The start of April marked the annual Zoo Lover’s Day which got us thinking – are zoos really protecting endangered species and is conservation a great theme for a party or not?
We had a look at how conservation works and the changes it has made to some of the animals that were once endangered – and why animal-themed parties are so popular.
Zoos – Love or Hate?
Not everyone likes the concept of zoos. In Europe and in the UK, the conditions in zoos are tightly controlled. They are also duty bound to be part of conservation efforts to help the 5,000+ species of vertebrates currently threatened with extinction to survive.
Whilst some people applaud this, some critics say that zoos are not making the level of contribution to conservation that the public are often led to believe they do. For example, animals bred in captivity can often find that the environment to which they are released is far harder for them to adapt to and survive in.
But that said, there is no doubt that zoos that are known for keeping animals in high quality environments and take part in various conservation programmes, do contribute to the education of the populace on certain species of animals and birds.
For children, there is no doubt that animals, both farm animals and the more exotic ones we see in zoos, hold a certain fascination.
And this is a good thing, especially for zoos who want to teach children about conservation and how we need to reserve the habitat for wild animals to live in.
And this is how an animal themed party can help children become more familiar with nature, as well as conservation itself.
There are an increasing number of companies offering the chance for children to encounter some of these more exotic animals, as well as learn about them more. It is also a great way for children to overcome fears and phobias – for example, stroking a snake or being close to a spider!
How to Create the Perfect Animal Themed Party
Conservationists and zoologists are often portrayed as similar to explorers – light khaki shorts and short, completed with a pith helmet – and there are numerous film and cartoon characters that children can copy.
Younger children, for example, love Dora the Explorer. Or plunge straight in and opt for an exotic animal themed party!
Invites – we have a range of fantastic invites festooned with animals, including jungle animals and farm animals too. Why not ask your guests to come dressed as their favourite animal or to bring their favourite stuffed toy animal?
Decorate the venue – creating a back drop to an animal themed party is possibly one of the easiest you can do. For a jungle or zoo-themed party, invest in some fun inflatable coconut palm plants (you can reuse in the garden in summer) as well as accessories that have an exotic plant feel to them. Think Hawaiian and you have the start of your exotic jungle feel.
The table – food at a party is important and we love the idea of creating mini-treasure chests of food in tuck boxes similar to those that we suppose early explorers would have used to. Keep food simple and make sure there is exotic fruit to match the theme too.
The Cake – no birthday party, not matter what the theme is complete without a show stopping cake. There are all kinds of animal themed cakes that you can make at home or you can, if your budget allows, have a bespoke cake made by a local baker. Make sure you include a large slice in the animal themed party bags at the end of the celebration.
The Games – there are all kinds of party games you can play that you can put an animal theme spin on it. Why not have a treasure hunt where your birthday boy or girl and their gusts collect animals that are in danger and conserve them for future generations? Or have a quiz in which children name the exotic animals? You can also play this as animal bingo.
The Party Bags – party bags do two things: they are a way of thanking your fellow explorers for coming to your party and they also signal that the party is coming to an end. You can choose from our pre-filled party bags or you can create your own by choosing from our range of bas or boxes, as well as gifts and small stationery items.
Animals is a great kid’s party theme and one that is very popular. How would you plan an animal-themed party?