When you host an eco-friendly party you can look into our Eco-Friendly Events Planning Guide to find basic ideas on how to make your party environmentally conscious. As we know, it's a different story when planning a children's party. After all, you are working with small creatures who need the kind and loving guidance into issues that can overwhelm a little brain and the last thing we want is to worry our children about the environmental issues that we have created.
So, let's dive in. How we can educate our small guests but have a good time while doing it? In this blog, I'm going to introduce some ideas for food, sorting trash, decorating and my dear friend, Marly. She runs an environemental awarness organization called EcoCodes, sharing her ideas for environmental, educational and fun games that your little guests will love!
Treat your mini guests healthy snacks like and drinks.
Kids are not usually big eaters when it comes to having a good time. I've noticed in especially at kid's parties there are lots of leftovers. So, if they are not big eaters why stress yourself with offering large amounts of food? This might sound crazy to some of you but think about it; if your small guests are WAY more excited about activities, then maybe you should concentrate your money on those instead of food.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have food at all, but have small snacks and treats instead of a proper meal. You are saving a good deal of money and time when you don’t provide a full meal at your party.
Just make sure to communicate to the parents beforehand that there will be only light snacks and sweets so they know to feed the little party animals before they arrive to the event.
Make sorting trash a fun game for the kids, let them learn what happens to the trash after it is "thrown away." You would be surprised how many kids are excited to learn if you just give them a chance. Communication is the key, make it an interesting and fun interaction; kids don't need to know the darkest details. Right now I'm speaking from my own experience, because I have many times found children carefully listening to me when I'm explaining about the cool Palm Leaf Plates that I use in the party, or why I chose to use Edible Straws instead of plastic or paper straws.
If you have very small children at the party who cannot read yet, take a picture of the items you are using and print it on the trash bin so they know what products go to which bin. It will also help A LOT if you can have an adult near the trash cans guiding the guests to sort the trash, sometimes even us adults get confused.
The most difficult part probably is telling your little one there won't be balloons. Balloons are NOT an eco-friendly option at all and should be one of the first things dropped from the shopping list when going eco. Thankfully, there are so many options you can use instead of balloons, and eventually, your child might not even mind not having balloons.
So what to do instead of balloons?
Use Paper lanterns, pompoms, Seed Paper Banners, and Reusable Garlands.
Make your own decoration, it's not that difficult, maybe a little time-consuming.
Rent/Buy decoration from D'light Eco Party Store.
Here are some fun games she created for our Earth Day event:
Recycling Relay Race
This game is almost like a relay race but instead of a message we sorted trash. A recycling relay race is a fun way to learn how to sort trash. Rules: Split kids in teams. Every team has a pile of trash in front of them, the trash doesn't have to be exactly the same for each team. Kid's pick one trash at a time and decide as a team which of the cans it should be taken to: there are two options, Recyclables and Trash. One person will take the item to the correct can and the team will move to the next item until all items are sorted. At the end of the game, the judge will go through each of the cans together with the teams (this is important to include the teams in the judging part so the kids learn). Each correct item will give the team one point, the winning team is the one with the highest points.
How to prepare for the recycling relay race: - Find items that are recyclable (eg. soda cans, boxes, glass, juice, and milk cartons). Then, find items that are trash (eg. pizza boxes, plastic bags, plastic cups, and utensils). - Prepare recycling cans and trash cans. If you don't have you can purchase small cans or containers and tape recycling & trash signs on them. - Before you start the game explain to the children the difference between recycling and trash. - Split the children in teams and help them to pick fun team names together. Depending on how many children you have at the party, we would recommend having more than two in one team
Educating Art Classes
This is a fun way to get together and take a moment to appreciate our beautiful earth and have a good time at the same time. We had two art projects for the children:
Paint the Earth We made a paper mache planet of an old yoga ball and painted the planet earth with the kids! For this, we used the following: - an old yoga ball - old newspaper - glue - water and flour - toilet paper - white paint - green and blue paint and paintbrushes
Here are quick steps on how to make this, if you need visual guidance this video is very helpful (she is using a latex balloon instead of the yoga ball, I would recommend upcycling a round item to the project instead of using balloons):
1. Cut old newspaper into long strips. 2. Mix flour and water. 3. Place yoga ball on something that will hold it, see picture; we used upcycled small trash can. 4. Dip newspaper in flour+water mixture and start covering the yoga ball, do multiple layers (let the layers dry before adding a new layer). 6. Add the final layer using toilet paper or recycled white paper and glue. 7. If you feel like the ball needs to be whiter you can paint it now with white paint 8. We painted the lines of continents on the ball to help the kids to see what areas are going to be painted blue as for the ocean and what for green as for the land.
We Love Our Planet -Banner Use old sheets or if you have wooden ballets in your backyard those works very well too. Purchase some eco-friendly paint, (eg. water-based paint). Sketch an earth-themed picture or text with a pencil on the sheet. Children will paint the picture/text.
Planting and Gardening Class
Planting and gardening is the most fun way to get connected to the environment and almost every child loves this activity!
Collect some toilet paper rolls or bring food jars and tin cans from home. Buy seeds and soil. You can start the class by having the kids decorating the jars/paper rolls. Then mix seeds with soil and have kids measure them into the pots. The last step is to water them as needed. Easy and simple but so much fun! Have kids take the plants with them so they can see their work grow into beautiful flowers.
I usually recommend not using material when it comes to party favors. Instead, give away plants, experiences, or donations but with children that can be a bit difficult. We recommend the following kids-friendly favors:
Seed Bombs are a fun favor to take home. You can also make these yourself!
Seed bombs. You can either order these ready-made or make them yourself at the party. If you decide to make them, it can be a pretty fun activity for the children! Each bomb will grow beautiful flowers or herbs when they are planted. If you have time, have all the children plant the bombs into an upcycled tin can and take it home after.
Bath bombs and soaps. Gifting any handmade bathroom items as a favor is very popular right now. We are happy to customize our handmade bath bombs for your party!
Something to eat. If you have a candy or a dessert buffet at the party, give the children little bags to take goodies with them when they leave. Or have your local bakery make customized cupcakes or any other pastries that the kids can take home.