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Under the Sea

Party Ideas

Here are a variety of ideas for you to help you plan your party.  You may also want to check our links page for craft ideas to do with the kids.

Party Planning

Start planning your party about two to four months before if you plan on having entertainment.  Some entertainers get booked up early while others can squeeze you in on short notice.  A good rule of thumb on inviting kids is about 2-3 times the child's age, so for a 4 year old, invite 8-12 children.  Most parties for children ages 3-7 last 2 hours.  During the first half hour, guests are arriving and children play.  After this initial period is a good time to schedule the entertainment; food and gifts then follow.  A few days before the party, confirm that your entertainer is coming (some will call you).  

On the day of the party, be sure to provide parking for your entertainers.  When they arrive, go over what you expect and where they should set up.   If they have equipment to bring in, offer to help (great job for dads!).  Offer them a drink (water or soda).  Offering food is nice, but don't be surprised or offended if they pass.  Many have a policy to not eat at parties.  Ask them if pictures are allowed, and if there are any special times during the show that offer great picture opportunities. 

While the entertainment is going on, remember this is for the children.  If there are adults in the room that would rather talk and socialize, politely ask them to talk softly or go to another room (for Under the Sea, adults are welcome to ask questions and participate!!).  Once the show is over, know where the kids are going next (If entertainment included animals, have them wash their hands).  Offer to help carry stuff out.  Realize that some entertainers have other programs following yours and may be on a tight schedule.  If you enjoyed the show, consider a cash tip!  


Theme Ideas

Finding Nemo party - The hot theme for 2004!
Sponge Bob Squarepants - A current favorite for all ages and genders!
Little Mermaid party with music from Disney's  "The Little Mermaid" 
Pirate party with a treasure hunt, eye patches, bandanas, and candy doubloons
Hawaiian Luau with loud shirts, grass skirts, a pineapple and leis. 
Costume party - Request that your guests come dressed as sea creatures or fishermen, pirates, sailors, marine police, coast guard officers, etc.



Entertainment ideas

Crab races - kids race on all fours like a crab
Balloon relay races where kids have to race up to a chair and sit on
    a water balloon to pop it and then race back and tag the next
    person.
Slip and slide - Buy at Toys r Us or other toy store
Blowing bubbles - Do this away from food!
Gyotaku - Fish printing -
take a dead fish (or a rubber mold), slap some paint on it, and then gently press paper or cloth to it to transfer the image to the material.
Fish Pi�
Pumpkin carving contest
with fishy theme
Charades - Children act like a sea creature and others have to guess
     which animal it is - write down the names of animals for them to 

     act out on small pieces of paper.  Place them in  a fishbowl for

     children to draw and then act out.  Here are some of animals they

     may act out - whale, shark, sea horse, clam, sea snail, jellyfish,

     crab, lobster, starfish, seal, tuna fish, octopus, squid, shrimp,

     dolphin.
Take a familiar game and add an ocean twist:  Bingo becomes Ocean
     Bingo;  Hot Potato = Hot Dolphin;   Duck, Duck, Goose = Fish, Fish,
     Shark  
Create an Oceanic Mural:  Hang a large sheet of paper on the wall &
     have your party guests add stickers, drawings, stamp designs,
     etc., to make an underwater scene!
Pin the critter in his habitat: A variation of pin the tail on the donkey.  I have seen this done with Sponge Bob and his pineapple home, you could do Nemo and his anemone.  Every kid gets a thing to pin and takes turns being blindfolded.  If young, you may want to omit the spinning them around part.  Then they have to pin the critter up as close as possible.  Prizes could be given for various categories.

 

Food Ideas:

Birthday cake with ocean theme - decorate with fish, crabs and waves
Aquatic cake
in the shape of a sea creature, with decorations
Pepperidge Farm Gold fish - great snack food
Gummy worms
Cookies
in the shape of fish or starfish 
Jell-O mold in the shape of a jellyfish (jellofish!)
Ocean colored drinks - Hawaiian punch, blue or green lemonade
Fish-shaped ice cubes

Hawaiian punch

Octo-dogs - Hotdogs that look like tiny octopuses.  Cut hotdog in half so you have two equal lengths.  Slice halfway up four times so you have 8 dangling sections.  Place in boiling water and watch them curl up like arms!  Serve with ketchup!

 

Decorating Ideas:

Turn your house or party site into an ocean by hanging blue and green (and other "ocean" colored) streamers from the ceiling.  Have "jellyfish" balloons with ribbon tentacles hanging down (just be sure to dispose of your balloons properly after the party!).  

"Fishy" themed decorations, centerpieces, and invitations


General Ideas:

Thank you idea - If you open presents at the party, have the birthday child sit in a chair, with a second chair for the gift giver (all others sit around on floor).  Once gift is open, take a picture of the two of them with the gift (have a friend do this).  Mail a copy of the picture to the parents along with a thank you note!
 

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