Animal Party Ideas
When you attend hundreds of children’s birthday parties each year, you get to see the best of the best. Here are some great ideas for a successful animal themed children’s party. Send me your animal party ideas to share with other party planning parents!
And, read even more great party ideas:
Animal Party Theme Ideas
- Jungle Party
- Rainforest Party
- Crocodile Hunter Party
- Reptile Party
- Safari Party
- Bug Party
- Ladybug Party
- Dinosaur Party
- “Lions, Tigers and Bears – Oh, My!” Party
- “It’s a Jungle in Here!” Party
- Zoo Party
Animal Party Agenda
The perfect animal party is scheduled for 2 hours:
0:00-0:30 – Guests arrive, have an organized craft or adult-led games waiting for them
0:30-1:15 – Quiet, sit-down wildlife education program
1:15-2:00 – Meal (if serving one), cake, presents, party favors and back out-the-door!
Please, NEVER allow the guests to “just play” indoors or outdoors during the 30-minute arrival time—it turns the party into an unenjoyable, chaotic event. Bounce houses are the worst for this and, invariably, someone always gets hurt in the excitement. Give yourself, your guests, the adults in attendance, and the wildlife educator, a big break by offering a calming craft project or adult-led organized games (see ideas below) before show time. Keep the party kids focused and having fun and your party will be remembered fondly for years to come.
Animal Party Invitations
High Tech Invitations – Be a high-tech party planner and send your invitations via e-mail! Use the free invitation and RSVP service at www.evite.com. Tons of cute graphic themes and your guests all RSVP with the click of a button. And, it’s super easy to notify guests if a date changes or bad weather changes your party plans.
Animal Crackers – Type up your invitations and slide them into un-opened boxes of animal crackers. Deliver the treat as your invitation!
Spiral Snakes – Select a snake-like paper (or any colored paper will do) and print party information within an eight-inch circle. Cut out the circle, taking care to include all party information. [Hint: Print one invitation and cut. Then, adjust printed information as necessary.] On the outside of the circle, cut a rounded snake-like head, tapering in and cutting a spiral towards the center of the circle. At the center, cut the spiral to a point to create a tail. Trim the spiral area above the snake’s head as needed. Glue a red yarn tongue and two goggle eyes (available at craft stores) on the snake’s head. Mail them flat. When the guest lifts the snake’s head, the rest of the body will uncurl!
Animal Noses – For another type of invitation, go to your local party or costume store and buy rubber animal noses. On animal stationary, write all of the party info and attach the animal noses and hand deliver to your guests. Make sure to tell everyone to come to the party wearing their noses!
Animal Party Decorations
It’s a Jungle in Here – As the children enter, give them safari hats and plastic compasses.Create a jungle atmosphere with lots of foliage, artificial or real. Hang stuffed monkeys from the branches of trees. Use lots of potted plants and trees real or artificial (borrow extras from friends & neighbors). Arrange stuffed animals next to large plants. Use green streamers, jungle print balloons, and construction paper snakes (see invitation instructions above) or plastic snakes hanging in corners, from doors and from the center of the party area. Add bunches of bananas and toy jeeps. Use butterfly or fish net swags around tables and across the room as you would with crepe paper. Place little plastic bugs in the netting to make it appear as if the kids are on safari, catching critters.
Jungle Table – Use animal print fabrics and inexpensive natural burlap as table drapes and chair covers. Use jungle print plates and napkins and bananas labeled with each guest’s name as place cards. Use Snake Cake (below) as a centerpiece.Throw animal crackers as confetti all over the table as part of the look, as well as a tasty snack for hungry children.
Jungle Sounds – Play animal or rainforest sounds as background sound effects.
Elephant Walk – Use chalk to draw big animal footprints on your driveway, sidewalk and patio.
Special Animal Gift Ideas
In Lieu of Presents – Have just too many presents each year? How about asking your guests to forego another toy purchase –ask them to bring an item for a needy local no-kill animal shelter instead. You and the birthday child will then have the joy of delivering lots of much needed items to a shelter of your choice. Here are some local DFW no-kill shelters who have lots of donation ideas on their wish-lists: Operation Kindness, Humane Society’s Dog & Kitty City, DFW Humane Society, East Lake Pet Orphanage, and Lexee’s Legacy.
Adopt An Animal – Bring a very special gift to an animal-loving child. “Adopt an Animal” from one of the international conservation associations and they’ll send you an adorable adoption package, including a stuffed animal and adoption certificate. And, the proceeds go directly to support wildlife efforts around the globe. Here are some great adoption options: The National Wildlife Foundation, The World Wildlife Fund, and Defenders of Wildlife.
Animal Party Food
Swamp Juice – Turn green Gatorade into a steamy swamp! After you’ve poured a glass, add a few Pop Rock candies. It will crackle, pop and spit when it hits the punch. Awesome!
Ladybug Sandwiches – Take sandwich bread, remove the crusts and cut into to circles with a round cookie cutter. Spread a light coating of butter to one side of bread circles. On half of the bread circles add peanut butter. Top these with another bread circle, then add about 2 teaspoon of red jam or jelly and spread over the top of the bread. Cut raisins in half and place them around on the top of sandwich to resemble a ladybug. Add some cucumber sandwiches to resemble leaves. Cut sandwich bread in rounds or leaf shapes; lightly cover each round with butter or 1 teaspoon of whipped cream cheese, or cheese spread. Top each round with a thin cucumber slice.
Jungle Sandwiches – Use cookie cutters to make animal-shaped finger sandwiches.
Monkeys on a Stick – Push a craft stick into a peeled banana. Coat the banana in dipping chocolate or peanut butter and roll in peanuts or chocolate sprinkles. Freeze and serve. (Beware of peanut allergies.)
Animal Cookies – This is a popular treat that can be made using any sugar cookie dough recipe and animal cookie cutters. The kids would have fun decorating their own cookies at the party, too.
Ants on a Log – Wash celery and cut it into pieces (about 5 inches long). Spread peanut butter or cheese spread (get the type in a can with the nozzle) on the celery, from one end to the other. Press raisins into the top. You might want to make both types in case you have kids who are allergic to peanuts.
Worm Sandwiches – Cut hot dogs into slices lengthwise and boil or microwave until the slices curl like wiggly worms. Serve on hamburger buns.
Pizza Snakes – Simply roll out the refrigerated pizza dough in the form of a snake you want. Add pizza sauce, toppings, and an olive for the eye. Bake at 425°F for 6-8 minutes.
Animal Party Cakes
The following recipes are from Disney’s Family Fun website or the Betty Crocker website. Clicking on the links for baking instructions opens a page from one of those websites in a new window.
|Bug Mountain Cake
Local ordering Instructions
|Slippery Snake Cake
|W is for Worms Cupcake
|Groundhog Day Cupcake
|Daddy Longlegs Cupcake
Animal Party Games
Dinosaur Dig (ages 3-5) – The perfect game for a sandbox. Hide a bunch of small plastic dinosaurs in the sandbox and let your guests dig through the sand in search of those elusive dinosaurs.
Safari Hunt or Bug Hunt or Crocodile Hunter Game (ages 3-5) – Hide lots of plastic animals throughout your yard or house and let the children hunt for as many as they can find. For the bug hunt, give each child a bug keeper as a party favor and let them store their bugs in it.
Find Your Animal (ages 3-5) – Each child has to bring his/her own stuffed animal. Put all of the animals together to make one big pile of animals. Then one-by-one, blindfold each child and have them try to find their animal. Give each child who chooses the correct animal a prize!
Bug Says or Crocodile Says or Monkey Says (ages 3-7) – The players get into a circle and fulfill the commands of the leader. But they must fulfill only those commands which begin with the word “Bug”. For example: “Bugs, squat!” “Bugs, link your arms!” If a command is given like “Stand apart!” without Bugs being said before it and a player follows the command, they are out. The player who stays in the game the longest is the winner.
Spider Crawl (ages 3-7) – Individual race or team relay. Have the children get into the spider crawl position and have them race through a course or a set area.
Animal Tag (ages 3-7) – As in classic tag, everyone runs around avoiding “It.” When a player is tagged, “It” assigns them an animal. For example, “You’re a monkey,” or a camel or an elephant or a parrot. The tagged person must stand where he is and act like that animal until another player tags (frees) him or the game ends. The game is over when everyone has been tagged.
Musical Animal Acts (ages 3-7) – A fun variation of musical chairs. When the music stops, the guest without a chair must pick the name of an animal out of a hat and must act it out as the other guests guess what it is. Repeat until all the animals have been acted out.
Peanut Push (ages 3-7) – Ask guests to pretend they are elephants and push a peanut across the floor with their noses. For older kids, this could be a relay game.
Animal Sounds Contest (ages 3-13) – Have your guests stand in front of the group and make their best animal noises. For older kids use a panel of judges to later award prizes for the best, longest, shortest, loudest, quietest, most obnoxious, silliest, least like an animal… until everyone wins and has a good laugh in the process!
There’s a Monkey on My Back (ages 6-13) – Pair up your party guests and put a sticker of an animal on each child’s back. Have the guests try to guess what their animal is by asking only yes or no questions of their partner. For example, “Do I have legs?” and “Am I green?”
Jungle Charades (ages 6-13) – Download pictures of jungle animals and glue them on index cards. Have guests take turns choosing a card and acting like the animal while others guess.
Jungle Knots (ages 6-13) – This game will tie your guests up in knots! Instruct your guests to stand in a circle facing inward. Everyone extends their right hand into the ring and takes hold of someone else’s hand. Then, do the same with their left hands. The object of the game is to see if they can untangle the “knot” by stepping over, ducking under people or turning around. Whatever happens, they can’t let go of hands!
Animal Facts (ages 6-13) – Make a list of animal facts with true/false answers and see who can get the most correct answers.
Animal Face Painting
There are face painters in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who do a great job painting animal faces as a treat for your guests. I can recommend Miss Sharon’s Face Painting at www.facepaintingandballoons.com, 817-329-1659.
Animal Party Crafts & Favors
Environmentally Friendly Party Favor – One of the coolest and most environmentally-friendly party favors is to give each guest a container of live ladybugs (you can find them at your local feed store or garden center in the spring or summer) and instruct your guests to release them into their yard when they get home. A natural and fun predator that will eat all their garden’s aphids!
Mail Order – Oriental Trading Company has a broad selection of inexpensive animal theme costumes, craft projects, novelties and party supplies.
Local Shopping – U.S. Toy/Constructive Playthings has the best party favors in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. There is an entire aisle of animal themed items alone! Located at the Plaza Parkway Shopping Center, northwest corner of West Parker Road and Independence Parkway, Plano, 972/964-8600.