This little girl turns 5 this week and last Saturday we celebrated with a Jungle Safari Style Birthday bash.
Since we got back from Utah on Monday and had the party on Saturday, I did a lot of planning while out of town--this was not ideal. But thanks to evite and Amazon I was able to pull it off. Initially we had rented a bouncy house and we're going to have the safari outside because SAFARI'S ARE OUTSIDE but rain was predicted for the whole weekend, so inside the party came. And honestly, it was great. Simple and homey, but great. Everyone had a blast--especially the birthday girl.
My recipe for a successful at home birthday party is as follows:
--1 crafty activity
--1 main activity
--1 game--usually pin the tail on the something
--If there is any lull or you need to buy yourself some time, turn on some music and dance!
--Also, we often have pinatas (here and here), but didn't have time to get one together. Sad face.
The decorations were pretty simple...lots of jungle leaves from Amazon and some butterflies picked up at Ikea.
Also, I have to say ever since getting my Silhouette Cameo custom party decor is a lot easier. I'm not getting paid to say any of this (I should be) but seriously, I love that little machine. It has made so many things easier in my life--from parties to a wallpaper hack it's amazing. All the little leaves you see on the cake and on the bunting above I made with my Silhouette Cameo.
For the craft the kids decorated safari hats. Simple, mess free and engaging for boys and girls. Using these safari hats, I got some jungle animal stickers, foam alphabet letter stickers, stickable gems, and couple different kinds of tape like this zebra tape.
Then the main activity was our Safari Treasure Hunt! The saga was that the jungle animals (aka these inflatable zoo animals) had stole the party favors and the only way to get them back was to follow the clues and find the animals! Each animal was hidden in a different spot around the house--see how this could have been really cool outside?--and when you found the animal you also found another clue, until the last animal was found with all the party favors! Yay! The fact that I'm a little bit of a ham and can be rather over-the-top with kids sorta helped make this seem really exciting. And Lamp, she screams a lot. So that helped too.
It was at this point I was a little nervous that we didn't have enough games/activities and we had a little dance break. It was just two songs, but one of the best parts of the party. Then we pinned the tail on the zebra, sang happy birthday, ate some good food and opened presents. That was it. So simple, but so fun. And just for the record, "simple" still takes a hellauva lot of work.
Two things that I always want to remember: 1--It's like this, every day I forget that I have a daughter with special needs and everyday I remember I have a daughter with special needs. So a few times throughout the party I would see my big girl sitting at the table eating lunch with her friends, or surrounded by her friends while she opened presents and I just didn't want to take those normal moments for granted. Not too long ago there was a time I wasn't sure we would have normal birthday party moments with this girl, and because we still dance between typical and atypical on the daily, I dunno...those little moments just mean a lot to me. 2--When Lamp asked me why I was up so late, I told her that I was up working on her party in a no-big-deal sort of way. You know because it is no big deal, it's just part of the parent gig we sign up for. Completely unprompted Lamp said, "Thanks mom. Thanks for staying up and working on my party."
Done. Paid in full. Totally worth it and then some baby girl.
"You're so very welcome." I said and a great birthday party went down in the books.
In the afternoon we headed downtown to a fun park and it was the perfect end to a perfect (birth)day.