When Mr almost 5 asked if he could have a snake and reptile party with his friends, my initial reaction was to shudder given my irrational fear of snakes.
After I recovered from this, I naturally got to work and started planning.
My first port of call was to find some real life snakes and lizards. It didn't take me long to find the amazing Animals of Oz who did more than deliver Mr almost 5 the birthday party of his dreams.
Steph from Animals of Oz kept the large group of 4 and 5 year olds interested and entertained for an hour. A mean feat for anyone but she nailed it!
Not only did they get a turn at getting up close and personal with all the animals, they also enjoyed the informative nature of the session. Steph was a font of knowledge and certainly taught them a thing or two about Australian animals. Above all, Animals of Oz gave the kids an experience they will remember for a long time to come.
Mr almost 5 was chosen as the special range helper and was given prime position at the front so that he could help Steph with all her animal friends.
Mr almost 5 was given the opportunity to hold the animals as well as take them round to his friends so they could stroke or pat them.
There were whoops of delight and excitement as Steph introduced everyone to the likes of Freddo the green tree frog, Billy and Lily the baby sugars, Shadow the tawny, and lizards going by the names of Bubblegum, Sleepy and Prickles.
The piece de resistance was Opal the water python which Mr almost 5 wore like an over sized scarf as he paraded it around to show it off to his friends.
The children had such an amazing time and after an hour they were ready to let off some steam.
So I sent the, all outside armed with a bottle of bubbles which got the big thumbs up.
After a bite to eat and some time to re-charge, we gathered the kids in a circle to play 'hot snake'. A slight variation to the party game favourite 'hot potato' this time with a rubber toy snake! The aim of the game was to pass the rubber snake round the circle as fast as possible. When the music stops, the child who is holding the snake is out! It was a quick game but they all got in to it.
I did have another couple of games up my sleeve - musical statues and a scavenger hunt for toy snakes and lizards. Needless to say, we kicked straight in to the disco with glo sticks and a heap of balloons - what 5 year of doesn't enjoy this?!
We sent everyone home with a piece of snake cake and a snake cup cake, as well as a reptile party bag. Again, this party bag was a little different with a wooden lizard, pots of paint, a paint brush and a bag of snakes and a chocolate frog for the kids to enjoy when they got home (or even on the way home in some instances!).
The fact that parents had to drag their is away at the end meant that they all had a great time. Birthday boy announced that this was one of the best days ever...mission accomplished!