Frankly, I’ve been a procrastinateypants about this post because I am not entirely OKAY with Ellie ticking off another year. Seven is sounding basically grown up right now and I don’t know what to do about that. (I can’t actually do anything about it)
Shocker: she wanted a jungle party, heavy on tigerness but no tigers were to be harmed in the making of this party!!! Like, not even the image of a tiger. This presented some challenges mostly because she was determined to have a pin the tiger style game. After weeks of back and forth (and my refusal to create a tiger game that we would then be honor bound to keep and preserve for an indefinite period of time) this convo happened:
Me, “We’ve just gotta settle it and move forward.”
Ellie, “I know I want to pin a tiger, so how about a jungle.”
Me, “Ok but you need a place to pin the tiger. That’s the beauty of pin the tail on the tiger, it’s clear where a tail is supposed to go.”
Ellie, “Well tigers go in the jungle.”
Me, “Yes but where in the jungle? Are you going to just pin the tiger on the pile of dead monkeys.”
Ellie, “YES. Let’s do that!”
And so Saoirse and Ellie drew a jungle, a pile of dead monkeys, and even a terrified monkey running away from where the tiger was to be pinned.
Yeah. I don’t really have anything else to say about that 😂
With each RSVP her friends specified their favorite animal and we made felt masks for everybody. I loved how into the design process Ellie was, helping me piece them and figuring out which features made a white wolf look definitively white wolf-y. As guests arrived Saoirse handed them their mask. We adapted masks from these templates because they’re basically adorable and the shapes covered the spectrum from prey to predator.
We thought a jungle treasure hunt made sense, so once all the guests arrived I opened the first envelope. Inside: a puzzle piece revealing part of a treasure map and clue to find the next envelope and map piece. I made up little rhyming clues with the last word missing (“As soft as a pile of kittens, you’ll find this clue where we keep our _____”, that kind of thing) and they tore around the house finding the hidden clues before finally assembling the puzzle and following the map to the marked - where I had, in fact, hidden a treasure. :)
This was extra fun because even Ellie didn’t know what the treasure was - I’d purchased tiny Schleich animals for each guest, according to their favorite animal. They stashed these in their jungle party bags and I delivered the news: there had been reports of pirates (!!!) in the area and Mr. Sentz had battled them. The pirates were gone, but they left behind a treasure chest! Which was the piñata. Because Ellie was Not Okay with any animal piñatas. 😂🤷🏻♀️
The Cake: You maybe saw this coming - she didn’t want to devour a tiger. So we went with a lemon cake and orange buttercream icing. Lots of tiers, because she stacked the tiny toy tigers and big cats high! Interestingly she wanted cookie leaves, I think inspired by my last minute decoration of Ayrton’s cake. Green sugar cookies, and I cut the shapes with a knife. She and Saoirse had a great time decorating!
I kept the party to 90minutes which left just enough time for gifts and some rambunctious silliness before pickups began. Win!
Party Favors Deets - All Stashed in an Animal Print Bag:
handmade felt animal masks
Schleich toy animal
cheetos (because she calls them cheetahs <3)
Cuties with tiger stripes drawn on with Sharpie - she loved doing this!
Decorations: I basically took the kids to the floral department of Michael’s and let her choose what was jungle-y, but also scored some great palm decorated plates on Amazon, leaves that we used on the table and walls, as well as this roll of leafy goodness that we suspended in the foyer for a grand entrance through vines.