Pool Party 3yr - Beach in a Bottle Invites
Michelle in Milwaukee, WI, USA
For my daughter's 3rd birthday, we decided to have a beachy pool party because it is so hot in July. We rented a clubhouse at our local park that also has an attached wading pool. There wasn't any sand but they had water sprayers and waterfalls for the kids to play with and in. I blew up lots of beach balls, rings, blow up fish and put them in the wading pool for everyone to play with as well.
The invites read: Summer's Hot, That's for Sure, But Guess what (your child's name) has the Perfect Cure Join us for a Splishy, Splashy Birthday of Fun! Where you can cool off or soak up the Sun! I put the date, time and location and asked that everyone bring their swimsuit and a towel. I printed out the invites on tropical paper from my local scrapbook store and rolled them up and closed them w/ a seashell sticker and a long piece of string between the sticker and paper. I then put the invites into an empty water bottle that I had filled with sand, small seashells, mini seahorses, mini starfish, and small plastic fish. (I got all of these things at Michael's a craft store) I pulled the string out of the bottle and let it hang just a little bit and put the top back on the bottle.
I found that it was very difficult to get the invite out without the string and it made a huge mess for the person who would open it, so the string worked really well. On the top of the bottle cap, I hot glued a bigger shell and on the side of the bottle where the sticky stuff was from tearing the paper off, I printed labels off the computer with the person's name in a fun font and a beach themed clip art. We hand delivered most of them but for some of our relatives out of town, I put them in a big bubble envelope and sent them that way. They said that they arrived fine.
The day of the party, the weather was fabulous and HOT, so it was great. The clubhouse was decorated with lots of blue and green streamers hanging down from the celing. I had paper seahorses and fish hanging as well. The were a few fish ballons floating around as well. As everyone arrived, we told them to change and they could go into the pool while we waited for everyone else. Once everyone got there, we came into the clubhouse for lunch.
The menu highlight was "octopus hot-dogs" (I split one end of the hot-dog into four slices halfway up and then boiled until the ends curled upward. I pre-made them that morning and then put into a warmer at the party.) Other menu items were "Clammy Joe's" (Sloppy Joe's with circle hamburger buns), fresh fruit that was served in sand pails with the sand shovel as the spoon, "Sea Crunch" (chips) and "Ocean-ade" in a clear punch bowl (blue-rasberry lemonade with colorful Swedish fish candy floating in it). I made place cards with the same fun font that I had used perviously and beach clip art and printed out the names of all the food. I placed them in front of each dish. The guests loved that and I got lots of compliments on the food. I decorated the food table with fish nets and plastic crabs and shells (Oriental trading Company) All of my paper products (tablecloths, plates, cups, etc.) were a beach theme.
After lunch we served the cake. I made two because I couldn't decide on which one. The first one was a 9x13 cake that was decorated with blue frosting on one side that I made wavy on a diagonal, on this side I put gummy fish and seashells, and a plastic dolphin that I pushed into the cake, so it looked like it was jumping out of the water. On the other side of the cake I frosted it white and crushed vanilla wafers to look like sand. I bought a mermaid Barbie and put her on it with a mini plastic umbrella and a plastic beach ball. It was really cute! The other cake I saw in Family Fun magazine. It was "Snorkel Boy." I made this cake in a steel dome bowl, frosted it with chocolate frosting. The hair was Hershey Kisses, placed all around the top, his eyes were lifesavers with white frosting in the center and mini blue mm's for the center of the eyes. The nose was a gumdrop and a licorice smile. I bought a new child snorkel with the mask. The mask went over the eyes and the snorkel went on the side of him and into the mouth. It turned out great! I got lots of ooh's and aah's over this cake! The were both very simple to make and didn't take much time at all!
After cake we opened presents. I decided not to do any crafts or games because the pool was more than enough to entertain everyone. Once presents were opened, we all went back into the pool.
As everyone left, they received a sand pail that I had personalized with each child's name (I used T-shirt paint for the names, it worked really well). In it was gummy sharks, goldfish crackers, bubbles, flip flop keychains, sunglasses, sidewalk chalk, and a seashell necklace and bracelet. That all came from Oriental Trading Company. The party was a great success and all the children and their parents had a wonderful time! They are still talking about all the little details and how everything stayed with the theme!
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