Mermaids Of Atlantis -4yr- Activity Treasure Hunt
Sarah in London, UK
For our daughter’s fourth birthday she chose a mermaid theme and we worked this into the Mermaids of Atlantis.
INVITATIONS I couldn’t resist making ‘message in a bottle invitations’. I bought parchment-style paper and found a map of Atlantis online that I used as a watermark, then printed the story of our party: The mermaids of Atlantis gather all of the lost pirate treasure for safekeeping until the pirates return. King Poseidon and Queen Amphitrite rule over the city of Atlantis and are planning a party to celebrate their mermaid daughter’s fourth birthday. But, some of the pirate treasure is missing and has been scattered throughout the sea! Please come help mermaid XX and her family find the missing treasure before the pirates’ return. All mermaids and mermen are gathering in Atlantis, PLEASE JOIN XX IN HER ADVENTURE!
DECORATIONS I hung shiny blue door curtains around our front entry way and added homemade standup seaweed and hanging crepe paper seaweed there (and all around the party). The party was in our backyard, where we decorated our jungle gym as The Forum with two giant triangles (gable ends) framed with Styrofoam crown molding and painted in a Greek theme. These went on the playhouse, which is on the top level of our jungle gym. We put white columns all around this, and next to our house. These were made of carpet tubes cut to size, painted white and topped with a gold foil-covered round cake board and a square styrofoam cake dummy. On top of the seaweed we had cardboard fish from OTC. I hung a 6-yard length of sea-themed fabric from Ikea from our second floor balcony to frame the eating area, where we had one long table with a pink cloth covered with a burlap cloth and five fishbowls full of shells and pink hydrangeas to finish off the tables.
COSTUMES As they arrived, the children were each given a mermaid tail (pink lame for the girls and green lining fabric for the boys). The girls got mermaid tops made of felt and decorated with tiny pink shells, lavender glitter glue and a tiny starfish, as well as an OTC shell necklace. The boys got gold sashes for their costume tops and OTC pirate necklaces. I dressed up in a Greek goddess dress with a long wig, and my husband wore a muscle shirt, gold sash and Poseidon wig and beard and carried a plastic trident.
ACTIVITIES After the kids were dressed, they got to make bracelets with pearl and seashell beads, then they played on the Forum until everyone arrived. Then I got things started by retelling the invitation story and saying that I thought that the fish could help give us a clue. We then went fishing in a tiny inflatable pool filled with fish that I cut from glitter paper and laminated, then stuck round magnets on to look like eyes.
I had written a number and a clue on each one, and as they were captured I put them on a magnetic white board and when they were all out they read To find the treasure that you seek, you will need to make a drink. Now go to the long, long wall, and a potion will tell all. So off we went to our low brick patio wall, which was laid with a station for each guest that had: squid ink (blackcurrant juice), dolphin tears (apple juice), octopus tentacles (gummy worms), fish scales (orange cake glitter) and a pearl (white mint). The kids made their drinks, and then I replaced the birthday girl’s with grape juice and we poured it on a white piece of paper that was painted with baking soda and the juice revealed the next clue: bubbles.
The kids had to pop the ‘bubbles’ (clear balloons filled with OTC plastic fish) to find the treasure map. The treasure map lead the kids on an obstacle course: hop over the lily pads (foam floor square), crawl through the seaweed forest (play tunnel), scale the wall of The Forum (the climbing wall on the jungle gym), slide down the vortex (the swirly slide), and balance across the sea (a low balance beam). At last they found the treasure in our patio cushion box under the trees. The Ikea treasure chest was stuffed with a pillow and then topped with necklaces, stick-on gems, and pirate gold. Then my mom read a mermaid story before the food.
PARTY SNACKS Each child got a hotdog cut like an octopus, a giant pasta shell with a meatball pearl, a slice of cheese cut like a starfish, fish crackers, a pink chocolate seashell and a footed bowl filled with blue jello with gummy fish inside. To drink they got sparkling apple juice in plastic champagne glasses, and bottles of water. The grown ups had pulled pork bbq rolls, chicken mole rolls, tortilla chips with ceviche, salsa and guacamole, sugar cookies made into sand dollars and a lime cheesecake.
CAKE I made a giant round cake and frosted it in pale blue, then made a doll cake on the top and frosted that white then covered it in brown sugar so it looked like a sand island, and piped in the mermaid tale so that it looked like she was sitting on the island in the sea. I added a fondant dolphin, fish and crab. Then I covered the base with white fondant and more brown sugar. I added green fondant seaweed and purple chocolate coral around the side, and a lot of pink chocolate shells.
FAVORS I got hessian drawstring bags for the kids and these were for their costumes and treasure, and I added some fish stickers, fish sucker rings from OTC and a mini bag of goldfish crackers.Everyone, especially the birthday girl, had a lot of fun!
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