Let’s face it; 2020 was the year that spoilt all the fun. Three lockdowns and an entire year later, vaccinations are rolling out at speed and restrictions are set to ease. What the entire world needs right now is a party, so if your little one has a birthday in the summer or beyond, why not start planning something now?

Of course, the exact number of invitees may have to be decided at a later date, but that’s okay. Even if the numbers are limited to six, if three’s a crowd then six is certainly on party territory. Here, we provide our top ten outdoor birthday party ideas for toddlers. After all, a little vitamin D wouldn’t go amiss and an outdoor party is far more likely to go ahead than an indoor one.

Arrange a teddy bear’s picnic

Traditional, yet always a firm favourite, the teddy bear’s picnic is easily achieved. You can whip out a blanket, chuck a few sandwiches together and invite a few of your friend’s little pals over to join them in the garden. You could ask invitees to bring a teddy bear each, but I’ve also seen this done in more creative ways. One idea is to pick up unwanted teddies from your local charity shop and create a teddy bear adoption centre, where each guest can take a teddy home with them.

Hire a bouncy castle

Hiring a bouncy castle isn’t revolutionary, but it is incredibly good fun, especially following lockdown where your child has been cooped up for weeks on end. Bouncy castles come in different sizes and themes, so there’s options to suit all age groups. The best thing about a bouncy castle? You’re guaranteed to wear them out. Great exercise, improves balance and tons of fun; what’s not to love?

Organise a mini sports day

Coming from a competitive family, I grew up on family games and DIY sports days. It’s amazing what games you can come up with, using just a few bean bags and coloured rings. The traditional egg and spoon race and sack race are easy to organise, but always a hit. You could also create an obstacle course in your garden, using a few garden cushions or by creating chalk markings on the floor. Whatsmore, prizes always go down a treat with little ones, as do pretend medals.

Throw a traditional tea party

When the sun is shining and the air is warm, nothing beats a quintessential tea party. Bunting, summery dresses, bow ties and shorts. Ah, summer! A good old British tea party is an Insta-worthy occasion that can be enjoyed by both adults and children of all ages. There are tons of traditional party games that can be incorporated, such as musical statues and musical bumps. Plus, who doesn’t love cake?

Go to the fayre

This summer, why not go to the fayre, or rather bring the fayre to you? Garden games could include hook a duck, a tambola, the ring toss and guess how many sweets are in the jar. Using a few poles and coconuts, it’s easy to create your own DIY coconut shy too. As a child, what’s the one thing you always left the fayre with? A goldfish! Now I’m not suggesting you hand out real goldfish at your party, but why not gift pretend ones in a jar or party bag just for fun?

Hire a petting zoo

Now maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never met a toddler that didn’t love animals. If your toddler is animal mad then you could hire some small animals for your guests to meet. There are now a number of companies that offer this, and in the very majority of cases, the animal’s welfare is paramount. Don’t be afraid to check beforehand though, and ask how the animals will be safely transported and stored. Depending on your space, you can hire smaller animals like rabbits and snakes, all the way up to sheep and alpacas. Most companies will offer a talk, giving children the opportunity to learn and ask questions about their favourite animals.

Throw a camping party

If your toddler is an outdoor, nature-lover, why not organise a pretend camping party or mini festival? Holding a camping party doesn’t have to mean having twenty toddlers stay over for a sleepover. Imagine that! Instead, simply pop up a tent or teepee in the garden or your local woodland, and throw in some cushions and a couple of sleeping bags. S’mores, popcorn and hot chocolate make excellent treats, whilst Maltesers make brilliant bear poop and pretzels make great pretend sticks. Let your imagination run wild.

Get creative with a crafts party

Not for the OCD mama or the faint hearted, throwing a crafts party is a great way of encouraging creativity and use of their imagination. This one may be suited to children from aged three upwards, because it requires a little more concentration than the others. You could create different stations around the garden and ask an adult to support at each station, where children can paint rocks, play with stickers, decorate a t-shirt and more. Whilst the mess can be colossal, doing it in the garden means it’s fairly easy to clear away. You can remove any water based paints and glues with the hose. Plus, your mum friends will probably be thankful that they don’t have to do it at their houses.

Dig out the fancy dress box

Fancy dress parties are an age-old ritual that all toddlers have to experience. Not only is it a great talking point for us mamas, but don’t they also look blummin’ cute? Cameras at the ready. Alternatively, why not dig out the fancy dress and leave it in the middle of the lawn for the kids to go wild? Not only does this encourage creativity and imaginative play, but it also prompts little ones to try dressing themselves.

Organise a scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is a fun way of allowing little ones to explore a safe, contained space at their own will. You could either hide different chocolates and treats around the garden for little ones to find on their own or help them with a list of objects (with images) to find, with the help of an adult. A scavenger hunt could also be incorporated into a bingo style card, with prizes to be won when a child gets a ‘line’ or ‘full house’.

So, there we have it, ten creative outdoor birthday party ideas for toddlers to make 2021 one to remember. Do you have any other ideas? Please share them in the comments or let us know if you’ll be trying any this year.

About the Author


Mum to 4-year-old, Indie, Jen loves nothing more than hiking, playing netball or tennis, preparing activities for Indie and making cocktails.

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