On Sunday we celebrated Liv’s 3rd birthday with a ‘camping’ themed party.
Two of her favorite things to do these days are to go to Nana & Papa’s (now that they live in our area) and to roast marshmallows in the big outdoor fire pit that they have in their backyard. When I suggested a camping themed birthday with those two ideas in mind, Liv was over the moon. When we talked about everyone coming in their pajamas, she thought that that was just the coolest thing ever.
We held the party on a Sunday afternoon so that we could catch the sunset and roast marshmallows just after it was dark. I was coming back from a week long business trip (the girls and my mom came with me) and was totally exhausted, so I’m really thrilled with what we were able to pull together the day of the party with help from our families :-). Score one for late afternoon parties.
Since the party was going to be outdoors and since it would be chilly, we planned the evening to be around the fireplace and a movie projector for a short film.
As we were setting up, Liv kept dancing around the different tables of food and decorations – she was so thrilled! And that made me so happy knowing that her little ‘camping & s’mores’ party vision was coming to life.
She reorganized fallen marshmallows, adjusted the project table to her liking, redid the chalkboard sign announcing her big day.
I had put a little forethought into the afternoon and had originally planned on a giant lean-to sort of sheet structure so that all of the kids could watch the outdoor show together (and keep warm), but day-of changes called for a new idea and we went with three little a-frame tents.
The tents were the easiest project! We followed this tutorial to a T and besides the trips to the fabric store (I scored all three of the below fabrics from the discount $2.98/yard table), the hardware store for wood and an oops-the-drill-ran-out-of-batteries emergency trip, it took all of 30 minutes to assemble the bunch. The building portion (no nails, screws or glue, just drilling and dowels) was Kev’s contribution to the party, my mother-in-law used a fabric adhesive (no stitches here) to ‘hem’ and attach the strips of fabric to their frames. Kev was back watching the football game (did you see that Charger’s game?) in no time.
The project table that I mentioned earlier was to make ‘candy’ necklaces to later nibble on while watching the show. My mom came up with the cute idea of stringing fruit loops and Liv helped sort the colored cereal into cupcake tins and little cups. We used floss as string so that the cereal could easily be bitten off, just like you would with a real candy necklace.
This would have been the perfect idea for a party of girls – and maybe required a little too much concentration for our group of mostly 3-4 year-old-boys ;-). The cereal was soon gobbled up one snack cup at at a time.
I didn’t get a picture of the camping-style spread that we served, but my mom was instrumental in creating a delicious dinner for all guests.
My favorite was the s’mores table! What Liv was really looking forward to was roasting marshmallows with all of her friends, so that’s exactly what we did.
We made s’mores take home kits as favors for all of the kids.
As soon as the sun set we bundled the kids up in warm blankets and tucked them all together for a short showing of ‘Bob the Builder’. In twenty minutes the laptop overheated creating a frozen screen, and then we lost audio for a good chunk – but the kids were so enamored with the giant ‘screen’ that I don’t think any of them even noticed.
S’mores with friends.
And a round of story telling fireside.
Then cake time! I made a small s’mores cake so that she’d have three candles to blow out.
(Sorry about the scary face).
Liv’s 3rd birthday camping party was a birthday success! And I’m excited about reusing those a-frame tents for playtime around the house or in the backyard :).
I call Liv my little monkey because she has so much energy and is such an incredible joy to be around – I’m so blessed to have a daughter as smart, beautiful and full of life as this one. Days like this make me happy that I get to honor and shower with love a girl so deserving of special attention and time.
She has a killer ‘cute’ face, too.