This year our oldest wanted a camping themed party for her ninth birthday! I thought it was such a fun idea, and we started planning with plenty of time to spare. Months ahead of time we had the menu and event plan ready to go! We’d have hot dogs and burgers, scary stories in the dark, an outdoor movie (Troop Beverly Hills!!) by the fire…and S’mores, of course!
She graciously allowed me to surprise her with the decorations. I was SO excited!
On the day of, we decorated a few key areas in the house creating a Snack & Drink Station in the Kitchen, a Pin Making Station in the Dining Room, Dinner Tables outside and a photo booth in the Hallway. We also decorated the Media Room where the girls slept. They had promised they were going to sleep outside in the tent, but one of their weather apps said there was a 20% chance of rain and they thought better of it 🙂
Here’s a step-by-step plan on how you can DIY your very own camping themed party!
The Supplies & Decorations
I purchased most of the decorations and accessories from Amazon (links to all below). I made some last minute runs to Target and HomeGoods (and if there’s no link, it’s because the items are not available online – sorry!).
The Red & White Checkered Tablecloths and Paper Food Serving Trays were great last minute finds for the party! We used the paper trays for serving all meals and snacks except breakfast the morning after the sleepover. I stumbled onto the little metal mugs at Target by accident when I went to pick up the streamers, metal buckets with chalkboard labels, mini chalkboard food signs (free-standing and stickers). The mason jar drink dispenser I picked up at HomeGoods when we first moved into the Texas House.
If you’re going to throw a camping themed birthday party, you must have S’mores! They were a bit messy…and totally worth it!
- Graham Crackers (or gluten-free options are great too)
- Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
- Large Marshmallows
- Pint Size Mason Jars
- Twine or Ribbon
- Peel & Stick Chalkboard Labels and Chalk Pen
- After adding the chalkboard label, use a chalk pen to label them all S’mores…Or give every jar a guest’s name instead!
- Each jar can make two S’mores: two halves of a full graham cracker (break into quarters for each S’more), 4 pieces of Hershey’s chocolate bar (broken into pairs) and two large marshmallows.
- Close lid and tie twine bow (or ribbon) for decoration.
- I wrapped a quart size mason jar in multi-color thread I found in our yarn drawer for a decorative display for the skewer sticks.
I’d been wanting to make these for so long and I’m so happy I did! They were so fun to make – and to eat! 🙂
- Snack Packs (or any single serve pudding)
- Oreo cookies
- Gummy worms
- First separate the oreo cookie halves. I used almost the whole box of oreo cookies – adjust depending on how many mud cups you’re making.
- Scrape the icing off and save it in a small dish (you’ll need it soon!).
- Double bag the cookie halves.
- Using your hands and / or the back of a spoon, smash up the oreo cookies until it resembles dirt.
- Open the pudding packs and add 3-4 gummy worms.
- Sprinkle the cookie crumble on top, filling in all the extra space so you cannot see any pudding and the worms are sticking out a little and you’re done!
These were so flipping cute and such a big hit that I had make more almost immediately! I can’t wait to think of other fun ways to make these for the holidays!!
- Hershey Kisses (I used milk chocolate)
- Mini Nilla Wafers
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
- The icing from the Oreo’s
- Add a tab of icing to the bottom of an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss.
- Press the bottom of a Mini Nilla Wafer to the bottom of the Kiss – the icing will hold them together!
- Add another small dab of icing to the bottom of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Chip and press it down on the top of the Mini Nilla Wafer.
- Viola! Chocolate Acorns <3
The “Lake Water” was just yellow lemonade and a mixture of blue and green food coloring. Truly couldn’t have been easier to make!
The Other Cute Snack Ideas
Repurposing snacks with cute names is a really easy way to amp up the fun when it comes to party snacks! Pinterest is always great was for inspo!
- “Snake Eggs” – Cotton Candy Grapes
- “Catch of the Day” – Swedish Fish
- “Rainbow Trout” – Multi-colored Goldfish Crackers
- “Worms” or “Bait” – Gummy Worms
- “Dried Ants” – Raisins
- “Beetle Wings” – Potato Chips
- “Canoes and Logs with Pond Dip” – Carrots, Pretzels, and Ranch Dip with blue food coloring.
- “Quicksand” – Hummus
What other ideas can you come up with??
The Gift Bags
A birthday party wouldn’t be complete without goodie bags! We decided to go for something that the girls could use during the party and at home too. We used different colored To-Go Tumblers – a different color for each guest.
We filled each tumbler with:
Pin Making Station
Instead of camp badges, we went with pins. The kids had so much fun, we could barely tear them away! I found a kit online that included the machine and all the accessories. We had glittered and patterned cardstock for scrapbooking, and Francesca’s main job was to use the 1” circle cutter to cut out the pins. She felt good about having an important job and it was a sweet way for us to bond as step-mom and daughter <3
The kids had so much fun, and I hope these ideas spark some fun for you too!