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Our wildest ideas for jungle games, DIY attractions, and creating a lush habitat in your own home

Can’t make it to the Serengeti this summer? Bring the safari to you! Here’s how you can take your kids on a jungle expedition this summer without even leaving your place. Put on your bucket hat and binoculars and brace yourself for an untamed adventure.

SET UP THE HABITAT

Vines: Tape green and brown streamers to a hula hoop and suspend it from the ceiling with fishing wire attached to a hanging plant hook. If you’re willing to devote more time to your vines, check out these paper bag vines. They’re fun to run among!

Balloon palm trees: You don’t need living foliage to create a forest of greenery in your family room. Make your own balloon palm trees and string up your finest stuffed monkeys to it.

Tiki torches: Stick ’em into house plants.

Lighting: A little ambience goes a long way. Green and red light bulbs cast an eerie, swamp-like glow over a room.

Flying animals: Hang rubber bats, birds or butterflies from fishing wire, mobile style, from curtain rods, lighting fixtures, or ceiling hooks.

GAMES AND ACTIVITIES

Indoor Zip Line

An indoor zip line like this one will make your kids feel like they’re soaring through the air above jungle treetops. The dad in this video responds to a comment asking how you can make one yourself:

“I used about 40 feet of static climbing rope which I tied to a large water pipe near the ceiling. The other end was attached to some kind of support for a shelf, then I tensioned it. I used a pulley on the line to which I attached a carabiner and then my daughter who was in my climbing harness. In lieu of an official harness I’m sure you could use a long length of climbing webbing to wrap around the hips and waist. There may even be a YouTube post on how to use webbing for a harness.”

Ambitious, but rewarding for those who dare.

Jungle Obstacle Course

The jungle has threats lying around every corner! Starting at “basecamp”, get your kids to lug a backpack full of base camp supplies (blankets, pillows, maps, etc.) through a series of jungle themed obstacles. Time each quest to see who can make it through the perils of the jungle quickest. Here are some obstacles you can incorporate:

A bat cave to crawl under (chairs brought together with a blanket tossed over them).

Poisonous vines that hang from the ceiling to the floor (see above streamer vine  instructions).

A quicksand pit (a pile of beige towels).

A mountain or rock wall (a pile of couch pillows to climb over).

Snake pit (coils of skipping ropes).

A mob of ravenous stuffed animals.

A swamp to trudge through (a Rubbermaid tub filled with water and creepy crawlers and surrounded by towels).

Flashlight Creepy Crawler Hunt

Hide rubber snakes, frogs and tarantula’s throughout the room (in house plants, under couch cushions, etc.) for explorers to find. Turn the lights off and give each kid a flashlight for an added challenge. As they uncover the critters, have kids will stash them in their backpacks. Whoever find the most creepy crawlers wins.

REST STATION

When you want to take a break from questing through the amazon, kick your heels up in a rope hammock, or pitch a small tent or mesh bug net. Get those fluids back up with our swamp egg bubble tea recipe, and much on some peanut butter monkey pops. Or, kick back and watch one of our favourite wild animal films!

Photos by gipukandowbigginorangesparrow via Flickr. 

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