"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party'" - Robin Williams
We are lucky that Lil Big Man has a spring birthday so we can celebrate outside. Otherwise, I'm not sure what I would do with all his energy plus the energy of 15 of his closest bouncing buddies. Luckily, the weather pretty much held out except a few minutes of rain that didn't even phase the kiddos. Since we celebrate at the park I don't go overboard on the decorations – just a few simple and inexpensive special touches to go with the theme.
Anything I bought went with the blue, black, and white color scheme. Blue tablecloths for the water, black and white napkins and plates, a black and white wrapped box to hold some drinks, etc.
The first things the kiddos noticed were the inflatable killer whales hanging from the rafters of the park picnic shelter. With some Dollartree twine and my underhand toss over the rafters to the hubby we created our own swimming whales in the ocean. They were about $2.00 each and added just the right amount of decorations. I thought of other decorating ideas to make it more under-the-sea theme, but we really wanted to stick to just killer whales as much as possible. So we stopped here…I can't believe I had that kind of self control.
My ocean in a jar idea was originally going to be a project for the kiddos with some empty baby food jars I had. However, after testing it out on some big jars I decided it was going to be too messy and the little sea creatures I purchased didn't float. You put half water with some food coloring, and then fill the rest with mineral oil or clear vegetable oil ( I couldn't find this). Instead of keeping the non-floating sea creatures in the jar, I printed out some killer whales from the computer and glued them on the outside of the jars. When you move it you make waves. There was a breeze so I used them as paper weights for the plates and napkins. Plus the kids still had fun checking them out and making 'waves'.
Then we had the cake and cupcakes. I used out of the box cake mix, homemade frosting, killer whale cookie cutouts, and some candy fishes and jelly bellies. We made the killer whale cookies for his pre-school class celebration and luckily had leftovers. Thank goodness I refrained from eating them because they saved the day. We used the leftovers to put on the cake instead of having to use a plastic toy or figuring out fondant (one thing I still haven't tackled). Lil big man loves jelly bellies (along with his mommy) so it was a special touch to use those for the waves. It certainly isn't going to win any awards, but it was relatively painless and to a bunch of kiddos it was cute. If only it hadn't taken lil big man 14 tries to blow out 5 candles…
Add a few random beach balls everywhere and we were ready to party!
It is possible to complete a theme just enough without breaking the bank if you pay attention to what the kiddos will appreciate more than what us adults would appreciate. For adults a great layout for the food is often something we focus on or the table setting…..but to a 5 year old? Not so much! The flying killer whales are way more interesting. Think like the age group you are planning for and you'll throw a great party. Next, I'll share the games and activities we played. Stay tuned J
Be inspired, get creative, and have fun!