Today I took my son to his friend’s fifth birthday party. We’ve looked forward to this party for weeks, since the invitation came saying, “Indoor Camping Party”! It met our expectations – the family had two tents set up in their family room, complete with a nylon tunnel between them. There was a game to find the animal footprints on each child’s card (bobcat, mountain lion, beaver). Once you’d found all the footprints on your card, you got to go into a cave (also known as a large closet) to search for hidden treasures, using the cool flashlight that was your party favor. And, then the boys ate hot dogs on a blanket on the kitchen floor. The final treat were s’mores out in the back yard.
I loved this party because it was creative fun. I’m sure it required planning and lots of effort but it wasn’t plastic. The kids used their imaginations – and they connected. I aspire to host this kind of party in a few months. Today served as a good reminder that it’s the experience, not the extravagant location or the perfect party favors that makes a birthday party great.