Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Finn's National Park Birthday Party

It's no secret that we're kind of National Park junkies. Any chance we get you can bet we're exploring a new park. Finn also gets in for free because of his disabilities which is a huge perk, he loves to be outside and so do we! In March we were in Capital Reef National Park, having a picnic and brainstorming ideas for Finn's big 5 year old bash for his birthday in April. 5 years is kind of a big deal so we wanted to throw him a party that we knew he'd enjoy and would be memorable. We also wanted to celebrate all our friends and family that have had a huge role in Finn's and our lives, a "thank you for being in our corner" kind of a thing.

Finn's birthday theme was National Park/Junior Ranger explorer. My grandma was kind enough to let us have the party in her backyard which basically looks like a national park. As they entered Finn National Park they stopped at the "Visitors Center" and each party goer picked up a backpack with all the explorer essentials, a bandana, explorer notebook and pencil. They would become "Junior Rangers" as we went through each station. The different stations were fishing, archery, bug exploration, geode mining and arts & crafts. After they completed each activity they received a stamp in their explorer notebook and at the end they each got an "official"  Junior Ranger badge! It turned out to be a blast and the kids had a ball exploring and learning new things. We roasted hot dogs and s'mores, ate chili and had the most amazing gluten free/vegan log cake ever made from City Cakes. Finn then got to open his presents from all his friends, he was totally spoiled!

It turned out to be an incredible afternoon spent exploring and spending time with friends and family. Finn is a lucky boy to be surrounded by such wonderful and positive people. Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with our big 5 year old! Below is a video and photos of this epic day.

Finn National Park Video

The first station was fishing. My grandma has a Koi pond, complete with waterfall, in her backyard which made for the perfect fishing hole! I made fishing rods from wood dowels and attached magnets on the ends and we tossed in some magnetic fish for the kids to catch.

The second station was archery. We made bows and arrows made from PVC molding, string, wood dowels and eraser ends. 

Next up was bug exploration. Each explorer got a card that explained a certain type of bug and they then had to find that bug, which were plastic toy insects we placed all over an area of the yard.

Ahh the geodes. The kids really dug this one (literally and figuratively, wink). I ordered a bag of geodes online, we buried them and had the kids dig for them. They then took their geode to Noah and Blake, who cracked them open for them. They LOVED the sparkles inside.


From there we went over to the arts and crafts area where the kids made their own bird feeders using the classic pinecones, peanut butter and bird seed. A somewhat messy, but super fun and easy project that the kids loved.

The last activity was making their own trail mix. They each got a trail mix bag and filled them with whatever they wanted!

Then it was time to sing to the birthday boy! His friends were so cute and helped him blow out his candles.

Finn then opened his presents, how cute are his little friends?

The food was amazing. Everyone had the option of roasting their own hot dogs or we had pre-cooked wienies available. Also salad, veggies, fruit, chili, you know... camp food.

Such an amazing day! Thank you to Annie Johnson for taking these wonderful pictures and documenting Finn's National Park. Below are some super rad pictures my sister took on her vintage Soviet film camera. 

Happy birthday you beautiful boy.
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