For Dash's fifth birthday last year we had a "Deep Blue Sea Party" - a theme that incorporated pirates, sea creatures and sharks, with room for favourite animated characters (Nemo, Sponge Bob etc) and of course mermaids, for the girls.
Being in early summer I anticipated a sunny day (as you do) and so planned whole bunch of outside games involving water and getting wet. The guests were instructed to come dressed as their favourite sea creature, mermaid or pirate and bring their togs as well. There were prizes given for best costume/best effort.
I made a shark pinata (click here for how to make it), found some great fish squirter "water guns" at our local $2 Shop and got Mr G to fill hundreds of water balloons the night before, ready for a Great Sea Battle.
For extra comedy, we dragged in another dad, a crazy Cockney friend of Mr G's, He and Mr G dressed as dastardly Pirate captains and set the tone of fun and craziness for the whole party. We called them Captain Hook and Captain Crook.
The pirate captains would each lead a team to compete in great fun water games. We planned a water balloon relay and a "Great Sea Battle", complete with Pirate flags and treasure chests.
Alas. The day before the weather forecast was for... rain!
Of course I stressed out big time, and had to re-think the whole plan to allow for wet weather. I decided to stick with the water games even in the rain, as the kids would be getting wet anyway and the temperature was actually pretty warm.
Instead of having the food outside I set it up in the dining room, using our blue Christmas icicle lights, blow-up dolphins and a tropical fish mobile hanging from the ceiling. A bluish "underwater" atmosphere was created very effectively by covering the windows with blue cellophane. It was very cool and was surprisingly easy to do as the cellophane pretty much clung to the glass by itself and I only had to use masking tape in the corners.
We moved the first couple of games under the carport, decorated with some big shark pictures, more dolphins and the shark pinata.
Captain Hook and Captain Crook were fantastic - they had as much fun as the kids, and held twenty energetic 4&5 year olds (mainly boys) enthralled with their antics. They threatened any naightiness would be punished by walking the plank, which made for some very well behaved little sea creatures. There was lots of "Ooh arrgh! ooh arggh!" and "ahoy there me hearties!" resounding in all directions.
The first game was a Buried Treasure Dig. We had filled a blue "clam shell" with sand and buried "treasure" in it. The kids each wrote their names on a coloured iceblock stick and stuck it in stuck in the sand. Then the pirates dug down and to see who had struck gold. It took a few rounds but eventually all the treasure was recovered.
There was also a bit of limboing (a great laugh, watching Mr G try to show them how it's done) followed by smashing the pinata (which worked really well, considering the grief I had making it!)
Following the food and birthday cake, all the kids got changed into their swimming togs.
We pre-allocated the kids into teams, making sure everyone had a buddy and there was a good mix of ages and abilities. Captain Hook's team had gold bandanas and Captain Crook's were in black of course (those dastardly blackhearts).
As it turned out, the rain held off; not that it mattered because everyone got absolutely soaked. We did make the deck a "safe area" for anyone that wanted to step out of the game (and the sane mummies). It was fantastic mayhem; absolutely great fun. There was no clear winner, but nobody cared, it was simply a great laugh.
The video footage is very shaky as the cameraman couldn't stop laughing. All in all, a great success and a lot of fun.
For the cake I made a great big rectangle chocolate cake in a roasting dish, and iced it blue with yellow at the bottom for sand.
I painted the icing with blue food colouring using a medium paintbrush after it was iced to give a watery look, and sprinkled some jelly crystals on the yellow for a sandy effect. Then it was easy to use jelly lollies and chocolate fish to make octopuses, seaweed and sea creatures. The decorating took me only 20 minutes!
Click Here for my easy One Egg Chocolate Cake Recipe
2 pkts jelly crystals, green & red
Plain white paper, cut into triangles
Cut the oranges in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving just the skin.
Make up the two flavours of jelly, but with half the amount of specified water; e.g. instead of adding 2 cups of boiling water, just add one cup. Pour the green jelly into half the the orange skins and the red jelly into the other half. Leave until firmly set.
Once jelly is set, carefully cut each orange in half again (i.e. you now have quarters).
Thread a white triangle of paper onto each toothpick to make the "sails". Poke into the middle of the jelly boat. Very cute!
Click Here for step-by-step instructions on how to make the jelly quarters...