Valentine’s Day for All Generations: 7 Ideas for Sweet Fun

Just months after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Valentine’s Day is another good holiday for families to spend sweet quality time together. Time is the ultimate gift, so fun Valentine’s Day activities can help family members of all generations enjoy each other’s company, make lasting memories, and share love with one another.

This year, give the gift of time to your family by incorporating these Valentine’s Day ideas for kids and adults.

Sweet Gifts Made Like These

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids

At any age, well-thought out gifts are the way to your loved ones’ hearts. This year, get with your crew for some homemade gift giving.

To let family know they’re the “beary best,” help kids fill mason jars of any size with Surf Sweets Fruity or Gummy Bears. Then, have fun creating custom labels and decorating it for the special person who’ll receive it. Grab colorful pens, ribbons (here we used baking twine), labels, construction paper, and double-sided tape or glue. And since it’s Valentine’s Day, don’t forget the heart stickers!

Reveling in Relaxation

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids

You don’t have to take your family out to relax. Bring the spa to your home by making family-friendly bath scrubs with all natural ingredients. It’s a great gift to have little ones make for moms, grandmothers, and older sisters. The fun is really in the creation.

Set up a bath salt station where your kids can mix up the ingredients. View our homemade spa recipes and grab our printable labels to complete this calming gift.

Love Chats  Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids

How often can you get your whole family together to talk? For many families, not often enough. This Valentine’s Day, set aside some time to catch up as a group. Have a love chat. Sit around in a comfortable place and pull out pre-written questions out of a hat such as “What is usually the best part of your day?” and “If you could do anything every single day, what would it be?” Whatever question is pulled, everyone has to answer. Go around the circle with everyone pulling from the hat until you’re out.

Game Night Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids


Keep the party going in your house with a Valentine’s Day game night — a festive version of the traditional family favorites. There are tons of games to choose from. For example, it’s Surf Sweets Fruity Hearts vs. Jelly Beans (or any two candies) in this yummy game of tic tac toe. Download your game board and then print out as many as you need for a night filled with fun.

Family Dinner Cooking Contest

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids

No matter your family’s individual interests may be, food is always fun. So, why not make it a contest? Break your family into teams to cook a part of an allergy-friendly meal. Divvy up adults and kids into teams, and then choose dishes that cover the entire meal, ranging from appetizers to desserts. You’re going to need some good judges, though. Invite over extended family, friends, or neighbors to enjoy and share their favorite dish.

Hunt for Hearts

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids



GiTake advantage of young curiosity by setting up a “heart hunt” throughout your home. Similar to the fun of an Easter egg hunt, this scavenger hunt is sure to bring smiles to younger kids’ faces. Place hearts made of construction paper around the house, enlisting the help of any older children to write sweet notes on them and then place them in creative places. Before the search starts, allow kids to decorate their own baskets to hold their discovered hearts. For an added touch, allow kids to exchange a number of paper hearts for small gifts and candy.

Show Signs of Love

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids


You don’t need spoken words to say “I love you.” This easy-to-make homemade card teaches your kids how to say the term in sign language while also giving them another way to spread love this holiday.

Have kids trace their hands on construction paper with fingers spread apart. After cutting out the hands, fold down the tips of the middle and ring fingers and add to a homemade Valentine’s Day card. Note: Only tape or glue down the fingertips to leave a three-dimensional effect.

What are your family’s favorite Valentine’s Day traditions? Let us know below.


Sweeten My Smile

How do you Sweeten Your Smile?

We’ve partnered with fellow top 8-free brands, Enjoy Life Foodsand Kiss Freely, to make this Valentine’s Day extra sweet! This season is best celebrated by making homemade Valentines & indulging in special treats with loved ones, and this year is no exception.

Do you remember ever bringing a shoebox to school and decorating it as a mailbox for valentine cards? Making homemade valentines is still something we love doing to this day. All you need is paper, scissors, glue and your imagination! And a goodie bag of allergy-friendly treats, of course. ;)

Because YOU, our amazing community, is what sweetens our smiles every day, we’re sharing the love by hosting a special giveaway!

Enter for a chance to win a selection of our allergy-friendly products by commenting on our social media posts, or below in the comment section, and tell us how you plan to add some extra sweetness to your Valentine’s Day with #SweetenMySmile!

Sweeten My Smile

Each of our 3 companies will pick 1 Grand Prize winner to win a sampler of sweet products from our brands, and 10 runners-up to win a goodie bag of samples! Limited to US. Ends 2/14 at 11:59 PM PST.

Now, we just have one last question – will you be our Valentine?

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments – A Year in Review

The past 365 days have been a whirlwind of new ventures, memories and milestones for our team, and we can’t wait to embark on another successful year in 2017. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we’d like to share some of our favorite highlights of 2016.

Without further adieu, here are our sweetest moments of 2016!

Providing Sweet Experiences for All

Bert Cohen founded Surf Sweets in 2008 with one mission in mind–to offer delicious and guilt-free sweets for anytime enjoyment by anyone, regardless of food restriction. Since then, nothing brings bigger smiles to our faces than when we receive letters telling us how our allergy-friendly, clean-ingredient treats are bringing safe snacking options to homes like yours. From providing a child living with food allergies with safe-to-eat jelly beans, to offering a recovering patient their first sweet treat in months, we’re honored to hear and see the ways in which our squiggly sweets facilitate magical memories for our community.

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in ReviewOur 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Fun Fan Art


We love seeing the creative ways our fans weave Surf Sweets into the lives of their families. The stories, posts and pictures that you share with us online truly brighten our days. One of our most imaginative fan creations of the year came from Kathy Thornburg. We love her cinematic candy creations featuring our Watermelon Rings and Peach Rings. What do you think?

Raising Allergy Awareness


Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

As a supplier of top 10 allergen-free treats, we love looking for opportunities to support and promote allergy awareness, a cause near and dear to us. Did you know that 15 million Americans live with food allergies? This fall, Surf Sweets partnered with Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and their annual series of FARE Walks to raise awareness and funds for individuals living with food allergies. FARE’s mission is “to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments.” We were honored to join forces with this worthy cause and help serve up some fun, games, education and a few sweet surprises just in time for Halloween!

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Fun Blogger Creations

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Throughout the years, we’ve scoured the internet and have discovered truly impressive blogs that offer everything from party planning tips, to creative parenting hacks and allergy-friendly recipe ideas and more. These bloggers and their helpful insights have brought warmth, deliciousness and increased productivity to our days. And, we especially love when they incorporate Surf Sweets treats into their content, like these delicious Dark Cocoa Brownies from Heartbeet Kitchen and these Teacher Appreciation Day Treat Labels from Casa Moncada.

Surf Sweets Touches Down at Target!

2016 was a year of big announcement for Surf Sweets, but this one was definitely one of our personal favorites! On April 10th, Surf Sweets became available for purchase at participating Target stores across the United States. Seeing our Fruity Bears and Gummy Worms dot the aisles of one of the USA’s most popular retailers was truly unforgettable–and only eclipsed by the excitement of our fans!

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Our Famous Fans


Superstars need super snacks. That’s where Surf Sweets comes in! This year we were elated to see some of our most followed fans share their love and Surf Sweets with their online and IRL [“in real life”] communities.

Christian Covington, Defensive End for for the Houston Texans, handed out our allergy friendly goodies to lucky boys & ghouls on Halloween.

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

Stand-out soccer team, The Chicago Red Stars, stocked their locker room with organic Fruity Bears during the season, proving these incredible athletes run on clean ingredients.

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

The former queen of Bayside High, Tiffani Theissen, told the Love With Food community that it was impossible to eat just one of our jelly beans. P.S. She was right!

And reality star, Kourtney Kardashian, spread her love of better-for-you candy on Snapchat!

Our 2016 Sweetest Moments - A Year in Review

2016 has been a year of exceptional memories. What were some of your sweetest moments in 2016? Let us know by connecting with Surf Sweets on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Fostering the Spirit of Giving

Fostering the Spirit of Giving

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” — Maya Angelou

When your kids think of the holidays, they probably think of holiday decorations, lots of shopping, and a ton of presents from Santa, but it’s always better to give than to receive. This year, teach your children the true meaning of the holiday season by sharing ways for them to give back. Instead of just getting the material things on their lists, they’ll also get the great feeling of doing for others and making the world a better place.

7 Ways to Inspire Your Kids to Give Back

Give time.


Time is one of the most valuable of life’s resources, and making a habit of giving it to those who need it can be priceless. Choose a cause that is near and dear to your family and give a few hours this season.

Give food.

Fostering the Spirit of Giving

One way to go straight to the hearts of others is through their stomachs. Help your children plan a meal for family and loved ones. Maybe it’s making a special breakfast for grandma or a holiday dinner for the whole family. Either way, it’s sure to be a hit. Bonus: Consider making the table special with these decorating tips.

Give gifts.

Fostering the Spirit of Giving Fostering the Spirit of Giving


Small gifts made with care can mean so much to people whose jobs often go unnoticed. It’s common practice to give gifts to teachers, but this season, don’t forget about your postal workers, crossing guards, bus drivers, and babysitters. Fill baskets with Surf Sweets Jelly Beans and Fruity Bears for a fruity treat or go festive by filling boxes with TruJoy Peppermint Choco Chews and tying Candy Canes to the top for an added treat.

Give thanks.

Fostering the Spirit of Giving


Nice handwritten notes are still classic and will never go out of style. In fact, in the age of email and quick correspondence, taking the time to write something special by hand is a good practice. Help your kids make a list of people they would like to thank this year, give them a stack of notecards, and let them write away.

Give what you learn.


Giving doesn’t always cost you anything. Ask your children what they’ve learned this year and encourage them to teach at least one thing they’ve learned to another person. If they learned new ballet moves, they can teach a friend to plié. If they learned to write a new letter well, they can show a younger child how to do the same. Whatever they are excited about learning, they can help someone else have that same joy.

Give what you get.

Fostering the Spirit of Giving

Giving items that mean the most to your children is also a way to connect to others. Giving toys and other items such as favorite movies and games that meant a lot to them is a way to share their memories with other kids and pass on that joy for future fun.

Give as you get.

It’s likely that your kids will get a ton of new clothes and toys this season. Implement a “give as you get” policy in your home — as your family gets new things, you give away old items to the less fortunate. Help your kids clean out their closets and toy chests and allow them to go with you to donate the goods to a shelter or organization near you.

What are some other ways kids can learn the spirit of giving? Let us know by connecting with Surf Sweets on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

kids' holiday table

5 Ways to Make a Festive Kids’ Holiday Table

There’s nothing better than spending time with family and friends during the holidays, and one of the most memorable duties of a party host or hostess is decorating for the occasion. This year, the fancy decor doesn’t have to be reserved for adults only. Your youngest guests can enjoy the special decorations and treats at the kids’ holiday table, too. And, they can be inclusive of all guests’ dietary restrictions, especially if they’ll be left on the table for little hands to grab.

Here are five ways to make the kids’ holiday table just as festive — and fun — as any other part of your party planning this season.

Candy Cane Leads the Way

kids’ holiday table


Help your young guests find their seat and feel extra special with place card holders that are also a yummy treat! Write or print your guests’ names on cards, using TruJoy Organic Candy Canes as stands. To create the stands, tie the three candy canes together with a festive ribbon of your choice. Not only are the candy canes a yummy treat, but they are also nut-free, organic and colored with natural fruit juice, so they’re safe for almost anyone that comes through your doors.

Gingerbread Brings the House Down

kids’ holiday table

For table decor that’s good enough to eat, gingerbread is just the treat. You can even invite guests to help, using Sensitive Sweets Gingerbread House Kit, which is vegan and is free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy peanuts, tree nuts, sesame. It’s made with no preservatives, artificial colors, or flavoring, so it’s a safe bet. Decorate with Surf Sweets Jelly Beans, TruJoy Organic Candy Canes, and Surf Sweets Peach Rings.

Surprise! You’ve Got Gifts


kids’ holiday table

Who doesn’t want a special surprise gift? Your guests will be excited when they reach the kids’ holiday table and find special present that’s just for them. Fill boxes with a treat, like TruJoy Peppermint Choco Chews, and tie them up with a decorative ribbon. Place the boxes at your little guests’ placemat and add candy canes for an extra touch.

Rudolph, the Red-nosed Treat Holder


 kids’ holiday tablekids’ holiday table

You can also decorate the kids’ holiday table with something that is not only a gift that guests can enjoy but that can also be reused for upcoming holidays. Use small terracotta planters to create this Randolph planter that can be used for kids’ next craft project. Use pipe cleaners for the antlers, Googly eyes or white & black paper for the eyes, and a red pompom for the nose. Then, fill with your favorite Surf Sweets treats.

Hot Cocoa and Peppermint Fixes

kids’ holiday table

Chocolate and peppermint go together during the holidays like Santa and his reindeer. Add a TruJoy Candy Cane to mugs for warm hot cocoa. To add to the choco-peppermint yumminess, melt TruJoy Starlight Mints into candy bowls that are original and unique gifts to take home, like Jennifer Fishkind of Princess Pinky Girl. These mints are an organic version of the holiday favorite and are also gluten-free, vegan, and kosher. Fill the candy bowls with more mints and TruJoy Organic Peppermint Chews.


What’s your favorite thing to add to the kids’ holiday table at your parties? Let us know by connecting with Surf Sweets on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Thank you, From Surf Sweets

Thank you, From Surf Sweets

Dear Surf Sweets customers,

2016 has been an amazing year for Surf Sweets, and we definitely couldn’t have done it without you.

When Bert Cohen founded the company in 2008, he wanted to create a brand that embodied a healthy, active lifestyle and provided consumers with clean ingredient, allergy friendly, great tasting treats — the very things he valued as a father.

Since then, we’ve been proud to serve our customers by providing treats that kids love and that their parents don’t have to worry about. We use ingredients you can read, from the highest quality sources, and we work to show that health and taste are never mutually exclusive ideas. In addition to using the best ingredients, our commitment to health and safety carries into our treat-making processes. We use allergy-friendly facilities, and everything we make is safe for almost anyone to enjoy.

As we continue to grow, we appreciate you — our customers — for being more than just valued consumers of what we make. You don’t just enjoy our products, but you share them with those you love: taking them to school, giving them to friends and families, sharing our content on social media – being the very best ambassadors that we could ever ask for. Day after day, we are humbled by your support.

Now, as our family has grown into the new Wholesome! family, we plan to keep the innovation coming. We will continue to create the products you trust and find new ways to give back to the world in which we live. Since 2001, Wholesome Sweeteners has had the same commitment as Surf Sweets to make the world a healthier place. We pioneered the Fair Trade certification process for sugar in North America in 2005 and we’ve given more than $11 million to farming and beekeeping cooperatives in the developing world. That means that the families who farm our ingredients will be treated fairly and given the opportunity to take care of their families and communities.

All of these things, we can do because of you. We thank you for being our most valuable resource, and we are looking forward to another amazing year.

Olu Beck

CEO of Wholesome!

Halloween Party Ideas for Tweens

Halloween Party Ideas for Tweens

Halloween is the perfect time to connect with your kids, no matter their age, but tweens can definitely be a tough bunch. They’re way too young for blood and gore and a bit too old for cute and cuddly party themes.

So what’s the compromise? Here are four Halloween party ideas that will help your tweens — and their friends — have a not-too-scary good time.

Hocus, Pocus, Toil, and Trouble

Halloween Party Ideas for Tweens

Halloween is the perfect time for a little magic with friends. Turn your living room into a witch’s lair for a mini spell demonstration, taught by you! Tweens can dress up in black clothing and tall hats — don’t forget the brooms! — and invite their friends over for a bubbly cauldron good time.

Every group of little witches need a good spell book or two so why not create your own? Before the day of the party, you and your tween(s) can embark on a do-it-yourself project to create a unique spell book to keep for years to come. Buy binded notebooks to start and then use craft foam, tissue paper, 3D letters and craft paint to turn them into something special. After your books are dry, go wild adding in “spells” that can serve as your recipes to create yummy potions (a.k.a. fun drinks) that your crowd will enjoy.

Since it’s Halloween, there are a ton of fun ways to make the party drinks you make even more creepy. Have fun with straws by adding Surf Sweets candy to them. You can even bug out and freeze Surf Sweets Spooky Spiders and Gummy Worms into ice cubes beforehand for an extra crawly treat.

For a classic Halloween favorite that never gets old, add in Disney’s Hocus Pocus for a spellbinding good time.

“Who Done It?” Mystery Game Night

Halloween Party Ideas for Tweens


It’s no secret that mystery TV shows like Pretty Little Liars are extremely popular among tweens. Tie in the fun that comes with trying to solve a mystery by having a “Who Done It?” Game Night, in which everyone has a part to play.

Watch Clue to get your tweens excited for the detective fun, and then play the Clue game or use printables to create your own version.

For your accompanying munchies, keep the theme going and decorate cupcakes with images such as question marks and police crime tape with natural food dyes — a perfect pre-game activity that the whole family can help out with before guests arrive.

Cake Up the Makeup

Halloween Party Ideas for Tweens


Halloween is a time where it’s actually okay for your tweens and their friends to pile on the makeup. So, why not make a night of it?

Take a trip to the dollar store for mirrors, eyeshadow palettes, lipstick, blushes, and traditional Halloween costume makeup.

After makeup is all applied, it’s time to hit the “selfie station.” Collect various costume pieces from family and friends. Lay accessories like crowns, masks, and jewelry out on a table and hand up clothing on a nearby stand. Print out fun photo booth signs and glue them on sticks. Create a background for photos by hanging fabric, table cloth, or curtain on a nearby wall.

You can always take photos of them on a digital camera or camera phone, but for an added touch, grab a camera that prints photos instantly in the old school, Polaroid-style way of printing, like Fujifilm’s Instax cameras. The dress up and photo-taking process will of course be fun, but the printed photos will serve as cool take-home gifts.

Allow tweens to play dress up and take photos as needed throughout the night until movie time. Classic movies such as Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer will help keep the mood light-hearted.

Study Like Harry Potter

Halloween Party Ideas for Tweens


Harry Potter parties are always a good idea, but for Halloween, the magical fun is perfect for a creative way to celebrate.

Your tweens will all become students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Before guests come, your family can make wands for everyone out of paper and glue and print out report cards listing all of classes (activities) for the night.

One class can be a potions class. Buy enough mini cauldrons for each of the students, and using baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap, show them how to do a simple experiment that will “magically” bubble up over the cauldrons.

Snacks can be equally as fun. Add edible “school books” to the mix as a special treat. Wrap homemade fruit leather around squares of white chocolate to create little snacks that look like leather-bound school books — perfect to get “students” in the Harry Potter mood.

Wrap up the night by watching the real Harry Potter and his friends in action. Any movie in the series will do!

What were some of your favorite ways to celebrate Halloween as a preteen? Let us know by connecting with Surf Sweets on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Halloween Healthy Treats for Kids and Parents

From classroom parties to trick-or-treating adventures, Halloween can be a time filled with sweets, but not always the better-for-you versions. But this Halloween, you can provide treats that won’t break your family’s health goals or compromise fun for their dietary restrictions.

Here are seven Halloween healthy treats for kids and parents that are festive and fun!

Witches’ Broomsticks

Halloween healthy treats for kids and parents


These broomsticks pack a punch and are great to munch on in a flash.

You’ll only need three ingredients: string cheese, pretzel sticks, and fresh chives. Cut each cheese stick into thirds, then slice the ends four to five times at the end. Push a pretzel stick into the uncut end and tie a chive around the top of the cheese.

Bonus: They’ll be a good source of protein to balance out all of the sweet stuff.

“Boo”nana Pops

Halloween healthy treats for kids and parents

Bananas can go from normal to spooky with just a few added ingredients. Better yet, this recipe is so simple that even the youngest of your bunch can help make them!

Cutting bananas in half lengthwise and then widthwise, you’ll end up with four pops per banana. Freeze the banana pieces before spreading melted coconut butter over the top of the pieces. Add raisins for eyes and slide in a popsicle stick for a sugar-free treat.

Bonus: You can always swap coconut butter for white chocolate or raisins for chocolate chips when you can afford a little more sweetness.

Caterpillar Kabobs

Halloween healthy treats for kids and parents

These buggy treats are quick to make and are ready to share in no time.

Slide 12 clean green grapes along kabob skewers, not puncturing through the last grape and leaving it on the end of the stick to serve as the caterpillar’s head. Making sure that the grapes are dry, add small dots of vanilla icing on the last grape and then add mini chocolate chips on each icing dot to create eyes.

Bonus: These store well in the fridge so they can be made the night before, saving you time the day of your party or event.

Wiggle Worms & Spooky Spiders Dirt Pudding

Halloween healthy treats for kids and parents

Who says candy concoctions can’t be a little healthier? Dirt pudding filled with wiggle worms and spooky spiders may sound a little wild, but it’s actually good for you. This treat is made using only items that are from health-conscious companies .

To make the “dirt,” take Dr. Oetker Organic Chocolate Pudding, which has only four simple ingredients and is GMO-free, and then layer the pudding with crushed gluten-free KinniToos Chocolate Vanilla Sandwich Cookies from Kinnikinnick Foods. Top it all off with Surf Sweets Spooky Spiders and Gummy Worms for yummy, gooey success.

Bonus: You can use any leftover gummy worms or spiders and freeze them into ice cubes to make drinks fun and even more tasty.

Silly Apple Bites

Halloween healthy treats for kids and parents


Turn regular green apples into something extraordinary and fun for the whole family.

Cut green apples into quarters, slicing a gap in the middle. Fill the gap with sunflower butter, placing sunflower seeds into the top of the gap to form teeth, and strawberry slices at the bottom to create tongues. Add one or two vegan googly eyes to the top, which are made by adding chocolate chips to a non-dairy sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, and almond milk paste.

Bonus: After you make the googly eyes, you can use the extra eyes on tons of other treats. Just store them in an airtight container for later use.

Halloween healthy treats for kids and parents

Yikes! Frankenstein never looked as good as he does in this guacamole snack.

After making a batch of your favorite guacamole from fresh avocados, spread it onto a platter using a spatula to get it into a rectangular shape. Add some blue tortilla chips to the top to form Frankenguac’s hair and spoon two dollops of sour cream onto the top for eyes. Use sliced olives for both the center of the eyes and the mouth, and voila! He’s alive!

Bonus: This recipe looks harder than it is and will not only be easy to make, but also impressive! Your kids will be super proud.

Jack-O-Lantern Sweet Potato Fries


Halloween healthy treats for kids and parents

Take a break from all the dessert with some festive sweet potato fries.

Slice up sweet potatoes, and then cut out fun jack-o-lantern designs in the slices. You can even use cookie cutters to make your designs! Drizzle either olive or avocado oil over the slices and sprinkle them with a layer of your favorite seasonings.

Pop them into the oven at 400 degrees and 15 to 20 minutes later, you’ll have soft, sweet fries.

Bonus: You can throw on cinnamon for an extra kick.

What are some of your favorite spooky snacks? Let us know by connecting with Surf Sweets on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Halloween Giveaway

Tis the season for tricks and Surf Sweets treats! Discover your Halloween costume style with a fun & interactive quiz and be entered to win a free candy prize pack from Surf Sweets.

Read more

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Break out the camping gear and throw a birthday party where you don’t have to worry about cleaning the house! (Now that’s something to celebrate!)

This outdoor themed party will bring out the camp kid in all of us. Complete with fishing poles, s’mores and a cozy tent, read on to see how to replicate our version of Camp Surf Sweets that will transform your next birthday party!

DIY Play Tent

Surf Sweets Backyard Camp

What would camping be without a tent? You don’t have to get an expensive glamping unit that’ll you’ll rarely use. An easy, DIY play tent is the perfect addition to a camping themed birthday party (and fun to reuse in years to come!)

This DIY play tent is fun and easy to put together.  You can make it as simple or complicated as you want by coloring, decorating, or sewing different parts. For us, we went with natural colors so it felt more authentic. Sweet tip: you can fold it right up when you finally get the kids out of it at the end of the festivities and reuse for play time again and again.

How to Make Your Own

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 1 hour

Cost: $50 for (2) two Tents or $35 for (1) one

What you’ll need:

  • Drill
  • Tape Measure
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Hammer
  • (4) 1”x2” x 6ft boards per tent (available at any hardware store)
  • (3) ¾ “ x 48” dowels per tent (available at any hardware store)
  • ¾” drill spade bit(available at any hardware store)
  • (1) 9’ x 12’ canvas drop cloth (you can get 2 tents out of one of these)

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Step One:  Measure & Drill Holes

Measure, mark and drill a hole (using the ¾” spade bit) 2” from the bottom of each board.  Repeat 12” from the top of each board.

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Step Two: Assemble Poles

  • Stack two boards on top of one another, aligning the 12” holes.
  • Hammer the ¾” dowel through both holes
  • Flip and repeat on the other side of the pole.
  • Open the boards on each side to create the tent frame
  • Lay the frame on its side and continue to hammer the remaining two dowels into the bottom holes

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Step Three: Cover with Drop Cloth.

If you are making two tents, cut the drop cloth down the center so you have two 4.5’ x 12’ pieces.

Drape the canvas over your frame and secure the fabric to the tent. Depending on how permanent you want the tent to be, you can sew it, staple it or use safety pins to hold it together.

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Party Activity & Favor Two for One

Stone Painting Art

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Activities can be hard to organize when the party is outside, but this sweet painting game is flexible and doubles as a great take-home favor for all of your guests.

Create some beautiful original art work with found objects from your yard! If you are lucky enough to be near a beach, park, or trail use your party planning as an opportunity to take the kids on a walk to collect as many flat stones as you can find.

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

At the party, provide children with water based paint pens and let them choose their rocks to decorate. Let their imaginations run wild with this great, creative, outdoor (and screen free!) art activity.

Snacks & Sustenance

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Trail Mix Station

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

What better way to keep the energy level up than to fuel everyone with a little trail mix? A trail mix station is a great way to let your guests put together their own dream trail mix. Plus, when you let guests make their own trail mix, you are giving guests with dietary restrictions the opportunity to eat a trail mix that they can eat without worry.

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Sweet tip: If you have guests with food restrictions or allergies, be sure to clearly label your ingredients and make sure they aren’t touching or mixed together. Also be ready to provide ingredients for prepackaged foods for concerned guests. We did this by keeping our products’ bags handy for our guests to read if they need.

 S’more Mason Jar

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Camping wouldn’t be complete without some s’mores. Unfortunately, having an open flame at a kid’s birthday party is not the safest idea. Our solution keeps that gooey, chocolatey, goodness from getting out of hand and safer for little ones.

How to Make Your Own

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 20 minutes

What you’ll need:

Small Mason Jars

Graham Crackers

Chocolate Chips


1. Grease sides of the mason jar (cooking spray, coconut oil, or butter work well)

2. Crumble graham crackers in a plastic baggy

3. Pour a layer of crumbled graham crackers into the jars

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

4. Top with a layer of chocolate chips, then mini marshmallows

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

5. Pop into the oven on broil for 2-3 minutes until the marshmallows are browned to your taste and the chocolate has melted.

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

6. Decorate with a graham cracker top

7. Cool until the glass has cooled. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Tip: To clean, soak or boil mason jars in hot water to remove chocolate and marshmallow residue

Gone Fishin’

Birthday Party Theme: Backyard Camp Out

Another two-for-one activity, guests can take home a tackle box full of Surf Sweets “bait”! Put out your favorite better-for-you candies and give each kid a tackle box of their own. Let the kids fill their tackle box with their favorites (and be sure to safe some for Mom & Dad as well!) 

What else would you add to a camp-themed birthday party idea? Share your favorite Surf Sweets-infused party pics by tagging us or using the #SurfSweets hashtag on Facebook or Instagram!