Mermaid Party -5yr- Crab Race
Jessica in Cape Town, South Africa
MERMAID PARTY: When my daughter turned 5, she desperately wanted a mermaid party.
INVITATION: we collected a couple of small glass bottles with cork tops, tossed in some beach sand and small fishy cutouts, and this invitation rolled up in a scroll: Catch the next wave on to Mermaid cove! Bring your bather and be ready for a fine birthday splash! Sea you there! On top of each cork, we glued a small white marble (a pearl) and a strand of curling blue ribbon which had a little orange card fish at the end with each child's name on.
DECORATIONS: We made ribbon wave curtains to cover every doorway that her guests would have to pass through. We used different shades of thick blue ribbon and attached strips to the top of each doorway, curling a few strands every now and then. My daughter made orange handprints on paper which we cut out, turned around and drew googley eyes on the palm to create super looking octopus images. These we attached haphazardly to the ribbon curtains.
MAKE_UP: When each guest arrived we decorated their faces with face paint. The girls had silver spirals and swirling dots over their eyebrows and down their cheeks, while the boys had fishy scales . We adorned their arms and legs with gold and silver stars and shiny body jewels.
DRESS-UP: We tied green raffia to upper arms and ankles for seaweed. The girls each got a felt shell bra decorated with glitter glue and beads. We made sea anenomes for their hair by tying many strands of different coloured curling ribbon to plain hair clips and gluing a small white marble pearl to each clip. The boys each got a shark tooth necklace made of shark tooth shaped beads.
PHOTO SHOOT: Of course with everyone looking so great, we couldn't miss the opportunity for a photo shoot. We assembled a great photo shoot set by placing two shell-shaped plastic sand pits at right-angles to each other. We put a large pink cushion in the base shell and a huge white plaster of paris pearl on the cushion. We had made a giant clam with it's own pearl big enough to take a pic of each little mermaid comfortable posing on the cushion. As we had lovely weather, this was all set up outside. We tied loads of blue streamers to the trees and bushes around the shell to create our very own waves!
TREASURE HUNT: We hid hundreds of little white marbles all through the garden and each child had to go hunting for pearls! They got to keep the pearls they found.
BUBBLE COMPETITION: Each child got a bottle of bubble solution, and the bubble blowing competition was underway. There were little prizes for the child who's bubble was: the biggest, the smallest, the highest, the longest-lasting, the most bubbles attached to each other.
CRAB RACE: A very easy game to play. Two lines were marked on the lawn. The kids raced each other crab-style (on their hands and feet, bellies up), from one line to the other.
BOMB THE PIRATE: My husband offered to help with this game. He was dressed as a pirate, and agreed to let the children throw water balloons at him. The children loved this game. My husband got drenched.
CAKE: We made a simple bowl shaped cake which we covered with chocolate peanut clusters and sprinkled liberally with brown sugar. This made a very effective rock and sea-sand. We iced blue waves around the base and stuck all manner of fish-shaped sweets into the waves. We perched an Ariel mermaid doll atop the rock. The birthday candles were red star candles that I had melted orange and brown wax crayons over to look like starfish.
PARTY PACKS: Each child received a plastic tub that I had lined with blue cellophane and filled with all manner of blue or sea related sweets. I had closed each box with two straps of thick black ribbon and little bar of silver sellotape to make them look like treasure chests. On top of each box, we put together a sweet mermaid. We used half apricot sweets for the heads, curly orange corn chips for the hair, fish shaped marshmallows for the body and fish tale, two round jelly sweets for the bra top, and silver balls for the eyes. Pink smiling mouths were piped on with icing.
OTHER FOOD: We sliced viennas in half (length-ways) then perpendicularly to create legs. Each vienna sausage was fried so that the legs separated and lifted slightly to make authentic looking octopus sausages. These were served with 1000 Islands dip. Also on the menu was a tuna pasta salad, blue milkshake, fish-shaped pretzels, and fish fingers. We mad clam meringues by icing two conical meringues together at their bases, just t an angle to allow a small silver ball (pearl) to be squeezed in between them.
FREE TIME: was filled with turns on a super inflatable slip and slide. The kids couldn't get enough of throwing themselves down the slide and splashing into the pool of water at the end. This we rented from a local jumping castle agent.
PINATA: The giant pearl which we had used for the photo shoot in the clam shell was actually a pearl pinata. It was made by layering strips of plaster of paris soaked newspaper over a round balloon and allowing to dry. When dried and hardened the balloon was popped and removed. We made a covered a similar sized balloon partially to create a well-fitting lid for the larger bowl. We attached the two pieces of pearl together by drilling a small hole in the center of each shell and threading a string through both holes once the lid was in position over the larger shell. Of course the pinata was filled with all manner of sweets and plastic jewelry for the children to collect.
THANK YOU GIFTS: The children each received a small plastic clam filled with angel hair and plastic bath toy. We selected sea-themed animals to put inside the clams (like starfish, crabs, fish etc)
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