Jungle Party Guide

FREE decorating tips and recipe ideas to assist with your preparations

The invites - 
There are a few important decisions to be made before you send out your invitations
Date - It’s a good idea to check the proposed date and time with “key” friends before committing.

Time - It is important to state a starting time on the invitations. You may also wish to state a finishing time, especially if the event is held at a hired venue. Generally 2 to 3 hours is ample for children. You will generally find many younger children tend to get tired in the afternoon/evening so a morning party may be good for the little ones.

Location - You have a couple of basic choices with the most popular being “home” where you’ll have plenty of time to set-up and have all your supplies close at hand. The obvious disadvantage is, cleaning the house before and after the party, possible damage and space limitations. For children, nearby parks are nice because they’re usually free, with plenty of space to run around and usually have a play structure to entertain the kids. The downside is, having to haul the supplies to and from the park plus lack of privacy and overcrowding. Local indoor play centres are becoming more popular for little children and the best part is there’s no cleaning up afterwards.

Invitation Details - Remember to include on the invitation anything you may wish the guest to provide such as alcohol or a themed costume. If you plan on providing alcohol, make sure to add a footnote that guests should arrange alternative transport home, rather than driving. When sending out invitations, allow plenty of time. If sending out children’s invitations, allow plenty of time for guest’s parents to change their plans if necessary.
The golden rule for the party host is, don’t try and do everything on your own. Arrange for friends to help with the food and serving at the event. Alternatively you may choose to hire wait staff or have the whole event catered, allowing you to enjoy the celebration as much as everyone else.

The ambience - 
Before you start decorating the party area go to your local Discount Stores or Dollar Shops as they are affectionately known as and buy any items you can find with a Jungle theme. They can all be used to help decorate the party area. Also look out for tapes or CD’s that have jungle animal sounds. Make ‘Beware’ and ‘Turn Back Now’ signs on old pieces of wood nailed to trees along the drive/entrance. Decorate the party area inside or a porch or backyard to look like a jungle.
Wrap crepe paper around wire coat hangers and bend them to create jungle vines in various shades of brown and green hanging from the ceiling. Make large leaves from dark green cardboard and cut- outs of various life-sized jungle animals. If you’ve got some large pot plants bring them into the party area. Purchase a few large inflatable jungle animals along with stuffed animals to hang from the “vines”.
You can also use sheer blue curtains or material with fairy lights to create a waterfall and then dark blue crepe paper and green crepe paper to create the water and grass below.
For children’s parties take a bunch of huge boxes (ie. refrigerator and TV) and put them together to resemble caves and tunnels, all intersecting with various "exits". Then spray paint jungle vines and leaves all over the boxes and have silk vines/greenery hanging over the exits. Place more inflatable and stuffed jungle animals all around, in, and on the caves. The kids will have a ball pretending to be animals!!!

It's party time - 
Party games are a great way to teach children about winning, losing, fairness and luck. Keep each game relatively short to keep children interested and if they begin to appear irritable, move on to a new game. You should always be prepared for problems such as squabbles about who won or who got what prize, so be sure to explain the rules before games begin. While waiting for all the guests to arrive you could play ‘The Jungle Book’ movie, or similar, in the party room to settle everyone down.

Jungle safari hunt – Hide toy animals, animal shaped lollies and blow-up jungle animals throughout the party room and out into the yard for children to find. The children could either keep their find or substitute it for a small stuffed jungle animal to take home. Make the hunt more challenging for older children by making jungle tokens for them to find. Place one cartoon jungle animal sticker on neon cardboard and cut around it, leaving a small area of the neon showing. As each child finds a token, they turn it in and receive the inflatable jungle animal that matches the picture on their token.

Hiring themed amusements such as a turtle sandpit or crocodile teeter-totter from your local toy library are great ways to amuse smaller children for hours. For older children you could blow up a crocodile pool float and then take a photo of each child sitting on it pretending to wrestle just like the famous ‘Crocodile Hunter’.

Once the party begins you will generally find that younger children need constant supervision. Older children usually like to be left in peace at least some of the time during the party, only needing to be checked from time to time to make sure everything is all right. Remember to be vigilant around balloons. If they pop young children could choke on the rubber bits.

The eats - 
A great idea is to make a selection of jungle themed goodies to snack on. Snacks could include sandwiches cut with animal cookie cutters, spider cookies (using Oreos and chocolate dipped Chinese noodles), and crocodile eyeballs and guts (peeled grapes and pasta noodles cooked with a bit of oil). For animal feed combine 1 cup plain or assorted rice crackers, 1 cup banana crisps, 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut, 1 cup sultanas, 1 cup raisins, 2 cups toasted muesli, 4 cups fresh popcorn, 1 cup sunflower kernels and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl and mix well. Then place in containers for serving. Jungle Juice - In a large serving bowl, combine 850ml unsweetened pineapple juice, 3 cups apple juice and 450g can unsweetened crushed pineapple. Stir lightly to combine; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and just before serving, add 750ml chilled lemonade or dry ginger ale. Garnish with mint and sherbet around the glass rim. You could substitute orange and mango juice for apple juice.
Zebra Sandwiches – Spread 3 slices of white bread with butter and either vegemite or hazelnut spread. Stack slices, spread side up. Top with the unbuttered side. Press down gently. Using a sharp knife, cut crusts neatly from bread. Cut the stack in half to make rectangles, and then slice each rectangle crossways into four fingers. Then if desired, use animal shaped biscuit cutters to cut out sandwiches. Around the food tables you could hang signs saying ‘Please do not feed the animals’.
For small children, make sure to remove toothpicks, skewers and any other sharp objects from food before you serve it. Make sure an adult is in the room at all times in case a child chokes.

Dip the rim of each glass in lemon juice then add sugar or coconut before filling with sparkling drink however do not overfill the children with fizzy drinks, they have a nasty habit of erupting later leaving you a nasty mess to clear up.

Plan to include food and drinks for grown ups in case anxious parents stay or come to pick their child up early.

Try to serve at least a few types of healthy food. Make sure it looks colourful and appetising and you’ll probably find it will disappear in time. Try not to be over adventurous when planning the food as many children are picky eaters.

The party food shouldn’t be too hot as just-cooked food such as cheerio’s or sausage rolls can burn little mouths.

Cut the party cake into thin slices as most children will have had enough to eat by the time the cake comes around. You could wrap up the left over slices for children to take home in their loot bags.

The cake - 
Slithering Snake Ingredients - 250g dark chocolate melts, 250g milk chocolate melts, 250g white chocolate melts, 2 x (20x30cm) rectangular cakes, 2 quantities butter cream, 250g dark chocolate melted, caramel-brown food colouring, large white chocolate buttons, liquorice strap cut into thin strips, for outline & eyelashes, small black jellybean, halved for eyes, orange jube, cut for mouth

Follow the same instructions as loopy lion to make and cut out the snake shape. Beat melted dark chocolate into 2/3 of the butter cream. Ice head and body of snake. Reserve 2 tablespoons of any remaining icing; tint caramel-brown. Ice cake as shown and decorate with chocolate buttons and sweets for face.
Note – Recipe can be found within Family Circle edition of Kids Party Book

Other cake ideas below:-


Check List

Pick your party date and time   

Plan a menu and go grocery shopping so that you can make as much food as you can before the day and freeze   

Write out a final schedule of activities and games   

Arrange for help on the party day   

Order the cake   

Get exact guest numbers   

Buy remaining party food, film, batteries, candles and matches for cake, plus other incidentals   

Child proof the party area   

Take plenty of pictures to commemorate the special day   

Plan an after party nap for yourself   

Please remember, if you want the children to have a good party, plan it and keep it short and simple. Mishaps may occur so keep your sense of humour, even if not every aspect of the party goes off as planned. The most important part is to enjoy the day as you celebrate the life of your child.

Lastly, we’d love to receive a photo of your child’s “themed party” in action, to place on our website. Thank-you for including parties in packages in your special day and we wish you the best of luck with your themed party pack.