For Noodlebug's 4th birthday, we transformed our yard into CAMP FUSCO. I am a firm believer in paper invitations and I found these adorable ones at Tiny Prints that I purchased using a stellar promo code that I found somewhere:
I then got a few mylar balloons, some themed plastic tablecloths and a terrific banner that said "Welcome to Camp Fusco" from Birthday Express. Such cute party items. Since this was a party on a budget, I only bought a few themed items just to set the tone.
We then pitched a large tent in the front yard along with Noodlebug's mini pop-up play tent, the canvas play tent I made awhile back and a play teepee. I bought an inflatable campfire from Oriental Trading Company since we were having little ones and we put that in the middle of the yard and surrounded it by foam squares to sit on.
I set up a card table on the driveway for our check-in table. When the campers arrived, they came to check-in to get a string backpack with a camp t-shirt inside, a mini-flashlight and a mini bug net. I found a graphic online somewhere and modified it myself. Then, I printed it out using my inkject printer to make an iron-on and ironed them onto t-shirts for the kids.
In the front yard, I set up bubbles for the kids to play with and put picture books about camping in the big tent. (like CURIOUS GEORGE GOES CAMPING) In the backyard, we had the food. Ants on a log. Trail mix. Goldfish crackers. Gummy worms. Pretzel sticks. Fresh fruit. Juice and water for the kids. I also hung a large roll of paper along the face and put out some washable markers for the kids. The backyard also had a craft table with mini bug boxes from Oriental Trading Company that could be decorated with markers and stickers.
The first half hour was check-in and free play. The next hour, we had local children's museum James K come to do a campfire singalong!
While James K was finishing up, I snuck in the backyard and distributed some fake plastic bugs. After the singing, the kids went on a bug hunt with their bug nets and bug boxes. They really go into it!!! Then it was on to the "cake." Instead of cake, we made s'mores parfaits. I used small clear plastic cups and layered chocolate pudding with crushed graham crackers and then sprinkled mini marshmallows on top. Noodlebug got one with a candle in it. I also made him a special crown from a Family Fun idea.
We finished up with some more free time and then sent the campers on their merry way! When it was all over, Noodlebug asked me if all his friends could come camping again next week!