When my friend asked me what theme she should do for her nephew Kaiden’s first birthday, I immediately said “Woodland”. It’s been a popular theme for the last couple of years and are we surprised with those cute little furry forest animals?
Conveniently, I had already started planning for a Woodland party myself so I shared what I had for Kaiden’s party and we went from there. As you know, I like to start preparing weeks in advance so I had managed to collect some really adorable decorations for the table like wood log platters, pumpkins, and animal figures. We covered the table in burlap-like cloth and added ties along the front for extra detail. You can also print more of the animal cutouts that we hung and make them into bunting to hang across the front of the table. The smaller children will be especially curious to look at them.
My friend set the theme early by sending out her Woodland themed invitations from my shop. Here below, is the adorable woodland creatures design she picked.
Woodland Party Decor
Since it was Kaiden’s birthday, we personalized the table with a wood K we sourced at the craft store and decorated it with fresh cedar cuttings and burlap.
Actually, we went all out with the cedar clippings and burlap and twine on the table. Here, we wrapped small jars of honey with burlap and tied clippings and the custom tag to the lid using twine. These were given out as party favors.
We applied custom bottle labels to jars of Pond Juice (really just green Koolaid) along with some twine for detail.
And more personalized tags with twine to the individual servings of vanilla pudding.
Woodland Party Food Ideas
Now what does one serve for a Woodland party? We thought it would be fun to imagine what the animals themselves would be snacking on in the woods. My bet is sweet stuff!
If you are planning a fall/winter Woodland-themed party, pumpkins will be available everywhere so think of including spiced treats or pumpkin-flavoured treats. We did these pumpkin-shaped sweets.
Chocolate bear paw cookies was an obvious choice and can be found on your supermarket shelves. Not that any animals would really be chomping down on a bear paw, but a bear would definitely be in the woods licking delicious honey off his paws.
And why not some maple-flavoured leaves gathered from the woods?
I used food tents on the table to make sure guests were in the loop on the theme.
Fortunately I found fresh delicious berries in the market. What hungry bear wouldn’t want to devour these colourful berries, especially after a winter’s hibernation! (See the cute fox figure? )
And of course, I always like to include the ever so easy, ever so practical, and always delicious mini-cupcakes which we quickly and easily decorated with some mini forest animal toppers.
For the main meal, consider something hearty and warm if the party is in the fall, like chili, or a pasta casserole – both of which can be made ahead of time. And for a party in the warmer months, think peanut butter (or its substitute) and jelly sandwiches or even fishcakes and veggies. And if cupcakes aren’t your thing, I like the idea of a wood log birthday cake.
Woodland Themed Party Activities
To keep the little ones entertained, there are several games one can play with them.
The Woodland Scavenger Hunt: Send the kids on a scavenger hunt to collect seasonal items: in the autumn, they can hunt for a leaf with teeth, a brown acorn, shiny conkers, evergreen leaves, helicopter seeds or leafs of certain color. In the spring or summer, they can look for twigs, flowers, leaves and bits of newspaper to build a bird’s nest or try to spot certain insects or little furry animals like squirrels. This is a great outdoor activity young ones will enjoy in the backyard or at a park.
The Fox, Fox, Bunny game (a variation of Duck, Duck, Goose) Line up the kids in two groups parallel to each other and about 3 feet apart (1 meter). Designate safe zones (using cones, other items or even landmarks) approximately 60 feet (twenty metres) from either side of the students where they must get to into order to be safe. One group will be ‘foxes’ and the other group will be ‘rabbits’. If you say ‘foxes’, the foxes must chase the rabbits and tag them before they get to their safe zone. Likewise, if you say ‘rabbits’, the rabbits must chase the foxes and tag them before they get to their safe zone. Anyone who is tagged sits out until the next round or joins the other group.
Go on a Bear Hunt: Set up a trail of clues to find “the sleeping bear who ate all the honey and berries then fell asleep”. Nothing gets kids excited like the thrill of anticipation or mystery – even parents like it for that matter, regardless of how simple the game is.
My friend and I had a blast putting Kaiden’s party together. It’s a fun theme to work with that both boys and girls enjoy. Remember – the success is in the details and I have made it easier on you with a personalized/printable woodland party decor collection. Be inspired by the magic of the woods and have fun planning your own Woodland party!
Let me know if you have any questions 🙂