When I was planning my daughters second birthday party I was heavily pregnant. This meant that I wanted to keep things simple and relatively inexpensive. As a lover of everything autumnal I prayed for good weather and planned to throw her an outside autumn themed birthday party.
We set up a few different autumnal themed activities (I made sure these could be done inside or out as you cannot guarantee the weather!!) and my mum made her the most amazing autumn cake.
She had a brilliant time, as did her little friends. We hosted the party in my parents back garden so there was no cost for hall hire. We used lots of natural items in the activities we planned such as leaves, sticks and conkers.
As this proved to be a successful alternative to the usual soft play or disco parties we get invited to (which we do enjoy!!!) it got me thinking of party ideas for all the seasons…
- Cut the shape of a sheep out of paper and stick on cotton wool to make the wool. Add a googley eye too – they are always a hit. Alternatively you could use a paper plate as the body and cut a sheep’s head and legs out of black paper.
- Make nest cakes using crushed up shredded wheat and melted chocolate. Mix them together and pop into cup cake cases and decorate with mini eggs or those little fluffy chicks you can always pick up around Easter.
- Set up a tactile tray with flowers, leaves, grass, seeds and bulbs. A large storage box or tray can be used for this. This is a great activity for young children to explore different smells, textures and colours and is a great conversation starter!
- Decorate small terracotta flower pots and then fill them with compost and plant some seeds or flowers such as Busy Lizzies in them.
- Mix sand and paint to create lovely textured paintings. You can also use shells to stick on the paintings or dip them in paint and use them as stampers.
- Ice lollies can be made easily using fruit, yogurt and ice lolly moulds. Alternatively you can set up an ice cream parlour with cones, pots and lots of different ice creams and toppings. This activity is not only a tasty one but is great for encouraging those fine motor skills with all the scooping and sprinkling actions needed. It’s also a great opportunity for role play with hats and aprons!
- Sand and water play with buckets and spades. This can be done in a storage box or tray or go bigger and use a paddling pool or two!
- Set up a pirates treasure hunt around the house or garden complete with maps and treasure at the end.
- Cut hedgehogs out of paper and decorate with dried out autumn leaves. As with the sheep, a googley eye or two always go down a treat!
- Pumpkin carving, obviously depending on the age of children, this may be one more for the adults! Another great activity for encouraging fine motor skills and experiencing new smells and textures. You could always use the left overs from the inside to make some pumpkin soup or roast for a snack.
- Apple bobbing. This could be done in the traditional way with apple’s floating in water or if you are indoors perhaps try suspending the apples from the ceiling on long strings and getting the children to try and bite them from underneath.
- Set up a tactile tray with conkers, acorns, pine cones, sticks and leaves in.
- Freeze some small plastic animals or dinosaurs in water and then let the children melt them with their hands or use tools, such as spoons, to dig them out of the ice. You can talk to the children about what the ice feels like or if they are older you can make it a great imaginative play activity with them taking on the role of an Antarctic explorer!
- Cutting snowflakes out of paper, or if the children are too young to use scissors they could decorate snowflakes using glue and glitter or glittery paint.
- Melting snowman biscuits. Cover a digestive in icing and pop a white marshmallow on top. Use black icing for the eyes and mouth and small Smarties as buttons.
- Make bird feeders to hang in the garden. You need bird seed and some melted fat (this will obviously be hot so adult help definitely needed!). Then mix these together and press into a cookie cutter. Pop a straw through near the top and allow to set. Once they’re set remove the straw and thread some sting through so they can be hung up in the garden.
Obviously you don’t have to be having a party to do these activities, you can do them at home whenever you fancy. They give you a great opportunity to talk to your children about the changes in the seasons.