Barbie Inspired Summer Playdate (or Party) Ideas

By Jenn Sbranti for Hostess with the Mostess

With summer in full swing, it feels like we’re constantly looking for ways to keep the kids entertained. My youngest daughter in particular is always (always, ALWAYS) asking to see her friends, so I had promised her early on that we’d host a “special” playdate/sleepover in late June. This gave her something to look forward to… aaaand something to ask me about 10 times a day until it actually happened. ;)

This is definitely more “all out” than our average playdate, but I wanted to do something outside-the-box for summer + share inspiration that would work well for Barbie birthday parties, too!

The Inspiration

The look of this playdate was inspired by the new Sparkle Barbie party collection – isn’t it fun?! I love the geometric patterns and the bright, POP-y colors that feel perfect for the warm weather:

BARBIE Table Centerpiece

In addition to the Sparkle Barbie party supplies, I found lots of other great items to compliment them, including the Party Krazy Strawswhite plastic table cover, and rainbow circles garlands pictured above. Their candylicious-looking Plastic Favor Paint Cans were my very FAVORITE discovery, though.

I lined the plastic paint cans up and added letter stickers to the front for a colorful + super easy centerpiece for our outdoor table. Note: if you use this idea for a birthday party, it’s a perfect spot to feature the guest of honor’s name! 

Summer Playdate Activities

Since this was a playdate, though – and one that lasted overnight at that – we had lots of time to fill! So, most of my efforts were focused on activities. Read on for a recap of our favorites…

1. Outdoor Fun Station

To make backyard play time easier, I put all the outdoor goodies in one spot so the girls could easily see their options and decide what they wanted to play with next…

Our “Outdoor Fun Station’ had dress up items like leis and Barbie Sunglasses + bubbles, towels, water bottles, water balloons, and squirt guns. Colorful plastic ice buckets and Barbie Favor Containers made perfect display containers for some of the items.

To play up the Barbie theme, one of our Barbie dolls sat next to a printable “Outdoor Fun” sign. The double-sided white frame is from Party City, too.

2. Water Balloons

It came as no big surprise that the first activity they chose was a WATER BALLOON FIGHT! Who could blame them, right? ;)

I got the kind of water balloons that fill up one big bunch at a time, and we used the plastic ice buckets to hold them.

Tip: Spread the ice buckets out so that the kids have to run to different spots to grab water balloons. This keeps everyone from bottlenecking around just one bucket, too.

3. Sparkle Slime Activity

If you have a school-aged kid, chances are good that you’re familiar with the slime-making craze. My kids – and their friends – seriously never seem to tire of it! To tailor it for a Barbie party, though, we specifically made “Sparkly Slime” this time. 

We’ve made slime with various colors of actual glitter before – so I know that can get really messy, really quick. To save us all from a big mess, I opted for using (pre-glittered) glitter glue in a variety of colors this time, plus some of the Barbie Confetti as an extra mix-in.

The Barbie Confetti pieces were bigger than regular glitter, so they felt like a cool new “ingredient” to the girls, and the metallic colors and geometric shapes perfectly matched the theme. They used Barbie Dessert Plates to hold their finished slime… and – as always – it was a hit!

4. Coloring & Free Play

When we have kids over, I almost always set out coloring stuff and place it somewhere that’s easily accessible, like the coffee table. Drawing and coloring are something they always want to do eventually… and they also seem to drift back to it whenever they need a little break. For some reason kids also love things that are tiny – and these itty-bitty notebooks from the Barbie Favor Pack were definitely a favorite item!

We also had all the Barbie dolls out, of course – and they got lots of play time, too!

5. Rainbow Barbie Ice Cream Sundaes

Sundaes are the perfect summer treat – and when you line the ingredients up assembly-line style, they also double as an “activity”. ;) 


In addition to Barbie ice cream cups and napkins, I also found the rainbow chocolate drops & sprinkles, pink spoons, and rainbow-striped table cover at Party City. 

6. Movie Time + Popcorn

By the end of the night, the activity that I was personally more than ready for was movie time…. you know – where you actually SIT for a while! LOL

These Barbie Favor Containers turned out to be the perfect size for popcorn holders:

7. “Glam Up” Favor Station

Last but not least, was the “Glam” Station. This is a Barbie theme, after all. ;)  I set this up as a fun surprise for the morning when the girls woke up, but it would be great as a regular party station too:

Using pre-packed Favor Kits from the Sparkle Barbie Party collection made this station super easy. I just displayed the favors on plates and set out bags that the girls could fill up with little goodies to take home.  (Download my Glammed Up sign here.)

All in all, I’d say we had a blast… or, as Rylie put it: “That was SO FUN!“. Being able to find so many different things in one spot (at Party City) definitely made pulling everything together much easier, too.

Now I just need an excuse to throw another summer party so I can use those amazing plastic paint cans again soon! 😍