Jungle Party Birthday

by Tricia
(Hoquiam, Washington)

Jungle Party Birthday

I put this party together for my daughters, aged 5 and 7. We had the party at the local YMCA and really had to scramble to get the majority of the party done in the 60 minutes we had the game room. Later, we moved to "Busy Town," a room with a massive climbing structure with tunnels, slides, tubes and a hundred ways to have wild energetic fun. However, the party I describe below could EASILY take around 2 hours in a private home and provide an equally memorable experience by doubling the time allowed for most activities.

Jungle Party Birthday

Simba lion or other stuffed animal toy
Other stuffed animals for Clue 1 pile
small plastic money toy & 2-3 bananas for Clue 2
cheap (8 for $1) magnifying glasses for Clue 2
Ellie the Elephant (see note below)
cheap (8 for $1) compasses for Clue 3
Panda (or other animal) poster for Pin the Tail on the Donkey game variation
Animal stickers

Jungle Party Birthday
Safari Script and Order of Party
12:00 Welcome & Pizza (Note: After the introduction to the safari hunt, the lead takes the kids, while the other adult(s) clean up the pizza table and prep it for the leapfrog game and cake later. Presents, including the safari decorated bag with Simba inside, are moved to Busy Town while the kids are distracted.)

12:15 The Jungle Party Birthday Hunt Begins
"Kids, we're excited to have our party today. Thank you all for coming. We’ve even heard Simba, the lion cub, is coming, but he’s not there yet. You know, I’m getting a little worried. It’s not like Simba to be late. I’ll bet he’s over here with our other animal friends." (Kids search pile of animals for Clue #1.)
Clue #1: “Hi Elizabeth and Caroline and all of my friends, I’ve gone for walk. Find the small yellow monkey and then we’ll talk.”

12:17 Monkey Business
Use magnifying glasses to hunt down the small monkey toy sitting near bananas with the clue under the bananas.
Clue #2: “The next clue is as plain as can be, go find Ellie the Elephant and you will see. She’s used the flowers for her clue to hide. Catch all them, then look inside!”

12:25 Ellie the Elephant
(Turn on Ellie the Elephant and let the kids catch all the flowers as they fall. If clue #3 does not come out, open up the elephant and pull it out. Note: This is a blue plastic elephant with a fan inside and nylon little flowers that fly out her trunk when the fan is tuned on. We already owned this toy, so you may wish to substitute another game.)

Clue #3: “Use your compass to track to our friend Panda. She’s sitting all alone. Add some friends and the next clue you will be shown.”

12:35 Panda Partners
(Play Add Panda’s Friends like Pin the tail on the Donkey. When finished, the child whose animal is closest to the panda keeps the poster. As the poster is removed, the Clue # 4 becomes visible underneath. Note: I had an old "jungle" poster with a panda and used other jungle animal stickers as markers. Yes, I know that jungle animals and an Asian panda are a bit out of place, but my kids weren't sticklers for accuracy!)

Clue #4 with the tub picture: “I bet you’re hungry. Time to take a break. Hop to the table and eat some cake. My frog friends are making a splash in the pool. The clue is nearby staying nice and cool." (Leader and kids hop to pizza/cake table. This is a good physical break after the waiting around associated with the Panda game and sitting to eat cake.)

12:40 Eat Cake

12:50 Leapfrog game
"The frogs are in a pile over the clue. In order to get to the clue we’ve got to get them to move. What could we do? (Thinking) Maybe we could help the frog go for a swim." (Kids line up on both sides of the game and help their frog hop from the pool and down the path to the log. These were little plastic frogs with a tab at the end that made them hop. Clue #5 is under the pool. The kids really, really liked this. I had the frog game, but for a more safari theme, do something similar with ants and random scattered letters, having the kids move their ants from the picnic (cake) across the letters of their name and onto the anthill.)

Clue #5: “I’m so tired now and I need to rest. Walk like an animal to follow tracks. Find the red and the blue; they’ll work best." (Note: The dollar store had paper paw prints/tracks in various colors. These were tapped to the floor in a few widely spaced and curving tracks, so that there was a little search for the next red/blue track. I had to use two colors because I did not have enough paw prints to use just one. This trail led into the hall and to the nearby Busy Town and pile of presents.)

12:55 Find Simba
(Have kids kids pick an animal walk (e.g. elephant, kangaroo) to use while following the red and blue tracks around the party room and to the pile of presents in Busy Town. Simba should be sitting hidden among the gifts. Other colored tracks take random paths. Play "The Lion Sleeps Tonight.")

1:00 Free play in Busy Town

End of Party Goodie Bag (including magnifying glass, compass, plastic "hopping" frog, as well as stickers, animal crackers, and other small animal-themed prizes)

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