Camping/Bonfire 4yr - Campfire Cake
Jennifer in Douglassville, PA
A camping birthday party was perfect for my son who turned 4; he could invite all his friends & family (boys and girls) no matter what age. This also kept all 30 kids out of my house, because what kid doesn't love to play outside at night in the dark! The party started at dusk to go along with all activities and decorations I had planned.
INVITES: Were dark blue with a campfire scene that read in white letters (TOP LINE) Your Invited to Hayden's Birthday Bonfire (WORDING) Bugs, spiders, snakes, bats and raccoons; You are invited for a night of fun under the stars and moon. Come sit around our campfire and have a s'more, and celebrate with us - Hayden is turning four! There will be plenty of hot dogs, trail mix, bug juice and treats; Make sure to bring your flashlights so you won't trip over your feet. The festivities begin at 7 O'clock, if you will be late don't bother to knock; Go ahead around and join us down back, not before you stop up on the deck and grab your snack. If it shall rain on Hayden's big day, we will celebrate the same time on Sunday. Please be sure to RSVP by September 5th to let us know if you're coming, and who with. If it shall rain on Hayden's big day, we will celebrate the same time on Sunday. Please be sure to RSVP by (DATE) to let us know if you're coming, and who with. (WHERE) Camp Hayden Davis with our address and attached directions. I also had added at the bottom for all the younger guests to bring a sleeping bag.
DECORATIONS: All the food, supplies and presents were on the deck. I decorated the deck with spider-webs and spiders in the corners (Halloween bargains). I hung bats around my umbrella from my patio set. I had a large fake snake wrapped around the food displayed on the table. There were little fake mice on the cake & present table. I bought (OT) small little glow stick refill sticks, I put these in mason jars and put them around the yard and garden and stairs to give some illumination. I had bought citronella candles and lanterns (dollar store) and had them around all the deck as well for ambience. I bought camouflage table covers and napkins on clearance from my local party store. I then matched up all the plates, cups and silverware with the solid colors to match the camo, to keep costs down, black brown and greens. I bought an extra camo table cloth for my sign. With a large magic marker I wrote on it Welcome to Camp Hayden and hung it off my 2 story deck. This gave a great entrance for the guests. You could do this off the side of the house near the festivities for the same effect. It also made a perfect group photo back drop. All the sitting/eating tables were in the yard, covered with camouflage table cloths and I glued little black ants (OT) all over them. Then I had a large bucket citronella candle (Wal-Mart) on the table for lighting. We have a large amount of property and outdoor fire pit in our woods. My husband set up chairs ahead of time and designated 2 adults at all times to monitor the fire and all the kids around it.
FOOD: Hotdogs and BBQ chicken on the grille, bbq baked beans in the crockpot, chips, pretzels, cheese curls, potato salad, watermelon, veggie platter.
BEVERAGE: Lemonade, IcedTea, Juice Boxes, Iced Water and Bug Juice. The bug juice was the highlight of the evening. I saw a lot of recipes online about how to make it, but I know my kids wouldn't drink it. So I took a clear pitcher and made green Gatorade. I then washed up a bunch of plastic bugs and put them in the pitcher. I walked around asking who wanted bug juice, while stirring the bugs with a large spoon. All the kids were so freaked out but couldn't resist trying it. To this day they ask me if I put real bugs in there or not.
CAKE: I made my own camp fire cake, this was really easy, and I found the recipe on familyfun.com. It was 2 logs in a campfire. You can go online and get the recipe from there. I also made chocolate cupcakes, iced them with chocolate icing and put a candy frog or candy bug on each cupcake. And there were also dirt cups with worms and a frog, for each kid when they arrived to keep them occupied before all the guests could get there and begin eating.
ACTIVITES: (FIRST) glow in the dark seek and find. I bought a bulk bag of gid tiny bugs, I scattered them all over the yard. The kids took a long time looking for them, and the top three that found the most got a small gift. Then we passed out a glow in the dark necklace to each kid (dollar store). (SECOND) s'mores, the older kids did theirs in the campfire. For the smaller children we used our smaller fire pit by the house, accompanied by parents of course. (THIRD) make your own trail mix. I put two older teenage girls in charge; I had put raisins, chex cereal, m&ms, peanuts, small pretzels, mini marshmallows into bowls with a scooper. I had a brown paper lunch bag with each kids name on it. They lined up and went down the line and told the girls what they wanted and they older girls put the scoops into their bags. This avoided anyone holding up the line or taking too much of one thing. (FOURTH) Flashlight tag, this kept them entertained for a long time. (FIFTH) We played charades for about an hour (SIXTH) we finished off the night with a movie under the stars. I asked all the kids to get out their sleeping bags and my husband brought out an old large screen TV from the garage and our portable DVD player. He set it up outside and the kids laid in the yard, in their sleeping bags, and watched the movie. The birthday boy got to pick out the movie. I wanted to find a camping movie, but was unable to find anything for all ages at our party.
FAVORS: I found on oriental trading this camouflage small drawstring sacks (about 10) for the boys, and same thing in tied dyed for the girls. I filled them with a bunch of bug and wood critter candies I found all over. They all got a camo pencil and eraser, stickers, popcorn pack. The boys got false billy bob teeth and the girls got glitter sunglasses. Each drawstring was pulled shut and clipped with a little metal carabineer (4 for a dollar at dollar store) and then they all had a name tag on them, saying thank you for coming and camping under the stars with me.
CONCLUSION: This party was perfect; it was outside so there was minimum cleanup. A lot of adults come and stay at the party so it was entertaining for them as well. The kids loved the bug juice and the sleeping outside in the yard and watching the movie the most. It has been 2 months and my son still talks about his camping birthday party and so do his friends. It was my best party yet.
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