My daughter wanted a huge party this year so I decided to make it a "birthday playdate" at the playground to make it easy. We are having a face painter; however, I'm starting to think I should maybe prepare a few other activities---preferably ones that are free and easy. Thanks for any suggestions!
We did this for my DD's birthday too! I just brought a bunch of outside toys, frisbees, balls, jump ropes ect. Bubbles are always fun too. I think having it at the park has built in fun. You probably won't need to do anything. Just provide a resting spot and snacks. But if you want to be more organized, you could plan relay races. Or a tresure hunt , one that has the kids looking for nature stuff or one with clues that lead to the next clue ect, then the prize can be a pinata or goody bags or whatever you have planned.
Hope it is great!
I am throwing a Halloween party soon, and I was looking for some easy entertainment as well. So I decided to rent an inflatable bouncy castle, because I've seen kids jump for hours on them and man will it be easy. The company does all the set-up/ take down. It's not cheap mind you, but definitely easy.
We also celebrated our DD's 5th birthday outside near our Rec Center and it turned out great!
The Ramada where we had all the food was next to a volley ball sand pit so I brought sand toys from our box at home -- amazing how engaging sand play is for kids! Also a friend who teaches a music class for kids loaned me a bunch of hula hoops to put out. On the tables I put out various toys that kids could play with -- the most popular was a spoon & egg game (they just used it informally) and a bunch of finger puppets I got from a thrift store (hard plastic, thoroughly sanitized).
After the gifts were open and things were winding down, I put out a bunch of bird warbler whistles & a large bowl of water to fill them up -- those were the toy kids could take home. These were received very well by the kids. I purchased the warblers from two different websites -- one bunch worked great, the other went in the trash -- so if you have any interest in those message me for the eBay seller with the good ones!
In lieu of giving kids bubbles to play with I purchased a small bubble machine for $7. It was battery operated & pretty noisy but also a huge hit! I turned it on three separate times and kids went nuts chasing the bubbles around.
I'm such a dumbbell, I just reread the OP and I see the word "free," after I mentioned a blow up castle.
OK, free and easy at the park- face painter is such a good one, what about:
1. A craft table with crayons, paper, etc.
2. Shirt Decorating- At our local folk festival every year their is a kids' zone and they have a pile of used (and washed) t-shirts and fabric markers, and the kids go nuts decorating them.
3. Tree Web- I have also seen a tree web, where you bring strips of fabric from old clothes, linens, or what-have-you and kind of braid or weave them from one tree branch to another. If each child adds a few strips the web gets bigger and more colourful. It's very neat.
4. A scavenger hunt may be neat - give the kids a list of things they need to collect or do during the party