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How to Plan an Outdoor Children's Event

by Candace Webb

Outdoor events provide opportunities for children to be physically active, which is healthy, as well as fun. Choosing the proper space, activities and food helps ensure the event will be successful. Recruiting parent volunteers gives you additional hands and eyes so the children are safe while having fun.

Prepare a guest list and count each child and one parent. Though you will wait until the RSVPs roll in to have a better idea, the guest list will give you the maximum possible number that will attend. To choose the proper outdoor venue, you should know approximately how many children and parents will attend.

Reserve the venue. Once you have several possibilities, go out and walk the property to spot potential issues, like being located too far from a restroom or being too close to the lake for small attendees. When you locate the perfect venue, reserve two dates: one for the event, and the second as a rain date in case inclement weather interferes with the first choice.

Send out invitations by mail or email. Include both the desired event date and the rain date so guests know what to do if they get up the morning of the party and it is raining or snowing. Request RSVP responses to better plan food and activities.

Choose activities. Whether it is going to be one activity, such as a nature hike, or several, such as touch football then a game of tag and finally some hide-and-seek, knowing which activities will occur allows you to structure the event so it ends on time. It also gives you an idea how many adult helpers you will need.

Recruit adults. Count the number of children and plan to have an adult volunteer for every five children. Assign duties to each adult volunteer so you know who will be running each game, overseeing the food and supervising children during trips to the restroom.

Plan food. A potluck is perfect for a tight budget. Catering works if you prefer to hire a service. Foods should be dishes that are easy to handle and eat outdoors, such as pizza or other finger foods. Snacks for before and after the actual outdoor meal should be items that are unaffected by heat, such as apples or granola bars.

Clean up afterwards. Once the party is over, it is important to restore the space to its original state so you get any deposit back, and leave it clean for the next party coming in.

Tip

  • Place small note cards listing ingredients in front of each food dish, to alert guests to possible allergens.

About the Author

Candace Webb has been writing professionally since 1989. She has worked as a full-time journalist as well as contributed to metropolitan newspapers including the "Tennessean." She has also worked on staff as an associate editor at the "Nashville Parent" magazine. Webb holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in business from San Jose State University.

Photo Credits

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