Tempe's favorite color is purple, so I decided to go with a plum and grass green color scheme, but this party would be great with cherry red and cream, too.
This party would be fine at a park or in the backyard, but I wanted to do something different. For weeks we looked for the perfect location and finally found it about 10 minutes away from our house. I was going to have all the kids meet at the trailhead of a local (paved) trail, where we would start off on a nature walk to the party location. Further down the trail was a picnic table in a lovely little clearing. I was going to go early and set everything up on the tables and then leave my sister there to guard them while I went to meet the kids.
While walking to the party location, the kids can look for the items on a nature hunt sheet and use stickers to check off the ones they find. I also planned on making some nature hunt sheets using pictures instead of words for the non-reading party guests.
After a leisurely nature walk, we would arrive at the party location. There were two picnic tables in the clearing I was planning on using, so I was going to have one table set up with all the food and the other set up with the craft. Wooden birdhouses are cheap and easy for kids of all ages to paint, plus they make a great party favor! In addition to painting birdhouses, I planned on suspending an empty frame from a tree branch with fishing line and having a basket with homemade gnome beards and hats for a photo booth. I also wanted to make this adorable acorn pinata and fill it with Tempe's favorite trail mix.
I had so much fun coming up with a nature themed lunch! First of all, instead of using plates I was going to buy these berry baskets from Shop Sweet Lulu to nestle the food in. And what the heck, this is my fantasy party, so I might as well buy some glass milk bottles and stripey straws to serve lemonade!
Here is our menu:
"Snail" sandwiches (PB&J spread on tortillas, rolled up and sliced)
Ants on a log and ladybugs on a log (the ladybugs are cream cheese and craisins)
Tomato toadstools ( a chunk of string cheese with halved cherry tomato stuck to the top with cream cheese)
Acorn cookies (Nilla wafer and chocolate kiss stuck together with PB)
Angel food cake with fresh whipped cream and fresh forest berries
It's really easy to find decorations that fit this party theme, because things like gnomes and toadstools are really trendy right now. I had a brown velvet tablecloth that was perfect for this party (in fact, I did end up using it at Tempe's Mermaid party). One of my enchanted treehouse toadstools was going to be the cake stand, and rocks from Tempe's collection and moss balls from Michael's and owl knickknacks that I've been collecting were going to be scattered along the table to set the mood. I have a big stick wreath--do you know what I mean by that?--that I wanted to hang from a tree branch and pin pictures of Tempe all over it. FInally, we have this cute wooden deer (well, really it's a reindeer) that we get out at Christmas time that I was going to use to put the presents in until it was time to open them. Just imagine it full of wrapped packages instead of a naked child.
Tempe is such a "nature kid" that this party would have been perfect for her--but I know there are more nature kids out there! I would love to see your nature walk party!