Choose your favorite reptile as the theme of your birthday party, or use a jungle full of alligators, snakes, lizards and toads to put your party over the top. If you have the party at a zoo facility with a reptile-petting section or invite a reptile specialist to attend the party, ensure that the children wash their hands thoroughly after petting the animals to help minimize the possibility of bacterial infection.
Colorful cardboard snakes and lizards wrapped over and around your front door set the tone for a reptilian extravaganza. Inside, hang paper snakes from ceiling lamps and houseplants and wrap them around table legs. Make stuffed reptiles peek out from behind bookshelves and couches. You can fashion an alligator from cardboard; paint it with green scales and position it to lurk in a corner of the room.
A snack-shaped cake stands out as the centerpiece of a party table. Piece a twisting snake-shape together from two bundt cakes cut in half horizontally. Or, use four cakes to form a coiled snake sitting upright; split the cakes in half horizontally and layer them in graduated layers, one on top of the other. Use plenty of colorful frosting and sugar sparkles to cover the seams on either cake.
Festive party food includes alligator meat, also called chicken nuggets, and tortoise eggs, usually called grapes. For a turtle salad, lay half a pear on a lettuce leaf, with clusters of raisins for feet, a grape for a head and shell designs on the pear with mayonnaise squirted from a tube. For a summer party, cut a watermelon in half lengthwise; hollow out the bottom half and refill it with melon balls. Carve the watermelon top to resemble a turtle shell and place it over the fruit.
Your favorite party activities are ideal for a reptile party with simple name changes; for young children, play "Frog, Frog, Toad" instead of "Duck, Duck, Goose." If you have outdoor space, rename "Red Rover" to "Snakes in the Gutter," in which one group of children forms a line, the gutter, while the second group becomes the snakes, who try to run through without getting tagged. Older children enjoy temporary tattoos, face-painting and charades, all of which can take on reptile themes.