Safari Party -2yr- Safari Games Based on Animals
Joyce in Freeland, PA USA
For my son's second birthday, we had a birthday safari.
I made the invitations on card stock. The front said: The elephant watches us explore, the lion and the tiger roar. The zebra sees a tall giraffe, and then the monkey makes us laugh! On the inside of the card, I taped a piece of string to either corner with a monkey in the center, so it was hanging when the invitation was opened. On the inside it said: It will be a wild and wonderful day, come along as we embark on Ben's Birthday Safari! Wear your animal prints or khaki's and join us for a R-R-Roaring good time! Join the safari expedition on (date), as we explore the Jungle Terrain at (location). Our adventure begins at 2:00pm Call or e-mail our guide at (phone #)by (date) to reserve your spot! I also included a note for parents to e-mail me a picture of their child so I could make up passports for them.
Decorations: I got the idea from this site to make trees from carpet tubes. I followed the design of a chika chika boom boom tree, they came out great! I also twisted brown butcher paper for vines and hung them on the walls with giant leaves. I used helium to blow up a bunch of balloons and let them float to the ceiling to give the appearance of trees overhead. Because the party was in May, I was able to buy several different color green streamers and balloons on clearance after St. Patricks Day and Easter. I also picked up green tablecloths which I decorated with paper leaves. I decorated a refrigerator box to look like an SUV, which we placed in the center of the room. We set up a table near the door, with a sign that said Safari Office".
Activities: Upon arrival each child received their "malaria" pill (a red jelly bean in a cup marked "malaria medicine") and their passport which I printed on a sheet of paper and laminated. They also received a camouflage back pack which I made. While we were waiting for all of the guests to arrive we made pith helmets (I took newspapers and put them on the childs head. Using masking tape we taped around the head to make the hat and rolled up the extra paper. They ended up looking more like bowlers but the kids loved them!).
We also make camouflage vests out of brown paper bags (we stamped them with brown and green ink and stampers and used markers and crayons to color them in). When everybody was dressed we got our toilet paper tube binoculars (glue 2 toilet paper tubes together put 2 holes in one end and tie a piece of string to either side - I used contact paper to decorate them)and set off. I had chairs set up around the SUV and told the kids that while we were on safari to watch through their binoculars for animals. I had people dressed as the different animals (just foam animal hats from oriental trading and clothing the right color - but the kids thought that they were great) and they wandered out one at a time to talk to the kids.
First we saw a lion. The lion explained that he likes to pounce and practices pouncing using bubbles. We turned on the bubble machine (less than $20 on e-bay) and let the kids chase after the bubbles. After a little while the lion gave each kid a bottle of bubbles (easter clearance re-labeled "Practice Pounce Bubbles") to put in their backpacks. We then got back in the SUV.
The next animal we saw was a giraffe. He explained how tricky it sometimes is to be so tall. He gave each kid a set of stilts (tuna can stilts for the toddlers and coffee can stilts for the older kids.) I had them already made and used giraffe print contact paper to decorate them. We just had to adjust the strings for each kid. We practiced using the stilts for a while then put them in our bags and continued on our safari.
Next we met up with a monkey. He had a table set up with "mashed banana dough" (homemade banana scented playdoh) The kids played here for a while then each got a container of banana dough to take home.
The next animal we met was the elephant. He explained that elephants have great memories. I made a memory game for us to play with 6 animal pictures and their 6 babies. The children had to try to remember where they were and turn them over to make matches. I also made smaller copies of this game and laminated them. Each child got one to put in their pack.
Next we met the zebra. The zebra told the kids that zebras LOVE to dance! But if they see a tiger they quickly freeze so that the tiger won't eat them. We put on Zebra Dance Party Music (a CD I made with songs from the Lion King Madagascar and The Jungle Book). Every now and then the tiger would peek his head out and the kids would have to freeze! They really loved doing this!!! The zebra gave them each a copy of the CD to take home with them.
The last animal we met was the tiger. He complained that he had not been able to find any zebras to eat today and was hungry! I made a cardboard cutout with a picture of a tiger on it. There was a big hole for his mouth and the kids took turns throwing felt cookies into his mouth. (Just 2 circles of felt sewed together with a little stuffing I used different colored stiches on the top to make it look like sprinkles) Each kid could take 3 cookies home with them.
Food: I just made hamburgers and hotdogs and made a big cold cut sandwich out of french bread. On the sandwich I used 2 olives on toothpicks to look like eyes and a roasted red pepper to look like a forked tongue and voila I had a snake sandwich. We also had tropical fruit salad beetle wings (potato chips) veggies and dip and "zebra cookies" (I made chocolate cookies and let the kids ice them with white icing and brown sprinkles) I also make cupcakes decorated to look like the animals that we met.
Favors: Each child took home with them their vest hat binoculars bag and passport as well as their bubbles play doh memory game CD and felt cookies. Because I was able to make everything the entire party (20 kids ages 2-10) was able to be done for around $100 and everybody had a great time! "
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