Looking for a theme for your little party animal? A safari, jungle or zoo party is a great theme for any age. Whether you’re planning that very special first birthday or a summer party for your children and their friends, this versatile theme can be adapted to suit all ages.
Here we will arm you with tips and ideas to ensure your party is a roaring success.
FOOD & TREAT IDEAS
Try our very special Leopard Spots and Caramel Tiger Bites to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.
Caramel Tiger Bites
These are very simple to make by using shop-bought caramel bites, or you can make your own.
First decide on the design of your print. If you already have some party tableware you could scan a napkin or tablecloth to match exactly, or just search the internet for a royalty-free image. You can either have a page of a single print which you then cut into squares, or make a page of little squares the same size as your shortbread.
Next you need to order your printed toppers. You can use our edible wafer or icing sheets, both work just as well.
Now you need to prepare your caramels. If you want to make your own they could be plain caramels, topped with melted chocolate and/or on a biscuit base. Simply make them, cool them, ice them and cut into squares. We used Thorntons white chocolate caramel shortcake bites, available from major supermarkets in packs of 9. They are also available in milk chocolate.
We printed a sheet of squares to match the size and shape of the Thorntons bites then cut them out. To stick them to the tops you need to make the chocolate a little tacky, whether you are using printed wafer or icing sheets.
If you have made your own bites, put the tops on while they are still tacky. Otherwise you can melt the tops a little by warming a pallet knife, or any flat metal knife and press it on the tops. Or just use a dry finger! To warm up a knife stand it in a pot of hot water for a few seconds and make sure you dry it thoroughly first. Alternatively you can make an edible glue by mixing together equal parts of liquid glucose and hot water. Just smear it on the back of the printed wafer or icing and the toppers will stick.
It’s as easy as that! Now you have snacks to match your party theme and wow your guests.
Chocolate Leopard Spots
We love these chocolate leopard spots! They are simply giant white chocolate buttons with an edible leopard print. Making them yourself couldn’t be easier – just order your edible print, cut out the circles and stick them to chocolates. They could be a unique hand made gift for a lover of animal print or a great addition to your table at a jungle themed party.
First you need to choose a design. We used a royalty-free image found on the internet that was roughly A4 size. Next you can choose whether to use edible wafer or icing sheets – both work just as well.
If you want perfect circles you can use a craft punch, which again works on both wafer and icing sheets. Ours is a 1 inch or 25 mm, the perfect size for Milkybar giant white chocolate buttons. You could use milk chocolate buttons or make your own. Just melt some chocolate, spread it out thinly in a suitable container to cool and set, then cut into shapes. If you cut squares it will be very easy to trim your prints the same size.
To attach the leopard spots to the chocolate the method is the same whether you use printed wafer or an icing sheet. You can either make the chocolate tacky by warming it slightly or use an edible glue. To make the chocolate tacky you can warm up a pallet knife or any flat, metal utensil and lightly press it on the surface. Then place your print on top and hold it down for a few seconds.
Alternatively you can make a very simple edible glue my mixing a teaspoon of liquid glucose with a teaspoon of hot water. Mix it together, spread it lightly on the back of your print then place it on the chocolate button and hold down for a few seconds. If you use a small paintbrush to spread the glue you can then use the shaft as a mini rolling pin to smooth down the topper. Leave them to dry in the fridge for about an hour.
You can serve them in a bowl at a party, gift-wrap them to give as a present or put them in goody bags.
Alongside these grrr…eat treats how about ants on logs which are simply celery filled with peanut butter or cream cheese and studded with raisins for the ants, sandwiches cut into animal shapes with cookie cutters and a pot of hummus surrounded by carrots and orange and yellow peppers to create a lion mane.
GAMES AND ENTERTAINMENT
For older children, an animal themed treasure hunt will be a hit. Clues can be adapted to the space you are using. Younger children will be just as excited with a scavenger hunt. Scour the local charity shops for good condition soft toy animals, give each child a list of animals to find and ask them to tick them off when they’ve found them. The winner is the first to complete all clues or tick off all animals. Another great game is sleeping lions. This one is a great way to chill out at the end of the party.
Scrap the traditional party bag fillers and fill a basket with those soft toys from the scavenger hunt, add a tag inviting the children to adopt a cuddly toy of their choice. You could even print adoption certificates or make a donation to your favourite wildlife charity
(image courtesy of Paiges Party Ideas)