No need to grab your bug spray, we didn't invite the bugs. It's party day. Lou's camp out birthday party was this past weekend and we had a blast.
Here's the invitations I showed last week:
We put this on the door for all the campers as they arrived:
Birthday Trail was to the right side of the house. They followed it to the party.
We didn't want any lost campers.
Lou loved the "Don't Feed the Bears Sign." He showed it to everybody. I made up the bunting by roughly sewing camping looking fabrics onto brown felt and then stitched those to the red and white twine that was pretty much everywhere.
The trail led you right to his campsite. Welcome to Camp Luke.
Hubby and I made the tent after seeing the one Ruby Ellen made at Cakies. It came together very quickly and was a perfect last minute make. The tepee was made by my super crafty friend Melissa. It was on my to-do list, but when she said it was available, I was all over it.
The neighbors lost a tree a month ago or so (which landed on our fence) so we cut the stumps for the kids to sit on and has supplied us with plenty of firewood. I stuffed colored tissue paper for fire and the kids had a safe fire pit.
These kids aren't even party guest. These are neighbor kids that saw the interesting things in the yard and came on over.
Lou tested out all the stools and made sure they were level.
I wanted to make sure the kids had plenty of time to just play, but also wanted one or two simple games. One was a fishin' hole. I threw a large piece of blue fabric over the pool deck and hid behind the water.
I tied a clothes pin to the end of the line on lou's fishing pole.
I was hiding on the other side to clip on some funny items. We had a sock, a diaper, a hat, toy snake, toy spider, etc. Then, after each child threw back that item, I clipped on a piece of candy.
Some wanted to keep playing afterwards to keep getting the funny items. I had another parent take over then. Gotta delegate.
I let Bee invite a guest, which was a great idea and I will remember to have the kids do that for other parties. Bee and her friend could participate when they wanted or go off and do some girl things if they wanted. Bee did not complain about not having anyone to play it. It was great. Plus this friend is a good buddy to Lou too.
Memorial Day weekend ended up being a hard weekend to get our guests there, many were out of town or at their own cookouts. We ended up with a small but happy group of campers. It was a good mix of school and church friends.
After the fishing game, it was time to eat. We had trail mix out. These tags were printed on some sticker paper that I bought at a garage sale last summer.
We had sweet tea, bug juice (juicy juice fruit punch), and spring water.
Gummy worms were out as bait. And sour bait of course.
Hubby grilled hot dogs (Lou's favorite food). Lou also requested chips and dip, although I think Hubby prompted him. We had watermelon, campfire (baked) beans, and macaroni salad too.
The tables were decorated with campish fabrics, burlap, acorns, pinecones and cuts of wood. Hubby even cut me some thin slices of large logs to use as 'platters.'
It was really very hot and sunny, but not bad in the shade. I asked the parents to help carry the tables and chairs to the shaded pool deck. It was sort of gross eating by the unopend pool, but it was like eating by a pond. Tadpoles and all.
After dinner, we had another game. We had an animal scavenger hunt.
While we were eating, my sister hid stuffed animals around 'camp'. The kids had laminated cards and they crossed them off with dry erase marker when they found them.
Here's raccoon hiding in the play house. The girls thought maybe they were supposed to gather them as they found them, but once we got that situated, the game went really well.
I had only 4 copies of this sheet, but it worked out fine. The kiddos went around in groups of 2 or 3. When one group finished, they helped the other groups. I'll be keeping this game for school next year and maybe the nature center.
While the kids were searching, the smore bar was set up. We were only working with two card tables, so we just switched food around as needed. This actually ended up working out well. The food didn't sit out in the heat too long and the chocolate couldn't have gone out any earlier or it would have been a mess.
I had thought we would just smoosh the candle in a marshmallow, but it wasn't working. My sister and I Magiver-ed up a candle melted to a graham cracker. Nobody said anything about there not being cake. No one needed two desserts and smores were a given for a camp out.
The kids cooked their marshmallows in our fire pit. Four seems to be an OK age to be able to responsibly cook their own marshmallow. None of the kids really needed help and they were all pretty good around the fire.
Happy Birthday buddy!
My sister was my photographer and when I loaded the pictures to my computer there were so many of this sweet guest's sister. Who can blame her!
I have issues with opening gifts in front of groups. My issue. I put on the invitation 'Your presence is present enough' so no one would feel obligated to bring a gift. I've done this the past several years and it's about half and half then that do. Lou had every friend bring a gift, so I thought he should open them in front of the group. The kids love seeing what others give, so I guess I just need to get over my issue.
There was plenty of time for playing after the food and games. The party was in the evening so I wanted to get all the 'stuff' done early so if people needed to leave to get to bed, they could feel free. We all actually ended up playing and chatting a good while.
For favors, we sent home these flashlights. The tags read, "Thanks for making my day a bright one!" I made them in word and printed out on card stock.
We also sent home these extra smore parts with a tag that said, "Enjoy smore at home." I shared them a few days ago too.
Thanks for coming to my little man's birthday party!
Edited to add: Here are the thankyou notes that I made up
And here are some other camp out related games and activities, ones we just didn't end up using.
Thanks for the love!
I'm linking up at some of these fine parties:
Made by You Mondays @ Skip to my Lou,
Tutorial Tuesdays @ Hope Studios, Anti-procrastination Tuesdays @ New Nostalgia, Talented Tuesdays @ My Frugal Family, Get Your Craft on Tuesday @ Life as Lori,
Tooth Your Horn Wednesdays@ Silly Little Sparrow, Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts, Show and Tell Wednesday @ Blue Cricket Design, We did it Wednesday @ Sew Much Ado,
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snaps.
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple, Look at me, I'm so crafty @ It's fun to craft, Show off your Stuff @ Fireflies and Jellybeans, Catch a Glimpse Thursday @ A Glimpse Inside, Open House Party Thursdays @ No Minimalist Here,
Feature Yourself Fridays @ Fingerprints on the fridge, Fantabulous Fridays @ Momma's kinda crafty, Fridays I'm crafty Party @ So You Think You're Crafty, Fibers on Friday @ Visions of Sugar Plums, Christmas in July Fridays @ Just Another day in Paradise, Fabric Fun Fridays @ Cheap Chic Home, Creative Girl fridays @ The Girl Creative,
Wednesday's A story + art = A Great stART @ A Mommy's adventures, Made by Little Hands Mondays @ delicate CONSTRUCTION Wednesday's Kids Get Crafty @ Red Teg Art's Blog, Tuesday's Show and Tell blog hop ad ABC and 123, Tot Tuesdays at Delicious Ambiguity, For the Kids Fridays @ Sun Scholars