Fishey Birthday Party -3yr- Fishy Lake Cake
Tina in Overland Park, Kansas-USA
A Fishy Birthday Party When I asked my two (soon to be 3) year old daughter what kind of a birthday she wanted to have she said a fishy birthday party.
The party room: We used our garage as the party room. We have about 18 kids between our family and friends so we needed plenty of room. We painted one wall of the garage blue and attached fish (copies ran out of a book and colored vibrantly with markers) to the wall. We also painted seaweed on the wall and made bubbles by dipping a rubber door stopper in white paint. We painted directly on the wall but you could do this on paper or fabric and hang it on the wall.
We then took blue plastic tablecloth (very inexpensive) and threaded yarn across the top of several strips. The ends were then tied to hooks on either side of the garage to create more walls and block of storage areas. We then took a material (similar to the material found on the bottom of a mattress) dyed it blue and washed it (which wrinkled it a lot) and threaded it with yarn and placed it in front of the blue walls. This created the look of waves. We set up two small tables and used our "bag" chairs (normally used for soccer games and outside events) for seating.
The games: Having lots of various aged children and lots of children there period we decided to not play games. I cut several of the fish printouts out and left them uncolored for the kids to color. I also made star necklaces out of yarn and cardstock stars for them to decorate. We also put out coloring books and blank paper. We let kids do what they wanted. They were in the garage with colors and could not hurt anything. They all came up with great necklaces and pictures.
The cake: Our idea was partially taken from an idea in Family Fun magazine. We took 3 regular size cakes (they used one flat cake) and stacked them one on top of another (we used strawberry, white and chocolate for variety). We then iced them with blue icing (dyed with food coloring-if you use gel food coloring the coloring is better). I then placed sour patch kids fish (which were rainbow colored) all over the top and sides (I laid some flat and stood some up on their "bellies"). We also put gummy sharks on the cake.
All around the bottom of the cake we placed chocolate candy rocks (these look like real pebbles and really make the cake-they can be found in Bulk candy stores). These rocks covered the sides of the entire bottom layer and I also brought a few of them around onto the table where the cake sat to make it appear more realistic. The kids and adults enjoyed munching on the rocks before the cake was served (we had to pull out our extra bowl of them because people liked them so well). The whole cake only cost about $17.00 to make and was a big hit.
Party favors: We made a treasure chest out of a coffee maker box. I covered the box with fabric and hooked fish lures (that looked like fish) to the front. I cut a whole in the top of the fabric and filled the box with packing peanuts. We then placed glass paperweights with fish scenes in them (found at the dollar store for $1.00 each) in the box. Before each child left he/she got to stick there hand in and "dig" for treasure. Because the paperweights were so colorful the kids really got a kick out of them. We also placed this on the table with our cake to help decorate the table. We also provided each child with a lunch sack that contained fish gummies and other small candies.
Gifts: We were celebrating 3 children's birthdays that day. I placed at tub for each child in the living room out of the way of guests. Each tub was marked with the child's name so that guests could easily identify where to put the gifts they had brought. Each birthday child took turns opening all of their gifts at once. Most of the other children stayed in the party room while this was going on which also made the gift unwrapping easier.
The gifts and cards were then placed back in the tub to play with later. This way the cards (and money) did not get lost, the gifts did not mixed up and the whole tub was easily placed in their bedroom until after the guests had left and they could play with them. This was also handy because the third child celebrating that day was a cousin and this made transporting his gifts back home very easy.
During the party most of the adults socialized in the living room and would venture to the party room for a few minutes at a time. This was very nice. We have a small home and normally our parties our very cramped. This gave everyone much more space (thanks to the idea submitter who mentioned using their garage for the same reason).
We have themed birthday parties every year (at least 3 for our kids and we also help in the planning of other family members). This party was the best by far. There was lots of creativity for minimal work and by putting the kids in a separate room things seemed much calmer.
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