For my daughter’s 5th birthday we had a Lion King birthday party. She loves animals, so it wasn’t a surprise for her to pick this theme (in fact, a couple years later she also had a rainforest birthday party).
Many of the ideas here can be used for any type of animal party, like a safari party, jungle party, or a rainforest party. If you have stuffed animals or jungle figurines, be sure to use them around the party as extra decorations!
We had a lot of fun carrying out this theme! There are so many fun things you can do to decorate your house to look like a jungle. We kept it pretty simple, but I’ll explain what we did, as well as some extra ideas.
I chose to use the colors of light green, dark green, and orange. Brown and black mixed in would look great too! I chose balloons in these three colors, and I added some crepe paper streamers around the ceiling of the party room. I used a dark green tablecloth which I already had (I love when the party theme coordinates with one of the tablecloth colors I already own!)
You could also decorate with vines made from brown paper bags. I did this for the rainforest party and it really looked great. You twist brown paper bags tightly until you create paper “ropes”. Tape a few of these together and they resemble vines. You can add leaves, which are just leaf shapes cut from green construction paper. These vines can be hung from the ceiling.
Animal prints look great for this party. You can have animal print plates and napkins, or use them on the invitation. Of course, Oriental Trading has a wonderful assortment of Lion King tableware to carry out the theme.
My daughter wanted young Simba on the her birthday cake. I found a coloring page of Simba on the internet, printed it off, and used the Buttercream Transfer Technique to decorate it. I love this technique, because it is easy, you don’t have to be an artist, and you can do it ahead of time!
The main activity we did for this party was face painting. I found a few photos and tutorials on the internet of how to do lion face paint, and a few other animals. I let each child choose what face they wanted me to paint on (all the girls chose a lion) and I took my time with each child and did the painting myself. I only had five faces to paint at this party. If you have many kids, you may want to consider having a friend do it for you so you have to time to enjoy and monitor the party. Don’t be intimidated by giving it a try, I found it wasn’t too hard to face paint with all the wonderful tutorials out there.
I also made a safari hunt in our backyard. My daughter has a collection of small plastic jungle animal figurines (also available at Oriental Trading). I hid them all over our backyard, gave each child a brown paper lunch bag, and told them to go on Safari. The child to find the most animals is the first to pick a prize. The child with the second most animals picks the second prize, and so on. Or, you may choose to have only one prize for the winner.
I made party favor bags in my usual, inexpensive way. I took brown lunch bags, and printed off a photo from the Lion King movie found on the Internet. I added each child’s name underneath the photo. I had an animal print rubber stamp and I stamped prints sporadically on the bags. They came out cute. I filled them with candy, Lion King stickers, and small jungle animal figurines.