Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

Adventure is out there! If your kid loves the great outdoors, look no further than a backyard-sleepover birthday party. Let the cool, crisp air be your backdrop for the perfect outdoor party.

You can find some outdoor birthday party supplies from Shindigz or other online retail stores. Use the following tips to help create the perfect party for your child.

Make it a Movie Night Under the Stars

Pottery Barn has a simple tutorial online on how to make your own movie screen. All you need are two thick, white queen-size sheets, two large poles(one 1.5 feet diameter by 10 feet long and one 3 foot diameter by 10 foot long) and some rope with two different thicknesses.

  • Start with two queen-size ironed-flat sheets. Sew them together with white thread so the long sides are joined, creating a tube.
  • Insert the 1.5-inch-diameter pole and let the fabric hang down.
  • Attach the thicker rope to the ends of the top pole so that it can be attached to a tree or something sturdy. Once attached to a tree, slide the thicker pole through the tube created by the sewn sheets so that it creates a weight at the bottom of the screen.
  • Attach the thinner rope to the ends of the bottom pole. Insert two tent stakes directly beneath the bottom corners of the screen, tie the thinner rope to both of the tent stakes and pull tight. This will secure the screen.

Once you set up your screen, all you need is a projector and voila! You have a completed an outdoor theater. A few simple drinks, snacks and outdoor seating are all you need to enjoy the movie. For the seating, try chairs, air mattresses, plush cushions or large pillows.

Pop on a fun outdoor movie like “A Bug’s Life,” “The Jungle Book,”UP ” or “Surf’s Up.”

Sleep Under a Canopy Tent

Make it more comfortable for the little kiddos by supplying and plenty of blankets. Air mattresses are great because they will support the kids’ backs much better than sleeping bags on the ground. You can attach blankets, tarps or curtains to the sides of the tent to help make the space more enclosed. For a fun, outdoorsy atmosphere, place logs and small lanterns around the space, just in case they want to tell bedtime stories with creepy hand shadows.

Make a Treasure Hunt

Ahoy, mateys! For a fun birthday game, make a pirate-themed scavenger hunt. Divide the kids in teams of two or three and give each squad its own set of clues they will follow to find buried treasure, gold and prizes. This will be an action-packed game filled with fun, excitement and mystery. If some of the kids are having trouble, offer clues to help them along the way.

Another activity to consider is panning for gold. Use assorted rocks and minerals and hide them throughout the yard. This gives the kids a chance to find and learn about precious gems. Parents magazine suggests gathering an inexpensive stash of turquoise, malachite, copper, quartz and other colorful gems at the craft store. Have a shadow box for each guest so they can glue all the gems they find inside to have as keepsakes.