Creating lasting memories for birthday parties is easy to do without breaking the bank. It’s also easy to get creative without much cost, effort, or pre-packaged theme sets. Last year for our daughter’s third birthday I orchestrated a Fairy Garden Party that was simply magical. This year I chose a camping theme for her fourth birthday celebration.
Our original plan was to actually go camping with friends and their daughters. I planned to set up the party at our adjoining campsites. Under the current circumstances, our plans were cancelled. So I adjusted our camping party plans to our home. What I have found is that, with a little decorative planning, a little love, and an attitude of fun, kids will utterly enjoy the experience regardless of location.
Be Creative with your Home
I took advantage of both the front and back yards. I booked visiting guests in stages which worked out so well. Rather than one big party with tons of people like last year, having segments of time with personal play dates truly had it’s benefits. Our daughter, Skylar, and her friends got personal one on one time together. There was no battle over toys or the craziness that comes during a pile of presents being opened in front of a crowd of eager and ambitious young helpers.
Instead there was smooth communication and play time. Plus my daughter had some quiet time between visitors. We had visitors from 10am-12pm, then 1-3pm, then 4-6pm thereabouts. I just may do this again since the children enjoyed their peaceful time together so much.
Go with the Flow
Additionally, I was able to keep on top of preparing snacks, cleaning up, and tidying up, so the house looked like it never happened by the end of the day. Plus the other mama that came during each time slot was able to help with the kids and my mother was also on hand to help. Simple mama teamwork and pleasures! There’s nothing like a clean kitchen at the end of a day!
So here’s some specific tips I found helpful:
- Check out Pinterest. I made boards for party ideas as I found great ideas from others out there.
- Make a Campfire Cake or Campfire cupcakes. I stayed mostly true to my organic ingredients save the rock jelly beans, the wafer cookies and the food coloring for the campfire. However, I made the cakewith organic ingredients including flour, sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, and butter and cream cheese for the frosting.
- You can buy rock shaped jelly beans or chocolate stones for cake decoration.
- Use rolled wafer cookies as campfire sticks for cake decoration.
- Use wall paper flowers but instead of hanging them, use them as floor props so the kids can interact with them.
- As a party activity with fun take home party favors, provide a painting area for rock painting and terra cotta pot painting. Kids just love painting and it keeps them entertained for a long time. Plus they can take home their artistic creations. I chose larger pots so they could either be used for gardening or as a storage container in their rooms for toys or accessories.
- Set up tents for the day party and then camp overnight in them.
- Make a smores plate and have a little campfire for melting the marshmallows. We ended up doing this later in the evening. The smores were delicious and I completely forgot to take photos of the campfire and assembled smores before we devoured them.
- Join your local gifting community, like Buy Nothing or Green Bee and keep an eye out for anything back yard and camping like with which to decorate. That way you can gather some things for free and even regift them once you’re done.
Made with Love
My mother also provided specially make tee shirts for our camping birthday party. Skylar was delighted to see our matching shirts. It was yet another layer of making her birthday really special, even when we hadn’t traveled anywhere and were still at home.
Skylar lasted all day from early in the morning until late at night when she finally passed out in daddy’s arms in the tent. Another creative and successful birthday party completed! Needless to say, I was still exhausted at the end of the day, but rested my head on my pillow with a happy heart for a fun project well done.