Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nature themed birthday party for all seasons

Since I first saw Sunny Mama's Picnic Party ideas on Pinterest a few weeks ago, I've been dreaming of hosting our own nature- themed birthday parties. The only problem is, my boys' birthdays are in December, January, and February. Even in North Carolina, an exclusively outdoor birthday party for kids is pretty much out of the question in the dead of winter.

So I've been researching, brainstorming, and pinning great ideas for nature-themed birthday parties for all seasons. By December we should be good to go.

An outside venue is often going to be a cost saver. Look for parks with pavilions for rent and remind guests to dress appropriately for the weather. Have a few extra sweaters, hats, and gloves available for anyone who forgets their own. Regardless of the season, have sunscreen available for outside activities. In winter, when outside is not an option, consider booking a group tour of a nature center, aquarium, or even the library.

Be eco friendly and encourage your guests to do the same. Use recycled paper products and utensils. In addition to a trash bag, provide guests with a place to dispose of recyclable and compostable materials. In lieu of a wrapped gift, encourage guests to make a donation to a wildlife foundation or other cause. You can also host a gift exchange of second hand books and toys - an additional benefit is that every kid goes home with a gift, not just the birthday child.

Fresh whole foods can be served any time of the year. Cute snacks might include ants on a log, broccoli florets, and melon balls. For dessert, consider serving fresh berries under a "cloud" of whipped cream or cup cakes decorated like bugs or mountains. Campfire foods, such as s'mores and hot dogs, can be a fun way to prepare food and keep warm.

Activities should be selected carefully considering the weather and the age of the guests who will be participating. In colder months, a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities will keep guests warmer and more content. As Sunny Mama suggested, a nature walk is a fantastic activity for young guests. If weather prohibits an outside nature walk, you can stage a nature-themed scavenger hunt inside by hiding animal figures or print outs of flowers.

Provide guests with several sheets, clothes pins, and twine to construct a fort. Inside the fort, they can tell campfire stories, sing songs, or play games.

Regardless of the weather, you can also view nature cams at a variety of different zoos to watch the animals in their habitats. Crafts can be done inside or out depending on your venue and the season. Make bird feeders in the winter from toilet paper rolls, peanut butter, and bird seed. Make terrariums or plant seeds in early spring. Paint butterfly houses in the fall.

Party favors are a great opportunity to send guests home with inspiration to get out and enjoy some nature play after the party. Find 15 ideas for inexpensive nature themed birthday party favors for all seasons in this article I wrote recently. Wrap favors in a red bandana for a cute hobo sack look.
With these ideas, I can't wait for birthday season to roll around!


  1. Thank you so much for linking to our picnic party post! You have some great ideas for colder weather nature themed parties. :)

  2. Thanks for the great nature ideas. Here is one for anytime of the year. We give out TickleMe Plant Party Favors. Kids can grow their own plant that will move like an animal when they tickle it by closing its leaves. Find them online. My students love them too.