My oldest son turned seven last week. I ache all over just typing the number– seven. How did he get so big so fast? He also has his first loose tooth, well actually teeth, as if turning seven wasn’t enough!
My son is totally into Star Wars, what seven-year old boy isn’t these days? Since we had a Star Wars party last year, we wanted to head in a different direction for this year. We thought a camping party would be fun, as we just built a rustic fire pit in our backyard. We came up with a party plan that he loved and one that I felt I could still be creative in designing, so here it is…. s’mores, roasted hot dogs, tents and a movie under the stars… What more could you ask for? Also, can you guess what movie we watched? Yup, Star Wars!!!
Here is the invitation…. don’t you just LOVE it!?! I added the stick, marshmallow and ribbon to the top to make it a bit more “me.” I cannot take full credit for the design as I ordered a party pack of printables from Simone Made It off her Etsy Store. She is an amazing graphic designer, all her printables are super cute and so reasonably priced. You just pick your design and she will send you a PDF file with a ton of printables to make your party special. All you have to do is edit the wording to fit your needs and print them out. Her Camping Party Package came with two invitation styles, thank you notes, cupcake toppers, water bottle wrappers, chocolate bar wrappers and so much more.
As most of our readers know, I am an event planner by trade, so planning a kids’ party can spiral a bit out of control, especially if it is for my own child :). Unfortunately, the only thing I don’t have control over is the weather and so of course it rained this past Saturday. Needless to say, we didn’t roast s’mores over our rustic fire pit, we didn’t camp outdoors, and we didn’t watch a movie under the stars. I didn’t get the photoshoot I wanted for the blog and to be honest, I don’t feel that I took enough quality pictures. The party just didn’t go as planned and, let’s face it… that happens. I had to move everything indoors which wasn’t my vision but I assure you, the kids did not care one bit. I am grateful I had the help of my husband and his parents to get me through the day and in the end, what really makes it the “perfect” party? Is it the props? The food? The 48 homemade cupcakes? What really makes the perfect party? I am still working on that answer and hopefully will have it figured out by the end of this post. While we wait, here are some photo’s from my not so perfect “outdoor” party:)
Since we couldn’t roast s’mores I decided to make some s’mores pops. I simply froze the marshmallows and then dipped them in dark chocolate and some graham cracker crumbs. They were a huge hit and they were really easy to make. I printed out “Go take a Hike” from one of Simone Made It printables and tied it all together with some brown twine.
The cupcakes were a big job, I ended up having to make 48 as we had a lot of adults join in the fun. I decided to make two styles, both made from scratch from this recipe I found from Food.com. They were decadent and so worth the time. With the help of my mother-in-law, we frosted two different style cupcakes. One was a chocolate s’more cupcakes adorned with mini marshmallows and the other was a very cute campfire cupcake with pretzel sticks and red and yellow flames.
To tie it all together and to bring the outdoors in, I asked my hubby and my father-in-law to cut some logs so that we could create rustic wood cake stands. Aren’t they adorable?
Here is another party favor I created by mixing Golden Grahams cereal, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips… I called it “Trail Mix” but my kids actually ate it like cereal the next day. I cannot say that was a healthy breakfast but they sure enjoyed it:)
Lastly, my favorite prop for my son’s party was created by my father-in-law, aka, Papa Tom. He is a woodworker and makes the most amazing furniture, bookshelves, kids’ race tracks and photo frames a girl could ask for. I have lots of Papa Tom creations to share with you over the next few weeks but now I have to get back to the party. I found some adorable tents online and asked if he could design something for me. I really wanted it to be simple, yet effective so the kids could sit under the tents while watching the movie outside. Needless to say, he went above and beyond my expectations and this is what we ended up with… THREE amazing tents for the kids to enjoy and “camp” under. Here is one that I placed near the dessert table.
I have to say it was an amazing party even if the rain kept us indoors for most of the event. I had 20+ kids in my basement playing flash light tag, screaming their heads off, wrestling like super heroes and simply having a blast. I guess that is the answer to my “perfect” party question. The perfect party is a fun and relaxed event where everyone has a great time–props or no props!
It doesn’t have to be perfect, it can rain cats and dogs, you can buy your cupcakes from a store because in the end, that is not what they remember. My son will remember playing flash light tag with his best friends David and Drew. He will remember having his favorite girl, Hannah Banana, sleep over and eat extra special chocolate chip and marshmallow “trail mix” cereal for breakfast the next day. He will remember that he had so much fun,and most importantly he will remember feeling special. In the end, that is what made his 7th birthday “perfect”!! He had fun, he was happy, he was silly, smiled wide showing all his little loose baby teeth, and he laughed the entire time. Rain or shine, indoors or out, he was happy and that is what made his not so perfect party “perfect” for me.