Under the Sea -1yr- 6 Foot Shark
Heather in Newark, CA
Our son was turning 1 and with a love of the ocean, our family decided to celebrate Under the Sea! We planned on a large amount of family and friends with kids ranging from 1 to 10 so we knew we needed a variety of food and activities for everyone to enjoy.
INVITATIONS: I found a great deal for printed invitations that had a layer of printed vellum over a fish themed backdrop. All we had to do was add the ribbon. The invitations stated: Under the Sea, Under the Sea, Come Turn One with Me! We then added "Sail Date" for the party date, "Port" for the address and "S.O.S." for the RSVP line. We planned to have the party at 3 PM to allow the party to head into the evening if we wanted but also to allow for the younger kids to nap before coming over.
DECORATIONS: We purchased water colored gossamer and streamers which we covered all the walls around the house. We strung up puffy fish decorations, fish light strings and nets and placed inflatable fish, blue balloons and beach balls around the house, the bathroom and the backyard. Everywhere you went you felt you were under water and swimming with the fishes. Even the front of the home had fish shaped windsocks.
My husband purchased a sheet of plywood in which I drew a large cartoon shark with his mouth open. He then cut the shark and ocean backdrop out of the wood and I painted it to be very colorful. It stood over 6 feet tall and was a great decoration in the backyard. The kids loved to get their picture taken with their heads in the shark mouth and we took polaroids and let everyone take them home as souvineirs. The table was decorated with the water gossamer as a table runner and inexpensive glass bowls filled with sand and sea shells.
FOOD: The food really ended up being a hit. Again we took the Ocean theme into consideration and served "Submarine" sandwiches which we purchased in a 4' length and cut to size, seashell pasta salad, tater tot "bouys" and "octopus" hotdogs. If you haven't done octopus hotdogs before, they're easy to do and a huge hit!
All you have to do is cut the hotdog in half leaving the top 1/3 of the hotdog intact. Then continue to slice the hotdog to have a total of 8 legs. Place in boiling water and the legs will curl up! We also served blue jello cups with whipped cream ocean foam and gummy sharks inside as well as goldfish crackers and gummy worms as snacks.
CAKE: the cake was my favorite part of the whole party. I baked cakes in 2 different sized circle cake pans as well as 1/2 of a ball cake pan. When placed all together the ball on top turned into the bright orange octopus and I made his legs drape down the other 2 tiers of cake. It was very 3 dimensional and allowed me to serve the octopus to my son to mangle to his heart's content without destryoing the rest of the cake for the guests!
I decorated the base of the cake with brown sugar (to look like sand), chocolate seashells which I made from molds, "pebble colored" jelly belly beans and apple flavored fruit by the foot which I cut to look like seaweed.
GAMES: We did a few games for the kids but also wanted to include the adults. For the kids we did a treasure chest pinata filled with candy and toys, they decorated mini treasure chests with fish stickers and seashells and played a version of "pin the tail on the donkey". Instead of a donkey and tail, I painted an underwated fish scene on a sliding glass door where the kids used suction cups that had hooks on them. We stuck gummy worms on the hooks and let the kids "fish".
The key is to remove the suction cups and mark the inside of the window where the kids landed otherwise the older kids know how to find the other suction cups to get closer to the fish mouth. The winner received a mini fishing pole! The adults weren't forgotten. We placed goldfish crakers into a vase and asked them to guess how many there were. The adults made their guesses on blue cards decorated with fish stickers and they placed them in a gift bag I decorated with 3D fish decals. The winner received a nice bottle of wine.
PARTY FAVORS: Because of the variety of ages I tailored the favors for all kid's age ranges. All the kids received a large sand pail with their name written in silver pen on the shovel. They also all received a puffer fish sipper cup, sand toys, fish stickers, a fish pencil, a deflated fish beach ball, candy "sand" in a bottle and gold coin gum found from a long-buried treasure chest! As a special treat the older boys received bug finding kits, the older girls received kissy fish t-shirts, the younger kids received play- doh shark kits and the babies got fish teething rings. Everyone loved them!
I got most of my ideas from searching this site and with a lot of planning in advance I was able to find deals and inexpensive ideas from local retailers and internet sites. The party was a huge hit with kids and adults alike but I think I had more fun than most putting it all together!
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