Attention! Army party anyone?

So, your son (or daughter) has decided they would like an army or camouflage theme for their forthcoming birthday party, and you aren’t quite sure where to start?  The world of tanks, guns, and fatigues isn’t even on your horizon?  The closest you’ve come to an army experience is shouting like a Sergeant Major when you’re doing the school run in the morning?  You’ll be the perfect person to organise and execute an army party for your recruits.  We’ve put together a few hints and tips to help the party run smoothly, and to ensure no-one goes AWOL when on manoeuvres!


·         Invitations – You can buy invites, or be creative and do your own – there’s loads of scope for creativity with army party invites.  Get hold of card, fold in half and decorate the front with green and brown (it doesn’t even require artistic talent – just smudges of crayon, paint or felt tip pens will do fine) and, on the inside, use ‘army’ phrasing – there’s loads of phrases to use throughout the whole party  Start by requesting the troops’ attendance on the day. You’re deployed on a mission…..’, ‘You have been drafted….’ or ‘Report to Headquarters at 1400 hours….’ with headquarters being wherever you choose to hold your party.Allow your imagination to run riot.  You’ll be familiar with lots of British and American army songs, which make perfect ways to address your troops.   I don’t know, but I’ve been told, Ryan Green is 9 years old’.    Invite them to come in full uniform – aka fancy dress.  Hopefully most of them will have something camouflage, khaki or fatigue-like in their wardrobes.



·         Venue – outdoors is the perfect place to set up camp an army party if the weather and time of year permit.  Avoid doing at home….unless you really have to – and then limit numbers.  Make use of a local wood or park, enlist some corporals (parents of the party goers) to help keep an eye on your recruits, making sure they don’t scatter too far and wide.  An open space will give them the freedom to get rid of some energy, and play some army games.  If you’re lucky your local park may have a readymade assault course for you to use….


·         Games – the perfect game for an army party is an assault course, especially if your venue is a park, wood, or even your garden!  Keeping the safety of your troops in mind (this is where extra ‘corporals’ will help too).  Use whatever you have available to put together an ad hoc assault course – your recruits could walk along a narrow plank of wood, with cardboard boxes over their heads if you want to weed the men from the boys!  They can crawl under netting, run between cones, throw water balloons, the world’s your oyster.  You could play army hide and seek with toy soldiers and/or military vehicles – scattering them in safe places around your venue and telling your recruits to find their ‘missing in action’ colleagues.  There’s loads more great army themed games detailed here


·         Decoration – If your venue is indoors – if it’s indoors, at home, or in a hall, maybe, hang netting on the walls, and tear sheets of green, brown and black paper – sugar paper, or tissue will do fine, and attach to the netting.  Green, brown and black balloons will add to the effect, as well as signs, and army bunting.  You can use these decorations outdoors too, lay out a ‘rations’ picnic on a table covered with dark green fabric, attaching balloons, bunting and a photo of the birthday soldier in full dress uniform.


·          Prizes – medals, dog tags or toy soldiers make perfect prizes for the winners of army games.

Food – the way to go is lashings of green, light brown and black food colouring when    icing cupcakes, and your main party cake!  Present your food as army rations.  Army tableware in green and black makes the presentation of your rations just perfect


Cake – a tank makes a great army party cake – either DIY, or ask a friend or local cake-maker to make one for you.  Use chocolate fingers for caterpillar tracks, biscuits for the wheels, and green and brown food colouring for the icing.  A tank cake is made from simple shapes – squares and circles, and is pretty easy to assemble, for an army cook!


·         Face painting – offer your recruits ‘camo’ face painting to ensure maximum coverage when they’re in the field.  Even the toughest of recruits won’t object to their faces being covered in green or brown stripes, to prevent them from being visible to the enemy.


·         Party Bags – there’s so much choice when it comes to filling party bags for an army themed celebration, including medals, temporary tattoos, small toys such as soldiers, men on a parachute and military vehicles….


Remember, though, as Sergeant Major for the day, rank has its privileges, and you decide when the whole shebang is over, everyone goes back to their billets and you get the change to hang up your beret and highly polished shoes for another year.



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