Out of the numerous Bible stories, the tale of Noah and the ark often resonates best with children. Little kids are drawn to the story because of the animals marching two by two into the ark and then the ark becoming a floating zoo. It is an easy way to begin to teach children lessons of obedience and introduce the idea that God loves those who are obedient, such as Noah. A Noah's ark birthday party can bring these lessons home in a festive, colorful celebration.
Draw a simple ark or find a drawing of an ark and print it onto brown card stock for the invitation. Write in the party details on the boat and any special instructions you might have for guests. Have your child hand these out in church and at preschool.
Have two adults dress up as Noah and his wife during the party. Ask your church staff if they have costumes that they would be willing to lend you for the party.
Decorate your party space with a large brown ark cut out of kraft paper. Draw or print out animal pictures, two of each animal you wish, and tape them onto the ark. Write each guest's name on one of the animal shapes. Consider decorating with inflatable jungle animals that the guests can then take home as party favors.
Set up several animal and ark-themed activity and craft stations. Have the children rotate through the stations every 10 minutes.
Play "Pin the Tail on the Monkey" at one activity station. Print out a picture of a monkey and cut off the tail. Make enough copies of the tail for the number of children invited to the party. Hang the monkey on a wall and have children take turns trying to tape on his tail while blindfolded. Hand out a prize to the winner.
Play an animal-themed game of "Follow the Leader." Have the birthday child lead the other children around in a circle. The leader needs to pick an animal and act out what that animal does. While the leader is performing the of animal motion, the other children must follow what he is doing. Once the allotted amount of time is up, say 30 seconds or a minute, the next child in line gets to become the leader.
Make a rainbow craft at one of the craft stations. Before the party, cut curved strips of construction paper in shades of the rainbow. Cut out cloud shapes with white construction paper or plan on using cotton balls for the cloud. At the craft station, have the children glue their rainbows down strip by strip on white poster board paper. Add clouds on either side of the rainbow. Have the children write the Bible verse from Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord,” or write it for them if they are unable. Explain to the children that the rainbow was a sign from God that he would never flood the Earth again.
Have children make animal masks to wear at one of the craft stations. Set out paper plates cut in half, with two circles cut out for eyes. Have a child select what kind of animal he or she wants to be and have the child decorate the paper plate to resemble the animal. Set out markers and crayons, as well as feathers for the masks. Once the child completes the mask, staple elastic to either side and have the child wear his animal mask. Pair the children up two by two and march them around in an animal parade led by the adult dressed as Noah.