Call all wild animals to your party with zoo-themed invitations featuring such illustrations as a petting zoo, animals in cages, monkeys, lions, giraffes, polar bears, and other recognizable zoo residents.
Whether decorating a party room at the zoo or a room at home, be sure to include plenty of animals! Place animal plush toys on tables, chairs, and even hung from the ceiling. Tape up posters of favorite animals to the walls. Use blooming Chia Pets as table centerpieces.
Divide the group into teams to play such games as Barrel o’ Monkeys, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and animal charades (the object being to guess which animal the person is imitating). For a craft project, have partygoers make animal masks out of brown paper bags, markers, and pipe cleaners. If the party includes a trip to the local zoo, keep the group together and be sure to read aloud the educational information offered. If your zoo party is at home and includes a variety of household pets - dog, cat, rabbit, ferret, hamster, or goldfish - take time to explain how to care for each animal. Only allow children to handle those pets that are tame and won’t be afraid of, or harmed by, a little petting.
Serve a variety of animal-themed foods, such as animal crackers, bear claw pastries, and Gummi bears. For more healthy snacks, offer what the zoo animals eat: peanuts in the shell (like the elephants), bananas (like the monkeys), carrot sticks (like the rabbits), and sunflower seeds (like the birds).
On a rectangular cake frosted in white, use an icing tube to draw several animal faces such as a lion, elephant, and monkey. Then lay strips of licorice strings vertically over the entire cake to resemble bars on a cage.
Use the animal masks that guests have created, and fill them with small plastic animal toys, animal stickers, and a box of animal crackers.
Match your thank-you notes to your invitation, or choose a complementary design. Teach your child good manners by asking him or her to sign each note. Don’t forget to mention what the gift was that you’re thanking the person for -- and how much your child enjoyed it! Then place an animal sticker on the envelope’s flap to remind guests of your fun zoo party.