Planning The Perfect Summer Party That Is Kid-Friendly

Planning the Perfect Kid-Friendly Summer Party

Summer parties are a great way to spend quality time with the family. During the summer season, kids have a lot of free time, making it the perfect opportunity for them to get involved in the events, too. Kids can play an active role in every aspect of party planning. Allowing them to participate not only teaches responsibility, but also gives them the opportunity to explore their creative side. Giving a child the freedom to use their imagination lets them express themselves in new and unique ways — and what better way to put imagination to use than at a party?

Choose a Theme

There are many different themes suitable for summer parties. If the kids are going to be involved in the party planning process, it is important they be given the opportunity to help choose the theme. The right theme will set the mood for the entire gathering, and helps to determine what games and activities are planned. It will also determine what type of decorations will be needed to set the mood and create an atmosphere.

Buy, or Make, Decorations

Once the theme for the party is selected, the next step is to start prepping the decorations. Depending on the theme you’ve decided on, children can help make some of the decorations, or they can accompany you to the store to purchase them. Purchase the materials you need, and give the children the chance to make them by providing instructions and examples. Children can make backdrops by painting large pieces of cardboard, or make name tags, table centerpieces and create games to keep guests of all ages occupied. Children of all ages benefit from working with others on projects where they can see the end result and enjoy themselves.

Preparing Your Lawn

Before any decorating can take place, the lawn must be prepared. Luckily, if you are already an owner of EasyTurf artificial grass, your backyard prep will save time and effort. Homeowners with natural grass lawns must mow, trim and remove any yard waste prior to guests’ arrival. Those with artificial turf only have to make sure the yard is free of debris, and that furniture and tables are ready for use. If the weather is hot, a quick spray with the hose will eliminate any dust that may be resting on your turf.

Allow your children to brush or sweep the artificial turf, and they will help keep the blades upright — and, as a bonus, it gives them time to burn off excess energy before the party starts. Artificial turf requires little to no upkeep, and can be cleaned in a matter of minutes, depending on the size of the lawn. Kids can easily prepare the lawn for a summer party, freeing up the adults for the more complicated aspects of planning and preparing.

Get Decorating

A summer party isn’t complete without exciting, lively decorations to set the mood. Children can help decorate for the party in several ways: they can decorate tables, help hang decorations on walls, and can set out centerpieces or backdrops. Pair younger kids with an adult or an older teenager, and they can work together to hang decorations or place decorative items throughout your outdoor space. Kids who are given responsibility when it comes to preparing for the party are more likely to appreciate the effort put into it — and, of course, they’ll have fun while they are there. Many times, when children are included in the preparation process, it becomes just as much fun as the party itself.

Ideas for Drought Tolerant Landscaping in Texas

A yard that blends into the natural landscape not only showcases the unique aspects of an area but reduces water usage as well.
In Texas, you must also consider the lack of available water. Planting water-free or low water plants in your yard is a great first step to lowering your water use. The best way to create a drought tolerant landscaping is to blend low or water-free natural elements with artificial grass.

Xeriscaping, landscaping that concentrates on reducing water needs, is one of the most popular trends today. The reason for the rise of this unique landscape design is because local cities are mandating citizens to use less water. Other factors, such as droughts, have also played a role in people learning about this technique and applying it. It can also improve your curb appeal!

What Is Included in Xeriscaping?
Xeriscaping refers to gardening and landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for water. It includes:

  • Ground covering elements like artificial grass, brick or stone patios, and walkways.
  • Décor such as bird baths, fountains and patio furniture.
  • Other elements like retaining walls, plastered walls, flagstone and pebbles.
  • Plants that are natural to the area and work well in drought tolerant landscaping.
  • Natural fabrics and wood produced fabrics that can remain outside.

Considering the Area
North Texas has a couple of weather patterns. In the Dallas-Forth Worth area, summers are hot and can be humid. However, the hottest part of the summer, topping 100 degrees, comes with dryness. Precipitation can either be a drought in the summer or flooding in the spring or fall.

Going more west and further north in places like Amarillo, summer temperatures hover in the 90s during the day and upper 60s at night. There is no precipitation for long periods, creating a need for drought tolerant landscaping.
This information is important in creating your xeriscape design because you will need to pick elements that can withstand the weather in your area.

There are a couple of elements that work beautifully in both of these types of weather and work well for drought tolerant landscaping. They include:

  • Stone. Whether it is a flagstone patio or pebble paths, stone will last no matter what the weather and naturally fits in both environments.
  • Artificial grass. Grass grows naturally in north Texas, but may be hard to maintain because of erratic weather patterns. Artificial grass will blend in with the landscape and requires very little maintenance.
  • Natural fabrics. Most of today’s fabrics are meant to withstand weather.
How to Do It
There are numerous ways to create an oasis in your backyard without using a lot of water.Some ideas include:
  • Build a stone or brick patio. This reduces yard space, so less water is used.
  • Build an outdoor fireplace. These are becoming popular as they create an outdoor room for entertaining. Since north Texas has cooler temperatures in the fall, along with some periods of cold weather in winter, an outdoor fireplace will extend time outside beyond the summer.
  • Use natural plants including tall grasses, border plants and container plants. Some ideas for north Texas include Horsemint, the Four Nerve Daisy, and Indian Blanket. All work well for drought tolerant landscaping.
  • Create a rock garden. Rocks and boulders are unique and can be arranged in a natural sculpture, blending into your drought tolerant landscape design. Drought resistant plants and cactus can be placed around them to enhance the garden.
  • Install artificial grass in small courtyards or in between concrete or pebble borders. This can be a difficult area to grow grass and even harder to keep manicured. Artificial turf is the perfect solution and adds color to your landscape. Since it requires no water, it works well in drought tolerant landscaping.
  • Use pebbles for pathways through your garden areas. This adds a natural beauty and is easy to maintain.
  • Install a water feature. While water conservation is key in xeriscaping, most water features today recycle water so there is little water loss. Having a water element in an otherwise hot and dry environment will add to the oasis effect. For the ultimate conservation of water, connect it to a rain barrel, so you aren’t using city water.
  • Add color with fabric. Use fabric to create outdoor curtains for a porch, cushions or pillows for furniture or pergolas.
These are just some of the vast array of ideas you can use to create interest in your yard and make it a relaxing place for the family to spend time. The best part is implementing these elements in your drought-tolerant landscaping can save up to 80 percent on water use, which reduces your water bill.