This fun "message in a bottle" invitation will tickle the imagination of boys and girls alike:
Design your Own Message in a Bottle invitation kit from Oriental Trading ($12.99 for 12)
Craft sand (Amazon.com $2.95)
Write invitation information on small slips of paper. Roll into scrolls and place in bottles. Add a bit of sand to each bottle for a special touch. Add the corks, then hand deliver your special invitations to party guests.
Summer is the perfect time to throw a themed party with anything relating to the ocean because of all the luau party supplies:
Island Door Curtain from Oriental Trading ($4.99 each on sale)
Jumbo Palm Tree Decoration from Oriental Trading ($3.99 on sale)
Shell Garland from Oriental Trading ($5.99 on sale)
Tape a large sheet of butcher paper on the wall. As guests arrive, let them decorate the paper with crayons and stickers to create a beautiful ocean scene.
Provide bubbles to blow or purchase a bubble machine for a magical effect.
Purchase purple and turquoise balloons, tablecloths, cups, plates, napkins, etc.
Pirate eye patches
Wrap a shoe box and its lid, separately, in tin foil. Decorate with plastic jewels. Fill the box with treasures of the sea: chocolate coins, play jewelry (for the girls), pirate patches (for the boys) and plastic fish, already in goody bags to prevent fighting.
Write clues on blank index cards, then "age" with tea. Let dry.
At the party, while the kids are otherwise occupied, hide the clues and the big treasure, then let the hunt begin! Let each child take a turn cracking a clue.
Depending on the children's ages, you can use simply colors or pictures for clues, or make it a bit more difficult by using word scramblers, rhymes, or puzzles.
Mer-race (an idea from FamilyFun)
"First outfit each child with a mermaid tail by having him or her step into a heavy-duty drawstring trash bag. Tie the bag loosely around each child's waist, then secure it in place with a belt of duct tape. Wrap a second strip of duct tape around the knees to create a fin effect, then lay the children down on their bellies across the room from your finish line. At the 'Ready, set, dive!' signal, kids squirm and flap their way to the rock, touch the finish line, then race back.
Rocks, shells, marbles and beads
Before the party, hide special sea treasures (rocks, shells, marbles, and beads) throughout a sandbox. At the party, allow guests to dig through the sand and keep any treasures that they find in brown paper sacks.
Under the Sea
Plush tropical animal bean bags (Oriental Trading- $12.99/dozen)
Gather all children around the sheet, instructing each to grab onto a piece of the sheet. Tell them that this is the "ocean." Place the sea life bean bags under the sheet. Tell the children to start waving the sheet, then begin chanting "Under the sea, under the sea, ________ is diving under the sea." The child whose name is called runs under the sheet, grabs a bean bag, and tosses it up onto the sheet, where it will toss around as if it were swimming in the ocean. The named child then goes back to his place around the sheet. This is repeated until each child has a turn.
Sea Monster, Sea Monster, what time is it?
This game is similar to "Mr. Fox, Mr. Fox, What time is it?"
The "sea monster" stands on one side of the yard, back turned to the others, and the rest of the children stand on the opposite side. All of the children change together, "Sea Monster, Sea Monster, what time is it?" Then, the sea monster will say any time besides midnight. All other children take that many steps forward. This is repeated until the sea monster says "Midnight!" Then, the sea monster will turn around and begin chasing the children. Once a child makes it back to the starting point, he his safe. If the sea monster tags him, he becomes the next sea monster.
Make this fun treasure chest cake from FamilyFun (video tutorial!).
- Blue Koolaid with frozen Swedish Fish as ice cubes
- Goldfish crackers
- Try these fun squid dogs from FamilyFun!
Use the gifts found in the treasure hunt as favors.