Tag Archives: animals


Make ‘Em Laugh

KittyThis simple game can be adapted to virtually any party theme. That being said, it works particularly well at a ‘Hello Kitty’ or animal themed party or a slumber party where they can play in the PJ’s, and is best with girls.

Have the kids sit on the floor in a circle, one child in the center – perhaps start with the birthday girl in the middle. The girl in the center gets on their hands and knees and moves around the circle like a cat, choosing one person from the circle to walk to and meow at three times.

The chosen person has to pat the ‘cat’ on the head and say “Poor Kitty” 3 times- without laughing. Of course, the kitty is doing everything in her power to get the other one to laugh- rubbing up against her like a cat, meowing, flexing her claws, whatever she can think to do.

Once she gets the laugh, that person becomes the kitty. If no laugh, she has to try someone else.

If a cat doesn’t jive with your party theme, make it something else or nothing at all but with the same objective of getting the laugh. The older the kids are, the more you can put it to their imagination to come up with whatever they think will make the other kids laugh- younger kids need more direction like being told to act like a “whatever”.

I’d forgotten all about this simple  game, so thanks to the blogger(s) over at youwillneed.com for the reminder.

Tube Animals

Tube Animals

Tube AnimalsStart saving those toilet paper tubes so you can have the girls make these farm animals as a craft activity and then use them as decorations at your next birthday party. Brought to you by the same crafty lady Amanda that gave you the toilet paper tube Angry Birds – obviously one very clever crafter, and very generous to share full instructions with templates for each of these guys. There are 9 different animals for the kids to make.

These will make a marvelous party craft for older elementary school aged girls– boys probably don’t have the patience. I recommend making one of each as a model for the kids. Check each animal’s directions, but in general supplies needed are those toilet paper tubes, paints and brushes, chenille or pipe cleaners in the appropriate colors, sharpies and glue (no glue guns for kids, too dangerous, unless you want to be on call to do everybody’s gluing).

Yes, these are a little complicated, but not beyond kids 8 or 9 and up. They’re so cute the kids will be focused and intent on creating their creatures, making this an engaging craft activity that takes some real time. Don’t be surprised if they want to make more than one animal each, so have enough tubes and other supplies. Keep them happy at their craft with snacks and drinks at their work table, and some tunes playing in the background.

Make sure everybody puts their initials inside their tubes before you move the whole barnyard to your food table for party decorations they’ll all be proud of. Of course, they get to take their creations home, so your party favor is all taken care of.


Mural Project

DrawingHaving the kids create a mural that syncs with your birthday party theme is a great way to keep everyone occupied as your guests arrive and get themselves organized. Rather than just turning them loose at a table with crayons and paper, it becomes a group activity requiring cooperation and planning and discussion, and actually a bit of a challenge. The group dynamics of the project increase with the age of the kids: preschoolers will just draw individually but will still end up with a project that all have contributed to.

Look for the wide, i.e. 48″, roll paper to tack up on wall or lay on the floor. It’s on Amazon so you’ll be able to find it, but if not, tape 2 or more 12″ wide rolls together to make the wider mural. If putting on your wall, use the paint friendly stickies rather than tape and protect your wall with extra paper top and bottom so anybody that misses the mural paper still hits paper and not your paint. Outline the mural with blue masking tape so it’s really clear where they’re supposed to make their art.

Provide the  markers and crayons– paints are perhaps a bit too messy. Spark their creativity with some print outs from the web of possible themed art they might wish to copy or to work from.

Making a party themed mural can work for so many different birthday party themes– animals, aliens or monsters, princesses or pirates, dinosaur, cowboys, circus, etc. Turn that awkward  ‘arrival time’ into actual party time by incorporating this group art project right into your party.


Tail Tag

TagTail Tag is a great outdoor, blow off some energy game for your animal or jungle or safari themed birthday party. Keep this run around game in reserve for the time when the kids are getting antsy or not participating fully and you’ll get everybody back on track in a hurry.

While you CAN use socks, it’s way more fun and way more tuned into your animal theme if you make some tails for the kids. If you have, or have access to, fabric scraps or yarn, that’s great. If not, use plain strips from an old sheet and get out your markers or paints and make tiger and zebra stripes, leopard spots, skinny elephant colored tails. You’ll want the kids in two teams, so perhaps one team is all spots and the other all stripes- sufficiently different that they can be told apart in a flash as they play the game. Make the tails long enough to tuck into a back pocket or pants waistband and still have a foot hanging out.

Create a field of play in your yard with tape or flour on the grass– big enough for the kids to run around but not so big that it’s easy to get away from their pursuers. Hand out the tails to the two teams and explain the rules. Each team tries to grab and get the opposing teams tails. Any player that loses their tail has to sit down, but still tries to grab and get a new tail from the opposing team from their sitting position. If they succeed, they’re back up and on their feet to continue playing the game. The winning team de-tails all the players on the opposing team- but probably they’ll just have good fun running around and playing the game with no winner ever declared.

It’s always smart to have a run-around, energy expending game in your bag of tricks for any kids birthday party. And this tail tag game fits the bill nicely for your animal or jungle or safari themed celebration.



Animal Concentration

GiraffeI’ve been doing animal-jungle-safari related party posts, so I decided to continue with the animal concentration party game. This is a game that can be tweaked for a multitude of party themes, just change up the images, but it works particularly well for an animal or jungle  or safari themed party. Why? Because of the wealth of animal images available for you on the web to use in your game.

As I always recommend, turn this game into a floor game using full size (8 1/2″ x 11″) images. The spatial challenge of having your game grid laid out on the floor makes the game just a bit more challenging. Use an even numbered grid such as 4×4 (16 image, 8 pairs) or 4×5 (20 images, 10 pairs) or 4×6 (24 images, 12 pairs). The more pairs in your game, the harder for the kids to remember and the more challenging it is, so use larger grids for older kids.

Now for the extra fun you can have with this game with animals. Make animal pairs but use 1 clip art and 1 photo to make the matching/remembering process a little more challenging. You can find many, many animal photos on the animalphotos.info website. And classroomclipart.com  has tons of animal graphics you can match with the photos to make your pairs for the game. That extra mental jump of matching different images of the same subject animal gives the game another challenging dimension, so you can use the game with somewhat older kids.

Divide your group into 2 teams, and give each child a turn choosing which pictures in the grid to turn over and try for the match. You can even re-play by mixing everything up and relaying them out in your grid. This is a very simple game that has withstood the test of time and tweaks beautifully to fit your animal or jungle or safari party theme.

Pooh Bag Puppets

Character Bags

Pooh Bag PuppetsPaper bag puppets make a great party craft activity OR, with a little tweaking, a great birthday party favor bag. Either way, they’re adorable and the kids will love them.

Get all the templates and complete instructions for these Pooh bag puppets over at family.fun.go.com. These are probably a bit intricate for kids still into the Hundred Acre Wood crowd to make by themselves as a party craft activity, but they’d be wonderful decorations for any Pooh themed party.  Then, let them each take one home.

But for kids a little older, there’s dozens of templates for making paper bag puppets over at abcteach.com. Many of these templates are for animals, so they’d be a great craft activity for any animal or jungle or safari themed birthday party.  Provide the lunch bags and print outs of the templates, scissors, glue sticks, markers and-or crayons, and they’ll probably make an entire zoo.

Turn things upside down and add a tweak, and these puppet templates can become really cool party treat bags. Instead of using the bottom of the bag as the top of the puppet, use the bottom of the bag as the bottom and fold the top for the template decoration. You’ll probably need to scale the templates down a bit for these now shorter bags. As suggested at family.fun.go, cut your templates from colored card stock to make things look really nice. Attach the cut outs after filling your treat bags. All lined up and ready to go home with the kids, these character favor bags will be very enticing and fun for the kids. Make all different animals to send home from your animal/jungle/safari themed party.


Animal Games

Animals20 Questions can be turned into a fun and challenging birthday party game for your animal or safari or jungle themed birthday party. Depending on the the age of the kids, there are a couple of ways you can play the game. Preschoolers are really too young for this game.

For early elementary school age kids, age 6 to 8, make yourself a list of 5 to 10 familiar (to the kids) and very distinguishable animals– nothing too sophisticated. Group the kids into 2 teams, and explain the rules- that they can ask you yes or no questions to try to discover what animal you’re thinking of. Give them hints as to the kinds of questions; location, color, diet, size, etc. From your list, tell the teams you’re thinking of a specific animal and have each child ask you a question, alternating from one team to another. Any team can make a guess at any time, but the first to get it right, gets the points, and you move on to the next round and a different animal. If the kids are really on the young side, give each team a list of possible choices to narrow things down for them.

For older kids, have a laptop available to both teams, logged in to this National Geographic animal facts website. Working from the list of animals that you have prepared ahead of time, to prevent things from getting so esoteric that the kids can’t possibly figure out the animal in question, let one member of each team field the questions from the other team instead of you doing it. The child has the info needed to answer the questions on the website- give them a minute or two to read the blurb ahead of time so they know most of the answers.

On a similar note, WOW your own child with the power of AI- ‘A’ for artificial AND animal intelligence. Let them play 20 animal questions with the computer on this website. If you’ve got an ‘Animal Planet’ junkie like I do, you’ll find lots of great animal games they can play and learn with on this website.

Spend just a few minutes choosing animals appropriate to the age of your party group and with 20 animal questions you’ve got another  game to go along with your animal or safari or jungle party theme. It’s a no cost, minimal prep, thinking game that will keep the kids engaged.

Hedgehog Cake

Hedgehog Cake

Hedgehog CakeTop off your animal themed birthday party with this adorable hedgehog cake from Melovy over at HubPages.  We in the States don’t get to see many (or any!) hedgehogs outside of the local nature center, so this cute cake brings a touch of the exotic to your party.

Don’t be thinking this hedgehog cake is too time consuming and complicated, because it’s not. Melovy gives you very complete instructions for making this cake- just follow the link above- but here’s the short story. The ‘secret’ is baking your cake in a pyrex round bottom bowl, about 7″ across at the top. Melovy is clearly from the UK as she recommends a ‘pudding bowl’, but the kind available in the US will work just fine.

The second ‘secret’ here is the chocolate buttons for the hedgehog’s spines. Cadbury makes milk chocolate buttons, but I can’t say I’ve ever seen them in the grocery here in the US- then again I wasn’t looking for them! They are out there, however, as they are available on both Amazon and eBay. Worse comes to worse, you could use the chocolate disks for melting to make chocolate covered strawberries- usually in the grocery right with the strawberries.

The only other things you need are a dried cranberry for the nose and 2 raisins for the eyes. Use a fork to give the frosting that ‘fur’ look.

Pretty much just as easy as making any cake, and this hedgehog will be the hit of your animal themed party.



ChickenFound this drawing and laughing animal party game for you on Hubpages. It’s great for kids on the upper end of elementary school, say ages 8, 9 and 10. And it’s perfect for any animal themed party, safari party or jungle party.

This game requires imagination, rudimentary drawing skills on the part of the kids (hence the slightly older age recommendation), markers and plenty of newsprint. You can buy newsprint in big pads at a reasonable price.

Prepare animal names written on pieces of paper to be drawn out of a hat or a bag. Try to keep the animals to ones that can be fairly easily drawn, i.e. that have a distinguishing characteristic or shape that stands out and makes the rest of the drawing less important, such as an elephant (trunk), a tiger or zebra (stripes), a snake (long and skinny), rhino (body shape). You can even have a few repeats is needed.

Team the kids up into pairs and have each pair draw 2 animal names. Then send each pair off with 5 or so sheets of newsprint and their markers to go draw and name their combined animal. Give them 10 minutes, and if they demand more time give them another 5.

Tape each team’s drawing up and have the group guess which two animals it is, and have the group make up names- that’s the laughing part. You can even challenge them to come up with the most ridiculous combination animal!

This is an easy game with minimal preparation and minimal cost that will challenge their imaginations and keep them busy.

Animal Balloons

Animal Balloon Birthday Party Craft

Animal BalloonsA simple balloon based birthday party craft activity for the little ones, or a bit more complex craft for the older set. Either way, this is the perfect tie-in to your animal or jungle party, or safari themed birthday party.

I recommend that you provide the helium filled balloons– and pick your colors to match the animals. Purple is probably not a good choice.

For the young ones, you can purchase animal face balloon stickers in a kit for the cow, pig and duck you see in the graphic at a reasonable price of under $10 for a dozen at Amazon, as of this writing. Although balloons come in the kit, unless you have a helium tank they won’t float; that’s why I recommend you get them separately. Do supervise so no preschoolers put broken balloon in their mouth- choking hazard. [NOTE: if you make a purchase through the link on this page, I make a commission fromo Amazon and that seems fair to me.]

For older kids, they can make their own stick-ons using construction paper, markers, scissors, feathers, google eyes, whatever you find to give them, plus the glue sticks. I strongly suggest you make 3 or 4 examples for them to see the how and then they’ll come up with their own embellishments and other animals, based on the start your models give them.

Either way, the kids will have fun with this birthday party craft, be busy for a while, and can take home their creations as a very inexpensive birthday party favor.