Idea No.


Jungle Safari Party -5yr- Name a Jungle Animal



February 2009


Maggie in Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

Special Mention

Jungle Rainforest Party

For my son's 5th birthday party he wanted a jungle safari theme.  I started planning months in advance by thinking of different ideas for games and crafts and to begin looking for bargains.

The invitations were found at the local grocery store and were just a random occurrence that I had walked down the over-priced birthday supply aisle and found invitations with a red hummer on the front and jungle animals on the inside that ended up not being so bad.  On the inside there was the standard who what where when how to get get there but instead I printed out the following saying that I created to go along with our theme:  Its a Jungle out there; all adventures BEWARE! There is so much out there for us to see and hear; Just watch out for alligators that might be near! We may see slithering snakes moving in the brush, Or find a tree full of monkeys who just won't hush! There is a fierce tiger who is the jungle's best, Who dares jungle explores to a roaring contest! We will have to crawl through a bug filled cave, It might be dark so you better be brave! You are invited to come to this crazy jungle safari, As we celebrate Dylan's 5th birthday party! We found the biggest and cheapest room to rent was at our local rec center. 

The decorations we did ourselves.  Months before a party store had their table clothes on sale so I had purchased several green and blue ones.  We hung the blue ones up around the walls at the end of the room and hung a blue one from the ceiling to be the waterfall" and then connected a few more blue ones to run through the room as the "river".  I borrowed several fake house plants from friends and family to create a jungle feel.  We had shredded green paper on the ground for "grass" which also served as part of the games.  My dad built a wooden bridge for the kids to walk over.  I had also found a 4 foot stuffed tiger at Walgreens for $30 and borrowed a few other stuffed animals from other friends and used some of my sons to set up around the room.

The games and activities we planned went along with the saying in the invitation but had a reason.  I told all the kids that the Tigers had lost their cubs and they needed to be brave and go through the jungle and find them. To begin the adventure each kid had to earn their safari hat and backpack.  The hats were ordered from OT and the backpacks I got on clearance and were actually trick or treat canvas bags but I purchased camouflage fabric and iron on transfer paper and ironed on camouflage patches over the trick or treat words.  Total cost per bag was approx $0.50. To get these the kids all sat in a circle and had to go around and tell us the name of an animal that lives in the jungle and what type of noise it made. 

For the first game we hid several plastic snakes in "grass" which was green shredded paper. Each child was told to go in the grass and find two that did not look the same and then show them to me or my assistant (a 12 year old friend) and then they could put them in their backpack. 

The next activity was to crawl through the cave which was a 12 foot nylon tunnel we had that we had go behind the "waterfall".  In it were tongs of Halloween clearance bugs and spiders.  Next was the alligator egg hunt.  Very simple game- we took Easter eggs and hid them in the plants and the "grass" with candy and small toys in them which the kids collected and put in their backpacks. 

Then it was time to find the tigers.  I found a website which sells wholesale unstuffed animals.  I thought that this would be a great craft project for the kids because they would stuff the tiger themselves and then would be able to take it home instead of a goody bag full of junky toys.  The kids were so excited to find those tigers.  We had put the stuffing at the base of the waterfall to look like mist.  After receiving their tiger they were instructed to go there to get stuffing and then they sat at the tables and stuffed their tigers. 

By then the pizza had arrived so they ate and played with their tigers.  There hasn't been a birthday party without a pinata so we hung a monkey pinata with pull strings in the trees and they took turns pulling strings.  My husband and son made the cake for the party.  They took 3 un-iced sheet cakes and stacked them up and cut out a hummer shape tinted frosting green covered the whole cake with the frosting added candies as door handles windows etc and then used 4 large chocolate donuts as the tires. 

Every parent said that they had a great time watching and helping and also a "thanks a lot-my kid is going to want a party just like this too so you better help me!"  This party planning was spread out over a few months to pick the theme find the location and get the supplies for the decorations and the games.  I had lots of help setting up from friends and family. There were 20 kids there 13 of them around my sons age 4 2-year old girls 2 babies and one 8 year old and my 12 year old assistant. Plus at least one parent for every kid my son's grandparents and a few friends of my husband and mine without kids. 

The other food we had there that was so easy to make and have always been hits at baby showers bridal parties and birthday parties were ham and turkey rolls-rolls were bought at Sam's Club less then $4 for 36 and then ham from the deli layered bean (dip-refried beans on the bottom guacamole next sour cream mixed with taco seasoning diced tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese) home made salsa veggies and ranch sausage dip (velvetta crumbled cooked sausage and a can of diced tomatoes) in the crockpot and meatballs in the crockpot with sweet and sour sauce and spinach dip.  Very easy food to make and very easy to transport."

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