Friday, October 12, 2012

Jaina's Animal Rescue Safari Party!

I've opened an Etsy shop with lots of cute banners and decorations.  These Burlap and Muslin Banners are so cute and perfect for a Safari Party.  Please check out my Etsy shop!

My adorable little niece Jaina loves to talk about being an Animal Rescuer when she grows up.  For her 6th birthday party, choosing the theme was easy; we threw her an Animal Rescue Safari party!

These cute little tents are built from a design by Lowes found on their website.  My husband was a really good sport about building them.  Unfortunately, after the first side panels were put together we realized they were going to be much too big to transport to the park, so my slightly less enthusiastic but still oh so wonderful husband cut them down in size and reframed them, and then they were perfect!

They turned out so cute and the kids had a great time playing in them!

We greeted the kids with a little Safari supply shop, named after the little brother, where the kids got a safari hat, water bottle and safari map when they arrived.

The birthday girl checking out the Safari  Supply.

Some of the goodies on the treat /favor/food table!

I made some Chocolate 6 lollipops, chocolate covered marshmallow pops, and some animal print surprise balls that were a big hit at the end of the party!

             Her mommy, Melody, baked all of the delicious and super cute cupcakes.

Using a grass cupcake wrapper idea found on pinterest, I modified it and instead wrapped it around small green cups and filled them with dressing and veggies.  We kept lunch pretty simple since we were out in a park, and the kids enjoyed the veggies, skewered grapes that looked like little caterpillars and good old cheese pizza.  Just enough jungle themed items to be fun and still really easy to pull off in the park!  Can't go wrong with the veggies and pizza for the adults too plus Melody prepared some nice salad choices for the adults.

Then it was time for the adventure to start and to finally put to use all of the games I have been busy coming up with and painting!   Of course we had to begin with the announcement  that some animals were in trouble and needed to be rescued!  So in a little nod to Jaina's hero Diego, Click the camera showed up to show us who they were. This worked out very nicely as I wanted to settle who would get what animal before we began the search and so that everyone was happy at the end.  The kids chose from the group picture the animal they would be rescuing and I gave each of them an individual picture of their animal at the start of the hunt.

Everybody got a safari map to help them find their way.  The kids enjoyed getting a stamp on their maps after each activity too!

First obstacle was to crawl thru the hollowed log!

Then watch out for the quick sand!

And beware the large wild animals along the way!

( I am pretty proud of myself about these animal cutouts!  I was inspired by the wooden cutouts used in Loralee Lewis' safari party and really wanted to make some.  I have had my shiny new jig saw about 2 years but have been too chicken to use it.  I finally got myself convinced that I probably wouldn't cut off my own hand, and gave it a whirl.  I am so tickled with how they turned out!  I made a big alligator, rhino, giraffe, giant gecko, baby jaguar and turtle too.  I was on a role!

Then on to the games!

This big monkey was hungry and nobody was going to get past him without tossing him a banana!

Uh Oh!  The Rhino was really mad and we couldn't sneak past him without settling him down with a tranq dart for a few minutes of sleep!

Wouldn't you know this poor little elephant had a snuffly trunk and needed some help rounding up some snacks!

And the hedge hogs all needed a little help getting tossed back into their hole!

And if all of that wasn't exhausting enough..the poor little zebra lost his tail!  A quick game of pin the tail on the zebra..(using the honor system of closing their eyes) had everything back where it belonged!
And all 5 of the kids that could reach got it dead on center!  They were amazing! :-)

Finally the animals were found and were all rescued!

And they were all shown a lot of love by their new little friends who got to take them home!

Everybody thought it was a good idea to head over to the animal rescue center and give them a check up!

And wouldn't you know they all needed a few bandaids and bandages to feel all better!

 I was a little bit sneaky because I know that Jaina's love of becoming an animal rescuer originates from watching Go Diego Go!  The Safari theme was a lovely animal based party and without going over the top on a character party I snuck a few elements in.  The baby Jaguar wood cut out I painted is modeled after the Go Diego baby Jaguar and still fit right in with the rest of the wooden cutouts I made for the party.   Coincidentally, Diego wears a safari hat and so did all the kids!  I wanted the kids to know which animal was theirs ahead of finding them so that that part of the party went smoothly and my imposter of Diego's Click the Camera was just the thing!  And finally for the the Animal Rescue center  I enlarged some of the Diego patch symbols to make a sign for the area. A few little touches without going overboard on the character items made it especially fun for everybody, including a very special 6 year old whose opinion of the party is what mattered most to me!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Gavin's 2nd Birthday Bounce Ball Party

I've started an Etsy store and now carry these Felt and Ball Banners.  Aren't they just perfect for a ball party!

This super cute little guy, my nephew Gavin, turned 2 in June and we had a ball celebrating his birthday!

Don't they both look adorable in the little felt hats I made them?  Jaina is a very big fan of the party hat concept.  I love that about her and it kept me motivated to make sure I got some made for them!

Decorating for a ball party was a lot of fun!  Plus I didn't have to customize too many decorations...just accumulate!

These colorful paper lanterns are a nice big pop of balls and color and were simple to hang! 

 I loved using the super balls as a vase filler for a fun display.  My husband Dale's favorite thing is super balls and for several years we have had a big decorative apothecary jar full on display in our living room.  Of course whenever we have kids around or fun adults for that matter too, they get a super ball!  Gavin is a big fan of the concept and he never steps foot in the house for very long before requesting one and playing a rousing game of bounce and chase the ball all over the house with Uncle Dale!

 Even more super balls were useful for holding up party favor bubble wands!

How much fun is it to be able to use the big colorful inexpensive play balls from Target as colorful party decorations!  And at the end of the party they do double duty as take home favors for the kids!

Lots of balls everywhere made things so fun.  I used the plastic ball pit balls as fun decorations.  They looked so cute in the big glass Jars I already had, and with a big play ball on top, an instant centerpiece!

I spray painted some unfinished letters from Michaels in our party colors and just spelled the word BOUNCE to make the backyard cute!

We got Gavin this bounce house for his birthday. There weren't many kids expected at the party and I knew it would make things festive and fun for the kids! It was a big hit and lots of fun, but small enough that they even set it up sometimes inside to play with it.

Cute colorful and big round balloon "balls"  and extra play balls scattered across the lawn made the back yard festive and fun!

Melody made a delicious mellon ball fruit salad as one of the fun!

Gavin was a big fan of the big ball shaped lollipops!

Surprise balls made their debut performance as a party favor around here and the kids and adults loved them!

Before the party Gavin and Jaina enjoyed helping their mommy put the little balls on the cupcakes!

Too bad he didn't like the new car his parents gave him!  :-)

Gavin is such a happy sweet little guy and so much fun to be around!   We are all so glad to have him in our lives and I had so much fun helping  throw his 2nd birthday party!