Walker’s No Gift Camping Birthday Party

For a break from our regularly scheduled topics…I bring you “surviving a 5 year old birthday with 15 kids”

Okay, to be clear, I had a TON of help getting ready for this party (THANKS MOM!).  And really, what is survival without some serious help?

Since we do a TON of camping, a camping birthday party seemed like the perfect theme.  We decided to invite Walker’s entire class so no one got left out.  I was counting on some having a conflict so we didn’t end up with 37 5 year olds, and about 15 showed, which was perfect.

Since I’d just spent a ton of time cleaning out his toy room, he didn’t need any more toys, and honestly, I wanted the party to be about his friends, not what his friends were bringing — that’s how WE hang out with our friends, so why not set a precedent?  I did put a suggestion on the bottom that kids were welome to bring a well-loved but overgrown book for Walker to donate.

The invite:

Then I went nuts on pinterest and came up with some phenomenal ideas for food and games.  I (of course) forgot to take pictures of most of the food, but it was super simple:

  • Pigs in blanket (mini cocktail weinies)
  • S’more snack mix (mini marshmallows, golden grahams, and chocolate chips)
  • S’more pops – Recipe

  • Fruit kabob bar – the kids assembled their own
  • Apple juice and water (each cup had a different sticker on it, so the kids could remember which cup was theirs by remembering which sticker they had)
  • Cupcakes with dirt and jello worms (these were so realistic they made me almost hurl –kids LOOOVed them)

Then we had a few games. Mom and I set up an obstacle course around the yard.
They started with a driving test.  They could choose between the scooter shown, and I also added their motorized tractors.

They left the tractors at the end of the course and went to the ballon table, where they had to crawl under:


Then to the balance beams:

Then the curvy hose:

Then they had to hop through the ladder:

And the finish line:

Then we had a bean bag toss, and finished off the games with the scavenger hunt.  I was running out of time, so I ran around the yard with my phone and snapped random pictures of things, uploaded them to snapfish.com, made a collage 4×6 print and had them sent to the nearby Walgreens.  It took all of 10 minutes and cost about 3 bucks.  The kids decided to do the hunt as individuals and I gave them each a dry erase marker and they crossed the items off right on the photo.

We also had this little area set up for roasting real s’mores, but never ended up using it (that’s our little pop up propane campfire in the black bag — totally recommend!!)

It was a wild success! No idea how I’m topping this next year….