Shark Beach Party 7yr - Ocean Cake
Stacey in Texas U.S.
My son's birthday is in the middle of the summer and the Texas heat just doesn't allow for much outside without water. This year he wanted a shark/beach party for his 7th. So, we stayed with the beach theme and brought it sharks anywhere we could.
The invitations we made. I drew a picture of a shark and traced them onto cardstock (grey works best but white is okay); cut out the sharks. We took white cardstock and cut a square for the actual invitation and on it we put "Come on over if you dare, and join our backyard birthday affair. We your suit and prepare to RUN, swimming with sharks is lots of fun!" "at Zachary's beach (with address) from 11-1pm". We then took a digital picture of myself with a scared look on his face and printed one picture for each invitation. We cut his head out and glued it to the back of the shark where only his head was sticking out of the shark's mouth (to look like he'd be eaten). This personalized the invitation. We then covered the white cardstock (not the shark) with blue strink wrap paper to look like water and then put the shark on top of that.
For the party we do not have a pool so we used a blow up pool, a triple slip and slide, a crazy sprinkler and turned our swingset into a waterslide but putting another pool (Walmart $11.00) under the slide part and attaching a hose to the top of the slide. We also rented a moonbounce ($70 for one day) that had fish on the sides and a door that looked like a big anchor. This type of party is great because kids are free to go to and from each 'activity' and stay entertained. We also put up a blue easy-up tent for some shade and borrowed some tables and chairs from our church. This made a nice place for the kids to sit and it was easy clean up because we just sprayed it all off with the water hose at the end of the party.
We had two patios tables on my back patio with umbrellas. We decorated the back patio with more of a beach theme - grass table skirts and a tiki bar. My older children had a blast with the tiki bar. I set up a blender and some fresh fruit and yogurt and they made fruit smoothies with a drink umbrella for each child. This was great because it was a healthier alternative and took the place of ice cream on a hot day. The kids loves these and my older kids love being able to take part in the party (they wore their bathing suits with a cute cover up and flowers in their hair to look the part). For the craft (that boys would like) I bought sharks teeth off ebay ($3 for 20) and wrapped them in wire. I picked up some hemp string for the necklace at Walmart and just had each child put the tooth on the string and tied them on. I was surprised how much they loved these. It was quick and they looked cute - plus the boys loved the shark teeth.
For food we just kept it simple. My husband grilled hotdogs and we had goldfish and chips out on the tables in sand pails.
For the cake I made a double layer, one white cake and one chocolate. I tried to keep this simple for myself too but the local grocery store didn't have any theme appropriate cakes so I ended up making one myself. So, I stacked the cakes - chocolate and then white on top. I made white icing (buttercream) and iced between the layers and on the sides. On the sides I used green flat sour candy and cut out 'seaweed', then added goldfish, multi-colored sprinkles at the very bottom for the ocean floor and some gummie sea turtles. On top of the cake I took some of my icing and added blue food coloring. I iced half of the top of the cake white and half blue (for water). The white half I sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs to look like sand. I then cut a whole in the middle of the cake that I filled with blue jello. I put a shark on the blue side with water (a toy). I then decorated a few teddy grahams to look like they had on swim suits. I took a green airhead and wraped the ends around to stick pretzels for a volleyball net. A gumball made a good volleyball. Four stick pretzels with the little graham crackers squares (cut to about 1" by 1") made a cute lifeguard stand with a teddy graham lifeguard on top. Chewing gum (zebra/striped) made cute beachtowels and a surfboard (with teddy grahams on top). I'd be happy to send pictures if you want to see one - this cake is really cute and was pretty simple.
For yard decorations you can hang beachballs from the trees - or even hang a hula hoop for a contest - just have the kids try to throw the beach ball through the hula hoop and see how many they can make. Limbo would be fun too, if you want another game. We had a water balloon war. I just filled a large bucket full of water balloons before the party and then at one point I brought the bucket out into the middle of the yard and yelled, "come on over for the water balloon war". The kids love water balloons but they sure go fast so have lots! I think I spent a total of about $100 on this party and it was a blast and pretty simple.
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