Easy Camping Themed Birthday Party Ideas, Wesley’s Backyard Birthday Party

This past weekend we celebrated Wesley turning five with a camping themed birthday party in the backyard.

Since we also have a two month old, I wasn’t sure at first about throwing a party this year. Even without a baby strapped to my torso, I am not an amazing party planner…especially with the time management skills!

But, I figured it makes no sense not to do something special just because it might not live up to my own ideal of perfection!

The best party themes in my book are ones that don’t take much to pull together the day of.

When Wesley was excited about the idea of a camping party, I knew we could make it happen without going too crazy! Post may contain affiliate links.


It was an afternoon party, so the food was pretty light. We had mixed berry fruit salad, a veggie tray, cheese and crackers, and hot dogs for the kids. We also had a little “make your own trailmix” station. Of course, the gummy bears were the most popular topping.

No fuss diy trail mix station for a camping themed birthday party.

The cake was so fun and easy, even simpler than last years teddy bear cake. A quick Pinterest search gave me so much inspiration. Wesley even helped me decorate it!

Camping themed birthday cake. A quick and easy camping themed birthday party in the backyard.

It’s a simple two layer chocolate cake sprinkled with oreo crumbs. I made a little fire pit with these awesome candy rocks, and used them around the base of the cake. Then add these the mini “roasting marshmallow” toothpicks! Last came the graham cracker tent, and some tree decorations.

Camping Party Games

The are so many fun game ideas for a camping party that you can adapt to all different age kids! The children Wesley invited were ages 2-7, so we wanted games that could be flexible.

Aside from the trusty Little Tikes bouncy house, almost all the supplies for our party games came from Dollar Tree. It is my very favorite place to get affordable party game supplies!

Wesley and I made “sand slime” for the party. We picked up pebbles, seashells, little play bugs, and glass stones to play with the slime at the party. It is super easy to make with equal parts water, glue, sand, and liquid starch…Wesley also dumped in some (actually the whole bottle!) gold glitter!

Make and take sand slime, simple camping, beach, or lake themed birthday party activity idea

We saw these butterfly nets, and did a butterfly balloon catch game. I inflated balloons small enough to catch inside the nets, and drew butterflies on the outside with a sharpie! It was so simple, but playing with the balloons and nets was a huge hit at the party!

Butterfly balloon catch game, easy camping themed birthday party idea

We also did giant bubbles! The kids thought it was fun to “catch” the big bubbles with their butterfly nets.

Giant bubbles, easy summer birthday party idea

The most popular game of the party was the “bug spray game” I found at Just Add Confetti. We purchased cans of silly string and a few packs of toy insects.

(Silly string can be hard to find several cans at once at the local Dollar Tree, but these can be ordered bulk with free store pickup.)

I scattered the bugs around a small area of the lawn, and we had the kids “spray the bugs”. The kids were so excited about using the silly string, I forgot to take a picture!

DIY Camping Party Tent

My favorite idea for a camping themed birthday party was to create a tent between the trees with a low table inside. The kids really loved it! I printed scavenger hunt and coloring pages to set on the camp table with some colored pencils.

Camping themed birthday party. DIY tent party decor made with curtains and clothesline!

I wasn’t sure at first how to pull off the fun tent idea I had in my mind, but it ended up being totally doable! We made the tent with clothesline and four sheer curtain panels I already had in the house. Now that I know the idea works, this would be AMAZING with canvas curtains like a real old fashioned tent.

We doubled up the clothesline and threaded one line through the large curtain loops, then tied between two trees. I used wooden paint roller extender sticks through the other side curtain loops and landscape pins to anchor the curtains out on the ground on each side. You could also use broom sticks or wooden dowels. It was really simple, and everyone thought it was so fun!

Make a DIY tent with clothesline and curtains, perfect for a camping themed birthday party!

We had a barbecue later in the evening with some friends and family, and everyone decided to hang out and eat under the tent instead of on the deck.

diy backyard tent with curtains and clothesline, easy camping themed birthday party ideas

Overall, it was the easiest birthday theme we have done so far! I would totally use this theme again. The ideas for games and activities are so easy to come up with, and so adaptable to all different ages.

Do you have any fun and easy party themes to share?

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