Go West for a Backyard Birthday Campout

A Western theme is a great one for summer birthdays because it dovetails nicely with barbecues, evenings around a campfire and the ever-popular kids’ sleepover parties.

Perhaps one of the best parts of a summer campout party is that a child who is old enough to camp out in the back yard will also be able to participate in much of the party planning. Be sure to allow the birthday guy or gal to take the creative lead in as many of the following areas as possible:

1. Invitations. Select from our Star Party Invitations, the My Horse Invitations or the Create-an-Invitation option. Or, create your own invitation on the computer; get out the old wood-burning set and brown the edges, create pouches for them out of denim and/or bandanna fabric or attach them to inexpensive straw cowboy hats.

Remember that summer schedules fill up very fast! Try to get the invitations out as much as 4 weeks in advance for the best response.

2. Decorations. Bales of straw for seating, pop-up tents for sleeping, and a fire ring or pit turn the back yard into a Western campsite. Add strategically-placed pieces of fencing, ropes and bandannas. Place citronella candles in tin buckets with holes punched in the sides, or into Mason jars with an inch or two of sand in the bottoms.

3. Activities. If the party starts early enough for supper, serve standard barbecue fare or set up a taco bar. Later, try campfire popcorn and s’mores. Have the birthday boy or gal look up ghost stories on the Internet. Draft a real-life guitar hero for a ballad or two, and supply Uno cards for games by flashlight.

4. Favors. Old-fashioned red paisley bandannas with ends gathered and knotted in the centers make great theme-oriented favor containers. See ShindigZ catalog of Western Party Favors for more favor ideas in this theme.

See? With some advance planning, you and your child can flavor a backyard birthday sleepover with a taste of the Old West.

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