Jasper's Hiking Party
For Jasper's third birthday I thought it would be fun to incorporate what we spend a majority of our free time doing as a family- hiking. On a random trip to Target this Summer I found these adorable hiking plates which ended up being the inspiration for the party. In general, Meri Meri is my go to for adorable party supplies and I was delighted when I found cute little cloud napkins and scalloped watercolor napkins. Although it is much easier to buy an entire set of matching party supplies it is a lot more fun to mix and match pieces for a custom look.
If I have learned anything about hosting parties in the past, it is that when guests have an opportunity to be hands on they tend to not only have a better time, but a stronger memory of the experience. Initially, I was going to make little bags of trail mix for the guest to take home, but ultimately decided to create a trail mix bar. (similar to what I did for Jasper's first birthday party in the woods). I am a sucker for sentimental touches to a party, so I foraged these sticks, lichen and pinecones from Mazama when we visited there earlier this month to celebrate Asher's birthday. Although I doubt anyone even noticed these, it was my subtle way of incorporating our family's special place and his older brother into the celebration.
After going through my fabric stash I came across these three fabrics which I thought would work well for the party. I used the paper cloud napkins for inspiration and worked together with my talented friend, Marie, to make these adorable cloud pillows for the littlest party goers.
On another shopping trip to Target I ran across these clever donut shaped sidewalk chalk. They were in the clearance section and left over from Summer so I was able to snag them for a steal! I was not entirely certain how I would incorporate them into the party, but the color was right and I knew Jasper's friend's parents would appreciate chalk donuts over more sugar at his party.
I kept the menu simple: scrambled eggs, roasted brusell sprouts, hummus, veggies and pita chips, yogurt and granola, mini scones and fresh fruit. I figured if Jasper liked to eat it chances were his friends would too. Turns out I was correct in my thinking!
The cute little cloud pillows. Each with a slightly different shape and facial expression. I like how each pillow is unique and fun like all his little friends.
After months of searching for pocket notebooks I ran across these gems on Amazon. I liked the sleek design and simple message paired with the twig pencils I thought they were perfect for the party.
For the party decor, I pretty much ransacked Jasper's room. My parents made this tent for Jasper for his first birthday and this is where we read books every night to him before going to bed. This fire from Land of Nod was also a gift he received for his first birthday.
For additional decor I printed out photos of all the places we have been hiking over the past year and attached them to the pinecone garland I created with the pinecones I found in Mazama.
We are fortunate to have several little boys who are roughly the same age attend the same church congregation as we do. It has been fun to see them grow up together over the past several years. Jasper was so excited the day of his party and kept asking, "When are my friends coming over?" The next morning when he woke up he asked, "Where did my friends go?" I think if he had it his way they would all move in and play with him all day long.
After stories around the camp fire we went outside on a scavenger hunt to search for leaves, rocks, dirt and sticks. The sun was shining and Jasper really enjoyed the running around part.
What good is one leaf when you can have dozens instead?!
A brown paper bag and a sharpie created the favorite activity of the day. It really is the simple things which children enjoy the most.
The key to a successful party for me is to keep it small. I know I cannot handle ten toddlers running around my house, so I invited four children and three ended up being able to attend. Three children plus their mothers ended up being the perfect amount for me.
Witnessing these fleeting moments of pure happiness are the only payment I need for all my hard work.
During the party there were several times Jasper said," Look Jasper hiking!" Even though I don't think his friends noticed much about the photos I loved how Jasper beamed with pride when he said it. Over the past three years we have had the privilege to introduce hiking to Jasper and my hope is that spending time outside will be as necessary as breathing.