Jungle Party -4yr- Snake Hunt
Michele in Turnersville, NJ , USA
My daughter got into the movie The Jungle Book right before she turned four years old so we planned a jungle party theme for her 4th birthday.
The invitations read: Your help is requested on a Jungle Expedition. Allyson is hosting a safari adventure. It will be a wild journey into the never explored jungles of ________. Be on the look out for lions and tigers; hippos and giraffes. Come dressed for the adventure in some wild jungle prints or safari khaki and help Allyson conquer this amazing jungle area. The expedition starts at_____. Then I gave our address as the BASE CAMP. I printed each invitation on jungle paper and rolled in into a scroll. I attached it to a leaf I cut out from green poster board and attached an "It's a Jungle out There" frame from Oriental Trading. I wrote on the leaf; "This is a craft for you to do I made each child a Safari Passport with their name age and favorite animal. I put their picture on it along with a picture of their favorite animal. I laminated each card and attached a string to it so it could be worn on the safari.
I decorated my basement to look just like a jungle. I covered the walls with cheap green plastic table clothes. I used painter's tape to attach decorations to the walls as it does not remove the paint when you take it down. I then covered the seems with leaves I simply cut out of green paper. ( I did have to make over a hundred leaves to complete the whole room) I created vines by cutting up brown paper bags and rolling them really tight. I used brown teacher bulletin board paper to make trees - I drew on bark ridges and again topped the trees with cut out leaves. I used an overhead projector to make large figures of the characters from Jungle Book on bulletin board paper. We had Baloo King Louie. Ka and Bagra. I hung them on the walls as well.
I used green paper streamers to create more vines hanging from the jungle ceiling. I covered my entertainment center with blue teacher bulletin paper and light blue plastic table cloths and made a waterfall. I put pictures of koi in the bottom of the falls and used some large rocks from our garden to decorate the falls. We made tissue paper flowers to add color to our jungle. I used many house plants to add to the jungle look. I hung more green streamers at the door way for the kids to go through as they entered the jungle. I bought a few rain forest animal cut outs at a teacher store to use as decorations as well. My daughter had fun helping me decorate. She put up the streamers and the told me where to put the animals.
Up stairs I decorated all the doorways and arches with green streamer vines. I wrote Happy 4th Birthday on a plastic green table cloth and then fringed the bottom for a grassy look and hung that up across our front window. I used a grass table skirt around the table. I again placed house plants around the rooms. The dinning room was set up for the kids as they entered. Each child's Safari Passport was at a place setting on the table along with a safari sticker scene (again from Oriental Trading) so as children came in they could get started on the project right away as we waited for the others to arrive. Then they colored monkey stickers (OT) that we later placed on balloons.
After all the kids arrived we met at the base camp in the living room. I set up a small tent there that was filled with surprises. All the kids sat around the "camp" and I told them what a Safari was. I gave each of them a canvas back-pack with their name on it (OT) and then we filled it with supplies they would need for their hunt. I pulled the supplies from the tent as I explained them: safari hats (one for the parents as well) animal print fans animal print sunglasses binoculars compasses and flashlights. (all from OT) We put on our gear and headed to the basement jungle.
We crossed turtle pond on the way. - I laid blue bulletin paper on th floor in the shape of a pond and taped it down with the blue painter's tape and then taped laminated paper turtle shells across it for the kids to step on as they crossed. In the jungle for the first time we talked about all the animals we saw and then we read a book about snakes. Then the kids went on a snake hunt. I had hidden about 24 little plastic snakes ( 12 for a dollar at dollar store) around the room. Each kid was to find two snakes which he/she could keep.
After the snake hunt all the children sat on the couch and I told them we had a special surprise. My friend has a pet red tailed boa that he brought over to show the kids. He gave a mini lesson on the snake and each child had a chance to touch the snake. After the snake went home we washed up and had lunch. Paper products at lunch were Zoo Pals plates cups and plastic-ware. While the kids were eating I went into the "jungle" and hid the safari animals. After lunch we met back at the base camp again and read a book call Dino in the Jungle. Each child had a picture of an animal mentioned in the book. To make the picture cards I simply printed out pictures from the web of each of the animals and glued them to poster board. As I read the kids raised their picture of the animal I was reading about. At the end we all raised our pictures of the Rhino - everyone had a picture of the last animal in the story.
Then it was time to go on safari. I gave each child a picture of three animals that they were going to hunt for on safari (I took pictures of all the animals prior to the party on my digital camera and printed out 3 animals on each page so the kids had a goal and no one fought over a found animal.) The kids knew they could keep the plastic animal that they found (Wal-Mart Jungle animals were 88 cents) and the safari animal rubber ducks (OT) but they had to return the stuffed jungle animal to the tent at base camp.
After they found their animals each child had a turn at telling what they found and making the sound of one of the animals that they found. We then had a jungle dance. I played music from Tarzan and ran the bubble machine. The kids loved the bubbles. After that we did the pinata which was a crocodile. Then we had cake. The cake came from a local bakery (Duffeild Farms) and they did a jungle theme for me with focus an a jaguar which is my daughter's favorite animal. It was beautiful.
After cake my daughter gave everyone a thank you gift to put in their back-pack which was a magnet craft of a jungle animal (OT). When we opened presents I gave everyone who stayed a scratch craft (they start out all black and you scratch the black off with a little stick and there is color underneath - again OT) This kept everyone focused so there was no fighting over who was going to open up the presents with my daughter.
The party was over then and each kid got to keep their hat (parents kept theirs as well) and their filled canvas back-pack. They crossed turtle pond on the way out. Everyone had a great time including the grownups. They were excited about the live snake and all the games we played and how cool the basement jungle looked. I hope this helps others who are planning a jungle party. This site has helped me numerous times in planning parties for my family. "
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