Idea No.

17035

Little Mermaid Party -2yr- Gold Fish Favors

Award

Date

December 2007

From

LaChrisa in The Colony, TX

Runner Up

Ariel Little Mermaid Party

I know that this sounds like a boring, unoriginal idea, but it is all in the presentation.  We leaned more towards The Little Mermaid since it was a 2nd birthday for my neice.  We wanted to dress my niece into a mermaid costume we found after Halloween for less than $2 and took a picture of her with a sea of blues behind her, but she was not having any of it. 

So we found a really cute picture of her at one of the events she attended earlier in the month and posted it with a balloon and 2 candles flanking it.   We put all the details of the party and then a quick COME TO MY PARTY AND CELEBRATE ME TURNING 2.  I did make some Little Mermaid Under the Sea flyer invitations for those with out emails.  It did not have the picture of the birthday girl on them though.  I found all the graphics for this flyer online, such as Ariel, Sebastian, and Flounder.  I also found seaweed and another fish graphic that I used.  I used preset backgrounds to make it look like an ocean, placed the seaweed in various sizes and height at the bottom of the page.  I then added the 3 characters playing in the seaweed.  I took the other fish graphic and made a school of fish swimming above the characters, through the party details and so on.  At the top, I wrote XXXXXX is turning Two and she is inviting You to her party, UNDER THE SEA in word art with similar colors of the preset background.  They turned out so nice.  I really wanted to send these out to everyone too, but the mom did not want it to be to formal. 

It just so happened when my sister in law made the decision to throw the party, the 99-cent store in my town had just stocked up on The Little Mermaid stationary inventory.  I found every pen, pencil, crayon, scribble pads, erasers, and so on imaginable.  There were desktop sets and diaries.  So I stocked up on them.  I was not sure if I was going to put them in a goody bag or make them prizes at that time, but had to get them in case the inventory was low by the birthday date.  By the way, the birthday was in December and we started planning this in May.  I love to find a bargain and you have to have time to research if you want a lot for a low price.  I will tell you later what we did with all the Little Mermaid stationary finds later.  I want to get into the decorations, which transformed an already nautical themed game room into Sydney's Grotto.  I say way better than the One-year party I helped orchestrate and execute for her.   

The mom and I taped and twisted some streamers between the all the spindles to the railing leading to the game room where the kids would be for most of the night. We alternated light purple, dark purple, light blue, and turquoise.  I purchased large beaded necklaces from the local craft store in the Halloween clearance.  They are about 4 or 5 feet long from end to end and looked like little bubbles.  I bought them in clear, pink, purple, and blue.  I took these and strong them between the pillars and over the railing on the upstairs walkways.  I was able to connect them with the rubber clasp on one end of each necklace for the wider spaces that over looked the entry and the family room.  So it was one pink beaded necklace in one opening, with a 6 inch blue and 6 inch purple round paper lanterns above it.  Then blew up a whale and hung it under the beds.  Direcly across from that was another open, but larger so I connect 2 blue necklaces to string across.  I hung 16 inch white, 6 inch pink, and 6 inch purple round paper lanterns above the necklace. 

In the opening that overlooked the entry way and the stairs, I strung 2 clear beaded necklaces with 16 inch purple, 6 inch pink, and 6 inch blue round lanterns.  Then the opening that over looked the family room, I strung 2 purple beaded necklaces across with 16 inch white, 6 inch pink, and 6 inch blue round paper lanterns over it.  It was very girly and made for a great entrance when you came in the front door.  Speaking of the front door, we placed the party favor table there, so no one would forget their party favor when they left for the night.  I took a 3 by 4 foot folding table covered it with a purple plastic table cover.  I wrapped the table cover around the table like gift wrap.  I placed light blue tissue paper across the top I a diamond pattern.  Then placed the party favor on top. 

The party favor was an actually gold fish.  I had found these round 5 inch rose bud glass vases for 25 cents at the Dollar Spot inside Target.  Then we purchased the fish for 12 cents each.  I also purchased some gold fish flakes and we placed a few pinches in snack bags that were put in their prize bag, I will get to that shortly.  Helpful Hint when giving fish as a party favor buy a few extra in case some decide to kick the bucket before the kids leave.  So basically the party favor cost us less than 50 cents.  We were going to add some rocks, but to save some more money we just put tissue paper over the top of the vase and then inserted the bag with the fish so it would be easier to travel home.  We also placed a frame on the party favor table with the same picture.  It was originally a black Class of 2007 graduation signing frame, so I painted the frame white. 

Then I took brown 2 inch satin ribbon and covered the Class of 2007 band that went down the left side of the picture mat.  I also took the same brown ribbon and put it across the mat above the picture.  After I secured the ribbon, I put decorative alpha stickers that were in a garden theme since her room is a garden theme. I spelled out her name and then TWO.  I did one last year too and hope to do one for her every year.  The funny thing is the mom had a friend cut and paste the original picture to fit inside a Little Mermaid graphic when we were trying to get a good picture for the frame.  It was the cutest thing and made us giggle every time.  We made it into a thank you card that we sent by email everyone.  It is simple, just THANK YOU FOR COMING TO MY PARTY written at the bottom.    

Now back to the decorations.  Fortunately, since the parent's game room is a nautical theme it was painted a pretty pale blue, walls and ceiling.  There were several  sunken treasures to incorporate with the theme too.  The main cost, time, and decoration were the balloons and streamers.  I purchased blue, white, and purple (to make it more girlie) package of balloons.  I the streamers at various lengths and taped them all over the ceiling.  I also hung the paper round lanterns in purple, white, pink, and blue at various lengths from the ceiling.  On the 6 inch lanterns I hung a few of them on top of each other in multiple of 2's and 3 threes, so it appeared as if bubbles were going up to the top of the ocean.  Along with the lanterns and streamers I hung inflatable fish and sea creatures of various colors, sizes, and so on from the ceiling.  I found some various colorful cardboard fish cut outs from the Dollar Tree, 8 in a pack and about 8 inches from belly to top fin.  I taped these to all four walls at various heights so it looked like they were swimming around you.  I also hung and taped some over the blinds of the three windows in the room.  I had also found a pack of 30 3-inch fish paper cut outs that were all the same so I put them on the same wall with the 3 windows as the school of fish and to cover more of the blinds. 

There was one wall that was adjacent to the window wall that had another opening that over looked the family room, so I did the same streamer effect in it.  I taped them to the top and bottom of the opening and twisted them to look like waves.  I spaced them apart about 10 to 12 inches.  In between the streamers I hung pink 6 inch round paper lanterns and 5 inchs inflatable fish.  It looked sort of like an aquarium.  In the doorway entering the room I hung purple curling ribbon at various lengths with some pink streamers as well. I also found mini stuffed sharks and red/white striped fish at Ikea for like 25 cents each too.  The parents have a basketball shooting game with a net that I put the sharks and fish in until they were given as prizes.   I believe I had 100 pearl blue, 100 white, and 50 purple balloons all over the floor, stacked up against the wall, and under some of the game tables.  It looked like sea of bubbles. We used an air compressor to blow them all up to save some time and our lungs.   We used these balloons for a game that I will explain later.  I was going to plant seaweed around the walls around the treasures that were already in there, like at several ships and boats, a chest, and all the game tables.  Unfortunately time did not permit me to get the stuff, but I would of done this by purchasing several leaf type floral picks, floral foam, and gray tissue paper.  First wrap floral floral foam with the tissue paper so it looks like a rock.  Then stick the leaves into the wrapped foam and place them around the room.  

There were floral stems at Dollar Tree and on clearance at Michael's, that were pretty cheap just never got around to executing this idea.  Maybe I can do it next time.   We had the main food downstairs and since we had a lot of adults we did not do themed food, but did have a seafood menu, like shrimp balls, shrimp spring rolls, crab soup, and squid salad.  My niece's grandmother caters Vietnamese and Chinese food; so she made several dishes that to nibble on during the party. There are several options for food, such as Ursala's dog, hot dogs sliced to resemble tentacles or Seashell Salad, shell Italian pasta salad.  If you have done any research on the web for Under the Sea party, you will find an endless list of themed recipes. I did make fish sugar cookies, which was actually pretty easy and fun.  You just take the premade sugar cookie dough in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, knead in ¼ cup of flour, roll it out, and use a fish shaped cookie cutter that you can purchase at Michaeal's craft store.  We did put one of the birthday cakes upstairs on a decorated table.

Yes, I said one of the cakes.  One of the aunts has a wedding business and ordered 2 sample wedding cakes that we decorated with the candy cake decorations that were in a under the sea theme.  There were starfish, fish, turtles, and seaweed in each package.  We found these on clearance at target for about a dollar and bought 3 of them.  We also found the cake alpha/numeric candy to spell out HAPPY BIRTHDAY and the birthday girl's name.  I decorated both of the cakes very similar around the cake with the fish, turtles, starfish, and seaweed.  I did it a little differently on top though.  On one of the cakes we were going to place the 2 candle on it with out any letters or numbers, so I placed turtles, some fish on top of the cake around the edge as if it was circling the candle.  On the other cake I used the alpha/numeric cake candy decorations to write our message and then inserted some fish and start fish between the lines and words.  This cake was placed on the table upstairs. 

Now back to the table, it had a turquoise plastic table covering and pink kid hula skirts around the edge of the table.  This added a girlie color and depth to the tablescape.  I cheated and only put the pink skirt on 2 sides, so I could use one of the pink skirts under the clear glass pedestal.  We had dark purple paper cups that we found on clearance, but really did not need them since we decided at the last minute not to have punch upstairs with a bunch of kids. They were there for a pop of color mainly.  Also we used the pink cake plates for another pop of color.  I originally put the fish cookies on plates in front of the cake, but since none of the kids touched them, I placed them in snack zip loc bags while they were playing and put them in their prize bags, which I will get very soon.  I laid seashells on the table like confetti and around the cake since there was plenty of room on the cake pedestal.  I also hung string round 2 inch blue lanterns from the ceiling and let it hang down like bubbles.  I also found a  Little Mermaid placemat at the Dollar Tree that I taped to the wall behind the cake table.  We carried this cake downstairs and pulled out the other one when it was time to sing Happy Birthday to the birthday girl. It was easier and more room downstairs to do this. 

I surrounded the cake table with the prize bags, yes we are finally getting to the prize bags.  Several things went into this bag, but first the bags.  We purchased the large size gift bag pack at Walmart for $3.48.  It is 5 in a pack  in blue,dark purple, dark pink, and lime green.  I purchased foam cut outs of dolphins and seahorses from Michaeal's on clearance for 25 cents each.  I had a few extra so I taped them to the walls. I tabled these to the front for us to write the name of the kid on once we passed them out to the guests.  We made a snack mix with gummy sharks, Cheddar Whales, chocolate graham turtles, Cheddar Sea creature, and Sea Creature cookies that we placed in individual snack Ziplocs to put in the bags.  I also purchased pre cut sea life themed wavy border from the teacher's section of Dollar tree.  We taped the ends together to make the party hats, hat I stuck over the handles of the bag.  We had all the kids wear these when we were singing Happy Birthday.  It was really cute.  I also found coloring pages for Little Mermaid, Shark Tale, and Finding Nemo on the internet.  I picked 2 from each movie and put them in a package.  I randomly put 1 sheet in each bag with a box of 8 count crayons that were in a Little Mermaid theme.  We handed these out to the kids so they could carry their prizes and party favors home, not to mention the various snacks and candy they got during the party. 

The games and activities were as planned and we were able to get to all of them.  The parents have a fully equipped game room with a basketball hoop, air hockey, foosball, PS2, and 2 slot machines.  Needless to say the kids kept very busy the whole time upstairs while the parents were able to have some adult time down stairs.  In the balloons placed on the floor we placed mini erasers shaped in sea creatures and fish, candy, and then pieces of paper with either a 1, 2, or 3 on it. The numbers represented a prize number to the any items that could not fit into the balloon.  We had so many prizes, like themed prizes to hand out, such as all the Little Mermaid staionary items I mentioned up at top.  Finding Nemo and Little Mermaid pez dispensers/candies, Finding Nemo card games, Shark Tale jigsaw puzzles, Spongebob memo pads, and Little Meramaid spin pop toys.  The same aunt with the wedding business was able to burn Finding Nemo and Shark Tale DVD's and actually print the DVD stickers to place on the disc.  They looked so great.  We made 5 of each. I found 3 Little Mermaid CD's for under $2 at Target, that was a deal.  I used one for the hot potato game and gave it to the birthday girl.  We also had candy necklaces, Shark Bite gummies, Foot Long roll ups, and extra large pixie stixs,  I also found jumbo pens and a hair accessory kit in Little Mermaid.  The erasers were like booby prizes.  The kids loved popping the balloons, but some of the parents were helping the smaller kids and they were having just as much fun.  We did not do this until last, though.  We wanted to have good pictures for most of the night.  This was a great idea to clean up all the balloons too. 

Another game was Ursala Toss, I purchased an inflatable octopus with rings.  I also found inflatable shark ring toss game for $0.75 on clearance, so we also had Lenny Toss, for those not too familiar with Shark Tale, Lenny was the shark that did not eat fish. The kids attempted to throw all 4 rings onto the octopus tentacles for points there were 1st (DVD) 2nd (CD), and constellation prizes (Little Mermaid pencils) given on this game.  On Lenny Toss, the kids attempted to throw 4 inflatable rings onto the nose of the sharks.  Even if they did not get a ring on the nose they won a thanks for playing prize.  We had it set up to win like a carnival, 1 ring = mini stuffed shark, 2 rings = Shark Tale Puzzle or 3 D fish puzzle, 3 rings = PEZ dispenser, and all 4 rings = DVD.  We also played a version of Hot Potato with the a pink stuffed squid called PASS THE SQUID.  If you got caught with the squid when the music stopped you were out, but you got a candy bracelet for playing.  The winner got a DVD. 

Another game we had was Go Fishing where 3 kids attempted to fish out all the sea creatures from a bucket and the one with the most one.  I also gave constellation prizes for this game, which was the mini stuffed fish that I put in the net of the basketball game.  I used those magnetic fishing toys and put blue tissue paper in a large bucket with the plastic fishes.  It was a good idea, but the string kept getting tangled and when the kids went for the same fish their magnets would connect, so I had to referee the whole time.  We pretty much handed out all the prizes, which the total quantity was 230, by the end of the night.  Anything not left in a package was given to the birthday girl and everything still in it's packaging is being returned to the store.  I found sea creature shaped beads, round shaped, and square shaped beads for the kids to make some jewelry.  They came in pastel and primary colors since we had both boys and girls at the party.  I completely forgot to buy the string so we used the purple ribbon.  This was placed in a bowl on the kids table for anyone to play with while in between games as well. The bags were big enough to put all their winnings, goodies, and other stuff they got through out the party.  It was a great success and went very smooth even though we had several late arrivals that I had to go back and play games over, but it just kept the party going and gave other another opportunity to win more prizes.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together for my favorite niece that is until her new brother or sister arrives in July.  I am only kidding.  I will be submitting a baby shower for another nephew schedule to be here in January too.  So take a look at that party for some ideas as well.

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