First Birthday Party: Rumble In The Jungle

Emerging trend: sophisticated kids party

There appears to be an emerging trend of our clients wanting a sophisticated themed party. What we mean by this is thinking outside of the box and not using decor styles that 'typically' fit the theme. To keep it understated with a sophisticated twist.

This is exactly what our most recent client was looking for. She asked us to help plan and style her son’s first birthday party with a jungle theme. She didn’t want too much animal print to be used, opting for more pastel colours and muted tones. We got to work designing a concept board incorporating all of her requirements. We started designing the decor for a gift table, snack table, photo booth, signage, drinks station, tipi area and party favour table. Keep reading to see the finished results.


This is a great way of welcoming your guests or helping them navigate the venue at a large event. There was a lot packed into the party, so the guests needed to know what was happening throughout the day. We incorporated this into the welcome signage board which was placed at the entrance. The guests then had an idea of what was happening and when. We also had wooden signs that were positioned at the photo booth, gift table and tipi area. These helped to reinforce the theme as well as bring a bit of fun to the party.

Snack Table

This area was so much fun to design. We used burlap sheets, wooden logs and crates to build up a jungle scene, completing the look with more soft toys, balloons and props. The snacks were laid out with fun food labels to fit with the theme. The centre piece of the snack table was the cake created by Newell Occasions. A buttercream iced vanilla cake with fondant animals that fit in perfectly with the jungle decor. Elegant and sophisticated, the animals reminding everyone it was still a child’s party. Adding another personalised touch, we had a backdrop with a message for the birthday boy turning one. We have written a previous blog about ideas for dessert tables so if you are feeling stuck, go have a browse.

Gift Table

A good place for a gift table is at the entrance of the party so your guests can drop off their gifts as soon as they walk in. We decorated this area with soft toys, binoculars and cameras as well as vintage books. As you know, we at YEP love to personalise the events we style so we added photo frames containing personalised poems for the birthday boy to add that special touch.

Drinks Table

As with a gift table, a drinks station is also best placed near the entrance. This is so guests can pick up a drink on their way in. For formal events, you could always have waiters near the entrance serving drinks on trays for your guests. As this was a more casual affair, jugs and glasses were laid out for guests to help themselves. We created some framed signage so guests knew what was included, with directions to the bar if they wanted something different.

Tipi Area

Our client was worried about her son being out of his routine and not being able to have a nap. A perfect solution for this was to create a tipi area complete with pillows which allowed the birthday boy sleep. One of our favourite things is creating bespoke props and this event was no different! We created cargo crates labelling them ‘Fragile Cargo’, ‘Caution Wild Animals’ along with other phrases. These were stacked up with plants, foliage, smaller soft toys and trucks. This helped to create a nice quiet area. The birthday boy was far enough to be able to sleep but still part of the party.

Photo Booth

Great for parties because let's face it, who doesn’t love a photo booth?! Especially for parties with a varied range of age groups like this one as it brings the guests together. This was another fun area to design where we could really bring the theme to life. The concept for this was to create a jungle backdrop and build it up. Filling it with various sized props from large soft toy animals, crates, trees and foliage. Not forgetting some animal masks so guests to get that all important jungle shot! To personalise this area, we created bunting with the birthday boys name on. We also added a cut out of Shikari Shambu, a cartoon character our client mentioned watching when she was a child.

It was a great success in this case as it was a chance for everyone (mainly the adults)! to mess around. Our client hired a professional photographer for the day, who was able to catch all the fun. Also, the guests at the booth received a professional shot which made for a lovely keepsake of the day.

Party Favour Station

If the entrance to your venue will eventually become the exit, party favours near the door is a great idea. This was the case here and we had the party favours ready to go with a piece of cake. This is a handy way of making sure your guests pick up a favour when they depart. In an ideal world you will get the chance to say goodbye to your guests individually. However, due to the craziness of a party, this isn't always possible. In this case, we created bespoke tags to wrap around the favours that read ‘thank you for coming’. This was a nice touch just incase the hosts did miss anyone leaving.

So this is how we at YEP plan and style a jungle themed party. The decor and theming fit in with the age ranges at the party and all the activities kept everyone entertained. Although this was for a one year old, most importantly, all the guests had fun.

Does anyone have any themed parties coming up? We’d love to hear all about it. Please comment down below and don’t forget to check out our instagram page for more sneak peaks.


Party Planner & Stylist: YEP Enterprise

Photography: Panayis Pictures

Venue: Marriott Bexleyheath

Cake: Newell Occasions

Party Favour: Kablooms