Pool Party 2yr - Jelly Fish Sandwiches
Kym in Plantation, Fl USA
For my son's 2nd birthday we had a beach themed pool party at our home.
I made the INVITATIONS on blue construction paper. I drew & cut out the shape of a flip flop (you could trace one if you have one the right size), cut out three holes for the straps (one at the top, two at about half way down) and used eyelets in these holes so that the ribbon didn't tear the paper. I then put 1/2" sheer, blue metallic wire-edged ribbon (folded in two) into the top hole and knotted the back. Then brought one of the double pieces down to each bottom hole and knotted the back. So it looks like a real flip flop. I then printed on my computer all the party info on a separate piece of paper and glued it to the middle part of the sandal or you could just write it on there. Ours read: "Bryce's Birthday Beach Bash" Surf's Up Where? With our address; Tide Rolls In When? With the date and time; Can You Hang Ten With Us? With our phone number and the RSVP date. I also indicated to be sure to bring a swimsuit, towel, change of clothes, & sunblock. If you want to you could put some glue on the sandal and sprinkle some sand on it but I didn't want people to get sand all over when they pull the invitation out of the envelope.
For DECORATIONS I hung a fishing net (provided by my brother) next to the pool and found at the party store a bag of assorted colorful large plastic fish, crabs, lobsters, starfish, etc. and safety pinned them to the net. For the tables center pieces I found at the dollar store a dolphin jumping out of the ocean with the sun and a palm tree in the background and also hung 2 suns wearing shades in each corner of my screened in porch, where the party took place. I took my daughter's chalkboard easel and wrote a "Beach Report" on it and put it on the porch so everyone saw it when they walked out to the porch. I decorated the tables with plain blue table cloths and I had 2 bunches of primary colored helium balloons at each end of the porch. For my sons chair I blew up (helium) some blue balloons and tied them to it.
For FOOD I made peanut butter & "jellyfish" sandwiches for the kids, using a Pampered Chef circle sandwich cutter so that they looked like clams and I found these really nice ocean/reef decorated platters at the dollar store that I put them on. I also made them a trail mix of colored goldfish, cheddar whales, honey nut cheerios as life rings, and kix (or peanut butter Captain Crunch) as beach balls. I served the trail mix in a beach sand pail with a shovel to serve with.
For the adults I had Quiznos make a 6' "sub"marine sandwich. They let me change the type of meat and fixings every foot, so there were 6 different kinds of subs. They placed them in (2) 3' easy-to-carry containers so when I got home all I had to do was transfer them to the ocean/reef platters (but you could leave them in the containers they provide). Quiznos did an awesome job with keeping the hot/spicy items separate and had little squeeze bottles of the sauces so everyone could use whatever kind they wanted. They offered to provide all of my paper products and plastic cups but I had already found some "beach-themed" plates, cups, & napkins at the dollar store. I highly recommend Quiznos and they were the cheapest around. Oh, they give you the choice of (2) 3' subs or they'll make them into round sub platters, whichever you prefer. The round ones would be cute to replicate life rings but I had already bought the ocean/reef platters.
I also served potato salad and italian pasta salad in beach sand pails with the shovel to serve. To drink I made an "ocean" punch with blue Hawaiian Punch & the new tropical flavored sprite. I found plastic ocean-themed (sea horses, seashells, dolphins, etc) ice cubes at the dollar store and put those in the punch to keep it chilled. I also had water and a variety of soda. For the kids I bought Hawaiian Punch pouches that have the Hawaiian Punch kid surfing on the front of them so they went well with the theme.
For the CAKE I did a blue ocean on one half and a sandy beach on the other half (long ways). I baked a chocolate cake for the bottom and a yellow cake for the top and used white frosting in the middle of them. This was to satisfy everyone no matter what flavored cake they liked. Then I took Wilton's blue icing coloring and added it to white frosting until I got a nice blue ocean color and frosted one half of the cake with that. I had some darker shades of blue going through the frosting to replicate the different shades of blue in the ocean. Then I took some frosting that had more white to it and spread that towards the waters edge so that it looked like waves breaking. I found a variety of hard candy fish & gummy fish that I placed in "schools" in the water. I also put a couple of gummy sharks on it, one of them looked like it was going after one of the gummy fish. Then I found a bag of the coolest sour gummy octupus' and I put one of them right in the middle. It was two different colors and looked really cool.
All the fish & sharks were different colors also so it looked almost like a coral reef with all different colored sea life (I got all of the cake decorations at Wal-mart). I took a piece of gum and shaped it into a surfboard and placed it on one of the breaking waves and took a gummy bear (using a toothpick to keep him upright) and placed him on the surfboard, riding the wave. For the beach half of the cake, I frosted it with white frosting and then crushed vanilla wafers all over that half for the sand. At one end I used the multi-colored fruit roll-ups as beach towels and then placed graham bears on top and put a parasol behind them, offering the bears just a hint of shade. Next was 2 gummy bears (again using toothpicks to keep them upright) building a sand castle. Each gummy bear had a sand pail by their side that was a gum drop candy that I had put white frosting across the top of and then the crushed vanilla wafers to replicate the sand coming out of the sand pails.
In the middle of the gummy bears was their castle, which I took vanilla crème wafers and frosted them with white frosting and then the crushed vanilla wafers. I used 2 full wafers and one half wafer on top of the 2 full size ones. Then I frosted bugels with white frosting and rolled them in the crushed vanilla wafers and then placed them on each side of the half wafer. Then I took a piece of the fruit roll-up and rolled it around the top of a toothpick and as I got to the end of the roll-up I cut it into the shape of a pennant flag and then put it on top of the castle. Next to castle I placed two gummy bears playing with a gum ball, replicating a beach ball. This cake turned out really cute and was the highlight of the party. Just be sure to remove the parasol and toothpicks before serving.
Everything else was edible. As each guest arrived they were escorted to the porch where I had tables set up for painting of ocean scene sun catchers, which I found at the dollar store. After all the guests arrived and their painting was done, all the kids wanted to swim, so that's what they did while all the adults got to eat. After about an hour of swimming, the kids got out of the pool and then they ate. After they ate, we took them into our backyard for a game of water balloon toss. They started out close together but as they got further apart they drew closer to one of those sprinklers that has water flying everywhere, so it made the game a little more challenging. They got wetter and wetter as they grew further apart. And needless to say, it turned into a water balloon fight and playtime in the sprinklers. We have a very large back yard so this worked out good. They had so much fun doing that there was no time for any other games and we went straight to the cake. As each guest left, my son gave them their sun-catcher and loot bags and took a picture with them.
Their LOOT BAGS were beach sand buckets w/ attached shovels. We wrote (w/ permanent marker) each of their names on the front side of their bucket and on the other side my husband drew for the boys a shark and for the girls he drew an angel fish. At Michael's craft store I found these plastic jewel decorations that were a variety of different colored sailboats, angel fish, dolphins, and sunglasses. And they were on clearance for $2.00 for about 50-60 of them. So I hot glued one of each of these to the outside of their buckets around their names. They were really cute, especially the little sunglasses. I then filled each bucket with a blow-up beach ball, sunglasses (that I hot glued a jewel on each side of), a water splash bomb ball, sand tools, ocean stickers, play-doh, bubbles that were in the shape of beach buckets, a bag of goldfish (all of which was either bought at the dollar store or Walmart and most of it came in multi-packs so it wasn't that expensive).
I also put in there a bag full of all the leftover gummy fish/candy fish/sharks/gum balls/gum drops/octupus', etc. I put their thank you cards in their buckets also, that I made on my computer. On the front was a beach scene with an umbrella and 2 beach chairs. At the top I put "Thank you for making my beach party a SPLASH!!" and on the inside I wrote "I hope you had fun, swimming and playing in the sun!!" I included my son's 2 year photo which had a beach background with a sandscastle, beach ball, bucket & shovel, shells, etc. And he was barefooted. We live in South Florida and my son's birthday is in May so this type of party was perfect. And since he's only two and doesn't really have anything that he's into yet, I thought this would be appropriate. We usually don't do parties at our home because of the potential mess & clean-up but since it was all kept outside in our screened-in porch and back yard it turned out great. I hope this gives you some ideas!
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