You don’t have to actually trek out into the wilderness with the party guests to give them the wilderness experience. These activities work at home but still have the great outdoors as the central theme.
Compass Scavenger Hunt
Instead of just sending the kids out to find clues or objects on a list, give them a map of the neighborhood and a compass. Send them on a scavenger hunt with the compass directions. If the kids haven’t ever used compasses, give them a little lesson before you send them on the adventure. You might also want to send an adult with the group in case they get lost or forget how to use the compasses.
It’s a natural fit for the wilderness theme. If you aren’t comfortable actually going to a campground with the party guests, have a backyard camping session. You can set up tents in the yard for a twist on the traditional slumber party. Don’t forget to have plenty of adult supervision on hand. And prep a place inside for the sleeping bags in case the kids decide they don’t want to sleep outside all night long.
If you don’t want to have the kids overnight, you can still set up the camp in the backyard. Enjoy the outdoor camp-style activities during the party and then send the kids home with their parents at the end of the evening.
Put the kids’ survivalist skills to the test with this game show style challenge. Come up with a list of fun challenges for the kids. For example, you might have a worm eating challenge where kids have to see who can eat a certain number of gummy worms fastest. Or get some real worms and see who can hold them in their hand the longest without getting grossed out.
Send the kids on a bug hunt. You can have them find real bugs with bug catchers, or hide plastic bugs around the party area if you don’t want to disturb any living creatures. If the party is in the evening, let the kids catch fireflies. Just encourage them not to hurt the fireflies and to release them when they are done looking at them.