It was so fun to host Mini Me's first friend party this year for his birthday. He invited four preschool friends (because he's four, of course). We had the party on a Saturday afternoon and unfortunately, it rained, so I said a prayer of thanks again for our lovely porch. Whew! Parents were welcomed to stay for the party but none did, which was fine, and that dictated the party activities.
InvitationsI made these invitations in Word with fun fonts and clip art. I took the wording from this site, which also has more ideas for a camping party!
DecorationsI used felt left over from our felt house and felt faces to make a birthday bunting. On one end it had the "4" birthday cake, in the middle was Mini Me's name with a letter on each pennant, and the last one was a campfire. I fixed balloons on each end, also, and now the bunting is hanging in his room. So fun!
The only other party decorations were simply balloons and two tents we had set up - one in the yard and a small pup tent on our porch.
FoodSome of our party food included campsite cupcakes. Mini Me chose chocolate cupcakes, which was perfect because it resembled dirt.
I frosted them in green using my delicious home made frosting recipe - no store bought stuff here!
I used pieces from a Hershey's bar to make a tent (teepee?). On a couple I also used mini Club crackers for the tent.
I found a box of Fruit Roll Ups that had red, orange, and green colors. I cut the blue in wavy strips to resemble a stream. I put a Goldfish cracker in each stream.
I cut Tootsie Roll Midgies and put the small pieces together to make campfire wood. I cut the red and orange fruit Roll Ups in spiky/wavy designs and scrunched and pinched together to make a fire, which I placed on top of the Tootsie Roll logs.
I think the finished effect is really cute.
Note: These do not keep long... after a day the candy started getting slimy.
We also made s'mores together on a little camping grill (not a real fire) and the kids had a blast making and eating them. When I asked the kids their favorite thing about the party, most of them said when one girl's marshmallow caught on fire!
I also offered my favorite honey granola but everyone was too busy eating their campfires.
ActivitiesWhen the kids arrived, we dug for bugs in Mini Me's brand-new-for-his-birthday pup tent. We blew up balloons to fill the tent. I put about thirty plastic bugs inside with the balloons. Each child went in the tent and dug around for the bugs while the rest of us outside the tent counted to twenty. We didn't keep score and there was a lot of giggling.
At the beginning of the party, I made sure to take a photo of Mini Me with each guest. While they were playing in the tent, I quickly printed them on photo paper. Using sticks and jute, we lashed together a little stick frame for the photo. Most kids cut out their own picture and some colored their sticks with crayons. They held the sticks together while I whipped the jute around and tied it. This activity was almost a huge dud - I needed two more pairs of adult hands to help tie the sticks into the frames. But.... all the campers were very patient and loved their keepsakes.
An interesting event was making s'mores over our small grill. They were good listeners so that helped as we worked with the fire and whatnot.
And of course, just running around and playing was a great pass time for these preschool buddies, too.
Each child got to take home their stick picture frame with their picture with the birthday boy, a flashlight (a $1 purchase - including batteries!), and two bugs they found in the tent game.
This party was easy, cheap, and fun to put together. It was especially sweet to know that for some of our campers, it was the first friend party they attended! I hope we gave them good memories. I know Mini Me loved it, especially since he weighed in on much of the planning. Happy 4th Birthday, my sweet boy!