Ocean Theme -(2-4yr)- Sharks & Mermaids
Gail in Troy, MI USA
The birthdays of my son and daughter are only days apart so we decided to throw a joint party. My son is facinated with sharks and my duaghter loves mermaids, so we had an ocean theme with a slight twist.
Each had their own invitation I had found a great site on line that does customized printing. His was a shark that read "Something is lurking in the deep dark blue, it's a party, Wyatt is turning 2!" It invited guest to swim over to Wyatt's Reef (our house)date and time. Tessa's invites had bright blue and purple colors with mermaids playing at the bottom of the ocean. Guest were invited to join our beautiful mermaid on the ocean floor to celebrate Tessa turning 4! Both cards asked guest to RSVP to Mother of Pearl(me) and King or the Sea (my husband).
We have a large living room adjacent to an equally large dining room.We decorated the dining room with bright blues and purples so it was very girlie. While the living room was done with dark blues to give a fiercesome feel. I covered the walls and ceiling with blue vinyl table cloth that comes in long rolls from the party store. I found beautiful irridescent turquois organza and crystalized navy blue organza from a store on line. Using 200 yards of each color I swagged the fabric in alternating colors along all the walls in both rooms on top of the blue vinyl. It gave it a 3 D affect and it felt like we were surrounded by waves.
Along the bottom of the walls in the dining room I put up a 3 foot high wallpaper border of color fish and dolphins playing on the ocean floor. A mermaid banner with my daughter's name was hung from the ceiling. Realistic salt water fish clings were placed on all the windows behind the fabric. It looked like the fish were swimming right at us. I found sizable stuffed animal clown loaches 5" x 7"(they look like Nemo) in blues, red and purples at the dollar store so I bought dozens of them and hung them from the ceiling with fishing line at different heights.
At the same store we found stuffed animal sharks 4"x 12", great whites, hammerheads and others I don't know the name of. We hung those in the living room by fishing line also. A clearance sale in a craft store I found this amazing long artifical foilage that looked just like seaweed. I bought all they had and hung it high and low places in the dining room and the living room.
We had found some large rubber shark too heavy to hang so I hid them partially by the seweed on the mantle in the living room. Real sea shells were placed throughout both rooms. I found some actual photograph poster of sharks on line and had them placed wround the living room. The photographer even autographed one "Happy Brithday Wyatt".
Although the room was a little scary it didn't frighten the kids. A cardboard shark welcomed guest to Wyatt's Reef and warned them to enter at their own risk. We enlarged a pricture of my son wearing a shark costume from Disney and had that displayed. The morning of the party I inflated 400 hundred dark and light blue balloons with helium and had them covering the ceiling of both rooms. It felt like we were under water.
We have a long dining room table that accommodated the 8 girls and 5 boys that attended. The table was covered with an irridescent table cloth with mermaids on it from "jewel the mermaid" theme. A blue table skirt was wrapped around the sides. For a centerpiece I purchased this large 2 piece sunken ship meant for commercial fish tanks. Although it took days to decorate it was well worth the expressions on the children's faces.
For a little extra in his allowance I paid my 7 year old son to wear a Nemo costume. Music from the little mermaid played during the party.
Gift bags: all 8 eight girls arrived wearing mermaid costumes (this was completely unexpected and very funny)The girls received sea shell necklaces, bracelets and tiara I bought at the craft store. They also received Ariel dress up dolls and outfits that came in their own case. I lucked out on a clearance sale at Disney. The boys received shark hats, shark pinchers, a tube a rubber sharks, shark squirt guns and shark key chains all from a party store. At the end of the party each of the boys were allowed to "catch" one of the sharks hanging from the ceiling to take home.
Food: We served frothy ocean water (blue punch), pasta shells with choice of sauce, "coral sticks" (garlic bread)and gold fish crackers, along with other edible treats.
The cake: I can not bake so I ordered a cake from a bakery. It was a 12 inch round 4 inch high cake with a 10 inch round 4 inch high cake on top. The entire cake was airbrushed with bright blues and purples on one side and darker blues on the opposite side. We have a tradition of buying my daughter a keepsake for her cakes.
This year it was a resin mermaid statue which was the focal point for her side of the cake.The bakery added colorful fish made from edible sugar and a sign that read "Happy Birthday Tessa". On the other side of the cake there were small rubber sharks coming and going the height of the cake. A skeleton laid next to treasure chest at the bottom. A sign read "Happy Birthday Wyatt" my description doesn't do it justice.
Games: The girls had a pull string pinata filled with more jewelry and of course candy. It was rigged so my daughter had the magic string. The boys had a shark pull string pinata as well. It was filled with more shark related items and candy, it too was rigged so my son had the magic string. We had a puppeteer come and entertain using an ocean them. Wyatt and Tessa opened their gifts with the help of the child who gave it to them. We had several games planned but the kids started role playing sharks chasing mermaids, then vise versa. It provided much amusement for all.
When all was said and done and the last guest had gone home I asked my daughter if she had a good time. She had the biggest smile on her face,let out a deep sigh and fell backward on to the sofa. Mission accomplished. Word of caution in order to ensure the fabric stayed up I used a staple gun. It left hundreds of small holes that required patching and painting. King of the Sea wasn't too happy with Mother of Pearl.
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