Jungle Party -8yr- Elephant Race
Rebecca in Houston, TX USA
JUNGLE PARTY (8 year old): My daughter wanted a Tarzan party. We switched to a JUNGLE theme as this would be less limiting. It is also less expensive when you don't have to buy everything with a specific picture or theme on it.
INVITATIONS: Printed on our PC and printer using a jungle background with a swinging Tarzan on front. (You could also make some cute invitations using card stock, construction paper and simple animal shapes.)
DECORATIONS: We brought every potted plant we had, real and artificial, into the room. Different shades of green crepe paper and balloons were hung from the ceilings. All of her stuffed jungle animals were placed on the table, around the plants, sometimes even in the branches and leaves. I cut out tree trunks from brown paper grocery sacks and different shapes of leaves from green paper and make more trees to put on the walls to fill in gaps between the potted trees and plants. (You can buy large rolls of solid green wrapping paper inexpensively and the leftovers can be used a Christmas.) I printed a jungle-themed sign that read "It's a jungle in here" and hung it on the front door with balloons around it.
CAKE: In the shape of a monkey, cut from two 9-inch round cakes. From one round, cut a ring, roughly 1-1/2 inches wide, all around. The inner circle will be the head of the monkey. Cut the ring in half; the two half-rings will be the arms of the monkey. From the second round, makes two parallel cuts, from one edge to the opposite edge, about 5-6 inches apart. You should be left with a rectangle (slightly rounded on the short ends) that measures about 9x6 inches, and two semi circles. Cut a curved section from the straight edge of each semi-circle, leaving a curved piece that is an even width, about 1-1/2 inches wide. The rectangle will be the body of your monkey, the short curved pieces are the legs.
After assembling the pieces on your serving piece, you may want to shape it a bit by trimming some from the end of the arms, and by curving some of the sharp edges. Now, frost with chocolate or brown icing (you can use dyed coconut if you like). Add a large pink circle of icing to the face, with a curved line for his smiling mouth, and two smaller white circles with black dots for his eyes. Finally, frost two small, flat cookies with brown icing, then add a circle of pink icing, and stick these in the sides of the head for the ears. It's easier than is sounds!
PIN THE TAIL ON THE MONKEY -made from poster board.
HYENA HYENA LION -instead of Duck Duck Goose.
ELEPHANT RACE -divide group into two teams, and have them line up. First child bends at the waist, puts one arm in front of face for her elephant nose, and puts her other hand through her legs toward the person behind her. The next person bends over, grabs the first girl's "tail" with her "nose", then extends her "tail" through her legs, and so on until you have two teams of "elephants", lined up and ready to go. We had our team race across the room, around a chair, and back to the starting line. We did this enough times to let each girl have a chance to be the lead elephant.
JUNGLE MOBILES -Animal outlines were printed on card stock. The girls colored them, cut them out, then tied them to already-prepared hangars made from two straws tied together. We read Elmer, by David McKee, about a patchwork-colored elephant. Each girl was given a piece of card stock with a simple elephant outline (similar to the style of the book's artwork) and pieces of colored paper torn into small, rough squares. They glued the squares into the outline to make a mosaic/patchwork elephant of their own.
BINOCULARS -The girls covered toilet paper tubes with pre-cut animal-print paper (available at craft stores or you can print at home). Tape or glue the 2 tubes together, punch holes in the sides and add string or yarn.
GOODIE BAGS -It was an all-girl party so we used animal-print purses that we found at the dollar store. We served the drinks in animal-shaped lidded cups with built-in straws ($.88 each) which they got to take home, along with their mobiles, some bracelets, jungle stickers and a few other trinkets. We even got a fast-food restaurant to sell us some of their jungle-theme sticker playsets at a discount to add to their bags.
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