We decided to use what we’ve got for Kooks’s second birthday party. We invited a couple of families from town and had a beautiful picnic by the river. The kids had a great time splashing around so we didn’t have to come up with too many additional activities, but we did do a few things to make the safari party extra special.
The kids each received an animal mask. I printed these off, laminated them, and duct taped a craft stick to the back. The monkey mask is from First Palette, the leopard from Color Me Good, and the rest from Sparkle Box. Sparkle Box actually has a set of eight jungle and safari masks you can print off but I only wanted to use animals that we have in this reserve, so I didn’t use the chimp, tiger, cheetah, or panda. We also don’t have lions but the first four will arrive in August so I made an exception there. All of the masks with the exception of the leopard can be printed as coloring pages. I thought it would be fun for the kids to color their own masks but in the end printed the color option because I didn’t think we’d be able to get the kids out of the river long enough to work on a craft. It was a good move because they would definitely have been destroyed if they hadn’t been laminated.
We had the monkey cake that we have been talking about for months. The design for this was really easy to follow and can be found at Parenting. The only change I made was with the ears. I couldn’t get chocolate covered doughnuts so I used sugar cookies stuck on top of cupcakes. Since I was making the cookies anyway I made some number twos to use for the inside of the ears. One mistake I made was using too much red food coloring to get the color for the mouth. It takes very, very little to tint the icing. The first color I mixed looked more like a baboon’s bottom so had to redo that step.
For lunch I provided the pieces and the kids made their own lion sandwiches. Ours were peanut butter and honey with Jelly Tot eyes, a jellybean nose, and mouth pieces cut from chocolate Twizzlers. This idea came from SnackPicks.
For take home favors we gave out these pretty notebooks that are handmade out of recycled paper here in Malawi. We printed free jungle animal labels from Print This Today and pasted them to some green card where we wrote our message, “field notes – record everything!”
I had originally planned to put the label on the front but the books were so pretty I decided to paste them inside the front cover instead.
We also gave out DIY play dough dung. These have the same labels as the notebooks but they read, “make your own dung – go wild!” Look here to find out how we made them.
Kooks got to go on a game drive, hang out with her friends, eat cake, and play in the river which is her very favorite thing to do. All in all her second birthday party was a smashing success.