Keeping Kids Busy During a Summer Dinner Party

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by Sandy Coughlin
The Reluctant Entertainer

Thanks for joining me in my “30 Days of Summer Entertaining” series.

When my kids were little, I tried to prepare them in advance for sharing their toys that night, and if there was anything too precious that they didn’t want to share, to put it up.

A pep talk with your kids to remind them how to treat their guests is always a good idea, too.

Kids are kids. They are constantly learning and need constant reminding of good manners.

My kids are teens now, so entertaining is WAY enjoyable with them, because they’re like mini adults. I really love the teen years! But reminiscing to earlier years, I think it’s good to pass down fresh ideas that encourage hospitality, because it just isn’t always easy with little kids.

Give the kids something to do! Ask them to come up with their own show. Magic show, talent show, music show, games, yard games, or you can even have some relay games for them to play. Ask one of the older kids to be the “leader,” or better yet, get the older folks involved.


Summer activities to keep the kids busy so the adults can enjoy one another:

1. Borrow extra scooters if you have sidewalks or a level driveway.

2. Set up badminton in the back yard or resort to bocce ball (for older kids).

3. Chalks is fun in the driveway or even the garage.

4. Have extra wood by a large tree for boys to build their own fort.

5. Make sure your pool toys are organized and towels are clean.

6. Frisbees are a blast–even the adults can play.

7. Encourage kids to come up with their own “show,” whatever that may be.

8. Have drawing, paints, and coloring supplies on hand.

9. Water balloons are a blast!

10. Encourage relays and creative fun.

Yes, when summer was in the air, we’d all have a great time.

By the end of the night when we adults would be sitting by candlelight, and kid’s bodies would be asleep on various pieces of furniture or even on the floor, or asleep in their mommy or daddy’s arms.

How do you entertain kids during summer events?