Camp Out Party Food • Sammy's Camping Party Part 1

You know it's been a successful children's party when you actually enjoy it. When you are ready 5 minutes ahead of schedule and greet your guests with a big smile rather than a flustered "Oh gosh hang on I'm just finishing the sandwiches!" For the last 6 years we have hosted birthday parties for our big boy Sammy. A cowboy theme complete with bucking bronco for his first, a petting zoo party, a circus and fishing extravaganza but this year just might have been my favourite. 

A party at home! 

Sammy decided quite a while ago on a camping/cowboys/red indians theme and unlike other years when the party planning and bags of party accessories start taking over the house a couple of months ahead, this year we managed to get everything ready in just over a week! A mad dash to our larger local town's party store the Saturday before and a next day delivery I ordered from Party Ark saved the day! 

I found this talented designer on Etsy Emily from DesignFancyParty and not only did I buy the invitation bundle but she also put together a set of drinks and food labels and fabulous printable bunting! All for $12!

Who knew a party at home would be less stressful! I loved having all morning to potter and it was a relief to have the weather on our side. A party at 3-5pm means it's an early finish enough for small ones but not so early that they end up eating party food and needing tea afterwards! I scoured the house for props for the buffet table, I raided my office and the boxes in the garage that still haven't been unpacked since we moved. I found their Playmobil Cowboys and Indians set, my wooden drawers, I spied a giant bear in the charity shop window for £10 and Sammy and I carried bits and pieces out of the playroom to make his marvellous camping party sweet table! Our neighbour loaded up his mini tractor and bought over hay bales from their farm and I borrowed picnic blankets and dusted off some old florist oasis I had saved for a craft idea, to use as a cake pop stands!

I slung my camera around my back all afternoon and every now and again snapped away, in between chatting with some our very bestest friends, new friends from school and our lovely family who had travelled for the day. I helped excitable small people with insect tattoo transfers, watched endless routines on the trampoline, bundles on the bouncy castle and sat in the doorway of the scout tents we borrowed from Beavers with a glass of wine and my best pal as all the children got to grips with the craft activities! Bliss.

I was shocked when I loaded the camera card onto the laptop and 668 photos popped up! So I have a few posts to share with you! I'm not sure my site would ever load if I uploaded all my favourites in one go!

I love the little details. The things you think will go unnoticed. But they don't. My boy remembers all of them. And that's all that matters. He's still talking about those tiny things, that meant staying up til 1am tying up polka dot Dick Whittington style party bags together and cutting out labels for all the chocolate treats at 6am. And he's already talking about what we should do next year... oh crumbs! 350 days of anticipation and excitement, he's so my son!

So if you are planning a camping theme for your next child's party, I hope you find some ideas to borrow!

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We made the wooden signs from an old fence panel that was destined for the bonfire and some sample tins of paint, I found a lovely chap locally who sells wooden tree slices for a couple of pounds (The cake stand log was £1!) which made perfect party plates and we roasted marshmallows over the fire.

I bought almost all the party food and drinks from our local Lidl and spent just over £100 as well as some bargains in our local Original Factory Shop and bought a couple of extra bits from two talented bakers. We made a big sweet buffet on our dining room table and had hot sausages in rolls just before the marshmallow s'mores.

The iced biscuits (I mean edible sleeping bags, compasses and tents - how cute?!) and flake fire cupcakes were from The Small Cake Shop in Wincanton. She also made the most fabulous biscuit matches! I lined some cheap match boxes with tissue and shredded paper and popped them next to the "breadstick" firewood! One of my neighbours, Abzs Cakes, in the village made his spectacular two tier cake and the other bonfire and mini marshmallow topped fairy cakes. Psst the bottom was a false polystyrene cake! I have lots more photos to share of the games, photo booth and fun but here's a quick peek...

Happy Birthday our darling boy! Where on earth have those 6 years gone?!

I'll be sharing more photos soon, I just adored the party favours and the home made games! I love that he still pours over photos of his parties, remembers all the little things. He took his birthday cake into school with such pride. Roll on this year with our happy camper!