Happy Birthday on the Campground

It happens every year. We parents put on our “grin and bear it” faces as we’re forced to endure yet another Sponge Bob birthday party. Yes, he’s kind of cute (for a sponge), but how many times do we have to answer “who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

Each passing year requires moms and dad everywhere to come up with new and creative birthday party ideas, and let’s face it, we can all get a little fed up with glittery pink princess themes or the occasional, obnoxious red-nosed clown.

So put a little twist on your child’s next birthday party and you’re sure to be the best mom this side of Eastwood Elementary School. Grab the marshmallows, hot dogs and sleeping bags (don’t forget the bug spray) and prepare for a backyard camping adventure unlike any other.

It all starts with the invitations. Sure, you can go buy any old party invites at the store, but this is a great opportunity to use your creativity.

Purchase mini flashlights at the store and attach your invitation to it. Each child will have their very own flashlight for nighttime games. Or, send each child camping gear that you will use at the party, a pack of marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars.

Set up a tent compound in your backyard. If you don’t have enough tents, borrow some from friends. Tell the kids to bring their sleeping bags and pillows and they will be counting the days until their big camping adventure.

To keep them entertained, make sure to have lots of yard games available. Corn hole is great for kids, and beanbags are a pretty safe bet for an injury-free party. Hillbilly golf is also a safe bet, as are red rover and flashlight tag. A scavenger hunt is a great idea if you live close to a wooded area. Before the party, hide different items along a nature trail. Kids get the joy of hide and seek, and can enjoy nature at the same time.

The menu is easy with a camping theme, and hot dogs and hamburgers are all-time party favorites. A couple of sides and some potato chips, and you’ve got a meal fit for your little campers. S’mores are great for dessert, but it’s important to have enough supervision if you plan on having an open fire.

Creativity is key when you’re planning a camping party, so think outside the box and plan on having some very excited little campers.

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