Idea No.

2514

Backyard Beach Party 1yr - Sandy Invite

Award

Date

August 2001

From

Deb in Melrose, MA  U.S.A.

Honorable Mention

Beach Party

My daughter's first birthday was this past weekend, and we had a beach party for her in the backyard. 

I printed the invitations on my computer. On the front was a picture of my daughter on the beach, and the heading was "Emma's turning one, and life's a beach!".  Then I used beachy stamps (sunglasses, beach umbrella, etc.) and instead of using ink, I used Elmer's Glue on the stamp with a sponge.  After I stamped the invitation with the glue, I ran it through actual sand, so on the invite there were beach things in real sand.  They came out really well, and received many compliments. 

For decorations, I put sea glass and sea shells scattered on the buffet table.  I also draped a sea net over the railing of the deck.  I put up "no diving" and "no lifeguard on duty" signs on the posts for the tent in the backyard, and had a sign post with arrows and distances to various beaches around the world (I got the actual distances off the web).  I used beaches and places where the guests had been, as well as our family.  We have a dangerous drop off at the edge of our yard, so my husband installed a bright orange fence, like those they use to fight beach erosion.  It all looked quite festive. 

For activities, we had a couple of kiddy pools, and two sprinklers: one was an octopus that sprayed water out of it's head, and the other was a sea monster with arms that flew around and sprayed water.  Those were a big hit with the adolescent boys.  We also had a sand box, hula hoops, lawn bean bags (like lawn darts, without the dart part), and a sit and spin for two. 

For food, we had steak tips and chicken wings and grilled salmon - all cooked outside on the grill.  We had tortilla chips and goldfish out of pails on the tables.  We also had a big fish bowl full of blue Jell-O (with whipped cream on the top for the surf), with gummy fish and sharks "swimming" around. 

The cake was a sand castle.  I made two sheet cakes.  One I used for the base of the cake, the other I cut squares from to use for the towers.  I put a tower in each corner, topping it off with an upside down sugar ice cream cone.  I frosted the whole thing, and then covered it in crushed Nilla wafers (for "sand").  I wrote out "Happy first birthday" on the cake itself in frosting, and spelled out my daughter's name on little flags made out of cardboard and attached to toothpicks stuck into the ice cream cones. 

Of course we had Beach Boys music playing in the background, and at the end of the party we handed out the favors - beach pails filled with a shovel, a crazy straw, a pair of toy sunglasses, a noise maker and a small prism toy.  They were a big hit!  All in all it was a great party.  The beach theme was a hit, and everyone, of every age, had a fun time.  I just don't know how I'm going to top this one next year!!!  Expectations are high!

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