My little monkey turned two last week! I can't believe how quickly he is growing up. To celebrate, we threw him a monkey party with some family. He's very into monkeys right now. And the Wiggles. And the Wiggles singing "Do the Monkey". That is the perfect combination for him.
I try to do fun and simple birthday parties. It's always frustrating to me to search online for birthday party ideas and only see decorations, invitations, party favors, and such. I am much more focused on what we do at the party than what the party looks like. I try to think of things the birthday child will enjoy and will make good memories. Granted, a 2 year old isn't going to have great memories of his 2nd birthday party, but his siblings will!
Here's what I came up with for his party.
|nothing fancy, but the kids loved them!|
I made monkey party hats for the kids. These were very simple. I just bought some brown and tan fleece, cut out ears and a hat, and sewed them together. Sorry I'm not going to give directions. I figure they're probably easy enough to figure out just from looking at them. The kids got to keep them as their party favor. Although I found out the hard way that the fleece was only stretchy one way, so some of the hats that I hadn't cut out with the width going the right direction wouldn't stretch onto the kids' heads. Luckily I was able to make more right before the party. So be careful how you cut!
|Nathan was not a fan of his hat, strangely enough|
Next, we played "5 little monkeys swinging in a tree", except we had 7 little monkeys. We just chanted the rhyme together:
7 little monkeys swinging in a tree
Teasing Mr. Alligator "Can't catch me!"
"You can't catch me!"
Along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
And snapped that monkey right out of that tree!
6 little monkeys . . . .
The kids all sat on the tree/couch, and we enlisted the help of Uncle Jon to be our alligator. He would go back and forth along the couch and snap up a kid when it was time. The kids LOVED the anticipation and giggled with excitement, wondering when they were going to be snapped up. The little birthday boy, however, was not so happy. He got a little bit scared of Uncle Alligator and opted out of the activity. Perhaps acting out 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed would have been better for him.
|uh-oh, which monkey is he going to snap?|
|Aaaaah! He got the Brittany monkey!!|
(He was taking her to the snapped monkey waiting area)
Next, we practiced balancing bean bags on our heads and walking and talking like a monkey over to the monkey box and putting the bean bag in his mouth. (I had drawn a monkey, cut out his mouth, and taped it to a box) The kids had fun with this activity too. Even Nathan!
Then I scattered a bunch of banana cut-outs I had found at the parent teacher store all around the house and the kids went and gathered them up and fed them to the monkey (the monkey box again). This was probably Nathan's favorite activity, other than eating cake and opening presents. I told the older kids to just get 7 bananas each and leave the rest for the little kids. Nathan wanted to do this over and over again.
For our last activity, we played duck duck goose. Well, monkey monkey banana. This is always a favorite with the little ones.
Finally it was time for presents and cake! His cousin Ashley has a birthday just a few days after Nathan, so we did a family celebration together. Those are bananas on top of her cake, in case you couldn't tell.
To make the monkey cake, I used a Wilton Ball pan, adding cupcakes for the ears. The ears were tricky. I used straws to help secure them to the sides of his head, but I had several fall apart, so I was glad I had made extra.
And just because I think it's too too cute not to include, here is a bit of a video of Nathan opening his favorite present. His grandma has had this toy at her house from when my first son was crazy about the Wiggles, and decided to pull it out and give it to Nathan. He had never seen it before and to say he was excited is an understatement. I had to pry his fingers off this thing at bedtime as he screamed at me.
He has carried it around with him for the last several days and I still laugh every time he starts dancing. He's just too cute! I sure love my little monkey.