Idea No.


Petting Zoo Party -2yr- Lost Animal Game



March 2002


Mara in Albuquerque, NM

Special Mention

Zoo Party

We just celebrated my son's 2nd birthday party.  I wanted to do something fun so that his sister, who is five, could have fun as well.  My daughter picked a farm theme for her brother.  Many of the ideas I got from this web site…thank you!  

We made the invitations by cutting them in the shape of a barn and having doors that opened to reveal the party information.  They came out really cute.  We asked parents to dress their kids in play clothes because we decided to have a petting zoo and ponies.  

I decorated with lots of red and yellow balloons, as well as streamers everywhere.  I covered the door with red butcher paper and used masking tape to make an X in the middle; this made the front door look like a barn door. While the kids waited for everyone to arrive there was a simple craft set up a the table.  They had to trace their hand onto black construction paper and cut it out.  Then they would cover the palm part with cotton balls and glue an eye on the thumb (the head).  They could then decorate their sheep using chalk if they wanted to.  We served lots of vegetables, pork and beans, potato salad, burgers, hotdogs, animal crackers, and chex mix (animal feed).  We set up a picnic table outside, but unfortunately we had to move it indoors because the wind picked up:(  Our guests were very gracious and understanding.  They didn't mind the lack of space too much, and many ended up having great conversations.  

The petting zoo and the ponies were the highlight of the party.  The kids went wild and the adults wanted to ride as well.  We had chicks, ducklings, a rabbit, and a goat that kept going inside the house!  It was so much fun!  We took pictures of every child riding the ponies.  We had the petting zoo here for 45 minutes, which was just perfect.  After the petting zoo, we played a couple more games.  We had an egg hunt, which the kids loved. 

The kids also had to find a "lost" stuffed farm animal.  I actually hid ten of them, so that every child could find one.  They had fun and they got to keep their eggs and farm animals.  The eggs were filled with candy and toys.  

The cakes were very cute.  I baked two sheet cakes, one yellow and the other chocolate.  I cut off the two top corners of the chocolate cake to give it the shape of a barn.  Then I covered it with red icing and used some crackers to make the barn doors.  I used white frosting and piped it along the roof and put some animal crackers around the front.  I also tinted some coconut green and put grass all along the bottom of the barn.  The other cake I covered with green icing.  I used my sons chubby farm toys to decorate it (farmer, horse, cow, hen)  I tinted some coconut yellow, so that it would look like hay and made a pile on top of the cake.  The cakes were very easy to make and I got a lot of compliments.  

I made little gift buckets for the kids.  I bought tiny milk pails and decorated them with animal stickers.  Inside, they could find a little box of crayons (8), a small bag of animal crackers, farm animal stickers and a few bunny shaped suckers.  I also made a coloring book for each child.  I traced some pictures from one of my daughter's coloring books and I also printed out some animal pictures off the internet.  I used cardstock for the front and the back of the coloring books and I stapled the pages together.  I made a cover on my computer with a farm-themed border.  I wrote:  "Thank moo" for visiting Andres' dude ranch!  It was "farmtastic" sharing the day with you.  Andres' 2nd birthday (date).

Before the kids left, I printed out the pictures of the kids riding the ponies and sent them home with them.  I took pictures with a regular camera, which I've already developed.  I am sending them along with the thank you cards.   The party was a lot of fun and everything was simple.  It would have been perfect if the weather hadn't changed.  The most expensive thing was the petting zoo and even that was reasonably priced.  I didn't have to entertain the kids very much, since they spent most of the time with the animals. 

My son finally learned that a horse is not a dog and that a rabbit is not a cat.  The party turned out to be educational as well as fun!

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