A batch of birthdays (seven to be exact!) descends upon us in mid August and doesn't depart until the 13th of September, politely leaving us perennial party-people plenty of time to prepare for another priority...Halloween! Thank you, birthday bunch! We couldn't have planned it any better!
This event began with Bree's sweet little voice on the other end of the phone, sometime in April, I believe. "Grandma? Can you help me with my birthday party this year? I want lots of animals! I think maybe a safari!"
The wheels begin to spin that moment. Mommies, daddies, aunties, uncles and grandparents - a virtual ant farm family - set to scurrying about with ideas and contributions, determined to make a soon-to-be-five-year-old the day of her dreams. It's team work, of course, that gets things done - but Safari Camp Central is always mommy's desk. That's where assignments originate and return to pass inspection. Bree describes her wishes here and mommy moves to make them all come true - with astonishing success!
Our safari is no ordinary event. Wild animals agree to gather amicably to be searched for, petted, and toted home for long-time loving. Nana, Bree's paternal grandma, contributed invitations that serve as passports to the fun. When guests arrive, they "scooch" under the welcoming arch that graces the front porch. Hmmm. Which hoarder of cardboard boxes do you suppose built that party prop?
You can build an inviting entry for any event with stacked columns of covered boxes flanking one long, skinny topper (or a group of smaller boxes glued firmly together.) Decorate generously to hide the seams. Easy going; epic results!
Safari kids - the birthday girl and her 16 guests, munch first on lunch. Bree's backyard hosts an ideal setting; woods, a pond, and an adjoining grassy plain provide perfect habitat for lions, tigers, elephants and more. We're fueling for a grueling expedition!
By the time we've eaten, daddy has transported the arch to our safari entry point. We sport the proper headgear as well as sunglasses framed in tiger, zebra and leopard prints!
First in line, the birthday girl listens carefully to mommy. She's found a clue at the entrance to the sanctuary! Let's listen in!......
Look up in trees for small, cute faces,
Monkeys love those high up places!
They wait for us, they want to play,
Let's round 'em up before they scamper away!
We find them! Monkeys galore! They swing from branches as we pass through. Kids leap up and snatch themselves one or two!
(By the way, our huntin' style is huggin' - never hurtin'!)
And the clues continue!
Do you see a tiger sneaking?
I think I saw one peeking!
I spied an orange face and I heard a roar,
Follow me! Let's look for more!
Lions are big, and lions are brown,
Let's keep our eyes open, just look around!
Count 20 big steps, straight up ahead,
Look for a flag that's square and that's red!
Giraffes aren't small,
They're really quite tall,
Watch for them closely on a big patch of grass,
They know we are coming, they're watching us pass!
Zebras are a beautiful sight,
They're easy to spot in the bright sunlight.
White and black, black and white,
Run up ahead, look on the right!
Elephants are big and grey,
They're easy to spot - HOORAY!
Mommy leads the charge along the savanna, reading clues and making sure every little hunter finds a friend to take home for hugging.
See the herds waiting up ahead? We didn't miss a single thing!
Successful little adventurers make their way back home, single file, through the waiting arch......
......toting tigers and zebras and giraffes, oh my!
But wait! There's more to explore!
How about lining up for a round of tossing rubbery, dangerous snakes into a pit?
Or choosing a cute jungle tattoo (or two, or three or more!) for Nana to expertly apply to your arm?
Or joining the fun of a two team Cheetah Relay Race?
So sweet, this group of little guests. Every cheetah reaching the half point first waited for a competitor to catch up before heading back to the finish together - as co-winners. :) Love these kids!
There was chocolate cake, too, because we needed even more energy......
......for the BOUNCE HOUSE!
I suppose I can get away with the unfortunate placement of that sign in my picture because those three little fun loving "monkeys" are my grandchildren!
Present time!...which some might say is the best part of any party. But I think we might differ on that opinion, just for the day, simply because......
What fun would it be to go on safari without all sixteen of your cousins and friends to share that happy adventure with you? Nope, I'm sure we agree - not much fun at all!
Party notes: Inflatable animals, sunglasses, tattoos and hats all from Oriental Trading Company. Safari hunt clues are original with me and shared for personal use. Thank you!