E had her "fake birthday" at the end of the school year. I say "fake" because her real birthday is in the middle of the summer and I decided at the beginning of her school career that it would be much simpler to have her "school friend" party at the school year end rather than trying to track down people in the middle of the summer. If you've been a regular reader, you will know what a hard time we've been having with parties the past couple of years. See Birthday Parties Suck from last year.
So we were thrilled when not only all the girls came but we ended up a couple of extra kids. It figures that every other year I had prepared goody bags for as many invitations as we had given out and been disappointed in the no shows. This year I was determined to only buy enough for those that said they were coming for sure. So I had to scramble a bit to get extra bags done up and E had to give up hers but I was so pleased to be put in that position for once that I didn’t mind at all.
Unfortunately with the terrible weather we'd been having the usual pool party was out. So what is a pool loving, mermaid wannabe kind of gal to do for a fun birthday party? Why not throw an under the sea party?
First I designed the invitation, printed it off onto card stock and used a paper cutter to get a nice straight edge. I fit four to a page and printed off two sheets to make 8 invites.
The real inspiration for this party came from this book I had bought a few years ago through Scholastic. It has several great mermaid or under the sea type themed crafts.
The key to doing any of these crafts is to be prepared and have everything prepped as much as possible. I didn’t want to go overboard because after all it’s just a birthday party for one afternoon and we are on a limited budget so I tried to mostly just use stuff we already had around the house.
For decorations, I cut out fish of different sizes on stiff paper and then cut out tissue paper in different colours. Using a brush and some white glue E and I glued the tissue onto the fish. I found that circles worked the best because when you overlapped it looked the most like scales. Let it dry, trim the edges and add a googly eye and you've got some cute fish.
When it came to decorating the room I bought crepe paper streamers from the dollar store in blue, green and light green. It was really hubs who showed his creative side in decorating the room. By hanging the fish from the center of the ceiling and trailing "seaweed" from the middle, the room looked really neat.
I don't think my photos do it justice but the effect was really cool. At each corner, hubs attached a balloon and more streamers. The kids all loved it. We then added a few fish to the wall for more decoration.
I kept the table decorations to a minimum because we were going to be doing crafts on it so I bought a cheap white plastic table cloth and used light blue cups and plates to keep with the water theme.
I didn’t really do anything extra special for snacks. We just had the usual medley of fresh fruit platter and bowls of chips. We did do a blue lagoon punch with jujube shark frozen in ice cubes. While the punch was delicious everyone was unanimous that the sharks were disgusting because they went mushy from being wet.
We topped it off with an Ariel the Mermaid ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.
The first craft, which was making a mermaid, went fairly smoothly. I’m glad I spent the extra time a few evenings before the party cutting out the shapes because with the extra girls that came, things were a little hectic.
They turned out really neat. I won’t set out the instructions here because they are all in the book mentioned above. However, if you’d really like instructions, email me and I will send them out to you or I can always do a tutorial.
The second craft was a bit of a disaster. It required way too much hands on help despite the fact that I had pre-cut everything. The younger girls were constantly asking for assistance and I was relieved when one mom showed up early and pitched in and helped her two girls. I realized that most of the crafts that are in the book is more suited to one on one and not really a group party thing to do.
As for the mermaid decorations, we all loved them so much we left them up for a few extra days. The fish have now been consigned to the “birthday box” for future water themed parties.
So the party was a hit and I will leave you with a video of our “mermaid” on a different day showing off one of her birthday presents.
What about you? Thrown any fun parties lately?