For a child who is fascinated by zebras, a zebra-themed party will surely be a hit. When sending out the invitations, ask all of the party guests and parents attending to dress in black and white or zebra-printed clothing. Plan foods and activities that fit into the zebra theme. To break up the black-and-white color scheme, consider adding another color to the palette -- possibly hot pink for a girl or neon green for a boy -- or the birthday child's favorite color.
Find a printable zebra coloring page or image online and reformat it to 5-inch-by-4-inch size. Print out enough copies to have one for each invitation. Let your child color the zebras and glue them to the fronts of 5-1/2-inch-by-4-1/4-inch blank note cards or cardstock that has been cut in half and folded. Spruce up the images by adding stick-on "googly eyes" and using black yarn to make tails. Write the party details on the inside.
Decorate the party space with a mix of zebra-printed and solid colored party goods. Use zebra-printed tablecloths with black-and-white paper goods. Hang zebra cutouts on the doors, walls or chair backs. Hang black and white streamers from the ceiling and drape in doorways. Create centerpieces using a stuffed zebra for the base and suspend an arrangement of black and white balloons from the zebra. One zebra-shaped balloon can be at the center.
For a layer cake, make two 9-inch-by-13-inch layers, one chocolate and one white. Assemble the cake with the chocolate on the bottom and the white on top and frost with white icing. Dye coconut green and sprinkle over the top of the cake for grass. Place several small plastic zebras on the cake to mimic zebras grazing. Alternatively, make a zebra cake using a horse-shaped cake pan. Ice the cake with white frosting and use a piping bag to create black stripes.
Games and Activities
Play classic party games with a zebra theme such as "Pin the Tail on the Zebra," complete with a zebra-printed blindfold. Hot Potato can become "Pass the Zebra" and Duck, Duck, Goose becomes "Horse, Unicorn, Zebra." Have a zebra hunt in which children look for pictures of zebras hidden throughout the party space. For another kind of game, divide the kids into groups and have them think of common items that can be either black or white. Have an adult help each team write down its answers. Some common black and white items are cars, crayons, dogs, cats, hair, paper and gloves. The team coming up with the most original answers wins. For a more physical game, play "Zebra Tag." Begin by giving each child a length of streamer about 6 inches long. Have the kids tuck the streamer into the backs of their pants or a back pocket, with the majority of the streamer hanging out. Let them chase each other to try to pull out the streamer. If a child loses his tail, he is out and must forfeit his collected tails to the person who stole his. The child with all the tails at the end wins.
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