Sunday, June 12, 2011

A very crafty safari birthday!

Adrian and Niko are 1 year, 1 week and 1 day apart in age. This makes for a very busy and chaotic time at birthday time. This year we decided to have their classmate birthday parties together, to save on my stress level and on costs. Adrian was turning 5, and Niko was turning 6.

I have to tell you, my mom bought me a subscription to FAMILY FUN magazine last year and it was one of the best gifts she could give me. That magazine is just FULL of awesome ideas. We had planned on using a lot of the ideas from it to host an outdoor party for the boys. Problem was, though, the weather man started predicting severe thunderstorms for the day of their party! Ack! So the day before the party I started doing some major research on the Family Fun website and came up with a new game plan. One that would keep us all safe and dry in the house for the party. And then I commenced shopping.

We don't have a lot of money. Definitely not enough money to spend a ton on their party. We wanted them to have a BLAST. We wanted all the kids that came to comment on how awesome the party was, but we couldn't ring all the bells and whistles for them with a bounce house or a magician or anything like that. So I HAD to come up with some really cool things to do with these kids.

Another issue we had was that we couldn't do a cake and ice cream type of party. Due to my 2 boys having to be gluten free, plus other classmates that have gluten, peanut, tree nut, dye, fake sugar and preservative issues, I had to do something different. I decided we would do all fresh fruit. I knew that no one in either class had any allergies to fruit. So fruit and bottled water it was!
Here are the invitations that I made up on the computer and printed out on card stock ... and then cut them all out and sent them in to school with them.

I made one for Niko and one for Adrian. They were the same, except for picture and names.

And then I went shopping ...
Shopping list
1. 1 large foam board - white - $1
2. 3 large poster board - green - $1.50 total (.50 each)
3. 1 package black markers - $1
4. 1 package 4x6 assorted colors foam -$1
5. 1 package googly eyes - $1
6. 1 package paper lunch bags - $1
7. 2 packages birthday blowers - $2 total
8. 8 packages creepy crawly things (2 frogs, 2 lizards, 2 snacks, 2 bugs) $8
9. 3 packages bouncy balls - $3
10. 3 packages silly straws - $3
11. 2 packages pencils - $2
12. 1 package paper plates - $1
13. 1 package construction paper - $2
14. 1 package clothes pins - $2
15. 1 package raffia -$2
16. Different fruits - $40

Total-$71.50 (This would be much cheaper if you had just made a cake & had some ice cream).
1-12 I bought at the Dollar Tree.
13-16 I bought at Wal-Mart.

Okay... so here is the link to Family Fun's awesome Jungle expedition theme party. They even have great printables on there to help you out! I used them!

The first thing I made when I got home from shopping was the Trumpeting Elephants.

You'll need the birthday blowers (the birthday paper slides right off these).

You'll also need half of the package of the foam sheets. I used the pink, green and blue ones for the elephants.
Next, you'll want to take the template you can print from their website. I had to make this a little smaller than the one on the site, to be able to fit these 4x6" sheets.

Trace it onto the foam sheets and cut out.

Now cut an x in the three indicated spots.

Now thread your blower through the three holes. This is a side view.

Front view. I had the kids decorate the faces when they got to the party!
Ok... one thing done and ready to go for the party.

Ugh ... decorations! What was I going to do to decorate for this thing???
This is where the construction paper and the green poster board comes in. This is super easy, and super cheap!
First, follow the directions here and make these zig zag streamers. They are super fast and totally make the room look like it has jungle vines.
Then use the green poster board to draw big jungle like leaves on, cut them out and take them all around on the walls.

Next I worked on the foam & clothespin jungle animals.
I got the inspiration from Busy Bee Kid's Crafts.

You'll now use the rest of the foam sheets from earlier. So these ones were orange, yellow, and a reddish orange color.
Use the orange and cut out giraffe type shape. Yes, I do realize my giraffe looks more like a llama here. LOL

Use the yellow and cut out a lion head shape.

Use the orange-red and cut out a tiger head shape.
This was all I did to prep these for the party. During the party, though, I put out crayons, markers, and some paints to let the kids decorate them, and of course, googly eyes.

Here are a couple of the masterpieces, made by 5 & 6 year olds!

Another thing checked off the list.

The pinata ....
I used the idea from Family Fun magazine. Use their awesome printables to print out the tag for the bag. You'll need a paper bag for this. None of the stores around me uses them anymore, but in Wal-Mart over by the ice cream, they have paper bags for you to put your ice cream in. They are free. I used one of those and just turned it inside out so you couldn't see the printing.

I filled the pinata with tons of little toys that I picked up from the Dollar Tree. We couldn't fill it with candy, due to food allergies. Here is where I used the creepy crawly creatures, silly straws, pencils, bouncy balls, etc. Tape on the print out from the website, and then tie it up with raffia.
At the party we tied the pinata up to the basketball hoop and let the kids take a baseball bat to it! This was a huge hit with the kids. Haha .. pun intended!


Oh ... and as you can fully see, the weatherman was WRONG and it was GORGEOUS outside!
Phew! One more activity crossed off the list.

Another prep item I did up, was made a goody bag for every child that RSVP'd. I didn't fill the bags, because they would be filled up during the party from the pinata. But here is how I did them. Print out labels from Family Fun.
Tape the labels to the front of a brown paper lunch bag after you put the child's name on it.
Tape some raffia onto the back. Leave the ties open, so you can tie it up before they go home with their pinata goodies and their crafts in it.

A small and super quick craft you can do with the kids, is this hanging snake.

Last, and certainly not least, I decided to do a "Pin the tail on the Zebra" game with the kids. Here I took the thick foam board that I bought at the Dollar Tree, and drew a Zebra (missing it's tail) onto it. You can find some cool pics of zebras online that you can use to help you sketch up one on your foam board.
We used finishing nails to put it up on the wall. I then took some black yarn and braided it. We used push pins and let the kids try to pin the tail onto the zebra!

And here is a pic of the fruit set up with some label print outs from Family Fun! Grapes were Snakes eyes. Canteloupe cut into triangles was Crocodile Teeth. Kiwi was Beetle wings. The kids loved it all!
The party ended up turning out wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. I was pleased with the amount of children that showed up, the amount of money I spent, and the amount of happiness I saw on my boys' faces during the party!

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