Gigi loves animals. She consistently asks us to read her the same animal book over and over. When we were deciding on a theme for her 2nd birthday, it was a pretty easy decision to choose a zoo birthday party as the theme.
For the zoo birthday party decorations, I made a banner with lions, giraffes and monkeys, and I filled the table with little wild animals and free printable finger puppets. For the banner, I used this zoo animal clip art link, printed the animals on card stock and cut them out and attached them to a felt banner I found in the party section at Target (similar). I found lots of great finger puppets online, (have you heard of Mr. Printables?!), so I decided on the snake finger puppets and the zoo animal finger puppets to display on the zoo birthday party table.
While searching for more decorating ideas and inspiration, I consistently found the same images of wild animal masks made out of foam. I wanted to create my own version and I came across this website where I thought I would find a step-by-step tutorial on how to create the masks. Instead, I figured out the animal face masks are sold on Amazon for under $10! I’m all for being crafty and for creating DIY birthday parties, but for such a low cost, it makes a lot more sense to buy the masks rather than spend a bunch of time trying to recreate them. If you’re searching for other DIY ideas, here are some other free printable masks.
Instead of a cake, I decided to make wild animal cupcakes (more on that in another post!). I also served some circus animal crackers in cute little striped dishes. My kids weren’t that interested in the treats anyway, as they were immersed in the finger puppets and the tiny plastic animals on the table. My mom also has a giant collection of beanie babies from back in the day, so I used a couple of those to fill out the table.
Gigi’s zoo birthday party took place on a Saturday afternoon after she woke up for her name. Unfortunately, she decided not to nap very long that day, so she was a total grump. When Rocco and Gigi ran into the playroom and saw the room all decorated for her party, Rocco was the excited one. He immediately ran up and started grabbing at the little toys and finger puppets. Gigi was more reserved and was the most interested in the tiny plastic animals. Rocco was also game to try on masks, and quickly put on the lion and then the bear masks. Gigi reluctantly let us put the giraffe mask on her.After awhile, both kids seemed very excited about the decorations and Rocco asked if he could have a cupcake. We wanted Gigi to open her present first, so we went into the back yard so she could open her first bike, a little pink and purple trike. We made sure Rocco’s big wheel was out there too so both kids could ride around.
Later, we enjoyed the cupcakes. Rocco dug right into the bottom, although he had no interest in the frosting on top. Gigi gingerly nibbled on hers, which was extra surprising because she loves to eat and is not picky at all when it comes to food. Perhaps Jade’s efforts to capture her eating the cupcake dissuaded her from eating it!
Overall, Gigi’s zoo birthday party was a big success. She absolutely loved her bike and even enjoyed wearing her giraffe mask for a lot of the afternoon.