Jungle Safari -2yr- Safari Jeep Photo Background
Tonia in Sacramento, CA, USA
For my daughter's second birthday we had a JUNGLE/SAFARI themed party. With a lot of preplanning and this web site the party was a huge success. First I planned the whole party like we were on an island called Jungle Island.
For the INVITATION: I used a tri-fold card from Oriental Trading Company and punched out a bunch of leaves using a scrapbooking punch to put around the frame. Then I inserted a photo of my daughter, (wearing her safari vest, pith helmet and khaki shorts) sitting with an elephant at the Elephant Bar restaurant. (You could also take a photo at your local zoo or The Rainforest Cafe, if you have one near you). I also included passports to The Republic of Jungle Island for each child in the invitations. I made these using clip art and my printer.
Then the INVITATION READ: The rhino watches us explore. The leopard and the lion roar. The parrot sees a tall giraffe and then the monkey makes us laugh. (This poem was on one side with an island and a palm tree and the invite was on the facing side). It will be wild and wacky as you swing on in to a Jungle of Fun! Put on animal prints, khaki or island clothes for a RRRoaring good time as we celebrate Alexandra's second birthday! Join the Safari Expedition (date) through the jungles and desert plains of Jungle Island at (address). The Jungle adventure begins at (time). Call (phone #) to reserve you spot. Please complete the enclosed passport with a photo and name. All explorers must bring their passports to gain entry onto the island. Remember your camera to capture all the days adventures. We can't wait to see you on Jungle Island for a rip RRRoaring good time. Please join us at the Safari Cafe for dinner following the Expedition.
DECORATIONS: As our guest arrived, I had painted a bunch of signs on poster board and hung them down the driveway that read: Welcome to Jungle Island, Keep Hands inside the car at all times, Do not feed the Animals, Wild Animals Do Not Approach, Missing Safari Members: Ben Eaten, Ima Goner, and U R Next. (I purchased a bunch of poster boards from the Dollar Tree, 3 white for $1 or 2 colored for $1). I also decorated the outside wall around the garage door opening because the garage was the first stop for all of my guests. I painted two long snakes (using 2 poster boards each) and hung then over the top of the garage (car) door. Then I painted 3 curled up snakes and hung them down the sides of the garage door. Inside I created a false wall using the bamboo backdrop that I got at Wishing Well for $10, (but it can be purchased at any party store). With the false wall I didn't have to decorate the whole garage, just the front section. The garage housed the Jungle Island Customs Office, Jungle Island Medic and the Safari Depot.
ACTIVITIES: As the children arrived we welcomed them to the island and stamped their passport with a stamp I had made that said Welcome to Jungle Island. Limited access granted. We then gave them some Jungle Island money that I made using clip art and sent them to the Island Medic. My 4 year old and her friend were the Medics and they even wore nurses tops that I got at the thrift store for $2 each. They gave each child a Malaria Pill (M & M's in a pill bottle with a new label I made using clip art) and Typhoid shot (Fisher Price doctor's kit shot)so they could safely visit our island. Next they visited the Safari Depot where the children used their fake money to purchase pith helmets, binoculars (Oriental Trading Company) and Jungle Juice (A juice box with a new label I made with clip art). From there the kids went inside to do a craft until everyone arrived.
CRAFTS: For the younger kids we painted their handprints onto a piece of paper with this poem: Can you remember my jungle call from when I was so small? Or when I left my Monkey Prints clinging to the wall? Like a giraffe I am growing and soon will be so tall. And my tiger roars and sticky fingers, hard to recall. Here is a handprint to help you recall this is how my handprint looked on Alexandra's birthday June 2006. For the older kids we had an It's a Jungle Out There frame craft from Oriental Trading Company to put together. After everyone arrived it was time for the SAFARI EXPEDITION TOUR. We actually took everyone on a Safari and had animals hidden among the trees & bushes in our yard. We also had a jungle sounds CD called, Sounds of the Earth Into Africa, (www.amazon.com) playing in the background to help set the mood.
DECORATIONS/ACTIVITY: Months before I started collecting large cardboard boxes, (refrigerator boxes, large scene TV boxes, or flat cardboard pieces used between stacks of juice boxes at Winco) and I painted large safari animals onto each box and my husband cut them out using a Jig Saw. I traced a rhino, hippo, elephant, giraffe, crocodile, lion, gorilla and a snake from ones I found online at www.janbrett.com and enlarged them onto the cardboard using a projector hooked up to a computer, you could use an overhead projector too. Then I painted them with acrylic paints during my daughter's nap time each day for about 8 days. They turned out great and I can use them again if I want. My friend's husband was the Safari Guide and using his best Crocodile Hunter voice we went around seeing all the animals. He even gave some simple facts about each animal as we went. It was great fun and the kids and parents loved it.
MORE DECORATIONS: I also purchased a bunch of safari or jungle stuffed animals from local thrift stores. This was a great way to get decorations for really cheap; I got about 30 animals, including an 18 foot snake for about $18. I put them all in my washing machine and they looked good as new when they were done. I just scattered those around the house and yard. I also found safari vest for myself and each member of our family at either a thrift store or on EBay which really set the mood for the party. I made two palm trees using two carpet rolls from a carpet store, two old umbrellas and a green roll of a plastic table cloth from Wishing Well for the leaves. (For directions to the palm tree just Google: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree). I also set out my daughters Safari toys as decorations and purchased little bags of safari animals for $0.88 each at Wal-Mart. I used removable sticker wall art that I found at the Dollar Tree for $1 each: coconut wall art, jungle animals, jungle growth chart, and leaves. These I used to decorate the bathroom and walls on the inside of the house. I also used a bunch of other luau decorations that we had on hand, like blown up palm trees, the food serving dishes, grass skirts, and coconut monkeys.
PICTURE BACKDROP: I always try to have a picture backdrop at all my parties to go along with the theme. This time I painted a safari jeep onto a large refrigerator box and cut in out. We leaned it up against two chairs and hung leaves (green poster board) and vines (paper bags) behind it to give it a realistic feel. The leaves and vines can be seen at www.familyfun.com. Each family then wore their safari hats and sat behind the wheel for a family picture. I mailed their photos to each guest with their thank you cards.
GAME: This game I found in the Family Fun magazine and you can see online as well, but I modified it a bit to make it my own. Crocodile Alley is an obstacle course for the kids. Wearing their safari hats, a backpack, and carrying a canteen and sleeping bag the kids must move through the obstacle course. Using landscape paint we painted the course out on our front lawn. The different areas were: Bat Cave Corridor --A Washing Machine box on its side painted to look like a cave, with rubber bats [Wishing Well] hanging from the ceiling. Snake Gorge--A pathway with Rubber snakes [Dollar Tree] on either side. Quicksand Overpass -- a board on bricks to make a bridge over a pile of sand. Crocodile Territory a large stuffed crocodile that we borrowed from my brother. Spider Web Way a large spider web painted onto a poster board with Spiders all over it (Wishing Well). Poisonous Vines Passage -- A refrigerator box on its side painted to look like a cave with paper bag vines hanging from the ceiling inside. Piranha Pond -- a pond painted onto a flat piece of cardboard with piranha fish painted in it. (I bought a gallon of brown mistake paint from Home Depot for $5, so I painted both cave boxes for this game and the carpet rolls for the palm trees with it.) Then kids just had a blast running through the obstacle course and avoiding all the dangerous animals.
CAKE: I baked two bunt cakes and cut each of them in half. Then I pieced the pieces back together in an S or snake shape. I cut the ends to look like a head and tail and frosted it green with brown spots. I used candy for the eyes and a red fruit roll-up for the tongue. Then I poured sugar in the raw all around the base of the cake to look like sand or rocks. It turned out great and everyone loved it.
FOOD: For the Safari Café I used the Tiki Bar we had from a luau party (Wishing Well, $50) and served the food on that. We served Elephant Burgers, Crocodile Dogs, Beetles Wings (potato chips), snake eggs (grapes), Crocodile Teeth (apple slice halves). Safari Potato Salad, and used signed we got from the www.familyfun.com site.
GOODIE BAGS: for goodie bags we just used small lunch paper bags and attached the sign we printed from the family fun site, ______Supply Rations. Inside the bag we had Jungle Crackers, (I found a box of 6 bags for $1 at the Dollar Tree) and a Jungle kaleidoscopes and Jungle keys chains that I found at Oriental Trading Company. The kids also got to keep the hats and binoculars as well. Overall it was less than $5.00 per child for their goodie bag. The party was so much fun and everyone is still talking about it. I hope you enjoy and get some ideas of your own from what I did.
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