Kids Birthday Parties: Zoo Themed Party

Tips for throwing a theme bday bash for you children. Information on invitations, activities, refreshments and decorations.


Send invitations in the shape of a large, fake "ticket" that say: ADMIT ONE TO (name)'s BIRTHDAY ZOO PARTY. You can cut one out of construction paper and draw on it with a marker, or create it on a computer and print it out on colored card stock. Include the date, time and place.


Spray paint some old wrapping paper tubes and line them up against walls. If outdoors, Stake dowels in the ground and slide the tubes over it, stuffing newspapers or paper towels around the bottom to hold them up straight. These can be the "bars" for the zoo.

If you have the time and patience, get some large boxes appliance cardboard boxes and cut out a large front opening, and another small opening on the side or in the back. Tape the zoo bars vertically over the front opening and paint the box a bright color with the name of an animal across the top. The kids can play inside of them. Paint signs such as, "Zoo Path," or "Feeding Schedule," and place them around the area. Use stuffed and toy animals as part of the decorations by strategically placing them around the party area. Use yourself as a living decoration-- dress up as the zookeeper.


Make dressing up as an animal part of the party. As your guests arrive, provide them with party hats and construction paper cut out in different shaped ears (small round ones for mice or bears, long floppy ones for rabbits, big ovals for elephants, small pointy ones for cats or foxes, etc.). Let them chose, color and tape their ears to their party hat, or to a plain headband.

Paint your guests faces upon arriving to further help them become their favorite animal. If you really want to go all out on the costume theme, provide guests with cotton, old socks, mittens, tape, safety pins, and other scrap materials for them to make paws, claws or tails. Play games with animal themes, such as "Duck, Duck, Goose," "Leap Frog," or "Bear Hunt." If you can have real animals, such as a small animal petting zoo, a professional animal handler or pony ride, the kids will surely be delighted.


Provide a nice fruit salad and raw veggie platter with dip for the zoo animals to munch on. Ants on a log (large pretzel sticks smeared with peanut butter or cream cheese and sprinkled with raisins) will also be a hit with many species. Gelatin jigglers can be cut out to resemble fish. Make a trail mix with toasted oats cereal, raisins, popcorn, peanuts and a sprinkling of brown sugar and cinnamon. Place it in a large, trough-like bowl, or distribute individual "feed bags" (small, paper lunch bags). Make a cake in the shape of your child's favorite animal, or a log cake decorated with icing or sugar leaves, and infested with gummy worms.


Get sip cups in the shape of animals. Fill them little toys and gadgets such as key chains, coloring books, cards or games depicting animals. Add a small baggie of the "Animal Feed Trail Mix," some gummy worms or insect-shaped candy.

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