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Snake Myths
All of the statements listed below are false:

1. Snakes always travel in pairs.
This is false. Exceptions to the rule: during breeding season (usually April-June) you may see males and females together.
2. Coral snakes have rear fangs. 
Coral snakes actually have front, fixed and grooved fangs which provide a primitive delivery of venom (compared to the pit viper).
3. Coral snakes can only bite small, thin areas.
Coral snakes can bite anything its mouth can grip. Its mouth is larger than it appears.
4. Coral snakes have to chew to inject their venom.
Coral snakes bite and hold on to inject their venom.
5. Cottonmouths cannot bite underwater. 
How do you think they catch water prey, such as fish?
6. Snakes always chase you when they are scared. 
If a snake comes quickly in your direction, it is most likely because it is confused. Its goal is to get away from you.
7. Most venomous snakes can jump at least 2 feet. 
Remember - snakes don't have legs! They can't jump.
8. Rattlesnakes can hear their rattle. 
It's difficult to hear when you don't have ears.
9. Snakes won't cross a hemp rope.
Snakes don't care about ropes. They will cross anything they can get over.
10. Snakes spit.
Not the ones around here. 
11. Venomous snakes have triangular heads. 
So do a great number of the NON-venomous. Most snakes have a triangular looking head. This is not a good way to determine between venomous and non-venomous.
12. It's definitely a rattlesnake... I heard it! 
Most snakes (both venomous and non-venomous) rattle their tails when startled and when hitting leaves, brush or anything its touching can resemble the sound of a rattlesnake.

14 Ways to Make A Successful Kids' Party

1. Limit the number of guests. We suggest 10 or fewer guests for children below the age of 6 years, 15 or fewer guests for ages 6-8 years, and 20 or fewer guests for ages 9-12 years.

2. "Cherry pick" your guests. You know which kids are "nice" and which can be "naughty", so only invite those children that you really enjoy having around your child. Forget social obligations, you're paying for this party, so invite only great kids for a great party.

3. Please don't bring additional guests. If you word it gently,it is perfectly ok to discourage additional guests. Too many parties double in size just because all of the siblings wanted to stay and the hostess was too nice to turn them away. We encourage you to blame the Reptile Adventure performer for the size restriction.

4. Build a party agenda and stick to it. Plan for every minute of the party and keep those kids busy and focused every second .Plan activities such as quiet indoor games, treasure hunts, craft tables, photo sessions, balloon animals, face painting, performances, etc. 

5. Banish the words "Just play"This will create chaos in about one nanosecond.  Boys will be battling with swords, and girls will be chasing and screaming. You will regret it.

6. Recruit 2 to 3 adult helpers to run the activities. Dads and grandmas are good, but teachers, coaches and scout leaders are the greatest- they know how to keep kids focused.

7. Cancel the bounce house. Yep, you think this is a good babysitter, but you are guaranteed to have bonked heads, smashed fingers, tears, and kids who are more pumped up than the bounce house. Not to mention, the liability.

8. Decorate, decorate, decorate! You should go overboard and turn your house or venue into a party theme. For instance, a Safari, indoor jungle, dinosaurs. Search online for great ideas, and I have some ideas here.

9. Make food and drink to match the theme. Search here or online for party food ideas to match your theme. Make up theme names for the food - such as Swamp juice (green Gatorade with pop rocks) or lizard tongues (cheetos).

10. Skip the cake mess. Opt for theme cupcakes or an individual decorated cookie. better to hand out and less mess. Better yet, send them home as a favor!

11. Set-up a kids table for eating. Don't expect a child to eat from a buffet (they're much too busy) or to eat neatly on your family room floor. Set up a table to sit still and eat. Less mess and much calmer.

12. Put Fido or Kitty away for the party. Other children may be allergic or just plain afraid of your precious pet. And, your pet shouldn't have to endure the stress of all those kids either.

13. Encourage "drop offs". Your child's party is really not the time or place for the local Mommy group to socialize. We have attended many parties ruined by chatting parents who were oblivious to the host's efforts to keep the party flowing. If parents stay, please remind them of the rules or provide them with a different area to socialize - like outside.

14. Don't serve alcohol. It sounds hospitable, but the focus should be on the kids. Serving alcohol could quickly turn your kids party into a cocktail party.
Reptile Party Ideas
Slither and slide, jump and wiggle. There's never a dull  moment when the party's theme is reptiles.

Invitations

Spiral Snakes
Cut a spiral out of green construction paper. Round the outside end to create a snake's head and the inside end to create the tail.Glue on googly eyes and a red felt tongue. Write party information around the spiral.

High Tech Invitations 
Send your invitations via e-mail by using the free invitation and RSVP service at www.evite.com. Lots of great graphics, themes and your guests all RSVP with the click of a button, 

Animal Crackers
Type up your invitations and slide them into un-opened boxes of animal crackers. Deliver the treat as your invitation!

Animal Noses
For another type of invitation, go to your local party or costume store and buy rubber animal noses. On animal stationary, write all of the party info and attach the animal noses and hand deliver to your guests. Make sure to tell everyone to come to your party wearing their noses!

Make Your Own
Go here to download Easy Card Creator www.easytocreate.com 
Very easy software to download you own files and pictures to create your own personalized card.

Links to invitations I have downloaded
snake in a tree invitation
Reptile Adventure card
Did someone say party card
Python Postcard
Iguana Postcard
Alligator Postcard
Milk Snake Postcard
Python Postcard
Frog Invitation

Decorations
Drape a green or brown fish net across the wall or ceiling. Attach plastic and cloth snakes, frogs, lizards, turtles, and other reptiles. Hang green streamers around the room for a jungle effect.

It's a Jungle in Here - As children enter, give them safari hats and a plastic compasses. Create a jungle atmosphere with lots of foliage, artificial or real. Hang stuffed animals from the branches of trees. Use lots of potted plants and trees (borrow extra from friend and neighbors). Arrange stuffed animals next to large plants. Use green streamers, jungle print balloons, and construction paper snakes or plastic snakes hanging in corners, from doors, and from the center of their party area. Add bunches of bananas and toy jeeps. Use butterfly or fish net swags around tables and across the room as you would crepe paper. Place little plastic bugs in the netting to make it appear as if the kids are on a safari, catching critters. Play animal or rainforest sounds as background sound effects. Use chalk to draw big animal footprints on your driveway, sidewalk and patio.

Jungle Table
Use animal print fabrics and inexpensive natural burlap as table drapes and chair covers. Use jungle theme plates and napkins and bananas labeled with each guests name as place cards. Use the snake cake as a centerpiece. Throw animal crackers as confetti all over the table as part of the look, as well as a tasty snake for hungry children.

Activities
* Make Snake Snacks - Mix gummy snakes, insects and small M & M's  (snake eggs) in a bag labeled Snake Snacks.
* Gecko Headbands - Make copies of the outline of a large gecko for each guest. Have guests color with markers. Cut out the gecko and attach to a construction paper headband.
* Reptile Roundup - Hide small plastic reptiles around the room or yard and challenge each guest to find one of each reptile.
* Slither and Jump - Divide into two or three teams and challenge guests to slither across the room like a snake and then return to the other side by jumping like a frog.
* Lizard Tail Tag - Divide into two teams, the team lizards, and the orange lizards. Tuck a green or orange lizard tail into each child's waistband. The object is to capture the other team's tails while protecting your own.
* Leap Frog - Organize guests into partners and have a leap frog race4 around the room.
* Plastic Frog Jumpers - Arrange guests at one end of an area with a hard surface. Give each child a plastic jumping frog, Challenge guests to jump their frogs from one end of the area to the other.
* Croc Toss - Create a crocodile from a long box with lid. Cover the box with green paper, prop up one end of the lid and cut jagged teeth and glue on big red eyes. Ask children to see how many raisins they can get into the crocs' mouth in thirty seconds. Do this several times, always trying to beat the previous record.

Favors
Snake snacks, plastic reptiles, reptile glasses, safari hats.
More Animal Party Games
Dinosaur Dig (ages 3-5) - The perfect game for a sandbox. Hide a bunch of small plastic dinosaurs in the sandbox and let your guests dig through the sand in search of those elusive dinosaurs.

Safari Hunt or Bug Hunt or Croc Hunter Game (age 3-5) -  Hide lots of plastic animals throughout your yard or house and let the children hunt for as many as they can find. For the bug hunt, give each child a bug keeper as a party favor.

Find Your Animal (ages 3-5) - Each child has to bring his/her stuffed animal. Put all of the animals together to make one big pile of animals. Then one-by-one, blindfold each child and have them try to find their animal.Give out prizes.

Bug says or Crocodile Says (ages 3-7) The players get into a circle and fulfill the commands of the leader. But they must fulfill those commands which begin with the word "Bug" or "Crocodile". For example: "Bugs squat!" "Bugs link your arms!" If a command is given like "Stand apart!" without Bugs being said before it and a player follows the command, they are out. The player who stays the longest is the winner.

Spider Crawl (ages 3-7) - Individual race or tram relay. Have the children get into the spider crawl position and have them race through a course or a set area.

Animal Tag (ages 3-7) - As in classic tag, everyone runs around avoiding "it". When a player is tagged, "It" assigns them an animal. For example, "You're a monkey" or a Lizard, or a turtle. The tagged person must stand where he is and act like that animal until another player tags (frees) him or the game ends. The game is over when everyone has been tagged.

Musical Animal Acts (ages 3-7)  A fun variation of musical chairs. When the music stops, the guest without a chair must pick the name of an animal out of a hat and must act it out as the other guests guess what it is. Repeat until all the animals have been acted out.

Peanut Push (ages 3-7) - Ask guests to pretend they are elephants and push a peanut across the floor with their noses. For older kids, it could be a relay game.

Animal Sounds Contest (ages 3-13) - Have your guests stand in front of the group and make their best animal noises. For older kids, use a panel of judges to later award prizes for the best, longest, shortest, loudest, quietest, most obnoxious, silliest, least like an animal... until everyone wins.

There's a Monkey on My Back (ages 6-13) Pair up your party guests and put a sticker of an animal on each child's back. Have the guests try to guess what their animal is by asking only yes or no questions of their partner. For example, "Do I have legs?" and "Am I green?". 

Jungle Charades (ages 6-13) - Download pictures of jungle animals and glue them on index cards. Have guests take turns choosing a card and acting like the animal while others guess.

Jungle Knots (ages 6-13) - This game will tie your guests up in knots! Instruct your guests to stand in a circle facing inward. Everyone extends their right hand into the ring and takes hold of someone else's hand. Then, do the same with their left hands. The object of the game is to see if they can untangle the "knot" by stepping over, ducking under people or turning around. Whatever happens, they can't let go of hands!
     Animal Party Theme    Ideas
* Reptile Party

*Jungle Party

* Luau

* Farm Animals

* Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

* Safari Party

* Rainforest Party

* Crocodile Hunter Party

* Bug Party

* Dinosaur Party

* Zoo Animal Party

* "Its a Jungle in Here!" Party

* Tropical

* Spider

* Camp Party

*Bayou Alligator Party
Snack Food Ideas for an Animal Party
Swamp Juice - Turn green Gatorade into a steamy swamp! After you've poured a glass, add a few Pop Rock candies. It will crackle, pop and spit when it hits the Gatorade. 

Jungle Sandwiches - Use cookie cutters to make animal-shaped  finger sandwiches.

Monkeys on a stick - Push a craft stick into a peeled banana. Coat the banana in dipping chocolate or peanut butter and roll in peanuts or chocolate sprinkles. Freeze and serve. (Beware of peanut allergies)

Animal Cookies - This popular treat can be made using any sugar cookie dough recipe and animal cutters. The kids would have fun decorating their own cookies at the party too

Ants on a log - Cut celery pieces about 6 inches long. Spread peanut butter or cheese spread on the celery from one end to the other .Press raisins into the top.

Worm Sandwiches - Cut hot dogs into slices lengthwise and boil or microwave until the slices curl like wiggly worms. Serve on hamburger buns.

Pizza Snakes - Simply roll out refrigerated pizza dough in the form of a snake. Add pizza sauce, toppings, and an olive for the eye. Bake at 425 F for 6-8 minutes.

For directions to make a snake cake, this site is really good and has lots of resourceshttp://spoonful.com/?id=50199




Is the Only Good Snake a Dead Snake?

Absolutely NOT!
Snakes are animals like any other animal - bird, cat, dog, etc. Most people, however, do not see snakes this way. They see snakes as a creature that deserves to be killed. Many people have an unfounded fear of snakes, due to myths and other untruths that are prevalent in our society. I'm very proud of the fact that my presentation helps to ease fears now, and in the future.

Why are Snakes on My Property?

Snakes do not come onto your property to hurt you or your family. Snakes are in search of:

•A place to hide


•A place to build a nest


•A place to live


•Food


•A mate


What Should I Do if I See a Snake?

Leave the snake alone. The snake is much more afraid of you than you are of it  ( in most cases). The snake will go away if left alone. In fact, most people are bitten by snakes when they try to kill it or get a better look at it. If you continue seeing snakes on your property, call a pest control service.


What are the Benefits of Snakes?

Snakes eat rodents (mice, rats, etc.) and insects, which can carry harmful diseases that can cause illness, or, in some cases, death.

Aren't all Snakes Poisonous?

No. In the Virginia, we have only 3 species of venomous snakes (copperhead, cottonmouth, and rattlesnake).

Will I Die if I am Bitten by a Snake?

According to the Virginia Parks and Wildlife, you are four times more likely to be killed by lightning than a snakebite. We have an average of two to three deaths per year from snakebites, compared with five to seven from insect bites and eight from lightning. 

For an interesting article about insect bites, see 
 www.winnipeg-bugline.com/health.html

Tips for snake-proofing your home

What You Can Do for Yourself

•Keep grass and vegetation cut short 

•Remove debris piles, (branches, leaves boards, logs)


•Do NOT store fireplace logs (use natural gas instead)

•Seal off spacing under A/C unit slabs, landscapiSeal area around A/C lines, electrical and plumbing going into the housing rocks, etc. 

•Know how to make a snake move without getting near it 


Cut low limbs (Keep three feet above the ground)

•Trim borders (along sidewalks, flower gardens) i.e. monkey grass to no more than six inches wide


Did you find a snake in your house?

Many snakes are found in urban settings where toads/frogs and other food sources are common. Look at each door threshold that leads outside. Turn off lights inside and see if light is coming through at the bottom. Look for openings around plumbing or electrical junctions coming into the dwelling. Are there any holes in walls for repairs, remodeling or where something poked a hole? If any of these things exist, seal them permanently or temporarily with "Great Stuff" expanding foam made by Dow Chemical. Wire mesh like hardware cloth can also be used in larger areas.

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                                On This Page
Snake Myths
Ways to have a successful kids party    Party theme ideas
Animal party games                               More Party games
Animal snack food ideas                        Reptile party ideas
Good snake/Dead snake?                       Snake proof your home