Party Planning: Camping Themed 5th Birthday


Oh my gracious, I LOVE BIRTHDAY PARTIES! Especially when I get to plan them and can have my hands in every detail. Some moms are shouting for simplified parties, and I am all for that sometimes, but this mom just has to let the creativity flow and go all out sometimes–on a budget of course!

SONY DSCMy son turns 5 this month. I have been all over the place trying to figure out what kind of birthday we should throw for this milestone. A trampoline “high 5” party? A Lego party? A kickin’ soccer party? What to do?? Then Rhett finds a love of fishing thanks to my dad, who is lovingly called Pops by the grandkids. This lit a fire to throw a camping party! Some of my most dear memories are fishing pole holding, tent sleeping, s’mores eating, jiffy pop popping memories. So, naturally a camping party fit the bill.

Here’s a glimpse into Rhett’s 5th camping themed birthday party:

Okay, so the best part of any party is the cake. Can I get an AMEN?! I love cakes and LOVE baking cakes so my children will always have a homemade cake from me for their milestones. Maybe when I retire, I will have a little bake shop. (Oh, I could dream of that little shop for hours.) Back to the cake at hand: a campsite cake, which may be my favorite cake I have ever made. Here’s what I did:

  • Chocolate cake (four layers)
  • Marshmallow buttercream (and the angels rejoiced!)
  • 1 package chocolate sandwich cookies smashed to look like dirt. Once the cake was frosted, I rolled it in the “dirt”
  • Chocolate rocks from my favorite candy store in Roanoke, Hey Sugar, for the fire pit
  • Dowel rods and flannel fabric to make tent
  • And then candles, of course. Put them in the fire pit so it looks like a campfire to blow out.

Now that the anchor of the party was set it was time to get decorating. This was simple as we just raided the camping supplies and popped up a couple tents, lit the old Coleman lantern, used loads of burlap and flannel plaid fabric, lit fires in the fire pits, and placed the GORP (good ole raisins and peanuts) and playing cards on the tables. The party was ready to happen.

At any party, you’ve got to have food. Sidenote: If your party lands between the hours of 11-1 and 5-7, it is implied that there will be a meal. Our party was at 5:30 so we made sure we had a camp themed dinner. Here’s the menu (think simple and pretty inexpensive too):

  • Grilled hot dogs
  • Baked beans
  • Coleslaw
  • Chips/ranch dip
  • Veggies/fruit

SONY DSCAnd finally, what are the kiddos going to do at the party? It is good to have an activity or two for guests to enjoy. Here are some fun camping themed activities we had a blast doing:

  • Scavenger Hunt in the Woods: I printed out pics of woodland creatures and pinned them to trees around the house, giving each child a sheet with what to look for and a crayon to mark what they found.
  • Popsicle Stick Bow and Arrow craft: Popsicle stick with notches cut in each end, floss wrapped fairly tight, arrows are q-tips with one end cut off. These are fun and super easy.
  • S’mores: I feel like this deserves a big ole “duh.” It’s a camping party for crying out loud.
  • Jiffy Pop Station, which was Pops standing over his Coleman stove making this awesome camp popcorn. The kids loved this!

All of these activities involved both kids and parents!  My favorite part of the party was taking a step back and watching all of the plans come to life and hearing all of the laughter. It was a success: the birthday boy was happy and tummies were full of camp themed goodness.

SONY DSCOkay, it’s time for my kids to stop growing up so stinkin’ fast!!  Five years old? How is that even possible?

Happy party planning my dear friends!

How did you celebrate your kiddo’s 5th birthday?



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