It’s almost time for your youngster’s birthday—and you’ve just realized you haven’t sent invitations, much less purchased or organized anything for the big event. We have the solution: a safari jungle party theme. Kids love animals, so this idea is sure to please your own little monkey and all his or her friends.
The Mane Event
Of course, it all starts with the invitations, so choose cards that set the theme of the party.
Giraffes, monkeys, snakes and exotic birds are attractive to kids of all ages and contain enough colors to give you plenty of decoration options for the party itself.
(Time-saving tip: Pick up your thank-you notes at the same time that you’re buying invitations and party supplies. This way you’ll have them on hand after the festivities. Even better: a party kit is a good way to accomplish this in one step.)
Creating a Safari in Your Home
Go wild with the party decorations—there’s no such thing as “too much” when it comes to a jungle party theme. Fill the party area with cutout or inflatable lions (it’s not a party without the king of the jungle!), hippos and other animals.
Hang brightly colored streamers for a “close”, jungle-like effect. Strips can be taped at the top of the doorway to brush lightly over guests as they enter.
Frolicking in the Jungle
- Have play binoculars and hats ready for each guest and have them walk through the “jungle”. This can be set up either inside your home or outdoors (remember to put safety first).
- Set aside two or three rooms for your indoor jungle adventure. Have streamers hanging from the ceiling for a walking-through-the-tall-grasses effect. Play sound bytes or a CD of jungle sounds as kids walk through each room in search of a prize at the end.
- For an outdoor adventure, write simple signs on cardboard (“Danger!” or “Parrot Crossing”) and set them up in the grass with arrows to show children the way to their final destination and a prize of candy or a small toy.
- Set up a photo opportunity by having a jungle cutout at the end of the “outing”. After the party, download the pics and send them to the children’s parents, or print them out and let your child help you create photo frames out of popsicle sticks and paints or stickers. Then send them along with the thank-you notes.
Health-conscious parents are in luck with a safari theme party: food choices that match this theme can easily be both all-natural and delicious.
Have these delicious jungle eats on hand for your little explorer’s guests:
- Coconut chunks
- Melon slices
- Pineapple slices
- Tropical fruit drinks/punch
- Peanuts (be sure to ask parents first about possible food allergies)
- “Crunchy munchy mix”: your child’s favorite blend of dried fruits, nuts or small candies
How Many Animals … Err, Children Should You Invite?
Because this party may involve quite a bit of running around, ducking, hiding and discovering—in other words, physical fun—you may want to limit the number of children you invite for safety’s sake. Or invite parents along with the children so they can enjoy the celebration while lending a helping hand.
Generally speaking, one child per year should be plenty; in other words, three children at a three-year-old’s party, or six at a six-year-old’s celebration.
By about age seven, your child probably has a few very special friends he or she wants to invite; keep the party to that number and things will be both manageable and fun. Invite these and watch the fun unfold for memories your child will cherish.