Mini Safari

About:

This is more of decoration than a full blown party activity. If you have a lot of large African animal decorations or your child has a lot of African stuffed animals, then this activity will work well. It will take about 45 minutes to an hour to complete the project. This project will cost about $4 to set up if you have most of the materials already described.

Materials Needed:

  1. 4-5 different animals
  2. tables to set the animals on
  3. wrapping paper such as a cloud wallpaper to use as a backdrop

Instructions:

Start the kids on one side of the safari zone. Have them go slowly through and pretend that they’re on safari. If you need to buy extra time, have the kids “parade” down the safari later on in the party.

Savannah Games – Birthday Party Game

About:

This series of games was inspired by Disney’s show “The Lion Guard.” It’s kind of like the Savannah meets the Olympics. The kids can play the games without giving away prizes to the winner of the activity, which would be best for toddlers. Older kids would appreciate having someone win a prize of some sort for each game. It may entertain the kids for 45 minutes. You can use materials around the house for most of the activities.

Materials Needed:

  1. A stopwatch or a phone with a stop watch.
  2. A table with each child’s name as a row and a column for the winner of Fiercest competition, 2 slots for the Fastest competition, and 1-3 slots for the winner of the keenest of sight competition.
  3. A cone or cones made out of construction paper
  4. tape
  5. 2 step stools
  6. a broom or swiffer
  7. a set of cones to dodge around
  8. a limbo set or something like a limbo set
  9. something to droop down like a party streamers or cut wrapping paper
  10. An object (or 3) that would be out of place in Africa
  11. Optional: 5 different awards

 Instructions:

Each activity should have its own labeled space. The games should be held outside. Hand out the prizes at the end.

The Fiercest

No one can be fierce without a good roar. Use either a cone or a cone made out of construction paper to amplify the roar. The kids should clap after each roar. Each child gets two tries. The kid that gets the most applause should win the fiercest event. Record that child’s name down on a table.

The Fastest

A simple sprinting contest should be held to determine who the fastest is. Label a yard or use a yard stick to make a space for sprinting. This is the minimum distance. Have the kids line up and run the distance one at a time. Each kid should run twice and you should mark down each run of each kid on a table.

The Strongest

The strength test requires a wagon (real, toy, or a creative wagon such as a toddler ride on toy). You should put some things in the wagon to make it appear heavy. Use the area in reverse of the fastest test to see who can push the wagon to the end the fastest. Don’t make the wagon too heavy! Mark down who pushed the cart over faster on the table.

The Bravest

The bravery test requires the most set up and creativity. It is a mini obstacle course with 3 main obstacles. You can switch up the order in which you want to put the 3 mini challenges or substitute your own. These are merely suggestions. Only let one child go at a time.

Obstacle 1 is a jump consisting of 2 step stools and a long stick or a cleaning appliance with a long handle such as a broom or a Swiffer. Tell the kids that its a log that they have to jump over.

Obstacle 2 is a series of cones that the kids have to weave in between. The cones represent a zebra herd. You cannot disturb a single zebra.

The last obstacle takes some setting up. You’ll need a limbo stick set-like structure, tape, and either wrapping paper shredded into long, thin strands that hang down, party streamers,or something similar. The idea is that a child is walking under the vines and snakes to get to the other side. The kid with the shortest time should be the winner of the activity.

The Keenest of Sight

This is a real-life what’s wrong with this picture game. Hidden amongst your African-themed decorations you should hide a medium or small object that is out of place. If you play another two or three rounds of it, you should change the out of place object and the location each time. Mark down the winner each time.

To give out awards or not…

If you’re not going to give out awards, then you should still make the final announcement of the games: everyone, I showed the Lion Guard the numbers and they made all of you honorary members of the Lion Guard today.

If you are going to give out awards, then you should can give the kids any prize you want to. You can give them mini, stuffed versions of the characters, give them certificates, or a ribbon.

DIY Crawl Through Princess Castle

About:

The inspiration for this craft came from a very memorable sleepover from when I was 12 years old. After my parents dropped me off at my friend’s house for her sleepover birthday party, her parents escorted me upstairs to an old, cleaned out playroom  where they had created a 300 square foot cardboard box maze. They told me that the box maze was a tradition. Apparently, their daughter’s third birthday coincided with the family moving into their new home. The parents had taped the moving and appliance boxes together to create a maze and it was a big hit. The guests were disappointed the one year that the parents tried to retire the box fort. In other words, if you do this party activity, make sure that you do this only once.

Don’t worry if you don’t have 300 square feet to put a castle. I’ve got some plans for you to make the right sized castle for your princess. Having the girls crawl through the castle is great entertainment while you’re waiting for everyone to show up for the party.

Château Rose

This pink princess design is for ages 2-5. The approximate cost of the activity is $66. This project will take hours to complete. The castle size is 66 inches (Length) by 54 inches (Width) by 40 inches or 48 inches in height depending on whether you use a medium sized box or a small box.

Materials Needed:

  1. 4 XL boxes
  2. 1 Large box
  3. 6 Medium or Large boxes
  4. 1 box cutter
  5. 2-3 rolls of duct tape
  6. 2 cans of pink spray paint (but you can make it whatever color you want) or use tempora paint if you have enough patience

Instructions

Label each box as a part in the castle. Any thick line in the photo below indicates the you shouldn’t cut a crawl space there. Draw a child-sized arch entrance  for every skinny line and use a box cutter to cut it out . Once all of the holes are cut, you should tape the boxes together tight. Remember, this has to survive a little kid!

You can spray paint the boxes now or after you duct tape them together.

IMG_8221

It may seem as though you have 2 extra boxes. Use these to create 2 towers above the XL boxes. If have extra cardboard, then you can create decorative features.

IMG_8222

Group Yoga for a Party

About:

This idea would work well for a spa party. All you need is enough slightly padded space for the children to stretch out on and a good yoga video/DVD. If you have a TV that is connected to Youtube, then you can just use a Youtube video that you found. You should watch it beforehand to make sure that it is appropriate for the children. Kids will be entertained for the duration of the video.

Needed Materials:

  1. A soft carpet, enough yoga mats for all of the children at the party, or tumbling mats.
  2. An easy or kid-friendly yoga video

Volcano Jumper Sprinkler Game

About:

This is an outdoors, Polynesian-inspired  game to play in a yard space. The parents should have been told to have their kids arrive in a bathing suit, a towel, and a change of clothes. It will cost about $23 to buy all materials unless you already have them. The game may take 15 minutes to play one round. If you try it, please comment below to let us know how it went!

Materials Needed:

  1. whirling sprinkler head with a hose or a melnor sprinkler head and a controllable water source
  2. 2 pool noodles or 4 cones to create bases
  3. 2 adults:
    • one to turn the sprinkler on every 15 seconds, 45 seconds, and then one minute and repeat pattern. You could also just randomly turn the sprinkler head on as long as you don’t have a visual of the children.
    • one to supervise the children

The Story/ Instructions for the kids

We’re in Hawaii and have been challenged to jump the volcano. You can only jump one person at a time and we have to get everyone across before we jump back to the other side. There are only two jumpable edges of the volcano here (behind the first pool noodle) and here (behind the other pool noodle). You have to make it over booth pool noodles and the sprinkler to be considered safe. If you aren’t safe then you are out.

This is an active volcano and we don’t know when it can blow. If you’re hit with the lava (water), then you’re out until we start again. You have to come sit or stand by me. Let’s start!

Spa Nails

About:

This is a must-do activity for any spa party. The mini nail salon is good for tween-agers and teens. It will last about 45 minutes and may cost around $45 to buy all materials.

Materials Needed:

  1. Nail polish (3 polish colors)
  2.  fans
  3. a base coat
  4. an upper coat
  5. optional: nail stickers

Instructions:

First of all, make sure that all of the girls have clean nails that don’t already have nail polish on them. If they are wearing nail polish, then you should help them take it off using nail polish remover to make sure that the nail polish remover doesn’t accidentally spill and ruin something.

You should set up the table with a disposable table cloth in labeled stations: water soak, base coat, nail polish, driers, stickers, and top coat . It is best to stagnate the kids so that no more than 3 kids are waiting to go to any station other than the drying station.

The first station the kids should go to is the water soak station.  This station should consist of two to three tiny bowls. Add marbles to the bottom of the tiny bowls to make it fancy. Have the kids soak their fingers for about 30 seconds and then have them dry their fingers using paper towels or regular towels.

The second station should be the the top coat station. Each girl should apply their own top coat and then wait 1 minute before moving onto the next station.

The next station is for putting on nail polish. You should have at least 3 different nail polish colors available for the girls to choose from. Have them paint 1-2 coats and then sit in front of the fan(s) for about 10 minutes.

When the nails are mostly dry, you can have them move onto the nail sticker station or the top coat station. The nail stickers are often hard to get off, so they may need help to take off the stickers and put them on. Put the top coat on next and then have the girls go back to the fans. The nails  should be fully dry in 20 minutes.

Pirate Reef Scavenger Hunt

About:

This is a scavenger hunt for elementary school kids who can read. It should take about 15 minutes to complete as long as each spot of the scavenger hunt has been spread out across a wide space (such as from one side of the house to another or extending into the backyard). An adult should set up each of the 5 stations and place a bucket or pirate’s chest full of a prize such as chocolate coins or mardi gras beads around the house and leave a typed  clue at each location. This activity costs as about $12 for a dozen kids plus the price of ink and paper. A parent should read the story (below) to set the tone and follow the kids in case they need help to figure out the clues. Leave a comment below to let me know what you thought of this activity or let me know how it went if you tried it out at your own party.

Needed Materials:

  1. A Printer to print images:
    • Brain Coral
    • Long-spined Sea Urchin
    • Yellow Tube Sponge
    • Lion Fish
    • Blue Angel Fish
  2. scissors to cut out images
  3. Poster putty or tape
  4. A bucket
  5. Enough of prize for all of the party guests such as:
    • plastic pirate coins
    • chocolate gold coins (gelt)
    • mardi gras beads

The Story:

One of Blackbeard’s crew members fell asleep while guarding the booty! Arg! A big wave hit the side of the ship and the coins fell overboard. Arg! He was startled when he found out he was sleeping next to an empty treasure chest. He took a dingy (a small boat) out to find the treasure, but he couldn’t retrieve the treasure because he can’t swim. He needs all of you (the children) to help him out. He wrote down some spots where the treasure may be. Let’s go help him!

Here is his first clue (image of brain coral): I saw a coral under water. It would look like brain to anyone who sought her.

The second clue (image of a long-spined sea urchin): If you touch this animal it’ll hurt, so if you’re near it, stay alert.

The third clue (image of a yellow tube sponge): The sink sponges are like a square, but this sponge is shaped like a tube with flair.

The fourth clue (image of a lion fish): This fish has stripes and poisonous spikes. It’s a pretty fish until it strikes.

The fifth and final clue (image of a blue angel fish): This fish has fins like an angel’s wings and under him is a treasure fit for a king.