- Sophie &Friends
It’s time to make a rumble in the jungle with some serious rafter-swinging! That’s right, I’m talking about acting wild, climbing trees, and eating bananas! It’s time to get funky with the monkey with our “Monkey Business Party!”
The internet is filled with amazing images. Choose the one you like the best and print it up with words such as, “Come monkey around!”, “Get funky with the monkey!”, or “It’s time for some serious monkey business!” Make sure to include the important information: who, what, where, starting time and ending time, whether it’s a drop off or a "please stay" party, and how to dress (in our case, we usually say dress for mess!).
Anything jungle-y will work for this decor: palm trees, parrots, stuffed monkeys. Use dark green, lime green, and brown streamers around the room to create vines. You can even hang them from door frames in strips to create a sort of jungle curtain. Use fruits such as pineapples, bananas, and coconuts as centerpieces on your table. I found these cute monkey plates that I taped all around the room, peeking out from secret hiding places.
As the guests arrive, have them help you create your jungle. Use large pieces of newsprint paper (or any oversized paper -- even the backs of old wrapping paper will work. You want large pieces, though). Trace your guest’s hands twice on a piece of paper: one set on the bottom, and one set midway on the paper. Have your little monkeys then create their own monkey by using the traced hands to make the monkey’s hands and feet! Provide markers, crayons, and stamps to decorate the monkeys, then hang the finished artwork around the room as decor (don’t forget to write your guests' name on the paper so they can take it home at the end of the party).
This is a great little activity to have set up on the side, just for random fun as guests finish their monkey mural. It’s best done outside in the grass. Use nine weighted water bottles (fill each bottle with about 4 oz of sand, water, or pebbles) to serve as the pins. If you’re really industrious, you can spray paint them yellow to represent bananas. Create bumpers with pool noodles, then use real coconuts as the balls. You’ll want to buy extra as they tend to break over time! If the coconuts come wrapped in plastic, leave them wrapped. If a coconut does break, let the kids try it -- I’ll bet not many have tried fresh coconut! Take note though: some children can be allergic to coconut. Give each player a chance to knock down the pins. The fun thing is, because the coconuts are not perfectly round, they are wobbly and not easy to control, making for a bit of a challenge.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Have everyone stand in a big circle. One child is chosen to be the “jungle explorer;" they are sent out of the room. Choose one person from the circle to be the “head monkey.” The head monkey will start performing a motion (like scratching under their arms), and everyone in the circle will repeat what the head monkey does. After about 20 seconds, the head monkey changes the motion (like hopping up and down on one foot), and everyone in the circle follows suit. Once everyone in the circle has established the rhythm of following the head monkey, invite the jungle explorer back in. The jungle explorer stands in the center of the circle and is given three guesses to figure out who the head monkey is.
See No Evil
Three chairs are set up on one side of the room. Each is marked with a monkey: one with his eyes covered, one with his ears covered, and one with his mouth covered. Everyone lines up and is given a number, one through however many guests there are. The leader calls out four numbers. Those four players race to the chairs and try to sit down. One person will be left out. They immediately start counting to 5. If they can get to 5 before everyone can get into their correct monkey position depicted on their chair (covering eyes, ears or mouth), then they take that person’s place. If not, they stay standing. Whoever is left standing has to do something funny (either thought up by the players on the spot, or written down ahead of time and read by the leader). Once they have done the action, everyone returns to the line and four more numbers are called out.
One person is blindfolded. Everyone else is handed an animal card. The blindfolded person counts to 20 and everyone scatters. When the person gets to 20, everyone must freeze wherever they are. The blindfolded person now makes their way around the playing space. When they find someone by touch, they declare, “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” The person being touched replies either, “Sorry, I’m no monkey, I’m a… (the player will fill in the blank with whichever animal card they have, and if they like, make the appropriate noise)” or, if the player is holding a monkey card, “Yes, you are a monkey’s uncle!” Once a monkey has been found, a new round can be played.
Players are broken into teams and line up one in front of the other. The first person in line on each team is given a plastic banana. The object of the game is to pass the banana from the beginning of the line to the end of the line -- but hands may not be used! The banana is passed person to person, first using only the chin. If the banana falls at any time, it must be picked up by the dropper and repassed. Once it reaches the last person in line, they run to the front of the line and begin the passing again, this time using a different body part (see below for series of body parts in order). Play continues until the first person in line is back to the head of the line.
Body parts to use:
(Feel free to cut any in the list necessary to match your team numbers, or add extras: pinkies, backs of hands, etc.)
- Paper plates (the sturdier, the better)
- Paper tubes (T.P. size and bigger)
- Brown paper, paint or markers
- Green tissue paper
- Glue stick
- Hot glue gun and sticks (requires adult supervision)
- Puff balls (optional)
- If you wish, cover, color, or paint your tube (you can also leave it bare).
- Make six small cuts on one end of your tube around the tube and fold up the flaps.
- Attach the flaps to your paper plate with hot glue or tape.
- Take a sheet of green tissue paper by the center of the sheet. Gather the center, much like you would if you were making a gift bag, and insert the center into the open end of the tube.
- Twist, squish and form the edges of the tissue paper into leaves.
- Add more sheets of paper for more leaves.
- Glue puffballs on for coconuts if you like.
- Small beads or puffballs
- Large round bead (if you can get doll face beads, great)
- Wooden spool or large round bead with large hole
- Permanent markers
- Pipe cleaners (preferably the bumpy kind); 3 per monkey
- Glue gun (requires adult supervision)
- Cut the pipe cleaners so that each one has 2 bumps (if using bumpy) or into 6-inch pieces (if using regular).
- Line up all three pipe cleaners and slip them through the hole in the wooden spool. The spool should be halfway up the pipe cleaners.
- Bend down two pipe cleaners at the top to become arms. Two on the bottom become legs, one on the bottom becomes the tail.
- Draw a little face with the permanent markers on the large round bead.
- Slip the face bead over the remaining pipe cleaner and fold over the edge to secure in place.
- Glue two beads on either side of the head to make ears.
- Add beads for hands and feet (if you like).
Monkeys are a pretty healthy bunch, so why not serve up some fruit salad, banana muffins, banana bread, or eve make banana splits?
Although I personally think the craft itself is a great take home, you might want to give each guest a Barrel of Monkeys and maybe some Banana Gumballs!
If you happen to be in a park or have a jungle gym in your backyard, then encourage the kids to climb, swing, and basically monkey around. You could even take photos of them hanging from one arm (if they feel secure enough in doing so) or hanging upside down doing their best monkey imitations. Just remember this is about having fun and acting silly, so don’t let little things throw a monkey wrench into your plans... just go with the flow and start monkeying around!