by Fancy Free Diva
If you’re thinking about throwing a Disney-themed birthday party for your little one, the first step is to agree on a theme or character. For my soon-to-be-5-year-old, the choice was simple: She wanted a Lion Guard party. Fancy Free Daughter LOVES this new show, but because it is so new, I found that I had to be a little more creative than usual when it came to planning this party. Fortunately, The Lion King has been around for years, and there were lots of Lion King ideas online that were easily adaptable.
On Google and Pinterest, I searched for ideas using terms like “Lion Guard,” of course, “Lion King,” and “safari.” Once I had amassed and pinned a lot of ideas, I started pulling things together.
I ordered the fabric for my daughter’s party dress from Etsy, and I used a pillowcase dress pattern that was pretty easy to sew.
We decorated using a safari background I purchased from Oriental Trading Company, along with some streamers and leaves to create a safari atmosphere. I printed party banners and signs I purchased from Etsy, and I raided my son’s Lion King-themed bedroom for his framed movie poster and all of our Lion King/safari stuffed animals to use as decorations. We had the Lion Guard soundtrack playing in the background as theme music, and when the kids all settled in for cake, we put an episode of the Lion Guard on the television.
As the guests began to arrive, I had set out animal masks for them to color and Lion Guard-themed activity pages to work on while we waited for everyone to arrive.
Once all of the guests had arrived, they arrayed themselves in their animal masks and set out to become members of the Lion Guard.
I had created binoculars for all of the party guests using toilet paper tubes and zebra printed duct tape. I used my daughter’s small zoo animals to create “Ono’s I-Spy Challenge.” You see, Ono is the keenest of sight, so the party guests had to find all of the carefully hidden safari animals and check them off on their papers. Once they had demonstrated their keen sight, we moved on to exhibitions of bravery.
Bunga is the bravest member of the Lion Guard, and like his foster parents Timon and Pumbaa, he eats bugs. I found these amazing gummy centipedes at our local candy store, and the party guests had to prove their bravery by actually eating one of those candy bugs. I made a big deal of how gross they were and how many legs they had, but the kids were not convinced. In any case, they were all super brave.
Our next challenge was Kion’s roar. I made a megaphone using posterboard, and I attached lion ears and red curling ribbon to make the megaphone resemble Kion and his stylish red Mohawk. Each guest took a turn roaring as loudly as he or she could through the megaphone. Once each guest had proven that he or she could command the roar, they were inducted as honorary members of the Lion Guard by donning animal print bracelets I had ordered from Oriental Trading Company.
I also made “Pride Rocks” for each of the party guests. Each rock featured one of the values of the Lion Guard: pride, family, bravery, friends, fast, and keen.
As a side note, I had planned for a Fuli-style foot race for the guests to show how swift each guest could be, but because of inclement weather on party day, we had to move all of our activities inside, and having 24 children racing through my house did not seem like a good idea.
In addition to the Lion Guard themed activities, we had several safari crafts set out, including safari scratch ornaments and safari animal sand art necklaces I ordered from Oriental Trading.
I also set out other beads for the party guests to use to string necklaces, and I set out a table with a safari animal play set, too. I have found that when you try to coordinate activities at a party, different guests finish at different speeds, so I like to have some of these filler activities available so that no one gets bored.
In case anyone begins looking board, though, my foolproof plan is to direct them toward the snacks.
I found some amazing Lion Guard printables on Etsy, and I created table centerpieces using small dowels and blocks of wood.
I also created food labels for snacks like “Bunga Brownies,” “Safari Strawberries,” “Simba Snack Mix,” and “Cheetah Tails.” I also made chocolate crinkle cookies that I labeled “Zebra Cookies” because of their black and white pattern, and I used a candy mold to make safari animal pretzel sticks.
In addition, I made some Timon and Pumbaa mud and bug themed pudding cups. I covered a lot of the baskets and glassware I used for the party food with animal print ribbon to enhance the theme even more.
For drinks, I recreated Jungle Juice using a recipe I found online, but I also had bottled water that I covered with Lion Guard-themed labels and juice boxes that I covered with strips of animal-print scrapbook paper.
The food was a hit. The kids at the party especially liked the Little Debbie zebra cakes I repackaged by using lollipop sticks and some edible Easter grass.
After snacks, of course, came the cake. My mom created the cake using bold animal prints and a Lion Guard toy figure for the cake topper. I found some animal print candles to use that added to the effect.
When the party goers were ready to depart for the afternoon, they had amassed quite a collection of goodies already, from animal masks, safari ornaments, safari sand art necklaces, beaded necklaces, safari binoculars, and animal print bracelets. That didn’t stop me from making Lion Guard themed lollipops and gift bags, too.
I don’t like filling gift bags with candy, and I’m a teacher, so these gift bags were filled with other fun things, like animal print pencils, safari pencil top erasers, bookmarks, and stickers.
Everyone had such a Zuka Zama time at Fancy Free Daughter’s party. Ultimately, there are a lot of party ideas out there. These are just the ones that worked for us. Hopefully you’ll be able to find some inspiration here for your next Un-Bunga-Lievable Birthday Bash!
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