Beach Party 3yr - Octopus Hot Dogs
Sharon in Havertown, PA, USA
We had a beach party for my daughter's 3rd birthday in September at our house, nowhere near the beach.
INVITATION - We sent out invitations I created using some digital scrapbooking kits with photos of her on the beach and a poem that read It’s the last day of summer but there's still time to splash enjoy one last day on the beach at XXXXX's birthday bash!"
DECORATION - Out front we put a few garden stakes in the garden with bobbling fish and lobsters. A few extra seashells also decorated the garden by the entrance. Inside photos of our daughter from her 3 summers at the beach were printed on letter size paper and posted around the house. I borrowed hundreds of old beach tags from my parents and strung them up (with my daughter's help great project!) and hung them up as garlands in a few places around the house. We put a plaid picnic style table clothe on the table and used a beach towel on top to add that beachy look. Any bowls and dishes I could borrow with a beach theme were used to hold various food items. Sand castle shaped buckets that I got for 50 cents each were used to hold chips gold fish crackers gummy fish octopus starfish and guacamole. I found some wonderful giant balloons online of sandcastles dolphins suns and of course the number 3 and a happy birthday balloon and had the local party shop inflate them.
FOOD: I cut up hotdogs shaped like octopus (such a great reaction to these even though a lot of work so worth it when they curled up!) and fish shaped fish cakes both served on seaweed. Pasta salad made with shells of course crabmeat and a coconut/lime dressing. Chips and guacamole and lunch meat like we eat on the beach most days. Bowls of blueberries grapes and watermellon. Mini crab cakes and shrimp/chicken/tropical fruit kebabs. For dessert we ordered an awesome cake that was decorated like the beach with crushed crackers for sand and they put white chocolate seashells all over it. And I made up a bag to look like our beach ice cream guy John and served dixie cups and water ice. I've known John since I was a kid on our beach. That got a great reaction too. As if we didn't have enough beach food I made chocolate shells using a chocolate mold in white milk and dark chocolate.
ACTIVITIES: For the kids I set up an area with goggles swim caps flippers swim rings and a mirror and they dressed up a bit. We then went outside and went "fishing". The kids put the fishing rod over the edge of our deck - the dock as I called it - and someone below hooked a sandbucket with a sheet showing them what to get on a treasure hunt. They had to pick up 1 pair of sunglasses 1 shovel 1 sand rake 1 beach ball and 1 sifter. Then they went to a blown up pool with some sand and various numbers of seashells they had to get of different kinds. That was a lot of work as I labeled the kinds of shells and made sure I had enough for each kid. It was a great treasure hunt but might have been better for a slightly older crowd. The three year olds didn't really care about the variety of shells as I'd thought they might. We also had foam visors and for the bday girl a crown to decorate with beach themed stickers to wear instead of traditional party hats. We made up a cd of beach music that played inside and out. The treasure hunt items and bucket served as the party favors. I also made her dress. I made a tutu skirt and attached it to a band of beach themed fabric put on some ribbons and flip flop buttons and tied it on like a sundress. It was really a great party and our daughter loved it all. "
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