It all starts with an idea!
When my daughter told me she wanted a camping party in the backyard with 8 of her closest friends, I thought, that sounds easy enough. The next night while I laid in bed trying to sleep, I thought, “Now why in the world would I agree to such a thing?” Having a play-date with three eight-year-olds is hard enough. Why would I agree to having 8 sleepover?
So like any good mom, I decided to suck it up and start planning.
Kendall, my daughter is really into Monster High Dolls at the moment. So I had to find a way to incorporate them into her camp out. For those of you who don’t know what a Monster High doll is, they are made by Mattel and are each designed to be a daughter of a famous monster. I started planning by scouring the internet for ideas. The best party is always planned with doing a little research first. I also like my parties to have at least a couple custom elements.
The most important element I would say are the invitations. I don’t care what kind of party you are throwing, the invitation sets the bar for the entire party. I am lucky enough to have an extremely talented graphic designer as a husband. So I went out and purchased the paper, envelopes and ribbon from Hobby Lobby pulled together some text for the invite and my husband went to work.
The entrance to your party is probably the second most important element. The first thing the guests see when entering your home or venue. I thought what a cute idea it would be to have a camp sign out front. We had an old 2 x 4 that was already the perfect size so I just needed stencils and paint. I purchased the stencils and paint at Michaels, for a few bucks. This really was simple to make.
I also had this adorable wreath idea pinned on Pinterest.com and this was the perfect time to make it. I purchased a styrofoam wreath at Michaels with a 40% off coupon and the tulle spools from Walmart in hot pink and turquoise blue. Here is a link to the tutorial from pinterest. http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/10/how-to-make-a-tulle-wreath-halloween-edition/
I like to have more theme elements spread through out the party without going over the top. The other ways I did that were by purchasing a Monster High poster from Toys R Us, hanging balloons throughout the house in coordinating party colors, and then placing actual Monster High dolls on the tables as decoration. Etsy.com is a great site for buying party decor. For this party I purchased cupcake topper stickers from printsparkle. Here is the link to the ones I used http://www.etsy.com/listing/101601629/monster-high-cupcake-toppers?ga_search_query=monster%2Bhigh
The vendor will send you the file and you can print the stickers yourself. I used them on the goody bags and I stuck them on balloons.
When the girls were arriving we welcomed them all and had them put their clothes in Kendall’s room and set there sleeping bags and pillows in the tent. We purchased a 10 person tent on clearance from Target and it was the perfect size to host all 10 girls and two adults! While we waited for everyone to arrive we had chips, veggies, and a Monster High movie on the TV.
No camp-out would be complete with out these foods, Hotdogs and Hamburgers, roasted marshmallows on the campfire, and hot chocolate! I would have to say the food was the easiest element to this party! My daughter loves Nothing Bundt Cakes and requested a chocolate chocolate one for her birthday so I just topped it with Monster High candles. We also served mini bundtlets in other flavors for those kids who didn’t like chocolate.
Let the games begin…
Though originally I wanted to play outdoor games being November it was dark by 6:00 PM and there would not have been enough light to play. So my husband had a great idea for a game using Monsters throughout history. He created 3 picture boards, one with pictures of monsters, one with logos that kids would recognize, and another with characters and actors from the kids favorite shows. We set the posters up in three different rooms and had the kids team up in pairs. Each team had a turn in each of the three rooms. They had 5 min to write down their guesses for who was on the boards. The team that got the most correct won! This game took a good 30 minutes and the girls loved playing it.
After playing the game I had the girls change into their pajamas for present opening and campfire time.
We roasted marshmallows, and I gave them each a cup of hot chocolate. After they were all sugared up the girls just ran around the yard and the tent and played for the next hour or so. Around 9:30pm I made them all brush their teeth and we all went out to the tent for ghost stories. Each girl had a turn, or two and the stories I must say were pretty creative and funny. Around 11:00 pm the girls all started to fall asleep. I’m sure the neighbors were happy about that!
Rise and Shine…
The girls all had a blast sleeping in the tent. One girl stated, “ That was the best nights sleep Ive ever had!” Which I know was an exaggeration because it was one of my worst nights. Breakfast was also easy as I sent my husband out to pick up some Dunkin Donuts for the girls. The girls then played, packed up and then it was pick up time 10:00 am.
We sent each girl home with a goody bag and thanked them for coming.
Now the parties over and it time to clean up! Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back.
I love throwing parties for my children and I know it is something they will always remember about their childhood.