Tag Archives: safari party

Themed Circle Game

Kid Circle GameThis is one of the preschool birthday party games that’s as old as time but that still plays well. You may have forgotten about this preschool party idea, so lets bring it back into daylight. Always remember that the preschoolers at your party weren’t around when we were kids playing this game, so it’s all new to them!

Have a small prop of some kind that reflects your theme. A pirate bandana for a pirate birthday party. The crown or tiara for your princess birthday party. A stuffed animal for your safari party or jungle party. A ticket for your carnival party. This works with virtually any party theme. You’ll also need a bandana or handkerchief for a blindfold.

Have the kids sit in a circle with the birthday child in the center, blindfolded. You join the kids in the circle for this first round that shows them how to play. Place the themed prop in front of the blindfolded child. Carefully and quietly, sneak up and take the prop away and hide it behind another child’s back, all the while silently ‘shushing’ all the kids in the circle. Then ask the child in the center of the circle to remove their blindfold and choose who took the prop- all without moving from the center of the circle. Once the child guesses the thief,  the thief goes to the center to play the game again. Let them play as long as they’re interested, then move on.

Simple instructions to follow, quick moving, this has all the prerequisites for a preschool party game.

Frisbee Golf

FrisbeeThis is yet another really easy outdoor birthday party game that you can customize to fit a multitude of kids birthday party themes. And it’s one I’d never heard of, so thanks to tipjunkie.com for posting it!

Gather up a bunch of laundry baskets, a few frisbees for your party guests and then put all those clip art and computer graphics you can access online and your color printer to work for you.

Stage the laundry basket in various places outside, each one being a ‘hole’ as in golf. Using duct tape or a yard stick or piece of rope, establish a ‘tee’ for each hole, some distance from your basket, from which each child tries to fling the frisbee into the basket/hole. Practice with your own child to determine how far away the tees should be – you want them to be able to get them in, but not on the first shot.

Each child keeps score by how many tries it takes to get in the basket on each hole. If you’ve got enough willing helpers or extra parents hanging about, let them do the scoring.

You’ll find free printable tags and scorecards for frisbee golf on the tip junie site, but think about customizing these to your party theme. Use graphics of space ships or aliens for your star wars or space party, different cars for your cars party, Disney villains for your princess party, different animals for your safari or jungle party, whatever works for your theme.

Borrow both the laundry baskets and the frisbees and all this game costs you is some ink for your customizing graphics. Sweet deal! Gotta’ love party games that are fun and don’t cost a cent.

Dance Off

DancingExpending energy is ALWAYS a good thing at a kids birthday party, and dancing does it really well. Doesn’t matter if they’re little or big, it works. Outdoors or inside- doesn’t matter.

For the little ones, freeze dancing is an old standby and that’s because they love it and it shakes out their sillies. Adjust it to your theme with the music you use (download it if you can): the bar scene music for your Star Wars party,  Satie’s ‘Carnival of the Animals’ for your Jungle or Safari Party, a royal trumpet for your Princess party, Don Ho for your luau party.

The big ones are a bit more difficult, but you can still make it work. Use their favorite music, it might cost you a few 99 cents on iTunes but it will be worth it. No matter if your party is mixed gender or all girls- just don’t try this with all boys.

How do you turn it into a contest for the older ones? You give each child a ballot to vote for the best dancer, and they can’t vote for themselves. Give them 2 or 3 abbreviated music numbers to dance to, and they vote after each. Make a ballot box out of a liquor box with a slit for their vote cut into the top and graphics from the web pasted onto it. After the last vote, have the kids choose an election monitor to count the ballots. Have a small prize for the top three winners.  Move on to your next activity, which might just be something requiring more thought than energy- to take advantqge of all that energy they just burned off.

Your party games don’t really have to be games at all- just something fun to do that you turn into a game with a little competition. Works every time!

Knock ’em Down

Knockdown GameEvery carnival has the KnockDown game with the baseball and the big stuffed whatevers– and you can include it as one of your birthday party games at your next party. Perfect if yours is a carnival themed party, but it can be tweaked for just about any theme with a little computer art on the tin cans to be knocked over.

Use tin cans rather than soda bottles as they are MUCH easier to re-stack for the next player. Just print out your theme graphics, cut to the height of your cans and wrap your clean cans with the graphics as if they were a label.

Tweaking this game to your theme is easy. Animal face graphics on the cans for a jungle or safari party. Cowboys hats for a cowboy party; aliens for a Star Wars or space party; Disney princesses for a princess party; pirates for a pirate party. You get the idea.

Obviously best played outside, you just need something to set the targets up on, and the baseball or tennis ball. A 2×4 stretched between 2 sawhorses works well. So does a card table or any other kind of table that can take a little abuse is it gets hit with the ball.

Check the throwing distance ahead of time with your own child to get a handle on what kids that age can do. Lay a rope on the ground or use a 2×4 or a yardstick or even just a line drawn with flour on the grass.

Give each child 2 or 3 throws, and score by how many cans get knocked over. Have either a helper re-stack after each throw or have the kids do it when they’re not throwing.

This game shows up at every carnival and midway because it’s fun, and your party kids will enjoy it. At no cost to you and no prep either, it’s one of the easiest games you can include in your next party.

The Bagel Snake

Bagel Snake

Photo from dailymail.co.uk “Mail OnLine”

Your party kids will love this healthful bagel snake, so thanks to Annabel Karmel at the Daily Mail Online for sharing it. He’s perfect for your animal party or jungle party or safari party, or just for fun at any party.

Cut your bagels in half in both directions and link them together to form the curves for your snake. Top with egg salad and tuna salad for the sandwich snake as pictured here. The garnish is cherry tomato halves and olives for the eyes and sweet red pepper for the forked snake tongue. Strips of fresh chive in an ‘x’ pattern adorn the body of the snake. Nothing difficult about this guy at all.

Top your snake with cream cheese for more of a snack snake instead of a sandwich snake. Or use peanut putter for a sandy-colored snack snake. Use a skewer to draw snakeskin patterns in your cream cheese/peanut butter. Still use the olives and pepper for the eyes and tongue.

Feel free to cut the bagel quarters into even smaller pieces if you want. Just still line them all up as shown into the curves for the snake body.

Present your bagel snake on something green to resemble the grass he slithers through. If you don’t have a green tray, get some green cellophane and cover a cutting board. Or, layer green construction paper on that cutting board and cover that with plastic wrap. Snipped parsley or chives add the perfect touch to this green background.

Party food that’s easy and fun and inexpensive; it makes your party prep that much easier for you.

Mouse Cakes

Here’s yet another cute animal faced cupcake for your next animal party or jungle party or safari party. Get those mouses out of the pantry and onto your party table!

No cake design skills needed here- these are easy. You can even use store-bought cupcakes and ready-made icing if you so choose. You’ll need some sturdy plastic bags like the zippered ones, chocolate sprinkles (jimmies), ‘Famous’ chocolate wafer cookies, little round snack cookies or chocolate cheerio shaped cereal, chocolate mini chips, black licorice, and small pink jelly beans.

For presentation at your party, do include the cheese for your mice, using yellow taffy and a pastry tip to cut out the ‘swiss’ holes. Array the mice cupcakes and the cheese on a platter so it looks like the mice are all going after the cheese, and the kids will love it.

As with any fancy finger food you make for your party, you can make more and send these cuties home with your guests as their take home kids party favors. Perhaps serve chocolate mice at the party and send white mice home.

Cupcakes are perfectly kid sized, and easy to decorate in creative ways to complement your party’s theme. Would you have guessed that mouse cakes would be so simple to make? And when you can start off with store bought cupcakes, it makes your party food that much easier and quick.

Elves, Wizards and Giants

TagHere’s a ‘run off some energy’ outdoor birthday party game that I never heard of that can be tweaked to work with many different party themes. That makes this a valuable addition to the potential repertoire of party games for many different types of parties for a variety of age groups.

As odd as it sounds, this is a combination of that old standby ‘rock-paper-scissors’, and tag. You need enough kids to make two teams and you need plenty of outdoor space for one team to chase the other into a ‘safe’ zone.

Going with the elves, wizards and giants format, start by having the kids all practice the signals that indicate whether they are elves, wizards or giants (hands up to form pointy ears making high pitched noises, hands out casting a spell saying abracadabra, kazaam, etc., arms up making booming, growling sounds – respectively). Of course, the teams could be different animals at your jungle or safari party, different alien species at your Star Wars or space party, enemy pirate bands at your party party, different vehicles at your cars party… you get the idea.

Make a big poster of the ‘rules’ and go over them with the kids. In this version, it’s Elves outwit Wizards, Wizards zap Giants, and Giants squish Elves. Adjust as needed for your theme.

Once all practiced, divide the kids into their two teams and have the two teams  ‘huddle’ to decide which of the three choices each team will be. Once all have decided, the two teams face off against each other a few feet apart.

Here’s the rock-paper-scissors part of the game: at “3-2-1” each team will reveal who they are with their hand gestures and accompanying noises, and the victors (as per the rules) chase the losers as they dash for the safe zone. Any loser tagged has to join the winning team, and the two teams repeat until everyone is all on one team. And by then, everyone will have run off some energy and had a bunch of fun.

Thanks to the princesspartygames blog for bringing this new and different addition to our party games resource for you.

Bird Masks

Bird Mask

Photo courtesy of pinkandgreenmama. blogspot.com

I’ve posted about the fun of mask making for birthday party crafts before, and here’s the proof– courtesy of the ever creative Mary Lea over at the Pink and Green Mama blog.

If you can find cheap, undecorated paper masks to give the kids to start with, good for you as I couldn’t find any on line that weren’t too expensive. However, you can make them easily yourself with plain paper for creating your template, scissors and posterboard or card stock for the final masks, and elastic to keep them on. Here’s a template you can start with. Play around with the size and the eyehole placment with your own child for proper sizing, get your template and then cut them out for your party guests. Attach the elastic to keep them on and they’re all ready for the kids to make their masks.

This mask has been decorated with bits of colorful tissue paper, a colorful triangular beak that you may have to help them with, feathers and jewel stickers around the eyes. If you’ve got it, bits of colorful felt would also work well.

Expect, or encourage, lots of bird calling. Bird dancing (i.e. freeze dancing) in full plumage will shake out some sillies. Have the kids play ‘floor concentration’ using bird graphics from the web (if they’re at least kindergarten age) – see “as a birthday party game” on this post for instructions to play this.

Bird masks are a perfect craft activity to add an avian component to your animal party, safari party or jungle party. And if you’ve got any other bird related games to add to the mix, please let people know about them here.

Getting Relatives Involved

CowboyI’ve suggested on many occasions that having Mom or Dad dress up relative to your child’s birthday party theme is a great way to become more a part of the celebration. Any pirate birthday, princess party, cowboy party, star wars party, an animal or jungle/safari party, or other character based party gives you the perfect opportunity to do this.

But how about passing that honor on to a special relative for this important occasion? This is a super way to involve that relative in your child’s life in a special and different way that will likely be remembered for a long time.

Grandparents specifically come to mind. The one in your family that’s most likely willing to act a bit like a kid themselves would be your most obvious choice.

Most grandparents have more time to put in to their costume than today’s crazy busy parents do. Send them up into their own attic or to the thrift store to put their outfit together.

Even better- both of you dress up for the party! Each a little differently, with your own unique styles. Have some fun yourselves doing this together.

If not a grandparent, then a favorite uncle or aunt.

Take a look at this grandma who drove some 70 miles in full pirate regalia to be part of her grandchild’s party. She certainly must have gotten quite a few stares as she drove by.

The whole point here is to give the chosen family member a special role to play in this birthday. Not babysitting, not surrogate parenting, not just helping out with the party- this is pure fun and relationship building for all involved.

The kids love to see the adults participating at their level, and dressing up puts you or Grandpa right there. Do you have any other ideas for actively including other family members in your birthday celebrations to help build those relationships? If so, please add them here.

Themed Cookie Cutters

Pirate Cookie CuttersThink the kids would enjoy a pirate ship shaped PBJ or skull and crossbones jello? This is a simple way to fancy up your birthday food food!

Party themed cookie cutters are available for various party themes– a pirate birthday party, a fairy party, a dinosaur party and with a marine life theme (think Sponge Bob party here), and many other themes as well, and all are reasonable priced. They’re an especially good bargain when you remember that these can be used to make fun shaped cookies anytime, not just use them once for the party and never touch them again.

Each set contains between 4 and 6 cookie cutters.

For the Pirate themed set it’s the skull and crossbones, pirate ship, treasure chest, a medallion and a pirate hat.

The Fairy set (really a princess party set) includes a frog, a frog prince, the castle, a tiara, a wand, a princess cone hat and princess shoe.

Dinos include triceratops, apatosaurus, stegosaurus and, of course, T-Rex.

The farm animals are cat, dog, lamb, cow, pig, duck and chick.

Noah’s Ark animals, perfect for an animal themed party, are horse, elephant, camel, giraffe, kangaroo, and pig.

The zoo animals are monkey, lion, zebra, giraffe and elephant.

The transportation set includes a race car, truck, train, airplane and motorcycle.

The Construction set (think Bob the Builder here) has a hardhat, saw, bulldozer, hammer, wrench and drill shapes.

There’s an insect set with butterfly, caterpillar, ladybug, dragonfly and bee shapes.

There may even be other sets– be sure to scroll through Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section. >[DISCLOSURE: If you make a purchase at Amazon through the link on this page, I make a commission from Amazon. Seems reasonable to me…..]

You can even turn your themed cookies into a party activity and a party favor– make lots of different colors of cookie icing, provide sprinkles etc, and let the kids decorate your themed cookies to eat and to take home. They can put the icing on with plastic knives- it’s pretty hard for them to hurt themselves with those. And if your birthday child is old enough, have some fun making the cookies together before the party.

Bring an extra smile to the kids faces by using these various cookie cutter sets to coordinate your party theme to your party food and snacks.

If you have other ideas for using themed cookie cutters to enhance your birthday party, please post them here for other parents to see. I just thought of one- trace the shapes onto paper for the kids to color and/or decorate as they wait for everyone to arrive at your party.