5 Cheap Summer Ideas

Petting zoo

This one’s easy as 1-2-3! Pack a picnic full of goodies, blankets and sunscreen and head to your neighbourhood petting zoo. Affordable and educational, it will delight toddlers to see their favourite animals in person.

Rock band

Let them make some noise — toddlers have fun just listening to their favourite songs and the addition of inexpensive instruments (especially shakers) will take this party over the top. A CD of the party playlist makes a welcome favour that will have guests rocking on long after the day is over.

Sandbox party

Sand, pails, shovels and some water is all it takes to entertain this crowd. Remind parents to dress their children in old clothes (or wear their swimsuits) and let them do what they do best —make a mess!

Pool party

Bring the beach home with several mini tubs (depending on the number of guests) and let tots splish splash away. A bubble machine is a spectacular indulgence or you may give parents mini bottles of bubbles upon arrival to blow throughout the party.

Rainbow bright

Toddlers are naturally inquisitive and an explosion of colour —think red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple —is great visual stimulation. Colourful parachutes (think back to gym class in grade school) are available online and at play centres and are a ball for kids. Add music and you’ve got yourself a party. If you can’t get parachutes, get creative with sheets or fabric.

Mini chefs

Kids love to have their hands in things, so let them help you with the menu! Offer a good selection of toppings and have guests create their own mini pizzas using pita bread. The same idea can be done with dessert —just serve pre-made cupcakes with white icing, food colouring and yummy treats for a custom creation.