Indoor Beach 4yr - Pin Sunglasses on Sun
Dana in State College, PA USA
Four year old Indoor Beach Party My daughter's birthday is in November, so we had an indoor beach party.
The invitation said Aloha! You are cordially invited to Kaden's 4th birthday beach party! The party will take place at Kaden's Tiki Hut (with the date and our address). Island attire is encouraged (we'll turn the heat up!)
Decorations: Decorations were easy we had them around the house. We took all the furniture out of our great room and moved in our outdoor wicker furniture and rockers to help create a beach theme. We covered the area rug with a blue blanket to make it seem like the ocean and then taped down a bunch of beach towels scattered about the floor to look like a beach. It looked great and we used the towels for a game later. We cleared the mantel and the picture above the mantel and hung up a baby floaty toy above the mantel and put buckets, shovels, seashells, life protection vests for the kids, swimsuits, etc. We had streamers in the colors hot pink, aqua blue, and purple that hung across the ceiling. We used metallic rainbow streamers (Oriental Trading Company) to hang down from the ceiling to create an entrance as people arrived.
For kid seating, I covered kid size tables with brown butcher block paper and then fringed the edges and it looked like a grass skirt so easy to do and so much cheaper than purchasing grass skirts, or table cloths! Everyone said it looked really cute. Also, if you get the idea to have this theme at the right time of the year, you can get great discounts as the summer stuff goes on sale in the fall. I used plates and napkins in hot pink, purple and aqua as well. The center piece where the food was included a pineapple, some orchids, seashells, and then two small citronella style candles in the shape of pink buckets. I put 3 tea lights in each of the citronella candles and they provided a nice ambience.
The food was on a kitchen island so the candles were safe from the kids. Ambience was important in this party, so I created two CDs to play in the back groundùone with slow music including Don Ho, other Hawaiian songs, slow beach boy music, some light calypso, Lilo and Stich. I had this on when the guests arrived and during the cake and food eating time. And I had a fast CD for when we started the games, including Wipe Out, The Limbo Song, some Wiggles Beach music, some Little Mermaid, Baby Beluga, and some Fast Beach Boys songs. All pretty easy to make using the internet and the CDs that we had. In the past, I've given out the mix CD as a favor at the end of the party to all the kids, complete with a label with my daughter's picture on it. But we had so many favors this time that I didn't.
Favors: Everyone received a lei when they arrivedùgrown ups and kids. I also had a baby pool filled with sun visors (bought at the Dollar Spot at Target) and fish sunglasses (OTC). I put them under blue and green balloons and they all got to pick out what they wanted. Attire: I found my daughter a great Gymboree island dress (via Ebay) and my son and husband wore Hawaiian shirts and I wore a tropical dress. My daughter and I had flower decorations in our hair.
Drinks: I got the cute coconut cups with the palm tree straws from OTC and I put the kids names on them in puffy paint. These were favors too. But it ended up not being a great idea for four year olds as the cups open easilyùa potential huge mess! My husband solved the probem by putting Capri Suns in the coconut cups, and they were a huge hit. I also bought coconut cups for the grown ups, but that was a waste of money since they were so busy keeping track of their kids that they didn't want to fuss with them and preferred the regular cups. I had strawberry smoothies out for them plus for the kids if they wanted extra drinks.
Food: Multicolored goldfish crackers, cheese in the shapes of fish and sharks (Sorrento Shapesters), tropical trail mix, a huge fruit salad, red Swedish Fish gummies, and then we panicked and added some bagels and cream cheese and some pretzel sticks. The food was a big hit (the party was 1:30-3:30 so we only needed munchies). The food was served in sand toy molds, buckets, sand sifters, etc. plus a few baskets.
Opening activities: When they arrived, the snacks were all out. I showed them their coconut cups and then led them to the craft activity, which was a blue bucket that you could decorate as a fish. I got these at OTC and they were way too complicated for 4 year olds. I ended up pre-making most of the craft and then just having some decorations that they could glue on. They used the buckets later to pick up candy from the pinata, although the glue was still wet on a few of them. We also had two other activities a bean bag toss game with fishes on it, and then a bowling game. I got the bowling idea from this web site knocking down pineapples with a coconut. But it was hard to knock down the heavy pineapples, so instead they rolled the pineapples sideways and knocked over the extra coconut cups. I don't know if it was worth setting up those two activities since the kids more just wanted to dance to the music and throw balloons around. So we quickly moved on to group games.
Group Games: Pin the sunglasses on the sun (made by painting that same butcher block paper with tempura paint) and ôlimboö were the biggest hits. We also did Wipe Out where we played the song and I would yell Wipe Out and turn down the music and they would fall to the floor. I also did musical beach towels where we had some large and some small beach towels and when I stopped them music, they'd each have to run to their own towel.
Cake: We opted for a store bought cake. There are a lot of Nemo cakes out there still, so we chose a Nemo design since it was an under the sea cake and we just told them to keep the Nemo off of it. When we brought it home, I added some of the red Swedish fish to the scene on the top of the cake and that especially pleased my daughter. She thought that was cool, and it made the cake seem personalized even though it was store bought. We used ice cream cups for the kids to make it easier to get them their food quickly but scooped ice cream for the grown ups.
All in all, it was a huge hit. The kids had fun and the parents enjoyed the island theme as well.
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