CAMPING PARTY IDEAS FOR KIDS
Camping party ideas for a fun filled kid's celebration!
If you have a kid whose birthday falls over the summer then you are in for a campers treat. Most will love camping whether it is in your backyard or out in the woods. It's fun, it's exciting and it's like a great big sleepover - outdoors!
Personally I would suggest that this kid's camping party theme is aimed at the over 7 age group as younger children might be scared of the dark. However if you have a younger age group then you can still use all the ideas but maybe have it in the afternoon or early evening and forget the sleepover bit.
Setting up camp outside is the best solution but if you haven't got enough room, don't worry as you could always go to a public camping ground, make use of a friend's yard or even use a terrace or a large room in your house.
INVITATIONS FOR YOUR CAMPING PARTY
Your Kid's Camping Party invitations could go something like this:
Calling All Ye Campers.....
Camper (name of birthday child) is turning 8
And you are invited to camp out late (use a rhyming word to go with the age)
Camp date: (date)
Report to Camp duty officer at: (address and time)
Latest camping news flash..... Fun guaranteed
Essential camping gear..... Sleeping bag, pillow, pyjamas, flash light and spooky story.
- Tent invites. Make the invites in the shape of a tent using strong craft paper. Have two front flaps which when opened, reveal the details.
- Bugs Everywhere. Using simple plain card, decorate with loads of bug stickers.
- Mini backpacks. Buy some mini backpacks (key ring sizes are ideal). Write the details on oversized luggage labels and attach one to each backpack.
If you don't want to make your own then try these cool camping invites:
CAMPING THEME DECORATIONS
Set up the tents in advance unless you want to make it a team activity for older kids. Place the tents near to the house (if in your backyard) and near a door for easy access to the toilet. If setting up camp indoors, clear the room of all furniture to give as much space as possible. I find it is more fun and causes less anxiety if you can have them in just one or two tents.
Decorate the tents with streamers and balloons and having bunting linking the tents together.
Make a large wooden sign at the entrance to the "Camp Site" and have other signs pointing the way to the toilets and showers, picnic area and wildlife trail.
Put up a chalk board with the "Camp Rules". Make rules such as "No playing with matches", "Throw away rubbish", "Be gentle with the animals" and so on.
Set the tents around a central seating area with the campfire as a centerpiece. Lay out low benches for sitting on or just use mats or planks of wood balanced on rocks.
Around the edges of the camp, erect some citronella torches. These will keep the bugs away and add to the camp atmosphere.
Let the wildlife join in by placing cuddly toys in the trees and bushes for the younger children to discover or for the older kids, hang plastic bugs around the camp. Use glow in the dark bugs and stars which will be fun later on when it gets dark.
Hang multi colored Chinese lanterns around the garden. Some kids just can't help playing with candles so be careful where you place them.
Set up a food table and cover with green or camouflage cloth. Use plastic tableware or tin plates and cups. Provide bug stickers for each child to personalise his/her own plate and mug. It saves muddling them up.
CAMPING PARTY FOOD IDEAS
Camping party food needn't be complicated and I actually think it is nicer to keep it simple and to go with familiar foods that they might expect when camping.
- Spider Hot dogs. Make a 1" cut length-ways at the end of each sausage. When cooked over the barbecue, the ends will curl like spiders legs.
- Anything BBQ. Go for hamburgers, corn on the cob, chicken, kebabs, jacket potatoes and of course lots of ketchup and mayonnaise!
- Bug juice. Lemonade colored green with a few drops of food coloring.
- Toasted marshmallows. Perfect for a late night snack and one of my childrens favorites. Place a marshmallow on the end of a wooden skewer (soak for one hour in water beforehand as it stops them burning) and hold a few inches above the camp fire flame until the marshmallow starts to melt. Remove from the flame and allow cooling for 30 seconds or so.
NB The marshmallows can get extremely hot. I advise this to be an activity for older children only and under adult supervision.
- Camp site cake. Great if you're pressed for time but always looks impressive. Using a packet cake mix, make one square or rectangular cake. Cover with green frosting to resemble grass and decorate with a small plastic camping set or you could just use plastic bugs. Make sure each child gets a bug with their slice of cake.
- Log fire cake. Make or purchase three or four chocolate log rolls and cover with chocolate frosting. Cover a plate or cake board with green dyed desiccated coconut for the grass and then prop the logs up in the center of it so they resemble a log fire. For the flames, insert some red, orange and yellow sweets such as M&M's around and under the logs and then place the candles around. Once lit it looks very impressive!
CAMPING PARTY ACTIVITIES
Personalised Canes. These are always extremely popular with boys and girls. Buy some cheap dowelling rods from a hardware store and provide the campers with paints, glue, stickers and glitter to personalise their own walking stick.
First Aid Kits. Using empty film containers (clear are best) get the kids to design them with permanent marker pens. Make two small holes in the lid using a compass point and then thread through some string using a needle so that they can be worn around the neck. You might need to do that bit in advance as it is a bit fiddly. The kids can then insert a couple of Band-Aids and small cotton wool balls.
Boulder Art. These are great for decorating the perimeter of the camp. In advance get some rocks or largish boulders. Provide the kids with paintbrushes and paint and get them to design the rocks. This is a great starter activity. Use water based paints if you don't want the grass to look too multi colored as it will wash off. Alternatively you could use small pebbles and stick on wool, eyes and scraps to make 'rock pets'.
Ghost Story Bonanza. When it is getting dark, sit everyone round the camp fire or in a tent and get everyone to tell a ghost story. Some of the kids might not have one so make sure that you have a few up your sleeve.
NB Watch out for kids who are not enjoying it and suggest another activity.
Campfire Sing-Along. Dust off your vocal cords and get out the guitar (if you have one) and sing to your heart's content. If you have any portable musical instruments let the kids use them or make your own from tin cans and sticks.
Sparklers. Always popular especially when it is dark.