Safari Party—Song Invite—Age 7—Grand Prize Winner
Submitted by Carrie of Fort Lauderdale, Fl.

On the invitations, I drew a tree on both sides of a sheet of paper and stacked clip art images of safari animals on top of each other and peeking out from behind the trees. I took the lyrics from the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and changed a few words to fit it for the party. It went like this: Ee-e-e-oh-mum-oh-weh, Ee-e-e-oh-mum-oh-weh wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh. In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the little cubs play tonight, In the jungle, the exciting jungle, the little cubs play tonight. Ee-e-e-oh-mum-oh-weh, Ee-e-e-oh-mum-oh-weh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh.
Hush my darling, don't fear my darling. For the day is on it’s way.
Hush my darling, don't fear my darling. When the little cubs will play at (my son’s) 7th birthday.

I typed Happy Birthday and my son’s name in bold capitol letters, printed them out, cut circles around the letters and drew animal prints around the border. Then I punched circles at the tops to add twine to make a banner and hung it on top of the door.

The entrances to the house and each party room had brown crepe paper hanging very low so you had to push them out of the way like vines. I covered the walls with trees out of poster board with leaves made from plastic sheets on the trees and on the floor to make it look like a forest. I made animal cutouts and placed them around with stuffed animals.
I used a green tablecloth with a blue table runner that I cut from a tablecloth to represent a river and placed safari animals facing the runner like they were drinking from the river. My guests commented about how cute that was. The cake table had a grass skirt on it and plastic animals surrounding the cake.

We set up an “I Spy” game using features of animals and other wildlife that were placed on the trees. When a child recognized an animal by their feature, we told them to say “I spy a (name of animal). The features were: an elephant’s trunk, a monkey’s tail, a rhinosaurus’ horn, a tiger’s stripes, a leopard’s spots, a zebra’s stripes, a cheetahs’ spots, a lion’s mane, part of a gorilla’s face, part of a snake wrapped around a tree near the leaves so it was camoflauged, a giraffe’s neck with the giraffe towering over a tree and eating leaves so all they saw was its neck, and we had some blue plastic on the ground representing a river with a mouth of a crocodile, a snout of a hippopotamus, eyes of a frog, and then above the trees were a bat’s wing and an eagle’s wing.

Their favorite game was Act like an Animal relay race. I chose four animals that I thought would be easier enough to act out, but I allowed them to improvise if they wanted to. First, there was the tiger balance where they walked on 2 x 2 board the length of our room. Then the teams had to move back across the room slithering like a snake using their bellies. They had to fly like a bird by flapping their arms. Lastly, they came back by walking like a monkey with their hands on the floor.

The kids had an elephant relay race with the whole team racing together. Have everyone line up and have the first person bend at their waist, extend one arm out for the trunk and put the other arm through their legs for the tail. The next person behind them extends their arm to hold the first person and places their other arm through their legs. They continue until everyone on each team is linked together. Have them run across the room linked up.

We played Don’t Wake the Lion: I placed a large stuffed lion on the floor and laid it down. I placed a few inches of a string under the lion. They had to remove the “tail” very slowly as to not disturbing the lion by moving him. Since the lion is a little heavy, if they moved slowly enough, it would’t move, but if it did, I growled like a lion which made everyone laugh.

We played catch a tiger by its tail. The kids line up and each other’s hands. The first person on line was the head of the tiger ant the last kid was the tail. The head had to tag the tail and the tail used the other kids to protect him. When the tail was tagged, that person became the head.

Food: Pizza, hot dogs, veggies, fruit, chips, Cheetos and ice cream.

Cake: I made a safari landscape cake. I started by making grass using a multi-opening decorating tip and leaving space down the center for the river which I frosted blue. For mountains, I baked a cake in a glass bowl, covered it in chocolate, cut it in half and placed it on each end of the cake with the round side facing in. For trees, I colored marshmallows with green icing and stuck large pretzel rods in them. I placed animal figures around on the grass.