Monday, August 24, 2015

Camping Birthday Party

Yesterday we threw my daughter's 10th birthday party. I let the kids choose what they want to do for their birthdays and she wanted a Camp Party. So I searched the Internet for ideas and picked and chose what would and would not work for us and our yard. 
I started by inviting her friends and their families so I could get an idea for how many people will be at our "campsite". 
Then I made camp signs to put around the house and back yard. I got the pictures off the Internet, printed them and glued them to cardboard. I did make the Campground sign in Photoshop. 

We set our backyard up to look like a campsite: Tent, fire pit, folding chairs, lanterns and a picnic bench.

When the kids first arrived they went outside and decorated drawstring backpacks. They then were able to play in the the tent or on our trampoline. 
For snacks we had a Trail Mix Bar. This was very popular with the kids. Some even made up a name for the trail mix they created, like "Blake's Nutty Grub" and "My Chewy Chomp". 
For dinner we turned on the grill and made hot dogs and hamburgers, served with potato salad, chips, watermelon and carrot sticks. There was beer and wine for the grown-ups and juice boxes and water bottles for the kids. And after dinner we had cupcakes decorated to blend in with the outdoors: with green and brown sprinkles.
After the kids played off the sugar high from the cupcakes, we gathered them inside to open presents. While they were inside, some helpers distributed scavenger hunt items.
I created a scavenger hunt list for the kids. 
We thought it would be fun to have the scavenger hunt after the sun went down and handed out flashlights. They called it a Flashlight Scavenger Hunt! They had 8 items to find that they could put in the drawstring backpacks they decorated and 8 items they had to shine their flashlights onto in order to cross them off.  The kids had so much fun running around the "campsite" looking for the different items. 

Once the hunt was over, we lit up the campfire and sat around singing songs and telling stories. We also broke out the S'mores fixings, because what is a camp out without S'mores? 
After saying "Goodbye" to the last guests and everything was cleaned up, my daughter gave me a big hug and told me that this was the best birthday ever!!

If you want to recreate some or all of the Camp Themed Party, here are the lists I made to get ready for it:

Brianna’s 10th Birthday Party
Saturday, from 5pm to 9pm
Camp Theme

·       Hot dogs
·       Hamburgers 
·       Potato Salad
·       Chips
·       Cupcakes
·       Fruit (watermelon, Oranges, grapes)
·       Veggies (carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber sticks, pepper sticks, ranch)
·       Trail mix bar (almonds, peanuts, pistachios, raisins, pretzels, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, cheerios)

·       Color bags
·       Trampoline
·       Flashlight Scavenger Hunt

·       Tent
·       Camp signs ( Bathroom, Camp Brianna, Camp Site No. 10, Trash)
·       Outside like a campsite

5 – 6: Arrive, snacks, jump on trampoline, color bags
6:00 – 7:00: Dinner
7:30: Birthday Cake
7:45: Open Presents inside. Hand out scavenger hunt lists and explain rules inside while items are distributed outside
8:00: Scavenger Hunt
8:30 – 9: Firepit, S'mores, Say goodbyes

Before party:

Make camp signs
Purchase scavenger hunt items
Create and print scavenger hunt lists
Gather flashlights for scavenger hunt (have batteries)
Clean back yard
Clean house
Grocery shopping
Make cake
Drinks in cooler
Prep food
Set up tent
Put up camp signs
Put hunt items in a paper bag for distribution
Set up trial mix bar
Set up food table
Set up table for coloring bags (bags and markers)


Saturday, April 11, 2015


Boink was a jester and he walked into the large room looking for some fun. He saw Princess Brianna across the room and a smile spread across his face. Then Boink bounded towards Brianna and asked, “Can I help you Princess Brianna?”

Princess Brianna spun around to greet Boink with a smile of her own. She laughed as Boink bounced lightly, like a child waiting to play.

Just then, Knight Richard walked proudly into the room. He marched up to Princess Brianna and said, “My Princess.” As he half knelt in his full suit of armor.

Princess Brianna smiled and said, “Hello Knight Richard.” Knight Richard stood back to his full height.

“I am here to help. Do you have a quest for me?” asked Knight Richard. Then he said, “Perhaps a quest to slay a dragon that is scaring villagers? Maybe there is a dangerous bear that needs to be wrestled to the ground?”

Princess Brianna walked over to the side table and picked up a scroll and handed it to Knight Richard. She smiled playfully and said, “Fulfill the quest to deliver this message to the King. Oh, and tell him that I will be late for lunch.”

Looking puzzled, Knight Richard asked, “Is there not an important quest I can fulfill for you my Princess?”

“This is an important quest. It involves the King, who is the most important of all in the kingdom,” replied Princess Brianna.

Taking the scroll into his hands, Knight Richard bowed to Princess Brianna. He turned and marched out of the room.

Princess Brianna turned around and saw Boink with a broom handle in his right hand and a bucket on his head that covered his eyes. He marched with his knees high and waving his broom handle around as a knight would swing a sword.

Boink marched up to Princess Brianna, looking very unbalanced, and said, “I will slay the dragon, my Princess, with my sword! And my, um, not shield?”  He continued, holding up his empty arm.

Boink held up one finger, asking the Princess to wait a moment. He dashed over to the couch and grabbed a pillow. Boink held up the pillow and marched back to the Princess. Boink’s knightly ensemble was completed. He had his broom handle “sword”, his bucket “helmet” and pillow cushion “shield”.

As Boink bowed to Princess Brianna, his bucket helmet began to fall off. He quickly smacked the helmet back into place with his broom handle sword, almost knocking himself over. Boink stepped backwards then forward trying to keep his balance. He nearly dropped his shield as he teetered with both legs spread wide, as if balancing on a log.

Princess Brianna laughed out loud and said through her giggles, “My hero, Boink the Knight!”

Feeling confident from the Princess’s words, Boink raised his sword and attacked the coat rack “dragon”. His sword cracked against dragon, smashing it with the little strength he could muster. The coat rack dragon tipped back, bounced off the wall and fell forward onto Boink. With a loud yell, like a scared little girl, Boink tried to dive out of the way of the fearsome dragon. But he was not quick enough and the dragon pinned him to the floor.

Boink the Knight’s sword flew out of his right hand, his shield out of his left and his helmet fell off and spun on the ground above his head. He looked up at the ceiling, breathing out a heavy sigh, having been defeated by the dragon.

Princess Brianna laughed so hard, tears were rolling down her cheeks. She heard the bell for lunch and walked out of the room toward the dining hall, leaving Boink the Knight on the floor.

As Princess Brianna approached the dining table she heard a loud clatter behind her. Boink came skidding into the dining hall holding his broom sword and pillow shield. Speaking bravely, Boink said, “I triumphed over the last dragon and will bring this dragon to the same doom.”

Princess Brianna laughed and asked, “What dragon are you talking about; an invisible one?”

Looking wildly about, Boink saw another coat rack in the hallway. He darted over and dragged the ‘dragon’ into the dining hall. Then he struggled with all his might to perch the coat rack dragon on the end of the table.

Turning around, holding his bucket helmet on his head, Boink said to Princess Brianna, “ Dis Daggon, wite eearr!”

Shaking her head, Princess Brianna asked, “The what is where?

Without turning around, Boink pointed to the coat rack dragon on top of the table. He lowered his head and charged toward the dragon. Not being able to see where he was going, Boink clanged into the table with his bucket helmet, knocking the dragon towards him.

The King and Knight Richard were entering the dining hall as Boink the Knight collapsed to the floor. Boink threw up his sword and grabbed his shield to protect himself as the coat rack dragon crashed down on him.

The dragon was strong and pinned Boink on the ground. With his face buried in his pillow shield, Boink struggled to free himself from the grip of the dragon; his arms and legs flailing about.

The King roared with laughter and Princess Brianna held onto her belly as she tried to regain her breath from laughing so hard. Knight Richard walked over to Boink and freed him from the dangerous "coat-rack" dragon, as any brave Knight would.

Holding only his pillow shield, Boink bowed to Knight Richard and said, “Thank you for saving me, Knight Richard, from the terrible dragon!”

Shaking his head, Knight Richard turned around and faced the King.

“My valiant knight, you have saved the damsel from the coat rack!” said the King. The room erupted in laughter.

Boink smiled as he left the dining hall, knowing he had fun and brought laughter to his sires. He placed his trusted broom sword, pillow shield and bucket helmet back in their rightful places.

Princess Brianna called out, “Thank you Boink, for bringing laughter to my afternoon. You are a great jester!”