Planning a kid’s party can be challenging. They’re past the baby stage and suddenly have an opinion about everything from the invitations to the activitiesand even the party favors. But don’t let that discourage you. Instead, put those opinions to good use by inspiring your little maker to help them give you a hand in the party prep whenever possible. This will make the party something they will truly enjoy (and be proud of!). Check out these 13 awesome ideas for inspiration on how to throw one epic summer party.


1. Movie Night: Host a backyard screening of the guest of honor’s favorite movie. Bonus points for a campout under the stars afterward. (via Lay Baby Lay)


2. Big Bubbles: If your kid loves regular bubbles, just wait until you show them this recipe for these massive hard-to-pop ones. If you ask nicely, they might just let you have a turn too. (via Lindsay and Andrew)


3. Snow Cone Party: Get inspired by summer’s ultimate cool-down treat and throw a colorful, yummy party for little ones (or big kids at heart ;) (via Brit + Co)


4. DIY Sponge Water Bombs: Filling and tying water balloons can take a toll on your fingers, and they’re usually gone in a flash. Make a couple of these super simple water bombs ahead of time to keep the fun going all afternoon. (via The Chic Site)


5. Paint Party: Give your little Picassos an activity to keep them busy and they can each go home with their own work of art. Whip up personalized aprons with iron-on letters for the perfect party favors. (via J and J Home)


6. Sticky Fingers Station: Let’s be honest — this one is totally for the Moms, but it’s a necessity none the less! (via Catch My Party)


7. Mermaid Tail Beach Towels: Give your little mermaids (or mermen!) one of these thingamajigs. (via Parents)


8. Sandcastle Play Dough Kits: Get your kids involved and create an assembly line to put together these cute kits. They’ll be so proud to hand them out and you won’t have to do all the work for once. Win-win! (via Mama Papa Bubba)


9. Noodle Popsicle Invitations: The tone of the party starts with the invitation, and this one is tons of fun. (via Project Denneler)


10. Shark Watermelon: Not all your party decorations need to be intricate and time-intensive. Something as simple as adding fun picks to cups of jello can make a big impact. (via Catch My Party)


11. Mini Water Blobs: Don’t have a pool or live near the beach but still want to have a backyard water party? Say hello to these adorable individual water blobs. (via Hello, Wonderful)


12. Sunblock Central: Protection from the sun is so important when you’re playing outside, especially for the kiddos. A station like this will also stop you from having to answer the “Do you have any sunblock?” question from parents all day. (via Catch My Party)


13. Pool Noodle Garland: Who knew pool noodles could be so versatile? (via Sugar and Cloth)

Are you planning a fun outdoor party this summer? Will any of our ideas make the guest list? Talk to us in the comments!