- neon tassel banner
No directions here, I forgot to make a tutorial! But, I bought burlap pennant pieces from Hobby Lobby and printed out the name and number on neon paper. I then cut them out and hotglued them to the pennant pieces which I then hot glued to some twine to hang. It took maybe 10 minutes!
I got the inspiration from the link above. I just bought some acrylic paint and began to paint the animals so they looked as if they were wearing brightly colored clothing. Then I made tiny party hats from neon paper and tissue paper.
I got the idea from the link above which has templates for mini animals but, I made mine significantly larger using packing boxes from Home Depot that I purchased for about $1 a piece. They were kind of a pain but did look pretty cool. After I sketched the parts on the boxes I cut them out using an exacto knife. Then I put them together and spray painted them with neon paint.
I set up activities for the kids to complete and created a checklist sheet for them to take to each activity. Upon completion they received a stamp (found on amazon and also put in goodie bags) next to the activity on their sheet. When they finished all of them they were given their safari ranger badge which we taped onto their shirts. (I was going to make paper bag vests but couldn't find enough paper bags in time!) The activities were: Giraffe Jumping (trampoline), Zebra Zone (pin the tail on the zebra. I free handed a zebra on some poster board along with some neon paper tails and duct tape), Elephant Art (silhouette watercolor painting I have the silhouettes I used in the downloadable file), Tiger Toss (bean bag toss game which I made using this tutorial), Monkey Maze (a bunch of pop up tents put together with pop up tunnels connecting them). I made signs for each zone and printed them out on neon paper. All of my printables are available in the file at the end of this section.
I found a great site with free mask printables and used their animal ones for our photo booth props. I printed them out and then glued them onto neon paper to make them sturdy and to add a little pop around the edges. I then hot glued them to some wooden dowels. For the background I bought a grass doorway hanger from Hobby Lobby. (I think it was meant for luau parties but it worked for me.) I taped it to the wall and also hung a few strands of bamboo leaf garlands that I borrowed from a friend. The masks and sign are in the file you can download. :) I also made a sign for the front door to put guests in the mood upon arrival.
I found a great tutorial on the National Watermelon Board site for making a hippo out of a watermelon. It was actually really easy and only took about 15 minutes! I was REALLY proud of my hippo. I made a sign saying "Hungry Hippo" for it. It looked amazing! I also made crescent roll wrapped hotdogs that I called "serpent rolls", cut apples and peaches with a caramel dip lion face (kind of) labeled "lion's mane dip", blue kool aid labelled "watering hole", zebra cakes, and pasta salad labeled "python pasta". I decorated the table with the party animal figurines and purchased the cake from a local bakery. Lilly designed it and I placed the giraffe party animal on top with a sparkly orange #5 candle and it turned out perfectly for the party. I also bought a few wooden crates from hobby lobby for the table and placed the zebra cakes on them. I used blue plastic table cloths for on and behind the table and taped a grass table skirt to the edge of the table to finish it off.
I found a cute idea on pinterest to make a safari with a map and put my own twist on it. I created a map in powerpoint using shapes and text boxes of our backyard. I then put red "x's" to mark where the animals were hidden. I gave each child (and parent) a map after hiding the animals and had them go find them. We did this after the cake and presents and it was a perfect way to introduce the idea of going back to the backyard to play. It was also fun since they had all had the opportunity to receive their Safari Ranger Certification. My map is in the downloadable file (Not that it will necessarily be helpful to you unless you have an identical backyard which would be weird but, at least you can see what I created to give you guidance for your own.)
I ordered neon goody bags, safari animal suckers, animal stampers, animal print slap bracelets, binoculars and safari hats from amazon for the goody bags and placed them on a table with a cute sign that I made. I also used neon price stickers by placing them on the front of each hat and writing each child's name on the sticker to keep them from getting mixed up. It added some more neon and was practical. They were a hit!