Idea No.

11750

Backyard Splash Bash -4yr- Squash the Shark

Award

Date

August 2005

From

Jolene in Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

Honorable Mention

Backyard Splash Party

For my daughter's 4th birthday we had a Backyard Splash Bash. 

The invitations were a white tag shape that opened to reveal the information.  I cut a piece of turquoise cardstock slightly smaller than the tag and cut off the top with wave decorative scissors.  Then added an orange goldfish. I printed the information on turquoise cardstock and cut it out the same as the front so it looked like water.  They turned out very cute.  I also made the loot bags.  They were just white paper sacks that I glued turquoise cardstock to (cut the same as the invitations) and added a ribbon handle (cheaper than handled bags). 

When the kids arrived they each glued foam fish shapes to their bag and wrote their names on them.  When their bag was finished, they went to the fish pond (turquoise fabric stretched across the garage door), where they received inexpensive swimming goggles ($.88 for 2 pairs at Walmart).  We helped them put them on and they headed for the water.  I had an inflatable pool and a Slip & Slide.  They loved the goggles.  They thought they looked cool and water didn't get in their eyes (important when you are 4!). 

We played "Squash the Shark" (10" balloons with simple shark faces drawn on with permanent marker), the kids would try to pop the balloons by sitting on them in the pool.  The balloons are always trying to float to the top and the kids got really wet and had a blast.  I gave fish shaped squirters as prizes. 

Another game was "Hunt for Shells".  I filled a plastic bin with 25 lbs. of flour and hid a pasta shell for each child.  They had to dig through the flour to find a shell.  I let the younger ones go first and it got gradually more difficult for the older ones as there became fewer shells.  They loved this game. 

After we found all of the shells, they wanted me to put the shells back in so they could keep looking for them.  They were covered in flour and they had to wash off in the pool or be sprayed off.  Messy, but a blast.  I gave bubbles for the prizes.  My sister helped me and she walked around the party with a package of inexpensive stretchy frogs.  If the kids would show her a trick either in the pool or on the Slip & Slide she would give them one. 

For snacks, I made a snack mix from Goldfish, oyster crackers, Froot Loops (life presevers), marshmallows (floaties), & shoestring potatoes and served blue Kool-aid. 

The cake was a simple fish shape cut from a 9 X 13" cake.  I frosted it blue and used Mega M & M's for the scales and the eye and Fruit Streamers for the tail and the mouth.  It was an easy cake and really cute. I served the cake with Blue Water Floats (blue bubblegum soda with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a Swedish fish jumping out). 

When it was time to go home, we dried off all of their prizes and put them in their bags (I added a package of Goldfish and fish fruit snacks while they were playing) and their mom's dragged them out of the pool.  I had kept my eye open for several months for bargains, so this party was pretty inexpensive.  They mostly played in the pool and with the prizes they received from the games. 

My daughter loved it and told me several times that night, "thank you for planning such a fun party."  Your welcome!

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