My daughter's fifth birthday party was in summer, so Mermaids was a suitable theme.
The invitations were rolled up in tiny glass bottles (message in a bottle - style), filled with a dash of sea sand and some sea-side confetti. The cork on top had a pearl (white marble) glued to it with a little paper fish dangling off the end of a ribbon. The paper fish had the invited child's name printed on it. The children were asked to wear swimming things underneath their
clothing, even though no swimming was going to take place (we didn't want the huge responsibility of watching 15 little swimmers splash around in our pool).
For decorations, my kids and I constructed wave curtains to dangle over every doorway that the kids would pass through. We did this by cutting long lengths of various shades of blue gift ribbon and taping them to dangle from one ribbon long enough to extend over each doorway. We made orange hand prints on white paper, decorated them with eyes, and attached them onto the dangling ribbons as floating octopi. This was a simple and very effective decoration.
We propped up two sea-shell sandpits to resemble a giant clam, covered a continental cushion in the lower one, and placed the pearl pinata in the center for a great place to photograph all the little mermaids that arrived on the day. This worked very well. As the children arrived we painted sparkly spots in twirls and spirals over their cheeks with face paint, and stuck silver star stickers on their arms and legs before sending them off for a quick photo shoot in the clam.
For the girls, I made mermaid bikini tops to tie around whatever they were wearing by simply stitching two shell shaped pieces of felt onto a ribbon long enough to wrap around their chests. These shells were decorated with shiny, shimmery fabric paint and looked very effective. The boys got shark tooth necklaces.
The first game played was a bubble-blowing contest. The children competed to blow the biggest, the highest, the longest lasting, the smallest etc bubble. We also hired an inflatable slip 'n slide for the day, and the children loved, loved, loved this!
We took a break from the slip 'n slide for snacks. Each child received their party pack which resembled a pirate's treasure chest with an edible mermaid on top. I tried to find only treats with blue wrappings to fill each box, and wrapped two pieces of black ribbon around each box with a gold clasp (gold coloured tape - cut to shape). The result was very effective. The birthday cake was a chocolate nut cluster sea rock surrounded by blue icing waves with little marshmallow fish leaping in and out of the breakers. I placed an Ariel figurine on the rock, and five starfish candles surrounded the cake.
Once everyone was well fed and content, we hung up the pearl pinata (full of jewelry and gold chocolate coins), and the kids went to it with a vengeance.
Jessica - DURBANVILLE