Reptile Safari -3yr- Pin the Tounge on Chemeleon
Connie in Dana Point, California, USA
REPTILE SAFARI PARTY, 3 year old . . . This is the first place I come when I am looking for ideas for my children's birthday parties. So, as usual, I read a few of the other "safari" and "jungle" themed birthdays and created my own. I hope you find this helpful -- we had a blast and always get compliments on our creative themes! For my son's 3rd birthday party, he wanted: snakes, lizards, and bugs (just like his brother had on his 3rd birthday). So, I dusted off my birthday entertainment notebook and called: The Lizard Wizard (if you live in southern California, these guys are the best, 951-244-9068 - we've used them twice). They bring: snakes, turtles, frogs, bugs, iguanas, skinks, and more! It's definitely one of our favorite parties so far. Here's what we did . . .
INVITATIONS - I took a digital pic of my son in a pith helmet, green shirt, green sweat pants, sitting in a chair, with a stuffed snake around his neck, a stuffed frilled lizard under his arm, and plastic bugs, lizards, and snakes (all things we had from my 1st son's bday party) all over his arms and legs. Then, I went to www.winkflash.com to make the invitations (they came out great - 30 invitations cost me $26.70). They said: Calling alll Lizards, Snakes, Toads and Spiders. Crawl, Creep or Slither on by for Zachary's 3rd Birthday. It's Going to be a Jungle, so Wear Lots of Green! Then on the other side it said: Leap on over to our pad on (DATE), (TIME), (ADDRESS), Please RSVP (PHONE NUMBER). All No Shows Will Be Exterminated! It's Going to be Wild!
Then, I ordered the DECORATIONS - you always need at least two weeks in advance for everything to come in! I went to www.usballoon.net for five 32 inch blue frog balloons (awesome) and five 49 inch lizard balloons (also amazing). I went to WalMart for 2 helium tanks to fill them! I surfed on over to www.orientaltrading.com for all of the items for the goodie bags (bugs, spiders, insect/ reptile tattoos, lizards, camoflage goody bags, stickers, frog shaped lollipops, and then bought: tootsie rolls, granola bars, and made coloring books (more on that later) for each of the kids. I went to www.birthdayexpress.com for a dart frog personalized banner ($15) that everyone signed with a Sharpie marker at the party. (I usually get them from ShinDigz.com, but this one was much better quality). And, finally, I ordered green plates, napkins, cups, and cutlery from www.PartySecret.com -- they have the best prices, especially if you are just getting a solid color (no pattern). Here is an example: 288 ct cutlery for $10.58; 144 ct plates for $11.75, etc.
We had the party in our backyard, so I went to PartyCity and got a 50 foot backdrop that looked like a desert scene with cactus and sand and had my husband staple gun it to the fence around the yard. The tables had green table cloths (to match the plates, cups, napkins), and there was 1 frog balloon and 1 lizard ballon at each table. On the front door was a sign that said: IT'S A JUNGLE IN THERE, along with hand-made vines (check out FamilyFun.com - Jungle Expedition Party - they are made out of brown grocery bags) that hung around the door and from the top of the roof (people had to walk through them to get in).
There was a sign in the backyard that said: MISSING SAFARI MEMBERS . . . BEN EATEN & IMA GONER (thank you to the Mom who posted this). There were fake bugs on the tables, along with a bowl of Crunchy Critter Mix (Chex Mix). At the place where the Lizard Wizard was to set up, I had a sign that said: COOL CRITTERS MEET HERE (bring your cameras). I took out all of our kids' stuffed lizards, snakes, plastic bugs, etc. for decoration around the food tables. The personalized banner was the side of the house with markers for everyone to sign (I always love this keepsake). For anyone that wanted to stay in the house and play in the living room, I had The Jungle Book playing on the DVD.
GAMES/ACTIVITIES: SNAKES: On each table was snakes for the kids to color and take home. (All you have to do is get cheap white paper plates and cut them in a spiral - working from the outside in. The outside will be the tail and the inside will be the head. Make the head a little bit bigger, then one-hole punch eyes).
IGUANA CHOMP: put donuts on a dowl and have three kids (at a time) try to eat them without their hands -- whoever eats the most wins!
LEAPIN' FROG FLIP: I went to Michael's and bought green fun foam, which I cut into lilly pads. Each lilly pad had a point on it (5 pts, 10 pts, 20 pts, 25 pts and 50 pts). I spread the lilly pads out (with the higher points against the fence) and had the kids line up. They took a stuffed frog and had to toss him onto a lilly pad (not easy, because the frog bounces -- it has to be ON the lilly pad). Whoever got in on, and/or had the most points wins.
PIN THE TONGUE ON THE CHAMELEON: I took posterboard and drew a chameleon with his mouth open. Then took pink neon paper and made tongues (with the kid's names on it). Just like the classic game, except the little kids could just put their tongues on the board and the older kids were blindfolded and spun around.
DON'T TOUCH THAT SNAKE: Just like Hot Potato, except with a stuffed snake.
FOOD: Again, taking from FamilyFun.com (Jungle Expedition Party), we had: Snake Eggs (grapes), Dried Ants (raisins), Live Worms (hot dogs cut in slices and boiled so they curl up), regular hot dogs for the adults and those not into "worms," Beetle Wings (potato chips), Swamp Water (water bottles), Jungle Juice (juice boxes), two 6 foot sandwiches from Quizno's (I lined them up like a snake with olives for eyes), and Chinese Snake "Noodle" Salad (a peanut noodle salad).
CAKE/SNACKS: I made one snake cake (out of two Bundt cakes) - see FamilyFun.com, Slippery Snake Cake and two frog cakes (out of 8" round pans and custard cups (for the eyes)) - see www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com. Lastly, we made Dirt Cups (clear cups filled with chocolate pudding, crushed chocolate graham crackers (dirt) with a gummy worm sticking out of them.
ENTERTAINMENT/EXTRAS: I went to WalMart and bought two white t-shirts for both of my sons (my daughter just wore pink). I then used the iron-on transfers and downloaded and image of a huge iguana. Their shirts said: IT'S MY 3RD BIRTHDAY and IT'S MY BROTHER'S 3rd BIRTHDAY. We always make shirts for the kids! Everyone thinks it's such a great idea (and another great keepsake! There were disposable cameras on all the tables -- for those behind-the-scene moments that I couldn't get.
Of course, the best part was The Lizard Wizard who brought: snakes (and a HUGE one that ALL the kids held), lizards (even a blue-tongued skink that "kissed" everyone), an iguana (that ran around the backyard), tarantula (that sat on my husband's head), hissing cockroach, centipede, toad, frogs, tortoise (that the kids got to scrub with a toothbrush and sponges), etc. They talked about ALL the animals while my son (the bday boy) got to sit at the front and touch all of the animals first. Then, they had a reptile petting zoo with kiddie pools for the frogs & turtles that the kids could play with (gently), while he took out the snakes. It was another amazing party!
Well, next is my daughter's 1st bday in April -- I'll be sure to check out this website for great ideas! If you have any questions regarding this party, email me at: email@example.com! Remember, have fun - plan ahead - and expect the unexpected -- it's ok!
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