For many families, the annual deer-hunting trip is a big deal and the anticipation begins long before the actual trip. For kids who can’t go on the adventure, it is a mixture of excitement and disappointment. This year, make it a special time for your child and his or her friends by throwing a Kids’ Deer Hunter Party.
How Long Will Your Party Last?
First, plan how long the party is going to last: one day, overnight, or for the full time of the hunting trip. The overnight party adds the excitement of a sleepover, which almost every kid loves to do. The extended, multi-day party takes a little more planning and a lot more patience, but if families share the work, it can be an unforgettable adventure.
Hype the Party Theme
Weave the outdoorsy, hunting theme through the food menu, games, and sleeping arrangements. While planning the party, think like a kid — not an adult. This includes decorating to entertain and making the decorations interactive, if possible. Check the Internet and party books for inspirations.
Deer Hunter’s Chow
The food should be informal and fun because that is most popular with kids. Forget the delicately piped icing on cupcakes; go for the simple and tasty.
Give the food out-of-the-ordinary, hunting party names like Camp Shack Stew, Deer Hunter’s Snack Pack, or Missed-the-Shot Bologna Sandwiches. Carry the theme by making snacks that hunters may carry and have them search for them to extend the deer hunter experience.
If the weather permits, eat outdoors at a park or even in your own back yard. If the party needs to stay indoors, surprise the young would-be hunters by eating under the table, on the stairway, or in other unconventional ways. Hunters eating on the trail don’t have a table!
Games — Outdoors or Inside
Carry the deer hunter party theme into the games by having many of them outdoors. If the weather is bad or you do not have a yard, consider local resources, such as the YMCA or other facilities. Surf the Web for ideas on hunter-themed indoor games.
Prepare age-appropriate activities, considering the ages and abilities of the guests as well as the “host” child. Set up multi-level skilled games if the ages and abilities vary greatly.
One of the most exciting activities for kids is a sleepover! Crank up the excitement by setting up unconventional sleeping structures, such as under a table draped with sheets, behind the couch and chairs, and other creative places. Keep in mind that anything “tented” is more fun and sleeping in the “wilds” beats sleeping in a bed.
If the weather permits, sleep on the deck (call it a big tree stand), pitch a tent in the yard (on the trail to the big buck!), or even sleep in the back of a van!
Make the Invitations a Part of a Game
Build the excitement for your “host” kid by sending him or her an invitation. This will make your kid feel as special as the guests. Make the invitations a key element of the party by designing it like a deer hunter’s tag.
For your last game of the day, use the invitation to tag a prize, such as a stuffed animal, toy, or a game. Have the “warden” take a picture of the kid with his or her tagged prize for a special Kids Deer Hunter Party souvenir.
Click on each of my pictures in the upper corner of this article for more ideas.