No matter what the weather and no matter if you are staying indoors on a cold day or outside in the summer, have children come in beach clothes (or appropriately covered swimwear.
Make clear plastic cups of blue jello. Right as the jello begins to set (enough for the jello to suspend the weight of a candy) insert a Swedish fish or two inside. When set, it will look like a tiny aquarium. To make it look like a plant is in there as well cut strips from green apple sour straws! Kraft has an adorable recipe for these that I wanted to give them credit for as they have the cutest looking one, especially with the chopped strawberries for the gravel!
Another variation on the food above is to make the jello in cups filled only half way full and with a gummi worm inside. Then as a game, turn the cup over on a paper plate for each child. The kids have their hands behind their backs and everyone making a fishy face/ fish lips while they wait for you to say “go”. Then, without using their hands/fins, they have to get the worm loose from the jello and eat it.
Pin the Legs on the Octopus
Variation of Pint the Tail on the Donkey. Using a large piece of poster board or cardboard, color and cut out the body of an octopus and affix him to a wall. Using more stiff paper, color cut at least eight octopus legs (enough for every child to have one). Children can be blindfolded, spun around three times and have to try to pin the legs (tentacles) on the octopus. It will be funny to see what the octopus looks like when everyone is finished.
If you are not excited about making an octopus then do an easier version by drawing a large poster board fishbowl and give each child a small fish with tape and voila! Same game, same fun.
For another game get plastic sand pails. Have children use the small plastic shovels to toss “fish” across the room and see who can fill up their bucket fastest. You could find fish or ocean themed erasers from a Teaching Supply or specialty store or go buy cheap fishing lures (obviously with no hooks) the kind that look and feel like slimy worms!
Fast Paced Favorite Games for Older Kids
Gather a list (google it) of Ocean related words and do a game of Pictionary or Charades.
to create the right ambiance whether inside or outside.
Download some kids underwater themed songs and steel drum island music for the party.
Get some grass skirts, coconut bras, big sunglasses and other silly props and have a Hilarious dance party! Or, to make it a game, Divide the party kids onto two groups. As a rely race, one child from each team (so 2 at a time) run over to their pile of clothes. (Each team has the same items; hula skirt, hat, sunglasses and lei for example) They have to get dressed in the items as fast as they can, get their picture snapped, get undressed and run back to tag the next child. This goes on until every child has gone and you have a funny photo of each child to send home in your Thank You Cards!!!
Outside during a warm party you can do sprinklers, pools, slip and slides, water balloon toss games and water gun fights! Water balloon baseball is a fun one too! You can decorate visors and flip flops.
Water bottles, bowls of assorted goldfish crackers, sub sandwiches, Gummi sharks, blue juice or Gatorade, there are also really cool sharks cut from watermelon to serve fruit from that you can find on line and Pinterst.