Well, it’s been another busy week around here. We’re all adjusting to our new schedule (very well I might add) and despite my best efforts to keep him at age four, my big boy turned five this week. I have a five-year old. He goes to school and everything. Yikes. I think I aged five years myself this week 🙂
So because I couldn’t keep him from turning five, we decided to celebrate with a party this weekend. Everyone deserves a party on their birthday, don’t you think? Awhile back, Griff told me that he wanted an army party this year, and I was SO excited. After a bit of searching online, we decided on a “boot camp” styled party, so my goal was to turn our backyard into a “basic training” obstacle course – fun, right?
Yes, it was fun. And it was easy and it didn’t cost much. We used supplies we already had, printables we found online, and a cake we made ourselves. The goal was to focus on the fun and not so much the details. I enlisted (pun intended) the help of anyone I could to help with the prep work, including the birthday boy himself. Here he is decorating his own cake:
My Mother, MIL and I did the cookie crumb road, the blue sugar water and the green sugar grass. Mom made the cake. Griffin did everything else himself.
And the final product:
Yup, that’s the best pic I could get of him…with some sort of chip in his mouth. Typical Griff 🙂
For the party, I created these invitations:
It was important to specify the type of party we were having and to let everyone know to dress appropriately, since we knew they would be crawling on the ground and maybe getting a little wet or dirty.
When the “troops” arrived at our house, they saw this sign in the driveway, leading them into the backyard:
They then arrived at the check in table, where they were issued a camo bandana and told where to wait until the rest of the troops arrived.
(Printables are from the blog Seven Thirty Three, an awesome blog with lots of party ideas and other creative projects).
This is what the backyard looked like. We set up a tent to provide some shade in case it got too hot, or in case of a bit of rain. Hurricane Leslie was on her way at the time, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We had no real back-up plan if it poured, so we lucked out!
Griffin helped set everything up. He loved being a part of the whole party planning process this year and took a lot of pride in making sure his friends would like his party. In the above photo, he wanted to make sure each of his friends would have a bottle of water and a juice box. He even made a “trade-in” area with other types of juice boxes in case someone didn’t like the kind he gave them. He’s a teacher in the making; of that I’m sure.
Our obstacle course had ten “stations.” The kids were told they had to complete each obstacle in order to earn their dog tags.
Our “stations” were:
1. Jump through a ladder (an old bunk bed ladder) and across a balance beam (a 2×4 on blocks)
2. Crawling through the trenches (crawling under a saw horse). I used caution tape everywhere I could – see above pics. It looks authentic and super cool.
3. Jumping jacks. Every soldier must be in top condition.
4. Grenade toss. Homemade bean bags tossed into a bucket.
5. Retrieve a wounded soldier. We buried green plastic army men in a bucket filled with play sand. Troops had to find one and deliver him to the hospital
6. Deliver wounded soldier to the hospital. The “hospital” was our playset. Troops had to climb the ladder, toss their soldier in a bucket then slide down the slide.
7. Jump through hoops. A couple of hula hoops on the ground that the troops had to jump through.
8. Shoot the bad guys. The most popular station by far 🙂 We set up three plastic army men on a plastic saw horse, covered it in caution tape and gave the troops little water pistols to shoot them off. In hindsight, I would have bought enough water guns for all the kids to have their own. The boys loved it and played with the water guns long after they were done with the course.
9. Receive your dog tags. I bought blank aluminum dog tags from Etsy (about $7USD + shipping for 20 tags). I already had a stamp set and made one with each of the troops’ name on it.
10. CHOW! We had pizza, chips, cheesies, water, juice and cake.
(Water bottles printables are from Seven Thirty Three, and yes, I realise they say US Army…it’s the best I could come up with! And they look great, so I used them)
An army party is a great choice for boys. They did the obstacle course over and over and over, and hopefully went home tired and happy. I made goody bags for our troops which included plastic army men, marble “grenades” and assorted camo-coloured candy. I used plastic camo bags from the dollar store and tied them up with caution tape.
Army party = happy soldiers
Hope you had a great weekend too. And if you live in NS, I hope you’re staying dry today 😦