Saturday, March 6, 2010

Army Guy Party

These Lego Toy Story Soldiers will provide hours of entertainment for your birthday boy. (, $10.97)

My favorite memories of being little were the times that I felt like I was grown up. I loved, loved, loved pretending. I could become a chef, a veterinarian, a mommy. My brother's favorite thing to pretend (much to my chagrin) was army and for his 5th birthday, we celebrated army style. It was lots of fun- I felt like I was really at an army boot camp! Now, whenever I plan something for kids, I want them to get the same feeling I had when I was little- like you were really that character that you wanted to be- so, here is my attempt to recreate an army boot camp for your little guy!

Recruiting form from Ultimate Kid Birthday Parties: Here is a great FREE invitation that looks like an official army recruiting form!! The PDF format allows you to fill in your information and print off the invitations easily. Enjoy!

Setting up camp-

Army netting: Find relatively inexpensive camouflage netting (Favor Frenzy, $7.98 )
Or go for my personal favorite, the tough looking (and more inexpensive!) canon ball hole netting that could probably pass for army netting! (Favor Frenzy, $4.95)

Caution signs: Using old plywood, reusable letter stencils (Ben Franklin Crafts, $1.90), and a red paint marker (You can find one for a good price at almost any craft store.) make signs that say things like:



For part of the kids' favors, provide them with army gear for the party. Canteens (Oriental Trading Co., $17.99/12, which is $1.50 a piece) , camo helmets (Oriental Trading Co., $5.99/12 which is $0.50 a piece), and dog tags (Oriental Trading Co., $3.99/12 which is $0.33 a piece) are all necessities for boot camp.

If you choose to use these items for favors, the cost for each child will amount to $2.33 a piece!

If you can order most of your party supplies at the same location, you can sometimes get a discount on shipping. For example, if you spend $200 on Oriental Trading Co., you will save 10% on shipping.Of course, if you can find all your supplies at a store, that is the best case scenario- I just have links on here so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about and in case you prefer to order on the internet.


Army Obstacle Course- Creating an obstacle course is so easy and is my brother's favorite memory of his army party. If you have a big yard and can do the obstacle course outdoors, that is the best option. Depending on your resources, outdoor obstacle courses could include:

  • Swinging across the monkey bars
  • Climbing up a rock wall or slide
  • Sliding down the slide
  • Swinging on a rope over a "mud puddle"
  • Jumping through tires
  • Climbing over a short fence
  • Weaving between cones
  • Jumping over a "river" (Two jump ropes- if it's summer, have the kids jump over a stream of water coming from a hose.)
If you need to go indoors:

  • Going up/down stairs
  • Push ups/sit ups
  • Target shooting (Use Nerf gun)
  • Jump over pillow cushion/rug
  • Retrieving an item and bringing it back to base
Time each child on the course- whoever gets the best time wins.

Target Practice-
Target practice can also be played a few different ways depending on whether you are having an indoor or outdoor party.

Variation 1- If you are going to play outdoors, start by drawing a chalk target on a fence or a wall (it will wash off easily). Then, fill enough water balloons for each guest to have several. Give each guest a turn at trying to hit the chalk target.

Variation 2-
If you need to be inside, use a Nerf gun. You can either purchase a Velcro Nerf target, or use suction cup darts.

Paper Airplane War
Supplies: Paper

Teach the soldiers how to make paper airplanes (TUTORIAL). Then, divide the kids into two teams, supplying each team with several sheets of paper. The room or designated area for the game should be divided into two equal halves- one for each team. When you say 'go', the teams must create paper airplanes as quickly as possible and fly them over into the opponents' side. Players from side A may not cross over into side B and visa versa. Whoever has fewer airplanes on their side at the end of the game wins.


At my brother's birthday, my mom led the kids in a chant that went something like this:

"I don't know if you've been told, (CHILD'S FIRST & LAST NAME), is ___ years old. We're all here to celebrate. ________ is really great. Happy (repeat) Birthday (repeat). Happy you!"

Make Model Airplanes

Show off your American pride with these Oriental Trading Co. foam gliders ($4.99/12), or let kids decorate their own airplane wings (Oriental Trading Co. on sale for $2.99)


Hungry recruits will eat just about anything that's put in front of them. Set up a mess hall outside or in your kitchen with cafeteria items such as:

  • Hot dogs or burgers
  • Mac 'n' cheese
  • Pizza
  • Grilled cheese
  • Chips
  • French fries
  • Soda or juice (serve in canteens!)
  • Carrot sticks and dip
Serve on "cafeteria trays", really just foam compartment trays (Dollar Tree $1 for 10).

For the birthday sergeant's cake, the easiest option is either tank cupcakes or a battlefield cake.

We served a battlefield cake at my brother's birthday. It was very simple. I believe that it was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and Little Debbie Swiss Rolls for hills. Then, we added plastic army figurines and tanks. You could also add chocolate cereal and cookie crumbles for rocks and dirt.

If you'd prefer to do cupcakes, still use chocolate cake and frosting, then add chocolate cereal and cookie crumbles. Top with plastic tanks. For fun added flair, use camouflage candles- note, they are a bit more pricey. (Birthday Direct, $3.72 for 4)

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Thanks for all of the great party ideas! :-)