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Plan a summer party with the family

Kristin Chessman is a freelance writer, editor and mom from Southern California with a passion for travel, fashion, Disney, the beach, Italian food and all-things celebrity. Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinChessman.

Sizzlin' summer fiesta

Summer is the perfect excuse for a fabulous party full of family, friends and fun. But before you get to work planning your summer extravaganza, call a family meeting and assemble your party-planning committee. Teach kids about responsibility and taking pride in their work as your family works together to throw the best summer shindig ever!

Pool themed summer party

Divvy up the duties

First thing’s first -- create a master to-do list and start assigning your family members to specific tasks. Ask everyone for their input so you can match tasks with interests and abilities. Be sure to involve the whole family in the planning process so each member feels like the party is theirs too.

When assigning tasks, keep the ages of your kids in mind too. Little ones can take on tasks like coloring posters and decorations, while older kids can help create the music playlist or set up tables.

Design an invite

Is your son the family artist? Put him to work designing an invitation. If you’re throwing a pool party, go for flip-flop-shaped invites. Or, how about this refreshing popsicle-shaped invitation? Make sure your budding artist proudly signs the back of each invite, and don’t forget to take a picture of the final masterpiece to include in a digital scrapbook.

Set the menu

Decide on a menu that’s family-friendly. If your husband loves to grill, why not fire up the BBQ and let him work his magic? BBQ chicken, ribs and corn on the cob for a perfect summertime party meal. Or opt for good ol’-fashioned burgers and hot dogs with all the fixins.

Offer a light (but delicious!) summer salad, like this one, made of avocados, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

After your menu is set, assign the culinary genius of your family to making a grocery list.

If your guest list is too large or you’re pulling together a last-minute soiree, keep the menu simple by ordering pizza. Be sure to order a vegetarian option and one or two different meat options as well.

Refreshment committee

It’s best to have one adult and one child on your refreshment committee to make sure you have plenty of beverage options for all ages. Iced tea is a summertime staple -- serve it in a large glass jug. Fill a galvanized tub with ice right before party time and fill it with bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated.

For an oh-so-refreshing beverage option, serve root beer floats. Just be sure your refreshment committee keeps the ice cream cold until it’s time to serve these frothy concoctions.

Decorations

Let your kids run wild with the party decor. Let them pick a fun theme and create a list of what they need to accomplish that theme. Help them scour Pinterest for some inspiration. Set a budget and take them to your nearby party store to get shopping. Not only will they have fun on their shopping spree, but they’ll also learn how to stay within a budget.

Capture memories

One of the most important party tasks takes place on the actual day of the party -- capturing all the fun on camera! Make sure your family photographer is comfortable using the camera, and then encourage her to snap fun candids throughout the party. After the party, help her create a digital scrapbook to preserve the memories of this summer party!

Have fun!

Most importantly, have fun! Planning the event as a family will create tons of special memories and teach your kids the importance of working together. Try not to stress and make sure to go with the flow. After all, it’s summertime!

More summer parties

6 Family-friendly games for summer parties
6 Outdoor summer party themes
Summer party-planning cheat sheet

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