A kids' camping party is an outdoors variation on the traditional sleepover. This type of party is ideal for experiencing the fun of camping without venturing too far from home. Camping parties are best for children who are not afraid of the dark, usually around age 7 or older. Supplies will include tents, sleeping bags and flashlights, and activities can be inexpensive, using nature as the focus.
Even in the backyard, a successful campout needs campfire food. Roast hot dogs on sticks over an open flame for the main course. Campfire desserts are fun to make and fun to eat. S'mores, made with chocolate, toasted marshmallows and graham crackers, are a perennial favourite of camping kids. Modify the recipe to include a slice of banana or a bit of peanut butter to add a new flavour to this old favourite. Create pineapple upside-down cakes from sliced cake doughnuts, pineapple slices, butter and brown sugar. Make a doughnut sandwich with these ingredients and wrap it in tin foil. Place the wrapped dessert near hot coals to warm up before eating.
Make setting up fun through a contest. Divide children into teams to see who can correctly assemble their tent and other equipment first. After the sun sets, catch fireflies in glass jars. Host a flashlight treasure hunt while it is dark. Prepare for this activity by hiding small treasures and toys around the camping area. Glow-in-the-dark bugs or animals make easy-to-find treasures. Each child can wander the yard searching for these items with a flashlight. Before bedtime, gather around the campfire for scary stories.
Prepare goody bags for each of the guests using a drinking canteen. Purchase inexpensive plastic water bottles and decorate the exteriors with camping-themed stickers, featuring tents, bugs, forest animals or stars. Fill the bottles with small toys and gifts, such as mini flashlights, compasses and candies. Small camping backbacks are another option for party favours. Fill these with supplies the kids will need for their camping adventure, such as a first aid kit, bug spray, marshmallow roasting stick or sweatshirt.
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