Follow my blog series on the biggest party trends for 2017.This week: Jungle Party. Throw the perfect party for your little animals with my top ten massive jungle buys...wicked-a wicked-a!
What's not to like about Jungle parties (we mean the ones for kids)? Animals, adventure, an actual excuse to buy inflatable monkeys (come on, you know you want to)... Keep it Tiger-riffic with these buys and you will be leader of the pack.
1. Gotta love those Tiger Feet
Balloons, balloons, balloons! Ah, the joy of balloons! Make sure you get helium ones for maximum impact, and for serious Jungle Cred you can't go wrong with these animal print numbers, with the gold leopard print ones adding a touch of glamour to proceedings. Don't be afraid of bold themes and colours for this theme; even though this is a children's party, there's nothing with bringing a bit of fabulousness to proceedings. These balloons from Party Packs really stand out and will really be a wonderful feature on your party tables.
A great option if you're going for a 'green' look for the rest of the party, they will look gorgeous on the tables.
2. Jungle Feast
No party would be complete without an amazing table, and using a few simple tricks will really have your guests roaring with delight! The mantra for any successful party planner is 'minimal effort, maximum impact', and with these grass skirts you can transform any boring old table into a real jungle treat! These will even brighten up the dreaded church hall tables, but for extra pizzazz couple them up with green or orange coloured tablecloths underneath and scatter paper streamers across.
Remember that although it's great to accent with bright colours for the jungle, you don't want it to look messy, so for the main body of the party I'd reccomend sticking with three main colours (in this case I'd go for green, orange and yellow), and accentuating here and there with bolder choices.
3. Feed me
Food boxes are always a must at any party, and these sassy ones from eBay tick all the right..erm....boxes. Fun but also keeping it classy, the animals look properly awesome which will have all the children pleased; plus they come with a variety of animals included, so your table can be adorned with Lions and Tigers and Monkeys, oh my! The thing that I most love about these boxes is that they steer away from what I like to call 'patronising Jungle-wungle'; you know, with the cutsey smiley tigers and pop-out faces. It's great for say 1 or 2 year old birthday celebrations, but any older than that and you risk seriously unimpressing your little one. Keep it cool with these bad boys.
These boxes are great for cold food (I usually put sandwiches, a drink carton, crisps and vegetable crudités in them), but if you're also doing hot food I would walk around with it (chances are most of your sausage rolls will be snaffled by peckish dads anyway).
4. Watering hole
I stumbled across these little beauties on Easy (land of all good party things which will rinse out your wallet), and it was love at first sight. They are more on the pricey side, but I don't see any reason why guests couldn't take them home and reuse them at least a couple of times. Plus that's the straws sorted too! Potentially also a good excuse to serve water rather than juice at the party as they look much more effective with a clear liquid in them (of course that's water in mummy's cup. No, YOU shush).
Have these on the party table at the beginning for maximum effect.
5. Setting the Scene
Now, you don't always need a room roll or scene setter to create a party, but if you're going for Jungle then I really would recommend going all in; these scene setters hang easily from any wall, don't damage anything (so that's your deposit safe), and create a wonderful atmosphere. They also come with stick-on animals which you can dot around yourself. If you're feeling particularly creative, bunch (non-helium) green balloons where the tree leaves are to create a 3-D canopy look.
Top tip: to make your life even easier, buy some disposable decoration hooks (most DIY stores will have them); again they don't damage walls and it means you can hang the scene setters without having to get in a fight with a roll of sellotape (we've all been there).
6. Monkeying around
You knew they were coming, so there's no excuse to be surprised here. They are fun and inflatable and super cute, so I demand you go out immediately and buy as many as you possibly can. Or a few, at least. So Kitch they've gone full circle to camp cool again, these cheeky primates will look great either hanging from the ceiling or attached to your room roller so they look like they're swinging from the trees! Plus, if you don't want to keep them all (and for the life of me I can't think why you wouldn't want a house full of inflatable monkeys, but each to their own), you'll have absolutely no problem handing them out to very happy children as a party favour at the end.
Hang them out of the reach of little hands to avoid the classic game of 'hit the person next to you with the inflatable monkey'.
7. What a bunch of animals
Hand these out at the start of the party for a veritable zoo in your party venue- these masks are great fun and will really set the tone for the rest of your celebration. They also allow all the children to get involved in fancy dress without you being 'that' parent that made everyone buy a new costume just for your shin dig. I also love foam masks as there's no sharp edges or pointy bits, limiting the risk of tears before bedtime.
You can either hand them out yourself, or if you have an entertainer why not get them to hand them out at the start? It's a great way for the children to begin to interact with them and they'll be encouraged to join in a lot more if they establish a relationship early on.
8. Spot the Birdy
I'm letting you into a little secret here...well, think of it as a bit of an insider tip at the party trend races. Flamingos are going to be a THING. Like, a really big THING. They have already been parading their pink plumage around the USA with everything from Champagne buckets to crochet being turned into these magnificent birds, but the trend hasn't quite hit the British shores yet. Get in on the action early by ordering this gorgeous Flamingo confetti, which adds a pop of colour to proceedings.
You can get more 'grown up' styles than this particular super shiny confetti, but why not have a bit of fun with some hot pink fabulousness?