Safari Party (2-5yr) Survival Gear Favor Bags
Rebecca in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana USA
My daughters birthdays are two weeks apart so I decided to have their parties together. They chose a Safari Theme since they both love animals so much. The planning and preparing started months in advance.
Invitations: I made the invitations on my computer on ivory cardstock, (Attention all Safari Explorers! Please join Victoria and Amanda as they turn 5 and 2 on a Jungle Adventure through the Meaux Zoo! Grab your binoculars and pith helmets; and hop aboard the Antelope Express for a wild safari tour!) I burned the edges of the invitations with a lighter to give them a worn look, I folded them in three and wrapped raffia around them. The parents all thought that was the best!
Party: As the explorers arrived, I gave them each a pith helmet (which I got from a local party store) to wear and a name badge to wear around their necks (as their boarding passes for the train). The badges were made out of colored foam with animal foam stickers on the sides and their name in the middle, with black yarn. As the party guests arrived, they made their own pair of binoculars out of toilet paper rolls, colored construction paper and yarn, (they could color the paper if they wanted to) these were to use on the train ride to find all the animals through out the zoo (yard). Out of large cardboard (4ft by 8ft sheets) that I got from a local hardware store, I made life size animals; an elephant, a giraffe, 2 zebras, 2 alligators, a lion, and 3 monkeys (which we hung in the trees). The animals were placed all around the yard (3 acres).
My father-in-law drove the barrel train (The Antelope Express) with the kids around the yard to find the animals. They did have to take turns ridding the train, 9 barrels which fit 2 kids and there were about 38 kids. Since my children love the reality show Survivor, My older son who is 8 helped me make an obstacle course for the little ones to do. I used the swing set area, every thing had a sign made out of cardboard or wood stating what it was.
I hung poisonous vines made out of twisted brown paper to crawl under, then up the ladder over the spider nests ( Halloween webs with plastic black spiders), down the slide, walk the plank (a 6 by 12 wood board) over the Crocodile Territory (cardboard crocs.), jump over the Piranha's pond (which I made out of cardboard covered with blue cellophane paper and toy fish inside), crawl through the bat cave (which was a large box painted black inside with bats hanging all around. I glued brown paper to the outside to look like a cave and spray painted it gray like rocks), then last was to run through the quick sand pit (the sand box). The children all loved this, they must have done it 3 or 4 time each.
Cake: Then they had cake. Each of my girls had their own, and I do have to say the cakes are the coolest! A friend of mine made them for the girls, they would be pricey at a bakery. Victoria's cake was two tiered, the bottom had an elephant, zebra, and lion made out of fondant, then the top tier rested on their heads and a leopard was laying on the top. It was magnificent! Amanda's cake was two monkeys sew-sawing on a log. Very cute!
After cake it was present time and for those who didn't want to watch, the train was still running. I had a karaoke machine that I used to call the kids for different activities and I played a music cd from Diego that had all sorts of animal related songs. The kids could sing to it and dance. There were paw prints all around the on the ground.
Decorations: I made a mural along the garage wall(10 ft. by 25 ft.)out of cardboard. I painted trees, grass, birds, and jungle flowers. I hot glued plastic frogs, spiders, etc. The kids took pictures in front of it, which I later used as thank you cards. I also made palm trees and vines which I placed all around the deck and carport area so when you walked in it actually looked like a jungle and tree house.
There were colorful parrots hanging around the deck area, and I also used some of the more realistic stuffed animals my kids have as decorations around the party areas. There was a huge yellow and black snake that sat on top of two trees as an arch to walk under. I made signs along the drive way out of wood that said Beware, No Feeding the Animals, and a huge one that said Welcome Explorers.
Food: I did have a food area that had finger foods with funny names like from the show Survivor for the guests to eat, (snake eyes - grapes, crocodile toes - cheese toes, elephant trunks - hotdogs, beetle wings - potato chips, dried ants - raisins, live worms - gummy worms, and of course there was green jungle juice). For a meal I did a crock pot of red beans and rice, it was super easy and everyone loved it.
Goodies: I also made a pinata out of brown paper bags, I tied burlap string around it to look like a package dropped from an air plane, the labels all over it read Survival Pack, Fragile, Handle with Care. I handed out brown lunch bags with labels on them that I made on the computer that said Survival Bag" for the explorers to put their goodie in. As the little explorers would leave the party came to an end with a huge bon fire. All in all I have to say the party was a huge success!
Victoria's classmates talked about it for weeks! Thanks for the ideas and I hope I have given you some new and different ideas. "