Idea No.

8767

Splish Splash Bash - Fishing Game

Award

Date

May 2004

From

Andrea in Nacogdoches, Tx USA

Special Mention

Backyard Splash Party

My daughter's birthday falls at the end of August and in our area it is HOT!  She asked for bubbles and balloons for her party so we deceided to have an outdoor fish water party. 

I made invitations by printing out a cute little poem "Please come to __________'s Splish Splash Birthday Bash!  We'll be splishin'and splashin' and having a blast, so be sure to hurry and come on fast!  We'll be flippin' and floppin with so much to do, _________ hopes you can come 'cause she's turning two."  Then I cut a page protector the same size.  I also cut an extra piece of cardstock that I cut an oval out of and made a peek through window by pasting the pieces together with foam tape (doubled- for extra thickness) then I sealed fish confetti in between- The fish shook in between so that the info could be read.  My daughter loved them- I let her have one before the party and she really got excited.  We had the party in the backyard under shade trees.  Because it was the end of season I took advantage of close outs on water toys and borrowed them from friends. 

We had 4 wadding pools, 2 slides, 2 sprinkler toys, a slip and slide, beach balls and lots of other pool toys.  We also used a helium tank to blow up lots and lots of balloons.  I purchased landscape nails at the lumber store for pennies.  I tied balloons to them and hammered them into the ground so I could fill the background with balloons.  I also rented a bubble machine to fill the backyard with bubbles throughout the party. 

I also set up several tables for adults which I decorated with children's watering cans filled with cut flowers from my yard and oil cloth table cloths. I also made a table for the children by using a round 10 foot table with folding legs (I already had,)left the legs folded up and sat it on several rubbermaid containers and flower pots- so it was very stable.  I think it important for little ones to have a place of their own to sit- several moms commented that it was great- the children sat on the ground on beach towels but had a place to sit food so it didn't get spilled. 

I served lots of food because it was a late afternoon party.  I made tortilla wraps fancy ones for the adults and cheese and turkey for the kids.  They were a big hit.  I also had condiment cups I put squeeze peanut butter in with one gummy worm coming out-the bait. Then I gave them a jumbo pretzel stick (the rod) to dip into the peanut butter and then pick up goldfish (the catch). I also used a large round fish bowl filled with blue jello and sweedish fish- do not use the green ones.  We also had fruit and a pail filled with ice, cheese sticks, and gogert.  I always put out a tray for the littlest filled with fruitloops, raisins, cherrios, etc. because I once went to a party where there was not any food that my daughter liked.

For the games we had a large blue wall with paper fish taped all over it (a puppet theater I borrowed and turned over) that the children could fish at.  I made the rods from dowels, eye hooks and plastic lacing.  I have found that plastic lacing works best because it does not tangle like yarn or real fishing line.  The eye hooks let the children pull there line like they were reeling.  I had lots of things for them to catch including huge fish I made from bulliten board paper.  My daughter actually helped me make the large fish.  We put two together and filled them with candy- using a glue stick to seal it in and we added big fat heart lips and an eye.  They were so fun flying over the wall. We also fished for real fish even though I was told it was a bad idea.  We made it work by choosing the right fish and lots of them but they were inexpensive $4 a dozen and we kept them cool with ice packs and shade.  The children really didn't mind catching the ones that didn't make it.  I also played beach boy tunes. 

For favors I happened to find fabric lunch bags on sale for $1.00 each and I traded favors with a friend who monogramed each child's name on them. I like this favor because it could actually be used. I filled the bags with individual baggies of goldfish, suckers, small bottled waters, mini Sprite cans, raisins, candy fish and tied a fish shaped tag on the handle saying thank you for coming to my party. 

I also couldn't resist sending home real fish because I found "rose bowls" I could use for fish bowls for only $1.00 (the $1.00 store was made for birthday parties) and I told the moms they could put a candle in it when the fish died.  I also included tiny baggies of fish food and water tablets- I stapled them together with a card which inculed fish care instructions and a fish sticker. We gave them fresh fish to take home- not the ones they caught(we released those into the pond) I do suggest purchasing a higher quality fish to take home but they are still inexpenive.  I also put the bowls in huge ziplocks so if they splashed on the way home the moms would not have a mess.

This was my first big party it was such a success I've been asked to plan friends parties- I can't wait to start planning another party but I do suggest picking a theme early like 2-3 months and watching for sales.  Planning is the most fun for me.

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