This party was a blast to put together.
I spent a lot of time contemplating what the best parts of camping were for little kids. None of them had been away to camp… they were all 4! They just got over the section of their lives where their mama’s called them Baby. But I am sure many of them had been camping… so I focused on the most fun parts of camping. Tents, lanterns, fire, s’mores, stories, flashlights, and treasure. And then I threw in some bubbles for good measure.
The invitations were sweet little tents that opened up into the party information.
They were gifted with a treat for each of the kids on the receiving end.
DISCLAIMER: this party was at night. It had to be at night, because all of the funnest things about camping happen at night. Fire, s'mores, flashlights, um… fire. That means a couple things when it comes to a party. It means that there are not many very good pictures, for one! And for two, the pictures that I did get, are somewhat blurry because everything that I couldn’t set up hours early happened in the dark or very near it.
Ok. On with the pictures:
Trusty chalk board, lanterns that regularly hang from the front porch, and pine cones from a friends wedding a year ago were the decorations for the porch. It was simple, free and effective.
When the kids walked through the door, they got a wood burned name tag that said “CAMP LUCAS” on one side and their name on the other:
Inside, his party was all over the house. The school room had these little tents I made for his birthday and a few fake Christmas trees, given to us by friends.
I had a chalkboard bunting left over from Valentine’s Day and I just wiped it off and wrote CAMP LUCAS across it then added a pine cone banner I made myself. I didn’t even change my Spring mantel decorations because they seemed to fit so well!
The cake table was decorated with a crate and a bunch of stuff that I had or borrowed from friends. (We’ll talk about the campfire cake later.)
First we ate dinner:
The fire was already lit in the back yard and I had one of the teens sitting out there watching it. Earlier in the day I had set up the treasure hunt with candles at each station. After dinner the kids each got a bag that had acorn and an animal tag on it:
(Free animal graphic found here)
That tag coordinated with a flashlight in the back yard. Then I had them go on a treasure hunt with their flashlights!
(All of this was done after dark, so these pictures were taken way before.)
On the hunt they found a container of bubbles, a cricket clicker, a jar of trail mix, a bug bag filled with gummy butterflies, and a small bundle of twig pencils.
The rest of the evening was spent making s’mores by the campfire and telling stories.
I kept the ghost stories away but told one about an old man who thinks his house is too noisy. It’s a great story that I used to listen to told by Danny Kay when I was a kid. The kids all loved it!
The rest of the time was spent blowing bubbles into the fire. Have you ever done that? It makes the bubbles go up up up super fast. They thought this was the coolest thing ever. Thanks to my new 8 year old for showing them. They spent at least 1/2 an hour doing that alone.
After that part, it was cake and present time!
Sooooo… for the cake, I was going for campfire, like this:
I LOVE how it turned out:
What do you think??
We had several tutorials on how to do this, but this one was by far and away the easiest. Didn’t even require a candy thermometer!
All in all, it was Luke’s best party yet and I have heard from two mamas of kids who were there and they (and Luke) are STILL playing with their treasure bags the next day! I call that party success!