The next kid's birthday party you host could be an unusual, fun and educational experience for your guests! Instead of a clown or bounce house, consider inviting friends and family to party with unusual animals and have some edu-tainment!
Look to see if your area has an animal rescue program - these facilities often offer tours or visits or will send out wildlife presenters who bring mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and bugs for an up close and personal look. These rescue facilities try to rehabilitate the animals to go back to the wild, but sometimes the animal cannot be released successfully. If so, they then become an animal ambassador - if they possess the right temperament to travel, be around people and so forth. Presenters often have degrees in biology or wildlife education and have a lot of experience talking about animals in an interactive and fun way. Kids (and adults) learn about where the animals are from, what they eat, their favorite things to do, and the special ways they live their lives. Through the animals, a new appreciation for the natural world is fostered.
-- This is a great idea for kids ages 3 and up (depending on the maturity of the kids.)
-- Ask if the organization is fully permitted, licensed and liability insured.
-- Plan to donate to the organization- some donations are 100% tax deductible. What other birthday items are?!
-- Provide arriving presenters a close parking or unloading space and let them know about any stairs or difficult access.
-- Ask them how many kids can be present and how much total space the presenters will need.
-- People wrangling is important: withhold snacks for the kids during the presentation, and make sure that kids know to have indoor voices and to “stay on their bottoms” during the presentation unless invited up to be with the presenter.
-- Ask the presenters what their ground rules are so that you are prepared to help the kids comply.
-- Ask presenters if they can bring at least one "touch" animal. The highlight of our party was when the kids got to touch an armadillo!!!
-- Plenty of adults should accompany children guests for the supervision and safety of the children and the animals.
-- Afterwards, all the children (and adults) should clean their hands with antibacterial hand soap or wipes.
If you want something different and special... and definately memorable - you can emphasize having fun while learning at the same time by inviting animal ambassadors to your kid's party! It is a great way to go!