Under the Sea Nemo 2yr - Dream Aquarium
Rebecca in Centreville, VA, United States
For my daughter's 2nd birthday we planned an Under the Sea/Nemo party.
For invitations, I took a blue piece of cardstock and folded it in half, then took a piece of water-print paper (bought at a scrapbook store) and tore it to look like waves and glued it to the cover. Then I printed off a picture of Nemo and cut it out and pasted it to the front. The inside read, We're spending a day Under the Sea and we'd like to sea you, especially one little girl who now is turning two. Then I took a graphic of an inner tube (red and white stripes) and printed out the directions on it then cut them out and placed them inside the invitations.
For decorations we went all out but didn't spend a lot of money. We had a DVD of Finding Nemo playing in the background and ocean sounds playing on a CD. We draped the doorway to the rec room with blue, green, and white streamers. Then, we filled the room with helium-filled light blue balloons so it looked like we were under the sea. I left them free floating with a small fan circulating them so they actually moved like water. Then I purchased 3 large Mylar balloons, Nemo and dad, a dolphin, and a colorful fish. These too were left to freely float around the room. Then we blew up (with air) 12 beach balls that looked like fish inside bubbles (Oriental Trading) and let them bounce around the room for the kids to play with. We also blew up 12 fish (OT) and hung them in schools from the ceiling.
Next, we draped 1 corner with blue plastic tablecloths and placed an old trunk that I borrowed from a friend as a treasure chest in the corner; in it I placed all of the goody bags and game prizes. The tables were draped with various shades of blue tablecloths and sprinkled with fish crackers. Behind the food table I placed a very large aquarium (4 long bought at a yard sale for $2) and filled it with ice for the sodas and milk boxes. I took a refrigerator box and painted an image of Bruce the shark with his mouth open, cut out his mouth, and placed that in the corner. Each guest had their picture taken inside Bruce's mouth and I sent one copy to them with their Thank You note and kept one copy for my daughter's scrapbook.
For games each child used a sticker kit (OT) to build their dream aquarium, I then placed the finished stickers on a square piece of water-print paper for them to take home. Next we played a dolphin game (OT); a blown up dolphin stands and the kids throw rings to see if they can get them on his snout. The kids were mostly under 5 so we also played a game of who can pop their balloon first, each child was given a blown up balloon and had to sit on it to make it pop (a sharp pin was used to help the littlest ones). The winners won a porcupine fish sports cup (OT) that was filled with M&Ms. So that everyone could be a winner I placed inside each balloon a colorful stuffed clown fish (OT). For the adults, I took a large jar and filled it with fish crackers; they were asked to guess how many crackers were in the jar. The winner won a gift certificate to our favorite restaurant.
For food we had lots of shell pasta, PB&J sandwiches cut out to look like fish (cookie cutter), Fisherman's trail mix, Rice Krispies treats in the shape of starfish (cookie cutter), blue sprite punch with whipped cream foam, and blue and orange M&Ms salvaged from the game prizes.
For the cake I took a half sheet cake and draped it with turquoise blue fondant. Then I used icing to add seaweed and shells on the sides. On the top I placed a Nemo cake (using Wilton's football cake pan). For favors each child got their aquarium sticker, Nemo special edition fruit snacks, and their clown fish. Then we had a clownfish piñata (BirthdayExpress.com), which was filled with candy, fish bubbles, string pearls, fish kaleidoscopes, and chocolate golden coins. It was a great party and everyone seemed to have a great time, especially the birthday girl.
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