Fun Budget Party Ideas

Party Idea: A Day at the Zoo

Preschool kids fully understand the concept of birthday, cake, party, and presents -- and they heartily approve! At this age, kids can handle more structure than the younger set can.

The Fun

Request that each guest bring a stuffed animal, or present a selection of your own. Use the menagerie to have an animal parade. Put each stuffed animal in a box -- you may want to cut out an opening to better see the toy. Kids can use stickers and markers to decorate the float they make to carry their animal.

To extend the theme, have the kids create fun zoo masks from paper plates that have a Popsicle-stick handle glued to the bottom. Cut out eye holes ahead of time, and invite guests to decorate the faces. A Dixie cup glued rim-down and decorated with nostrils makes a great snout. Kids can use yarn to create a lion's or zebra's mane. Fashion animal ears out of construction paper or felt, and glue them to headbands.

If you're not into crafts, you can buy costume pieces. Visit orientaltrading.com for a selection of animal ears, noses, and tails.

The Food

Decorate the top of the cake with plastic animal figurines. Set out bowls of animal crackers for snacks.

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