The beautiful days of summer are here again. The sun is out, the air is fresh, the grass is green and the opportunities are endless for fun-in-the-sun birthday parties. The three summer months ”“ June to August ”“ rank in the top five for most American births, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. So chances are good you’ll be hosting or attending a summer birthday this year. You can go to the waterpark or visit the batting cages any day, but your child’s birthday is special.

Here are some summer birthday party ideas that will help you plan a day your child will never forget. Whether your son or daughter has a competitive spirit or simply likes playing with their friends outside, organizing a handful of fun games will keep the party moving and give everyone a chance to participate in their favorite birthday contest. Depending on the size of your party, separate the kids into teams and have them go from station to station to play against each other or compete against the rest of the party. Here are a few game ideas to play on a gorgeous summer day.

* Create a homemade obstacle course. Kids love jumping over obstacles and testing their physical limits. Create a starting line and have each kid race through a series of obstacles to the finish. Your obstacle course can include a series of old tires for the kids to high-step through, oversized cardboard boxes to crawl under and a string tied between trees that the young kids have to navigate around before dashing to the finish line.

* Frisbee or football toss. Accuracy is the name of this game and making a homemade target is simple. Cut a few different shapes out of a plastic tarp, use colorful duct tape to mark each shape and give all of the targets a point value depending on their difficulty. Then hang the tarp and set up a throwing line. The kids will love to compete against each other to find out who has the most accurate arm.

* A tradition that never grows old is kids and toys. For decades Hot Wheels has been a favorite for kids everywhere with its thrills and performance. Today the action continues with a new twist that’s a great gift idea and a perfect party activity. Hot Wheels Spinshotz are high-speed spinning tops and stunt sets that test kids’ racing and reflex skills in a fun, fast way. The Spinshotz Stunt Set- Big Air Target Takedown lets kids build, race and challenge each other head-on in a high-stakes game of speed and pursuit, earning points by knocking down bullseye targets. Additionally, Spinshotz can be stacked vertically, making for an exciting game in balance and coordination, to see who can make the tallest spinning tower without toppling ”“ a surefire party hit!

* The always entertaining egg race is a must for any outdoor event. Assemble your teams to compete in a relay or run around a series of cones to record the best individual time. Use hard-boiled eggs and have the kids race around twists and turns trying to balance an egg on a spoon. Quickness isn’t the object of this game, stability and patience will win the race.

* What’s better on a hot summer day than water balloons? Have each team form a circle; make sure they are spread out enough to toss a water balloon to the person next to them. This elimination style game will have the kids on their toes as the water balloon travels from one person to the next in the circle. As each balloon pops, the last team standing wins. Throw in a twist by adding another water balloon headed in the opposite direction to keep everyone guessing.