Nemo's Great Adventure 3yr - Sand Art
Beverly in Topeka, KS, USA
For my son's 3rd birthday, we hosted a Nemo Party.
INVITATIONS: I created the invitations on the computer using clipart of Nemo that I found online. The front of the invitation read James & Nemo invite you to; on the inside it read "An Underwater Sea Adventure. We're spending the day under the Sea because a curly-headed boy is turning 3! So swim on over to the Topeka Keys! Don't forget your suit a towel and sunscreen!" Below that we printed the date & time of the party.
DECORATIONS: Our decorations were simple. An obstacle course kid pools and beach towels hung on the fences served as our theme décor.
ACTIVITIES: As the guests arrived we gathered on the driveway under some trees. On a fence near the trees hung a Nemo beach towel. On the ground I set out beach pails labeled with each guest's name. Inside the pail were supplies for the adventure; a foam visor and matching inexpensive sunglasses that I found in the party supply area at Hobby Lobby. Once the guests found their beach pail we had them decorate their foam visor with sea creature foam stickers. As they finished we took pictures of the guests with the birthday boy using the Nemo towel as the backdrop. With the sunglasses and visors on the kids looked adorable! Our next activity was making Sand Art jars at a child-sized table set out on the driveway. I had baby food jars on hand that we filled with colored sand which I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby. (Hobby Lobby has all kinds of summer camp & VBS supplies that go on clearance mid-summer. These make great inexpensive party supplies!)
GAMES: After we finished doing our Sand Art I invited the kids to come on Nemo's Great Adventure with me…and in order to come with me they would have to get ready to get wet. If they weren't in swimsuits they changed at this point in the party. To explain Nemo's Great Adventure to the kids I used coloring pages out of my son's Nemo coloring book that I had colored prior to the party. I told them that Marlin needed to find Nemo. Each child would get to pretend to be Marlin. Prior to the party the obstacle course was set up on the sidewalk from the driveway to our backyard. To begin the adventure obstacle course the kids had to go under the sea by sliding down a toddler slide into a baby pool filled with water. Then they had to pass Bruce by throwing orange colored bean bags into a box decorated with blue paper representing water and pictures of Bruce that I found online. The pictures were arranged so that Bruce's open mouth was near the holes.
Next they had to get Dory through the jelly fish. For this part of the obstacle course I took paper plates punched a hole in the center and pulled strips of pink streamer paper through. We took the paper plates and taped them to the underside of a table so that the streamers hung down. Then we put a blue sheet over the top of the table to represent water. The kids were to take a Kids Meal toy Dory and crawl through the table tunnel without getting touched by the jellyfish (pink streamers). When they passed through the jellyfish they were to jump from Turtle to Turtle until they reached the gate to the backyard. The turtles were cut out of felt and placed on the sidewalk leading to the gate. Once they got to the backyard they were instructed to find Nemo. Hidden in the backyard were Kids Meal toy Nemos. The kids looked around until they found a Nemo toy. (All of the Kids Meal toy Finding Nemo toys were found at garage sales or thrift stores.)
CAKE: After the children finished the obstacle course we had our birthday cake. I had made cupcakes frosted them with white frosting dipped the frosted top in blue colored sugar and placed a goldfish cracker in the center. We served seawater or blue juice. The birthday boy then opened presents. After that the children enjoyed playing together in two kids blow up pools in the backyard.
FAVORS: As the party was winding down we took the children one by one to help Nemo out of the aquarium. We turned a table on its side and decorated it with a blue sheet and fish. An adult hid behind the table. The kids fished using a pole with a string that had a paper clip on the end. The child would hang the string over the table the adult would clip on a treasure and yank on the string cuing the child to pull up the string to see what he/she caught. The children added this to their beach pail which served as the goody bag. We had several prizes to fish for including a mesh bag of small sea creature molds that I got at a thrift store. They were brand new & inexpensive. (HINT: I have found a lot of party supplies in the thrift store toy areas where Kids Meal toys often go to rest!). Other treasures were Nemo fruit snacks & water bombs. They also took home their sunglasses sand art jar and visor. The kids had a lot of fun; it was inexpensive and easy to plan. Not to mention it kept some very busy boys very busy! "
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