Safari Party

Animal Party -6yr- Jungle Bingo




Debbie in Pittsburgh, PA   USA


April 2002


Special Mention

This a long entry...but I think it is unique and may be worth reading for ideas.  My daughter wanted an "animal party" for her 6th birthday. She wanted all 21 of the kindergarten children to attend. She also had other friends and cousins attend. We had 31 children in total!!! I rented the rec. center in our town to accommodate this number of children 6 years old and under in January!  The party was so well planned that the children behaved tremendously!!! Thanks to my sister, a  first-grade school teacher, who said "keep them busy every minute".  She was right.

When they first arrived, they were given a choice of one of three safari hats (giraffe, zebra or leopard) and a choice of one of four stickers.  The hats had their names on them in order for my helpers to identify the children. The stickers served as identifying the team that the children were on.  This helped to move from game to game. We would announce "the Lions go to the pin the monkey on the tree game" etc... and they quickly and QUIETLY moved there.  At "check-in", the child was given a paper bag to write their name and decorate with a matching sticker to hold all the treats that were collected at the games.  A jungle walk was the first thing done in order to keep the kids busy until all arrived.  This way they could just join in. This was a take off of the story "We are going on a bear hunt..." and was modified to be a jungle walk.  The kids had to do all of the actions such as go through mud (pretend), water etc...There were four games/activities and two art teachers who were face painters.  It was adorable, the children often chose to have a face painting of the same animal that they had on their hat and/or sticker. 

The games were
1.  A "pin the monkey on the palm tree game".. a variation of pin the tail on the donkey,

2.  A variation of a cake walk... there were 10 animal pictures on the ground taped in a circle and the children walked in a circle and when the music stopped, the children had to find an animal picture to stand on.  Then out of a box, one of the ten matching pictures was drawn, the child on that animal picture was out. the game continued until one person was left. 

3.  Jungle Bingo with all 31 kids having a different hand colored bingo card and one square had their name on it (the middle square). These were made large enough to laminate and then send home with the children to use as placemats. 

4.  A variation of hot potato or musical chairs.  A very large box was wrapped in animal paper and passed from child to child.  A story was read (Tappy Doo, about an elephant) and every time the word Tappy Doo was said the person who had the box got to open it.  Little did they know it was about 9 or 10 boxes individually wrapped and nested inside one another.  This continued until the last Tappy Doo was read and the child holding the box opened it and there were candy lollipops and stickers for each child to have. 

All kids got a prize when they left their square.  Ahead of time, a large (four poster board pieces) monkey swinging on a tree was drawn and colored ( I would suggest paint the next time as it would really stand out),and the face was cut out in order for the children to stand behind and put their little faces in. I took a picture of the child in this monkey poster and later used them as thank-you cards (see below for description of the thank-you cards). 

The decorations were blow-up safari animals placed strategically around the room.  I found animal striped balloons from Oriental Trading Co and had these floating around the room. The tables were decorated with jungle print store-bought table cloths and beanie baby safari animals served as weights to the balloons floating above the tables.  I found coffee mugs at the dollar store that were different animal prints and they were a taller mug.  I used these to hold long pretzel sticks and then gave the mugs to my helpers as a gift.  I had animal crackers out for a snack when the children arrived.  In case of "downtime" a coloring mat was hung on the wall in two places.  OF course, it was safari animals too.   Pizza was served on animal print plates. 

The cake was from a wonderful local bakery and had a large icing mountain and many safari animals around the mountain and lake.   

The treat bags were printed with safari animals and contained animal striped notepads and matching pens on strings for the girls and for the boys a blow up beach ball/globe with different animals displayed in the countries where they lived and a paddle ball shaped like an animal.  All kids got a foam animal mask, an animal pencil, an animal activity book, candy treats, their safari hat and bingo placemat.  The older girls in attendance got an animal fur covered diary and pen. 

The thank-you cards were postcards that I bought and glued the picture of the child with their face in the monkey poster.  The were so cute.  Lastly, the thank you gift for the adult helpers were tiger striped jewelry travel bags.  The kids and parents still are talking about the "animal party" and it is three months later.  One child said "this party was so much fun, it is the best party I ever went to… I want to come to _____'s party every year!!!

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