Tips for Outdoor Entertaining While Entertaining the Kids
I am a Brand Ambassador for IKEA U.S. This is a sponsored post.
Spring is right around the corner and in Southern California we like to take advantage of the beautiful sunny weather. As a busy work-at-home mom, I have to make time for play to stay sane…and by “play” I mean sit and relax and gossip with my girlfriends. Ha! Our daily lives are filled with work, homework, sporting events, dance classes, music classes, and insert activity here. Because of this, I love to invite my friends and their kids over for a casual playdate and entertain outside. The moms sit, chit chat, and enjoy coffee and light snacks while the kids play together.
Outdoor entertaining doesn’t have to be elaborate, especially for a casual playdate like this. But if you keep these few tips in mind, you can be the “hostess with the mostess” and at the same time relax and enjoy this special time with your friends.
Tip #1: Keep the menu light and healthy.
Serve finger foods like fruit, vegetables, crackers, and cheese for both the parents and kids to snack on. I have a tiered tray, the KVITTERA Serving platter, that I like to use that will hold a variety of snacks, is easy to carry, and takes little space in the center of the table. It’s easy and no fuss and the kids can trot over and grab what they want to snack on too.
If you want to serve something heartier, sandwiches cut in quarters and a homemade salad on a paper plate make for quick and easy clean up.
Tip #2: Have extra seating available.
I like to set up extra folding tables and chairs outside. This way the adults can keep an eye on the kids but still be comfortable. The SALTHOLMEN outdoor collection makes entertaining easy and convenient. I have a small table for two and tables that seat four to six. They fold easy for storage and made of powder-coated steel which makes it easy to wipe down and clean after eating or messy activities.
Add some pillows or light blankets to make seating inviting and cozy. Once everyone leaves, I can quickly fold them up and store them in my garage if I want them out of sight or I can keep them out for seating all year long.
Tip #3: Small details make a big impact.
Add a small centerpiece like fresh flowers in a vase and a votive with a table runner. Small details like these add a nice touch to your table without too much effort. I like to cut a fresh flower from my rose bush and place it in a bud vase. Shown here is the SANNOLIK Vase and PÄRLBAND Tealight holder, two of my favorite go-to centerpieces. The pink, turquoise, and light green MITTBIT table runner is perfect for spring.
Tip #4: Have games and activities ready for the kids to do.
The main idea of a “mommy playdate” is for the adults to relax and bond with one another as well as the kids. It is helpful to have things for the kids to do, so that the parents can have time with one another.
We have a trampoline that the kids love to play in. It is always a hit. However, if you don’t have one, no need to worry. There are a lot of other options for kids to get creative and use their imaginations. Here are a few ideas for all ages.
- Hula Hoops and Jump Ropes
- Play Dough with Cookie Cutters
- Finger Paints
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Water Balloons and Squirt Guns
Another option is to place a bin on the table filled with things like paper and cardboard scraps, markers, pom-poms, glue, pipe cleaners, kid-friendly scissors and recycled caps, and let the kid’s imaginations run wild.
I hope you like my mommy playdate rules of thumb. As busy adults in a world full of over stimulation and technology, it’s important to refresh and spend time with friends outdoors while the kids learn and play together. These are just a few tips to make create a stress-free beautiful experience for all.
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I am a Brand Ambassadör for IKEA U.S. This is a sponsored post.