Parent Hack – How to Create a “Mini” Colour Run for a Birthday Party

Looking for a new outdoor birthday party idea? Try a “mini” colour run in the park or your own backyard. Coloured powder can create fun for all ages! Best of all, post party powder clean-up is as easy as watering the grass down with a garden hose or sprinkler.

As parents ourselves, we know how busy you are, so we have broken down the DIY mini colour run into 7 easy steps.

1. Numbers and instructions for other parents

  • Having an idea how many kids are coming will help you determine how much coloured powder to order (see point #3). A small amount of colour powder goes along way so be generous and invite everyone! The more the merrier.
  • Tell the other parents that there will be colour powder, some kids are allergic to food colouring so check that out beforehand.
  • Encourage the children to wear a white t-shirt (or provide cheap ones yourself).
  • Consider providing cheap sunglasses as part of the party bag, or tell the parents to bring sunglasses/goggles
  • When the children arrive show them and the parents the coloured powder, let them touch it, they will be very interested, and it will lessen any anxiety later

2. Space and course set up

  • Set up a course for the children to run/skip/hop through, allocate colour stations along the way.
  • What is a colour station? It is a specific spot you choose to throw one colour of powder at the kids as they go through.
  • How many colour stations should you have? We recommend a min of 3; 5 is great; and 7 will feel like a rainbow.

3. How Much Powder do I Need?

  • This will depend on your guest numbers and how many colour station throwers you plan to have (at least one for each colour).
  • We suggest 200grams to 300grams per participant. In our experience small children (eg 7-11) need less eg 150gram.

4. Powder throwing and safety

  • Being a “colour thrower” is a great low-skill job for that older sibling and/or parent that is a big kid at heart.
  • Keep it simple – find some buckets or cut the tops of milk jugs to empty all the powder into.
  • As each participant enters the station, scoop and toss a handful onto their torso, so it sticks to their white shirts and arms.
  • Tell your throwers to avoid throwing the powder in the children’s eyes, mouths, noses or ears.
  • There will be some kids that are scared, don’t force them. Consider sprinkling the powder on them rather than throwing
  • Have water ready to flush out any powder that needs to be removed

5. Extra Cool Ideas

  • Shower participants with water (i.e. run through a sprinkler, water gun or mist with garden hose) to help coloured powder stick to white clothes.
  • Douse a tarp at a colour station with powder. Participants can lay down and roll or crawl to the other side.
  • Dig through the toys in the garage. Are there fun obstacles you can add to your course with odd items eg pool noodles, plastic slide, skipping ropes. Turn on your creative side and create something to jump over or run around.
  • Incorporate a “dancing station” on your course, were everyone stops and has a boogie.

6. Get Excited

  • Get super colourful! Use streamers and balloons to decorate the trees. Wear odd colourful socks, crazy skirts/shorts and funny colourful hats. Encourage the kids to be silly, messy and have lots of fun.
  • Prizes, no matter how small and inexpensive, are always a hit with younger kids.
  • Turn up the tunes! Music will creative a festive atmosphere. The more excited you are, the more fun everyone will have!

7. Clean-Up

  • Our coloured powders wash out with regular soaps. To prepare your guests for their upcoming fun by suggesting a change of clothes and/or towels to cover the car seats for the ride home.
  • Some children will be disappointed to find that the colours will wash from their shirt – we are asked all the time “can we get the colours to stay?”
  • Our coloured powders contain food colouring, and those worried about a hint of lingering colour in their hair may want to wear a hat.
  • Coloured powder left behind will be heavier around the stations, it will natural dissipate or you can water it down with garden hose or sprinkler.

​To preserve the colour on clothes the best way is to:

  1. Promptly change out of your coloured gear and do not shake off any excess colour powder.
  2. Lay the clothes flat and spray generously (ie soak it) with white vinegar.
  3. Allow to dry lying flat then iron with high heat to set the colour (use a rag between clothes and iron).
  4. Turn inside out and put in tumble dryer for 10min on high heat.
  5. Wash and wear proudly – colour will eventually fade.