus Idea: Decorate cards with care instructions and tie them to spray bottles for guests to take home with the plants and use to water the plants (can be purchased inexpensively from the dollar store).

Plushy Pollinator Pals

These are one of the cutest crafts ever, and kids LOVE that they’ll have a new plushy dragonfly friend when they are done! (Bonus: Dragonflies are pollinators and provide a great teachable moment about the important role pollinators, such as bees, dragonflies and butterflies play in our ecosystems).

  • Materials: Children’s socks, stuffing, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, roll of tulle, glue, and a marker
  • Instructions:
    • Take a slightly larger than a golf ball sized ball of stuffing and push it down into the toe of the sock. Section it off with a rubber band – this will be the dragonfly’s head.
    • Repeat this with increasingly smaller balls of studding until you reach the end of the sock, and tie the end with a rubber band as you have done with each section.
    • Attach a pipe cleaner behind at the rubber band right behind the head to make antennae! Wrap the pipe cleaner around the body and twist it off at the top to secure. Curl the ends or let kids make whatever shaped antennae they want!
    • Make the wings. Take an arm’s length section of tulle and fold it over two or three times. Use a pipe cleaner to gather the tulle together in the middle and form two wings. Wrap the remaining pipe cleaner around the dragonfly’s body at the rubber band behind the antennae.
    • Finally, it’s time to give our new friend a face! Glue on googly eyes (this can be done with normal craft glue which takes longer to dry, or can be done by adults with hot glue for a faster finish) and draw on a mouth with a marker!


Garden party activities help kids get active outdoors and teach them about the fun of gardening by turning things such as watering plants and picking vegetables into a competition!

Pin the Lady Bug on the Flower: …Or pin the bee on the flower, pin the wings on the butterfly…the possibilities are endless!

Garden Scavenger Hunt: Hide items such as plastic bugs and fruits and veggies around the garden and have teams race to find all items on the list! These lists can also include natural treasures like who can find the biggest fallen leaf or stick. Or, if your garden has ready-to-harvest fruits or veggies, you can put these items on the list and then let kids try them once the hunt is over!

Watering Can Relay: Put guests in teams and have them compete to see which team can carry water from one bucket to the other fastest using a watering can. Be careful not to spill it out of the spout!!


Themed food is one of the best ways to get creative in party planning, and a garden party has so many options to choose from that are adorable, healthy, and tasty.

Worms in Dirt: A true classic that fits perfectly with the theme. Fill clear plastic cups with chocolate pudding and sprinkle crushed chocolate sandwich cookies on top. Add gummy worms for the finishing touch! (Added bonus: Teach kids about all the good worms can do for garden and soil health even though they’re a little squirmy.)

Flower Cupcakes: Cupcakes have become all the rage at kids’ parties – no more fighting over who gets the corner piece of cake with the most frosting or that Jim’s piece is bigger than Amy’s! Decorate cupcakes to look like different flowers to create your own tasty bouquet!

Butterfly Sandwiches: Cut your child’s favorite sandwich into a butterfly shape using a cookie cutter. You can even decorate the top with thin cucumber and carrot slices to make it extra special.

Bug Kebabs: Use wooden skewers to make a fruity creepy crawly. Use a strawberry with the leaves cut off for the head and grapes for the body. Craft stores sell edible eyes in baking aisles that add the finishing touch.

Veggie Garden: Cut up veggies such as carrots, peppers, broccoli, and snap peas. Arrange them in rows in a baking pan filled with hummus for a beautiful tabletop garden dish!

While summer birthdays have long been lamented because kids don’t get to celebrate at school with their friends, they are an amazing opportunity to get outside for parties and take advantage of all the season has to offer. While these ideas provide a starting point, there is so much room to be creative when it comes to planning a garden-themed birthday party that your options are as endless as the bounty of a summer harvest!

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