Jungle Party -6yr- Jungle Leaf Invites
Jessica in Manhattan, KS USA
About a month or two before my son's birthday party, I researched on games and decorations. Found this site and was totally inspired. Hopefully, I can return the favor!
INVITATIONS: About a week before I cut out some jungle leaves out of green construction paper and printed out directions to the party location for one side of the leaf and the party information on the other side of the leaf. (I printed it on white paper, cut them out, then glued it to the leaf.) I hole punched the leaf at the bottom, tied a ribbon to it, then tied a jungle animal ruler (bought at Oriental Trading) to the other end of the ribbon. Went to Son's Kindergarten class and put them in the kids' mailboxes (cubbies). NOTE: I found that stating that parents can come too if they want is helpful for the parents. Some want to come but don't know if they can. And some want to just drop off and don't know if they can.
DECORATIONS: Initially, we were going to have the party at home and invite only a few of his classmates. But when I overheard him say to one classmate, Um. I don't know if you can come to my party. I don't know if you're on the list." I said "Oh no that's not right. We'll just have to invite everyone in his class." So we decided to have it at the fellowship room at our church. I bought 3 rolls of green streamers crinkled it up to look like vines then glued green construction paper leaves to it. (I crinkle/rolled up the streamers while watching TV a couple of days before the party.) I cut the 'vines' in varying lengths but all about the length from the floor to the ceiling. I hung the vines from the ceiling in the gift opening area and in the game area. I also made tissue paper pom poms which I learned online and found that the smaller I fold it the better my result and cut the ends even though it's a hassle. It looks much better. Anyway I made them in different colors. Bought the tissue paper at DollarTree $1 for 25 sheets. I had to dig to find them but they were there. Otherwise I was looking at $1 for only 8 sheets. Anyway I hung the pom poms by the vines I was thinking jungle flowers.
My obstacle course game was also part of the decorations. Made a tunnel by putting 3 long tables together lengthwise and covered them with green tablecloths. I flattened some of my first pom poms which didn't look as nice on top of the table tunnel. Also I bought some crinkle cut paper (that you use in gift baskets) and put them on them top in a round flattened pile (like dirt? Grass?) and put some plastic eggs (with a small animal inside bought at Oriental Trading) on it. I was also going to put some toy animals on there from home but totally forgot. I cut up some vines and taped them to the front and back to the tunnel. I cut out five 'stones' with black construction paper and taped it to the ground. On the sides of the stones were the vines that I hung up. I used a blue tablecloth as the river and cut out brown rectangles from construction paper which I then taped together to make a narrow 'wooden' bridge. The bridge went across the tablecloth which I taped down. NOTE: This is on the ground. Not on the table. :) NOTE 2: Decorating the night before totally kept the day of the party more sane.
ACTIVITIES: When the kids arrived I had them decorate their own cupcake. I had a helper be in charge of this part that way I'm not bogged down by this since the kids don't all come at the same time. I noticed they got done with this a whole lot faster than anticipated so thankfully I had blown up some white balloons (that we were going to use for a game later on). I let them play with them. We could have just let them play with the balloons the whole duration of the party but couldn't let all of my game planning/research go to waste. So when it seemed that most of the kids were ready we started the games.
GAMES: First we played Jungle King says. (variation on Simon Says). Kids loved it. Then I told them that we had to get through an obstacle course in order to get to the other games. Obstacle course: Crawl through the tunnel. Told them that there were a whole bunch of baby jungle animals in the tunnel and we had to take them to their mommy. (I had previously cut out squares from construction paper stamped some jungle animals on there and taped it to the bottom and sides of the table so that when you went in the tunnel you could see the animals there.) Once you got out of the tunnel you have to cross a snake-infested area by only stepping on the stones. Then we had to cross the river filled with hungry crocodiles by carefully crossing the river (blue tablecloth) on the log bridge (brown construction paper bridge). Then we had to use the scooper (plastic spoon) to get and carry the plastic egg that was on top of the tunnel to the place where the mommy jungle animal was which was on the other side of the wall. Once at the wall they needed to find the same animal that they had picked up in the tunnel.
Some took the mommy animal off the wall while others stuck them together on the wall. Either way the kids loved it. Then they got to open the eggs to see what kind of animal they got. After I had explained the course to them they all got in a line and off we went. Then we got into teams to have an ostrich egg carrying race. Each kid had to put a white balloon between their legs and walk a certain distance and then walk back. It was a little chaotic but they all did it and enjoyed it. Then we played Bird Flies. Whenever I say a bird's name like "Crows fly!" Then everyone flaps their wings. If I say something like "Cows fly!" Then everyone is supposed to stop. It was hilarious. The kids thought it was so funny and couldn't stop laughing. (I didn't know they would love hearing things like "Pigs fly! Dogs fly! Cars fly!")
FOOD: After games we all sat down where we had decorated the cupcakes and ate pizza and other snack items. Nothing fancy. I had given them pretzel sticks and all of a sudden they were sticking pretzels into their pizza. We put all of the cupcakes to make a big rectangle and put some candles on them sang Happy Birthday and gave back all of the cupcakes to their maker. I could see the worry in the some the parents' eyes as they didn't know which one was their child's but sure enough each kid knew which one was theirs. Gift-opening: We went to the gift opening area. And it was my intention that the pom poms get into the picture too but I forgot to relay that to my husband so all we saw were vines in the background. Oh well. I had a table set up for all of the gifts.
GOODY BAGS: As each kid gave Son their gift I had Son give them their Thank-you-for-coming bags. Husband took a picture of the 2 together. One mom (thank you thank you) took the time to type in who gave what gift and sent it to me on the spot. The gift bags were about $56 altogether. We had 25 of them since I didn't know exactly how many were coming and some were coming with siblings. I always hated getting bags full of candy (although my kids love it) So I filled it with jungle-themed mini notebooks stickers design-your-own-animal stickers pencil topper and temp tattoos. Kids played together until the end of the party. The kids took down all of the decorations. Some took home the pom poms. There are many reasons why having this party at church helped: 1. I don't have to clean up my house. 2. Didn't have to pay to rent it. 3. I could decorate it the night before w/o kids messing it up. 4. No carpet so I don't have to worry about spills. 5. Big open area. We had 22 kids and about 10 adults at the party. 6. The abundance of tables. 7. Extra plates/napkins/cups if I run out. 8. I forgot candles (oops) and they had some at the church!
THANK YOU NOTES: I went through all of the pictures and sorted them by child. I cropped them and made a collage for each kid so that they could see some of the pictures that were taken at the party. Wrote Dear Johnny Thank you for coming to my party. I really like the Your friend Son. I printed them out in color on regular paper at Staples for about $0.50 each. Went to school and put them in each kids' mailbox. TOTAL SPENT: about $150. (yay!) NOTE: Please don't forget to take a group picture. In the madness I totally forgot! That is the only thing I regret! Won't forget that again. NOTE 2: Had signs on the church door and in the hallway that pointed to where the fellowship room was. "
BirthdayPartyIdeas.com - Birthday party ideas to help you plan your kids birthday party celebration.
NutcrackerBallet.net - Nutcracker information, performance directory and ballet reviews.
FreeParkConcerts.com - Find the best summer concert in the park near you!