Best for: Ages 1 to 3
Send your littlest guests out on a sweet safari—indoors or out.
- A dozen small, plastic animals (lions, monkeys, snakes, etc.)
- A safari ‘guide’ (read: willing parent or older sibling)
- A large space
- Two empty toilet paper rolls (per guest)
- Stickers, crayons or washable markers
- Optional: toy binoculars (as an alternative)
How to Play:
- Begin by taping two toilet paper rolls together to create binoculars. Do this in advance of the party for all the rolls so that you have ‘binoculars’ for each of the guests
- Half-hide the animals in different areas in the backyard (or in the house). Try exploring different levels—put the lion in the grass, but perhaps the monkey could go in a tree branch or house plant, etc.
- Let the kids decorate their binoculars before the safari begins. The safari guide can have some fun hyping up the experience by talking about the animals they are going to see.
- Start by journeying to one spot, then get the kids to use their binoculars and identify the animal. Ask (or share) some fun details about the animal, or get the kids to mimic the animal’s sound or movement (roaring for lions).
- Move through all the animals then have the safari end with a snack.
Good to Know: For older kids, it’s fun to have them walk from animal to animal mimicking the way the previous animal walks—so if they just saw a lion, have them lope and roar to the next animal, etc.
Your little monkeys will have to hold on tight in this variation of musical chairs.
- Fun jungle-themed music
- A large space for kids to move around
- Yellow construction paper (amount of sheets depends on amount of guests) cut into bunches of bananas
How to Play:
- Place the bananas around on the floor in a random pattern.
- Put the music on. The kids then have to dance around like crazy monkeys. When the music stops, they quickly have to run and stand on one of the banana bunches.
- Put the music back on and remove a couple of the banana bunches. Stop the music again. The kids have to help each other get on the remaining bunches. If a player cannot manage to stand on one of the bunches, he or she is out.
- The game ends when there is only one bunch left on the floor. The players who manage to remain on the bunch win the game.
Good to Know: This game is especially fun if you can really encourage the kids to try and help each other stay on the bunch. You don’t have to end the game with just one bunch in this case—but with a few bunches so that all the kids manage to win.
Let the kids unleash their animal behaviour in this variation of charades.
- Pictures of various jungle animals—either magazine images or animal names written on cards
- A hat or bag to hold the images/cards.
- A timer
How to Play:
- Divide the players into two teams. Ask one player from each team to come up and draw an image/card from the hat and look at it secretly.
- Start the timer. The designated players return to their teams and begin to act out the animal they have chosen—without sound. The first team who guesses what animal their designated player is pretending to be wins the round.
- Continue playing until each guest has a chance to be the designated player at least once.
- The team with the most winning points wins.