Idea No.

15382

Under the Sea -4yr- At the Aquarium

Award

Date

March 2007

From

Christine in Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Honorable Mention

Under The Sea Party

Under the Sea Party - 4 year old girl.  We chose to have the party at the National Aquarium in Washington, DC. I believe many of the ideas here can be used for people to use in their homes too. We live in a townhouse, and just don't have the room for a large party. The rental cost of the Aquarium was very reasonable.  We themed the party with the Little Mermaid, since my daughter loves the Disney Princesses.  I had my daughter assist in the party planning and decorations.   

For the invitations, I took some underwater photos I downloaded from the web as the background, and cut and pasted Ariel, Sebastion, and Flounder on the front of the page, and titled it Join us for an Under the Sea Adventure, with time and place.  On the back, I downloaded a picture of a pirates map, used it for the background, and put the directions to the aquarium on the back. I had these printed at Kinkos.  We rolled these up, and put them in an empty water bottle (Deer Park Bottles have a design that most like under the ocean). I wrapped rafia around the top of the bottle. I put a sticker on the outside, with a water design and Ariel, and put the words A Message in the Bottle for "  ". 

My daughter decorated the bottles with stickers. I put these in brown paper bags with the child's name on a sticker.  We delivered these to her daycare the teachers handed these to the students.  The room was decorated displays of shark jaws puffer fish and shells.  I put teal colored streamers and fish that I purchased from oriental trading company my daughter decorated foam fish cutouts with glitter and we hung them all from the ceiling.  We had teal purple and pink balloons spread around. 

The table cloth was teal with a yellow fishnet.  We had painted some seashells that we collected from the previous summer and put those on the table.  I downloaded a bunch of  fish/ocean songs on my ipod to give an Oceanside feel to the room. 

I designed a scavenger hunt for the children where the kids would have to look for fish in the aquarium.  The staff at the aquarium gave me a list of species and I used most of the fish that were in Nemo (clown blue tang puffer crab star etc.) so the kids could identify with them.  I researched the fish downloaded the pictures and made a little quiz for them to find the fish (For the starfish - Some say I am the star of the show here at the National Aquarium  Can you find me?) 

I wanted to make sure the kids had an opportunity to learn a little about the fish and the environment.  When the kids were done with scavenger hunt I had sand buckets that I purchased at a craft store for $1 each and they put foam fish cutouts on for such a simple item this was a big hit. 

Then it was game time. My daughter and I decorated one of the broom handles wrapping it with the blue streamer and putting stickers on it.  I downloaded Limbo Rock from itunes this got the party started.  All the kids joined the Limbo line and my husband and brother in law were the Limbo Masters. 

The next game was Pin the Flower on Ariel.  The room had metal doors so I put a poster of Ariel on one of the doors.  I took flowers (oriental trading) and hot glued magnets on the back. I decorated one of the other doors with the flowers the kids could pick the flower they liked and use it for the game.  They liked this one too.  The game prizes included fish searays that if you put in water they get 6x bigger playdoh and light sticks. 

I bought a princess cake at the grocery store and we put colored flame candles (walmart) on the cake.  I also served rainbow gold fish cheese cubes and animal crackers in plates shaped like hibiscus flowers.  I had fruit plates and chips too.  For drinks I kept is very simple - juice boxes and bottled water. 

After the cake it was shark feeding time at the aquarium.  I know this can't be done at home but it was fun.  The goodie-buckets included small buckets purchased from oriental trading which included a shovel and rake bubbles in a fish topped bottle (also from oriental trading) sunglasses lollipop and a little mermaid ball.  We put these in the large decorated buckets and tied a balloon to the handle.  Many of the guest stayed around and enjoyed the aquarium with their families. 

Just a hint - it takes a little more organization and planning when the party is not at your home and also enlist a couple of friends to assist you in bringing supplies to the party location."

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