Skip to main content

NewFolks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

3 amazing summer birthday party ideas for toddlers they’ll love

Summer is such a fun time for a toddler to have a birthday. With nice weather and warmer temperatures, planning an outdoor party is a great idea, but it can be a little overwhelming considering the age group. When planning an outdoor party for toddlers, remember to build in a rain date and put it on the invitation.

Choose a party time that is ideal for toddlers. Timing is everything, after all, because you don’t want cranky party guests. Try for a later morning party or after that critical afternoon nap. Short and sweet also works best for toddler parties, even in the summertime. Ninety minutes is a perfect time frame.

Summer birthday party supplies aren’t difficult to find, and, even better, they’re budget-friendly. So, what are some summer birthday party ideas for toddlers?

Toddler boy playing in kiddie pool

Water wonderland

A summer birthday party cries out for something wet and wonderful. Of course, even if you have a backyard pool, toddlers aren’t quite ready for that kind of splash party. Instead, hit the dollar store or head online to order a few kiddie pools to set up water play stations around the yard. On the invitation, ask guests to wear their bathing suits and swim diapers.

Fill the pools early in the morning, so the sun has time to warm up the water. Stock each pool with a different set of water toys. It’s a good idea to divide the kiddos into groups of three or four and rotate them from each baby-pool play area.

Fill one pool with rubber ducks, another one with squirty toys, and a third with magnetic fish and poles. If you have the space, you can add a fourth pool with pails and buckets for the toddlers to splash around or put out a splash pad. Your birthday boy or girl and their friends will have a blast splashing around and playing in the water. You can also fill an extra baby pool with balloons or balls for any guests who don’t like getting wet.

Stack and pour buckets make adorable favors and can be given as-is, or toss in some bubbles.

Toddlers playing in sand at summer birthday party
The Childhood / Shutterstock

Sensational sand extravaganza

Like water, sand is a toddler favorite. A sandbox is permission to dig in the dirt. So, if your kiddo loves to dig, turn your backyard into a beach oasis by using those multipurpose kiddie pools. Pick up three or four kiddie pools online or at the dollar store and fill them with play sand. Outfit each pool with pails and buckets. You can order these in bulk online or purchase a bunch at the dollar store. You can make it a game by personalizing each bucket by using a paint marker. Have each guest find his or her bucket, which will serve as the party favor.

Since toddlers enjoy digging and uncovering items in the sand, bury some in each sandbox. You can use dinosaurs, rubber ducks, shells, or fish. Just be sure the items are large enough for toddlers because these little ones will still put objects in their mouths. On the invitation, ask parents to dress for the beach.

Kids can have a party full of sandbox fun. Be sure to have a cleanup station where kids can wash up before eating. Party decorations can include a beach theme with blue and green balloons.

Balls, balls, and more balls

Water and sand are super fun for toddlers, as are balls. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can turn your backyard into a summertime ball pit. Fill up two or three kiddie pools with balls to make backyard ball pits. Set up other play areas with differently sized balls throughout the yard. One station can have a couple of yoga balls to roll or bounce on. Another can have a small soccer goal with Nerf soccer balls for the guests to kick around. A toddler-sized basketball hoop is a fun station, too. Scatter playground-style rubber balls around the yard for the toddlers to play with.

A fun party favor is a personalized playground ball. Each ball can be personalized with the child’s name using a paint marker. Organized games are tough for toddlers, but they will have a blast playing in the homemade ball pits and kicking, rolling, and bouncing around the backyard.

Kids will be hot from all that running, kicking, and bouncing, so a make-your-own sundae bar with basics like chocolate and vanilla ice cream with sprinkles and chocolate chips will be refreshing. Toddlers have simple tastes, and it’s best not to overwhelm them with a lot of ice cream topping choices. It’s a cool way to conclude the party.

Summer birthday parties are so much fun to plan for toddlers. With inviting weather, you can turn your backyard into a toddler playground with one of these sizzling themes toddlers love. Whether you choose sand, water, or balls, your toddler and their guests will have a splash at this backyard bash.

Since the party is outside, don’t forget to build in a rain date and include it on the invitation. Have your party guests dress for the beach for sand or water play, or for the playground for a ball bonanza. And, budget-friendly kiddie pools are the key to setting up these toddler-friendly summer birthday party themes.

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
9 incredible birthday party food ideas when you’re on a budget
Try these inexpensive and yummy birthday celebration foods
Kids enjoying eating pizza at a birthday party

There's quite a bit to dread when it comes to planning a birthday party for the kiddos, and it doesn't matter if you're holding the celebration at home or at a venue. The biggest drawback to throwing a party is the cost. Everything from food to the cake to beverages to the party favors means big charges on your credit cards. Now, if you have multiple kids' birthdays coming up sandwiched between the holidays, that definitely puts a huge dent in the family finances. Parents don't necessarily have to stress, though. Remember, bigger isn't always better when it comes to food ideas for a birthday party.

A lot goes into putting together a birthday party for kids, whether you're hosting it at home or at a party venue. From food to desserts and beverages to party favors and beyond, the bills can add up quickly, putting a dent in the family bank account. Of course, you can have a fun and festive party for your child without overspending. When it comes to kids, simple typically is better. Bigger doesn't necessarily mean better when it comes to food ideas for a birthday party.

Read more
12 birthday party ideas for 5-year-olds to have at home
Plan a great celebration with this birthday party inspiration
5-year-old girl celebrating her birthday

At-home birthday parties never really went out of style. Many parents opted for venue celebrations for their kiddos because they can be less stressful. Perhaps most parents steer clear of hosting a birthday party for kids at the house because of all the chaos that ensues. Let's not mention the after-party mess that you're responsible for cleaning when all the kids leave.

While there are perks to venue parties, it turns out that throwing a party for your child at home doesn't have to ramp up the anxiety. Birthday parties at home can be a load of fun and be more budget-friendly than a venue party. Home parties are easier to plan and execute than you think, especially for 5-year-olds.

Read more
4-year-old birthday party ideas: 7 low-stress themes your child will love
Have a preschool party to remember with these cool birthday party ideas
Boy is excited for his fourth birthday

Birthdays are the best when your kids are in preschool. There's so much excitement wrapped up in their upcoming birthday. Of course, you will want to have a party to mark the special occasion. This is such a fun age. Preschoolers are curious, have a great deal of energy, and love to play. When putting together a fabulous fourth birthday party, you'll need to have an engaging theme, but you also don’t want to overload yourself with added stress. Thankfully, soon-to-be 4-year-olds have a wealth of interests to choose an engaging theme from. There also isn't a shortage of 4-year-old birthday party ideas that are absolutely amazing.

Whether you're hosting at home, outside, or holding the party at a venue, the theme sets the tone for the party’s decor, cake, and goodie bags. To avoid giving yourself extra anxiety, pick a theme that’s easy to implement, easy on the budget, and of course, one that kids will be thrilled about. So, let's get ready to celebrate because we have a list of 4-year-old birthday party ideas that are fantastic.

Read more