Little Mermaid -4yr- Pin the Fin on Ariel
Trina in Otsego, MN USA
For my daughter's 4th birthday we did a Little Mermaid party--it was the most fun we have had in ages! It was so much fun putting everything together, and I got lots of inspiration from this website.
For our invitations, I used the Disney Little Mermaid Print Studio, which I found on ebay for only $3.00. I used the letterhead setting, then printed out the party information on that sheet. It read "Ariel has sent you a message in a bottle...Mermaid Tabitha is turning four, Won't you join her on the ocean floor?" The rest of the invitation rhymed too, and I received so many compliments on it. I then rolled them up, tied them with some pretty aqua ribbon, then slipped them into empty plastic water bottles. I also put in some sand and sea shells. We hand-delivered some of them, but the post office actually mails these for around $.83 each.
The decorations were the most important part of the party for me--I really wanted our family room to look like it was "under the sea." I bought two huge rolls of aqua-colored plastic table covering from the party store, and covered every wall from floor to ceiling with it. The effect was so pretty--it really looked so serene. We also put blue, green, aqua, and purple streamers on the ceiling. We used the Little Mermaid Print Studio once again and printed out different fish characters and taped them to the wall covering. My daughter helped color them and put glitter on them.
We also bought 24 helium-filled balloons, as well as several Ariel and Disney Princess mylar balloons. For even more effect, we also added some regular air filled blue balloons for the floor, since we didn't have any babies attending. Outside our house, I hung a huge banner (again, from the Print Studio software) that read "Mermaid Tabitha's Party." I used pretty aqua netting to make an archway for our front door, and we had a Little Mermaid bubble machine right at the door too. I bought several fish-themed decorations from Oriental Trading, but I could have probably made everything with the print studio software, some card stock, markers, and some glitter paint!
My mother-in-law makde two beautiful cakes: one was the Little Mermaid cake using the Wilton pan (she had to rent it since it was discontiued), and she also made the Barbie cake with an Ariel doll--instead of the gown, she looked like a mermaid sitting on a rock. I decorated the cake area with a blue fish net and some colorful star fish. I had a big princess bowl that I filled with those little "Treasures" chocolate candies, and another sea shell-shaped bowl full of goldfish crackers. I bought all the Little Mermaid paper supplies from Party City, including cups, plates, napkins, and cute little pearl bracelets with Ariel on them (these were included with the party favors for the girls) We drank pink lemonade, with marishino cherry garnishes (the kids loved this!).
The activities for the party included decorating jewelry boxes (treasure boxes from Oriental Trading for the boys). I purchased the jewelry boxes from the Disney Store on clearance several months ago--they were a bargain! The girls loved them because they already had graphics of the disney princesses on them. I personalized each box with the child's name, and they decorated them with stickers, jewels, beads, ribbons, etc.
After they were finished with crafting, I sent them down to "Tabitha's Grotto" (the family room) to watch The Little Mermaid on tv while everyone else finished their project. The entrance into our family room is 7 steps down, so it felt like you were really entering the sea. The doorway was covered with strips of the aqua table cover material, with an archway of aqua netting, and a sign that read "Tabitha's Grotto." The kids felt like they were under the sea--they even acted like they were swimming down there!
We then played "Pin the Fin on Ariel," which was a poster-sized print of Ariel, which my daugher decorated with glitter. Each child had his/her own fin with their name. We then played "pass the treasure box." I first had the kids find the hidden treasure box (a styrofoam cooler decorated to look like a treasure chest), then they sat in a circle and passed the chest around to the music (Little Mermaid Soundtrack music, Under the Sea) until it stopped. Whoever had the box could open it and pick a prize. Inside were Little Mermaid cling sheets, foam fish-shaped balls, squirty fish, swim goggles, swim rings, beach balls, pretend gem-stone rings, Little Mermaid coin purses, and some glow-bracelets. The kids loved this game the best.
We then went upstairs to eat cake. By then the treasure boxes were pretty much dry, so the children were able to put their prizes in the boxes. After cake, we went downstairs to open gifts. I photographed each child with my little girl right before she opened each gift. After that, the kids were encouraged to go outside and play on our swingset or in the sandbox until their parents arrived. While the children were having fun outside, I slipped a favor bag in each of their boxes. Inside sheer blue bags tied with satin ribbon for girls, rope-like twine for boys, I put Princess fruit snacks, ring pops, pearl Ariel bracelets for girls, shark squirt-guns for boys, and some sea shells. Using the Little Mermaid print software I made round tags that said "Thanks for joining me Under the Sea!" It was really neat because a couple months prior, we went to Disneyland, and my daughter was photographed with Ariel, so we used that photo on the "thank you" tag.
I haven't done Thank You's notes yet, but we will use photos that we took of each of the children with my daughter--and I will also use the Little Mermaid print software again. I cannot tell how many compliments I received on this party--and it was more fun than you can imagine.
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