Toddler Talk: Backyard Movie Party

Guests of all ages will love spending a summer evening together outside

Summer is the perfect time to plan a backyard movie night party. Whether it's someone's birthday party or you just want to have a fun get-together, an outdoor movie will be one to remember! When my daughter turned two, we put together a backyard movie night for her. With all of her favorite things in tow (a movie, hot dogs, popcorn, and candy), she had a blast!

I wanted the party to be cute and festive, but also simple. My cousin designed the cutest invitation to look like a ticket stub. For refreshments, we had typical movie theater food: hot dogs, popcorn, soda (juice for the little ones), candy, and of course, birthday cupcakes. We laid out a bunch of quilts and blankets for the kids to sit on, then put lawn chairs behind them for the adults. We already had the cute string lights hanging in our backyard, which provided just the right amount of light so we could see. We borrowed a projector to play the movie and made our own movie screen.

I've seen several ways to make a movie screen, but some cost a lot more than I wanted to pay. For our screen, we bought a $6 white painter's drop cloth from the hardware store. I hand-sewed the top of it like a curtain. Then, we ran a small pvc pipe through it. Next, we ran a rope through the pvc pipe, and tied it to the trees. This ensured it was straight and tight at the top of the screen. At the bottom, we used another pvc pipe to weigh it down. Just as easily, you could put a concrete block or two in front of and behind the screen to prevent it from blowing away. Our screen cost about $10 in all and did the perfect job all night long. (We even used it again!)

We started the party just before sundown, allowing guests to make their plates and hang out a bit before the movie started. We watched The Lorax, which is a great movie for both kids and adults to enjoy. About 45 minutes into the movie, we had an "intermission" so my daughter could open her birthday gifts.

All in all, it was such a fun party. Everyone had a good time, grown-ups included. This party was super easy to put together and didn't put a huge dent in my wallet, either.

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