Rainbow Fish -3yr- Diving 4 Colored Sea Creatures
Jenni in San Diego, CA USE
We chose a "Rainbow Fish" party theme for my daughter's 3rd birthday to which we invited 7 friends. Although we ordered the basic supplies from the birthdayexpress website, we enhanced these with our own ideas and creativity. Due to my daughter's age, she was able to get involved in almost all the planning which proved to be so much fun for us. And it was a double-bonus on the day when she was able to see how all her handiwork created such a fun party for all.
INVITATIONS: After writing out the invitations with a silver marker to match the silver scales, we laminated them to ensure that they were waterproof. We then floated them in a clear sandwich bag filled half-way with water and blue food coloring, some sand and miniature colorful shells (which we bought from Wal-Mart). My daughter poured in the sand, selected the shells and finally poured in the water. We also glued a strong fridge magnet onto the bags to ensure the invitations would not be ruined once hand-delivered.
PARTY DECOR: I mostly used helium-filled balloons even though I intended to do a fishing net. Most of my ideas came from this website such as the balloon octopuses which looked wonderful. But this sparked the idea of attaching some other paper sea creatures on the balloon ribbons which proved to be highly effective. Some balloons floated on the ceiling and others were attached to the walls with party tac. It looked so colorful that I decided on the spur of the moment not to add anymore decorations such as the net (which I returned).
PARTY CRAFT: I ordered "color-your-own" beach balls as well as a fish fridge magnet craft kit from orientaltrading. Instead of expecting the young guests to color between the lines, they just scribbled washable markers on the design which the parents rubbed gently with tissues. This gave the most wonderful rainbow effect to the beach balls. The fish photo fridge magnets were pre-packed into individual bags containing all the foam pieces and washable glitter glue.
PARTY ACTIVITIES: Fishing game: My daughter and I made fishes out of foam and silver glitter which had magnets on the back. We then attached a plastic blue tablecloth onto the floor (the sea) and placed the fishes in the sea (magnets down). The guests all fished for their own fridge magnet with a toy magnetic fishing rod.
Diving game: We placed various sea creatures which we made out of felt onto the floor. The guests and parents all took the sides of the sheet and made waves to soft "wave crashing" music. We then chanted each guests name to which they "dove" under the sea and brought back a sea creature e.g. "John, John, dive under the sea and bring back an octopus". They could not wait for their turn.
Beach ball game: We placed the colored beach balls they made in the centre of the sheet and put on some carousel music. We then flipped these balls with the sheet to the beat of the music. This was such a simple activity but the children squealed with delight seeing these balls bouncing on the sheet.
Bubbles: I found "plastic" bubble solution at Wal-Mart which is packaged in the form of a large pen with a small blower. These bubbles are quite resilient and don't just pop. The children caught them and soon it became a competition as to how many each one could catch on their fingers. Throughout this activity I played a CD from Kindermusik called "Creatures of the Ocean".
Fish clappers: I ordered "fish clappers" from orientaltrading.com and played the song "Under the sea". The children sat in a circle using the fish clappers to play along with the song. I would tap the clappers on my knees and they would follow and then tap them together and they would follow etc. Some even initiated their own way of tapping and asked their friends to do it that way.
Story: I then calmed them all down by reading a story from the Rainbow fish series before seating them down for the party feast.
PARTY FARE Mini sandwiches shaped like fish, carrots sticks (fishing rods) with cream cheese (bait) and goldfish crackers which they loves fishing. A really healthy snack which became an activity on it's own especially if they could "catch" more than one goldfish. Some baked crumbed fish and french fries. Not being a pro-sugar mom, the only sweet things were the shark gummi treats and the rainbow fish cake (baking instructions on the birthdayexpress website). The adults had bagels with smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers.
PARTY FAVORS The clappers, beach balls, fridge magnets (which they caught),photo fridge magnet, a mini rainbow fish ink stamp and pad and a lollipop. With our thank-you's, we included a photograph of each guest which we took at the party to be placed in their photo frame if they wished. The party was only one and a half hours which I felt was perfect for this age. Each activity flowed into the next and kept the children busy and entertained. It ended on such a high and everyone had a fabulous time. Hope these ideas have been useful and I have enjoyed sharing them with you. Wishing you a great party