For my daughter’s 4th Birthday she asked for a Mermaid Party. I decided to broaden the theme a bit to an Under the Sea party. There are lots of options on Pinterest for Under the Sea that include shovels, buckets and cupcakes that look like sand, but I thought that looked too beachy, so I decided to not include any sandish things. I broke this guideline with the little umbrellas, but that was my goal: all things Under the Sea. Keep reading for exciting ideas of Under the Sea Games, Activities, Food and Decorations!
We got our paperless invitations from Punchbowl.com. I love Punchbowl.com. It makes it so easy to organize your event. If you haven’t tried it yet you really should. So many options, including lots of free cards! In my invitations I always write what the dress code should be. I love getting people to dress up. I think it heightens the excitement for everyone. When I sent out these invitations I suggested dressing as a mermaid, pirate, or even just wear a sundress or shorts. Unfortunately I completely forgot about dressing up, or having my kids dress up, until I was getting ready for bed the night before. You know I’m in poor form when…🤦♀️. So my son wore his shark t-shirt, but didn’t want to wear shorts, and the birthday girl had already decided that she was going to be a ballerina. There were a couple epic costumes, though. One of my favourites was a little guy dressed up as Prince Eric!
This idea is so awesome and so easy – even if you aren’t artistic. My sister and I sat and had a cup of tea while cutting silhouettes (fish, shark, turtle, stingray, squid, octopus, starfish, seahorse and even a mermaid) out of black bristol board. You then just tape a blue plastic table cloth to the ceiling and throw the sea creatures on top. I saw this idea at a Vacation Bible School my son went to. Isn’t it amazing?
Waves and Fish:
I got this idea from For the Love of Character. In the picture I saw on Pinterest the streamers were green, to be seaweed. But I checked multiple stores and could. not. find. green. streamers. So I used blue. I think it still looks oceanic. Then I used my Cricut to cut out multi-coloured fish and sharks. I taped it all to the wall. Actually, my son and I did the streamers and the girls did the fish. Shocking that the kids are actually helpful in decorating now.
Ceiling Waves, Flowers and Bubbles:
The streamers are taped right together on one side of the room, and fanned out to the other to look like a wave. I got the paper flowers from Dollarama, and the white balloons are supposed to be bubbles.
I’ll put up a proper tutorial of how to make this gem in the near future. For now I’ll tell you that you get a paper lantern, cut lengths of ribbon and/or tissue paper and staple them to the bottom. I made this one for the dining room, and a green one for the living room.
The Classic Display:
This is the part where I walked around my house to see what I had that would suit a display. I found seashells, an authentic Ariel necklace, a fork, a treasure box and a candelabra into which I shoved cutlery, secured with tin foil. You may recognize the candelabra from the Beauty and the Beast portion of my Disney Princess Party. To see other “Walk Through My House” displays check out my Chinese New Year, Harry Potter and Cowboy Parties.
I bought two boxes of cards at Costco, and as I was organizing them into a shoebox for easy searching, I noticed that this would be perfect for a birthday party game. I also had a pile of seashells that I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate. So I put the two together. I wrote values in the spaces, making the tiny box in the centre worth 50 points, and each guest had to throw the seashells into the box. For another “Toss It” game take a look at my Batman Party.
Tie up the kids legs with scarves. If you do it right you can make it look like a mermaid tail. I wasn’t nearly as good at this as was my sister. Oh well.
Have the tied up children race around a room. We have a riding ship toddler toy, so we put it at the far side of the room for them to race around. We had three rounds of four hoppers, then a final hop with the winner of each round.
Melted Candy Beads:
This craft has absolutely nothing to do with mermaids, or under the sea or anything remotely related to the party. But it’s wonderful! And delicious! We found it in this months’ issue of Clubhouse Magazine, which is put out by Focus on the Family. I highly recommend this magazine! It’s geared for children ages 8-12, while Clubhouse Jr. is for ages 3-7. We get both magazines and we LOVE THEM!
Before the party cut up Rainbow Twizzlers into pieces a centimeter long. It’s very important to make them even. If some are too short or long they’ll hinder the beads from melting together.
Set up the table so each child has a piece of parchment paper with about 50 “beads.”
Make shapes and pictures by putting the beads together. They need to be touching so that they melt together and hold. If you put them in just an outline it won’t be as secure.
Take an iron on high heat and, while covering the picture with another piece of parchment paper, press gently to melt the beads together. Flip over the design and iron the other side.
The kids made a truck, flowers, an exploding sun, a bears, a princess… there are so many possibilities! When they were finished making their pictures we let them eat them right away.
My sister was supposed to do her usual magic with the cupcakes but she ended up going on vacation right before the party and didn’t have time. So it was up to me. This really is not my forte. Luckily, when we were buying supplies earlier in Dollarama the checkout lady told me her brilliant way of decorating cupcakes for her children’s parties. She would buy stickers relating to the theme, stick them on construction paper, stick the construction paper to toothpicks and put them in the cupcakes. So I did a version of this. My niece iced them for me, and I got whatever Under the Sea stickers we had and stuck them to toothpicks. Then I used stickers of bubbles to secure the main stickers in place.
For drinks we had blue Hawaiian Punch with little umbrellas in them. Some kids decorated their cupcake with their umbrella. Adorable!
This idea is from Catch My Party. So cute, right?
Octopus Veggie Dip:
For details on this Octopus Dip you should check out my Nautical Baby Shower.
Order of Party:
Our party was in the morning, starting at 10. We began with the Mermaid Race, then did the Seashell Toss. After that we gathered in the dining room to sing Happy Birthday and have cupcakes and juice (and a much needed cup of tea!). Then we opened presents, and did the Great Reveal of the bedroom. Then we ended off the morning with the melted candy activity. Most of the guests left before lunch, but my sister, sister-in-law and the cousins stayed for a lunch of Crab Croissants, Veggie Straws, Octopus Dip and veggies.
The party was a great success! You certainly don’t have to do all these things to make a great party. But the good news is that these decorations are very inexpensive and, overall, not very time consuming. Okay, the Coral Reef took forever, but I was really excited about that one! Another thing that made the decorating easier was that we decorated the dining room for my daughter’s actual birthday, and the living room for her party, which was a week later, so I didn’t have to do it all at one time. It was also really easy to take down again. For the food, I wanted to have all the little sandwiches ready to go and looking adorable on a platter, and the veggie tray all ready too, but that also didn’t happen. We ended up just making our kids’ individual sandwiches, and my niece helped me with the veggie tray. So don’t be afraid to cut corners, and even leave things out entirely. Really, the most important part of having a party is 1. for your child to know that they are special enough for you to put in the effort, and 2. having the time to celebrate with friends and family. But neglecting your child to get all this done is not a good thing. If colouring with them means that you don’t get that last wall decorated, or the Octopus Lanterns made, that’s totally okay. Spending time WITH them is so much more important than spending time ON them.