Keep rowdy boys entertained with alligator eyes, bug hunts and delicious cupcakes. Then, when they’re all worn out, intrepid travelers can fall asleep under a canopy of jungle-themed night lights.
Having a theme makes any party easy to co-ordinate. Boys are more interested in the action than the decorations, so keep it simple. Scatter large plastic bugs around the room and stick to green and brown when choosing streamers, paper cups and balloons. The aim of the game is to keep everything unified. This will make things easier when it comes to shopping for supplies.
For a jungle theme, bugs are essential. Using cardstock, cut out invitations in the shape of creepy crawlies. Add personality to your invite by sticking on wiggly eyes and dots. Use markers and puff paint for some extra color. All of these essentials can be found at the art stores opposite the National Art Museum of China in Wangfujing.
Impress the boys with a display of jungle-inspired cupcakes. Fill bowls with jelly snakes and chocolate-dipped banana pieces. Healthy options include trays of fruit skewers and finger sandwiches filled with avocado and chicken. Make sandwiches fun by using a cookie cutter to cut out different shapes. The key to mess-free catering is making sure everything is bite-sized and accessible. Keep it simple by avoiding messy dips and sticking to finger food.
Bug hunt: Give each boy a small bag or net. Hide plastic bugs around the house and award a prize to the boy who gathers the most. This game can be adapted to any party theme – simply change the items the boys are hunting for to match your theme.
Musical sleeping bags: Clear a large space in the living room and place the boys’ sleeping bags on the floor (one less sleeping bag than the number of players). Start the music and get the boys to walk in a circle. When the music stops they have to find the closest sleeping bag and wiggle their way in. Alternatively, they can simply sit on top of the sleeping bags to make things a little less hectic. If your party guests don’t have sleeping bags, a blanket or quilt will do the trick.
Test Your Taste Buds: Prepare bowls of various yummy foods for the jungle explorers. Cover each bowl to keep its contents a secret and label them something "icky" such as bug stew (avocado), jungle mud (soft chocolate icing), alligator eyes (marshmallows), parrot poop (banana), and worms (cooked spaghetti with a little tomato sauce). Using a blindfold, conduct the taste-testing and let each boy guess what they’re eating. Play up the gross factor to get the boys giggling and cringing at the same time.
Night Light: This is a good craft activity to help the kids wind down and get them ready for bed. Prepare a small flashlight (don’t forget the batteries) for each guest, as well as scissors, masking tape, clear tape, large paper cups (with the bottom cut out), cellophane, and some plain paper. First, use clear tape to affix the cellophane over the top of the cup. Then, using scissors (with supervision) and plain paper, the boys can cut out stars, moons, or bugs. Using clear tape, affix the shapes to the cellophane-covered cup. Once they’re done, place the bottom of the cup (with the hole in it) over the torch and secure with masking tape. The boys can then lie in their sleeping bags and flash their night lights on the roof, creating a ceiling of stars and creepy crawlies.
The boys can take home all of the bugs they collected during the bug hunt, as well as their personalized night lights. Top it off with a party bag brimming with gummy snakes, worms and candied bananas.
Bug Cupcakes (serves 12)
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup boiling water
½ cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 180̊C and put 12 paper liners in a muffin tin. Put cocoa in small bowl, add boiling water and mix until smooth. Let cool. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for approximately 5 minutes. Then add egg yolks and mix well. Sift in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Next add the cocoa mixture, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold gently into the cake mixture. Transfer the mixture to the cupcake tins and bake at 180̊C for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden stick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
115g butter (at room temperature)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 box (450g) powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
Using an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients and mix until well blended.
Spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the cupcake as a base for the cookie crumbs. Use ground chocolate cookie crumbs as a "dirt" base. Top with gummy worms, or assemble licorice pieces and M&Ms into bug shapes.
Recipe supplied by CC Sweets