Easy, Effortless Children's Summer Parties (As Featured on ABC7 Morning News)

Every year it rolls around…the children’s party right in the middle of busy summer schedules. Just in time, I’ve got some fresh, fabulous summer party tips for all of your children’s party needs. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, with these summertime secrets and shortcuts.

The very first step for a fun and festive summer party is to personalize the theme and make it a special, memorable celebration of your child. All you have to do is ask your child, or if they’re too young, ask yourself: What do they love to do, play, or pretend? What is their favorite game or toy? This makes the party all about the child—and immediately creates a special celebration for your young guests!

BOYS

We live in Chicago…home to some of the greatest sports teams on the planet. Many little boys love baseball—and, sorry Sox fans—the Cubs! But whether you’re South Side, North Side, or no side, who doesn’t love baseball in the summer and what’s more fun than celebrating your team?

In my house, we cheer for the Cubs, so here goes!

Create a special table just for the kids. All you need is a Cubs-theme linen on top of the table, which you can get at the grocery store, and then a fun centerpiece that is interactive for your mini-Cub guests. Try baseball “turf” down the center, using a flat of wheat grass, with a collection of baseballs, baseball toys, pennants and more scattered throughout. You may be able to raid your son’s (or your husband’s) collection to do it.

Next, create a menu that kids love to eat: Ballpark franks, with all the fixings served up right; popcorn in paper bags; peanuts; and sodas…just like at Wrigley!

Then, create the perfect centerpiece with Ice Cream Cone Cakes.  Kids love them! Simply bake cake batter inside of ice cream cones, then ice with frosting once cool. At the party, kids can make-their-own with sprinkles, jimmies and other delicious candy toppings.

Party favors are a snap with plastic baseball bats, with each child’s name written on it. Voila—you’re done!

GIRLS

Butterflies and Nature are the perfect outdoor summer party theme…and girls love the whimsy.
Set your table with the elegance of nature. Use wheatgrass flats, embellished with decorative butterflies, flowers, feathers and other whimsical items to create a sweet, beautiful table. Customize this element with your daughter’s favorite things, whether it’s ballet slippers or her favorite animal.

Offer a fun menu item that you can create in advance with the birthday girl, like homemade PB&J sandwiches. Use a sandwich press to create sealed, bite-size sandwiches for the party. Very easy and fun to make in advance.

At the party, place a butterfly wand at each place, which your young party guests can enjoy during the party and take home with them. Another lovely touch your guests are sure to love is a set of butterfly wings at each setting. Beautiful—and more opportunity for birthday fun!

Dessert is a snap with the Butterfly Cupcake Cake. Simply adorn store-bought cupcakes with handmade mini-pretzel and chocolate butterflies, and you’re done! The girls can each tear-away a cupcake after the birthday girl blows out the candle and makes her wish.

Happy birthday and happy summer!