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-like elephants. Pick one player to stand in the center of the circle.

Have the child in the middle close his eyes. Walk around the outside of the circle and pat one child on the head.

That child performs her best elephant trumpeting sound. The player in the middle has to guess which player was the trumpeter. 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 note cards, 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.

Put a jungle-themed twist on classic party games. 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.

In the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight. Monkey Tag. Lucky Monkey. They all have to get safely onto an island — only one child per island. Repeat until there is one island and one winner.

Animal races Best played in the garden or large room if possible. Call out an animal and the children have to race in that style eg.

You can give points for style as well as speed if you like. Sleeping Lions A great game to calm things down if it all gets a bit too wild. The children lie on the floor and pretend to be sleeping lions.

They have to stay as still as possible — anyone who moves is out. The tortoise and the hare This is based on the classic pass the parcel game but with a twist!

Tuck a wrapped sweet in each layer. Make sure there are at least as many layers as children playing.

animal themed games to play outside

Cut banana shapes from yellow cardstock. 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 has to run around the circle imitating that animal. When a player chooses the monkey banana, however, he is the lucky winner of a prize.

Keep playing until everyone has a turn to be the lucky monkey. Gather the players and have them line up, each player holding the waist of the player in front of her. The line they form is a snake.

The object of the game is for the snake to catch its own tail. The first player in line will lead the rest of the snake around the jungle as he 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. 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-like elephants.

Pick one player to stand in the center of the circle. Have the child in the middle close his eyes. Sleeping Lions A great game to calm things down if it all gets a bit too wild.

The children lie on the floor and pretend to be sleeping lions. They have to stay as still as possible — anyone who moves is out. The tortoise and the hare This is based on the classic pass the parcel game but with a twist!

Tuck a wrapped sweet in each layer. Make sure there are at least as many layers as children playing. The children sit in a circle while music plays.

When the music stops the child holding the package opens a layer and claims their sweet. If the child has already had a go they pass it to the next player.

The child who opens the last layer wins the prize. What does your child really want?

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