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As summer winds down and back-to-school season approaches, most people are willing and eager to celebrate one last time. Enter Labor Day.
Labor Day is the perfect opportunity to spend some time with family and friends and enjoy the last few weeks of summer. One of the best ways to celebrate is to throw a summer block party. A block party gets everyone involved and cultivates a sense of community that can progress as the school year starts. Inviting the neighbors on your street could even spark new friendships between kids, create carpooling and tutoring opportunities between parents, and help achieve a tight-knit neighborhood feel.
If you’re considering throwing a summer block party for Labor Day, here are some helpful planning tips:
Use Your Home to its Fullest Potential
Whether you have a large home with a yard or a smaller home with limited outdoor space, your Labor Day party should take advantage of what your military home can accommodate. If you have outdoor space, brighten up areas with outdoor string lights to create more places to hang out.
If you don’t have outdoor space, no problem! Set up the snack and beverage table at the point furthest from the entry. Considering that guests tend to gravitate towards food and drink areas, so setting up a good flow of traffic will help keep the party moving
Offer a Mix of Healthy Snacks and Treats
Pleasing everybody is impossible - but having a mix of healthy food and snack options is a great start. Some families may maintain a plant-based diet, while some may eat more indulgently. The key is to offer yummy options to satisfy both ends of the spectrum. Make sure to include lots of fruits and veggies, then sprinkle in some finger foods like cheeses, dips, and bread or crackers. Ice cream cones filled with cut-up summer fruits are a great snack that the kids will love. The fruit-filled center, packed with vitamins and nutrients, is nicely complemented by the cone's sweet crunch.
Prepare Crafts for the Kids
While kids should have the opportunity to play and chat freely, sometimes giving them an icebreaker can help stimulate interactions. Crafts are a great way to entertain children and let them express their creativity. Head to your local craft store and pick up some fun projects for the kids to work on throughout the summer party. This way, they have an activity to fall back on if they get bored playing with each other.
Curate the Playlist for Your Audience
When it comes to putting together a playlist for your summer party, keep your audience in mind and curate accordingly. If your party is kid-friendly, avoid explicit songs or choose the censored version. If you use Spotify or Pandora, there are a plethora of pre-built playlists that are kid-friendly. Another idea is to have guests submit song requests with their RSVP. Be sure to include a note that instructs how and where to send requests—this a fun way to create a collaborative playlist (and take the pressure off of you).
Make Your Decor Interactive
Give your guests something to talk about from the get-go at your summer block party! There are plenty of interactive elements that function as ice breakers to facilitate communication amongst your guests from edible centerpieces to photo props to name tags. Check out Pinterest for craft inspiration by searching “Labor Day party decorations.” You can also incorporate some fun group games, such as giant Jenga or cornhole, to help create some fun and healthy competition along with some team building!
As summer fun winds down, there’s nothing like a block party to ring in the new season. A summer block party gives you a chance to cultivate relationships with those in your neighborhood so you can be ready to take on the school year. With the right planning and preparation, your Labor Day party will be the talk of the block.
Related: Back-to-School Tips: Starting a New School Year for Military Children