In the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight.
That’s probably because he’s all tuckered out from playing these safari-themed games with all of his jungle friends. Chances are, your child will be happily worn out, too, after a day of playing at his or her safari-themed birthday party.
This game is played much like the classic backyard game of freeze tag, but the player who is “it” has to act like a monkey. When a player is tagged, rather than freezing in place, he or she jumps around and acts like a monkey. Once a player is turned into a monkey, he or she has to continue to imitate a monkey and helps the original monkey tag the remaining players. Every time a player is tagged, another
Cut banana shapes from yellow cardstock, and write the word “monkey” on one of them. Write the names of other safari animals on the remaining bananas. Place them in a safari hat. Have the kids gather in a circle and take turns picking a banana out of the hat. If a player chooses an animal other than the monkey, he or she has to run around the circle imitating that animal. When a player chooses the monkey banana, however, he or she is the lucky winner of a prize. Keep playing until everyone has a turn to be the lucky monkey.
Catch the Snake's Tail
Gather the players and have them line up, with each player holding the waist of the player in front of him or her. The line they form is a snake. The object of the game is for the snake to catch its tail. The first player in line will lead the rest of the snake around the jungle as he or she tries to catch up to and touch the last player in line. The snake chain must not be broken or the snake will have to return to the starting line and start over.
Safari Animal Scavenger Hunt
Before the party, hide several plush jungle animals around the party space. Gather the kids and tell them the safari animals have gone missing. Then call out the name of one of the missing animals. Once they have retrieved that animal, call out the name of another. Keep playing until they have rounded up all of the wayward safari creatures.
Forget freeze dance, the lazy lions are too tired for that kind of action. Instead, play some music and have your party guests prowl around the dance floor, roaring like lions. When the music stops, instead of freezing, the kids will fall to the floor and lie still like sleeping lions. The last child to become a sleepy lion is out of the game. Start the music again and play for as many rounds as it takes until only one player remains.
Have the players sit in a circle and trumpet just like elephants. Pick one player to stand in the center of the circle. Have the child in the middle close his or her eyes. Walk around the outside of the circle and pat one child on the head. That child performs his or her best elephant trumpeting sound. The player in the middle has to guess which player was the trumpeter.
Jungle Animal Charades
Like the classic game of charades, this activity requires players to act something out without using any words. Write the names of various jungle animals on notecards, fold them up, and place them in a safari hat. Players will pull an animal name out of the hat and try and get the others to guess the name of the jungle animal using only gestures and motions.
Play Classic Games With a Safari Theme
Put a jungle-themed twist on classic party games. For instance, change the game of Duck Duck Goose to Lion, Lion, Tiger. Instead of Hot Potato, play Rotten Banana. Play Pin the Tail on the Monkey or use animal-themed songs as the music for musical chairs.