My son just had his 10th birthday party and there was no “theme” because he is too big/old for that now. He is my youngest child and I felt a real sadness realizing that I may never plan a thematic birthday party again! That Stinks because planning birthdays are SO FUN! I loved planning my sons Superhero party with a piñata, action games, and a theme wall for the kids to decorate with buildings and villains and superheroes overtaking the city. I got to help a friend a few years ago plan a Fancy Nancy Birthday Party for her daughter. That one was something magical after the decorations, fresh flowers, manicures, finger sandwiches and shopping boutique for favors….ahhh so sweet.  Perhaps I will have to hit up some parents in the neighborhood and offer (BEG) to help? The one party I always wanted put on for my son but never was able to talk him into it was an Under the Sea theme. I will give you all my great ideas and perhaps you can use them for your own party! And don’t worry about the weather because if your party is on a nice warm outdoor day or a snowy indoor day,  Jello Aquariums, Octopus party games and Fishing for Goody Bags are just a few of the fun activities to plan your Aquatic Ocean Themed Birthday.

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.

Fun Food
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!
Fun Food & A Game
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.
Interactive Wall Mural 
Get a couple blue, plastic tablecloths and affix them to the wall. For smaller/younger children just do the lower half of the wall. Then use your resources such as free printables, coloring books, stencils and plain paper to leave at a big table or on a large spot on the floor. Have crayons, markers, tape, sfety scissors and other such art supplies there too. As an activity, children can create sea animals, fish, plants, rocks and even divers and decorate the whole sea! You can have seals, penguin, crabs, snails, squid, seaweed, rocks, even Spongebob and Nemo…anything goes! You can do this as a planned activity and then let kids come back to it as they want throughout the party.

Fishing Hole Game
For another activity you can make a fishing hole. Use a small plastic or blow up child’s pool with no water. Create various fish printed or drawn on heavy cardstock (or paper glued to cardboard or poster board). Slip large paperclips on the mouths of the fish and spread them out in your fishing area. (Even a blue sheet spread out would work too!) Divide the children into small groups.
Give each group fishing poles made from wooden dowels from the hardware store or even wooden spoons from your kitchen drawer, with a string tied to one end with a magnet as the hook. Each team has 1 minute or 2 minutes (you decide how long) to catch as many fish as possible. After all the teams have gone compare the number of fish caught and congratulate everyone for doing their best. You can mix the teams up and play again!

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.

Pin the Fish To the Bowl 
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.
Fishing For Goody Bags
Another variation of the fishing game is to take a sheet and hang it up between a doorway so that there is a space at the top. As each child leaves the party they use a fishing pole with a clothespin on the end to fish for their goody bag. The child tries “casting the line” until the clothespin falls over the sheet and a waiting helper attaches the goody bag to the paper clip and gives a few small tugs to let them know that they have hooked a fish! The child reels in (or pulls back) the line and retrieves their fish! (A paper lunch sack with a fish drawn or printed on it filled with Thank You favors).
Live Fish Thank You Gift 
If you ask the parents ahead of time and all agree, you may be able to give each child a fish to take home! You can buy small glass jars or fishbowls in the home & kitchen section of the dollar store or Wal-Mart for very cheap. Just add a little bit of colorful gravel to the bottom and add either a beta fish with the long fins (usually $2 – $5) or even a cheap goldfish (usually .10 cents) Give each child a small snack size baggie with a bit of food and you are set for the coolest birthday party favor ever!
Toss Into the Bucket Game

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.

Let one child go while everyone guesses or divide into smaller groups.
to create the right ambiance whether inside or outside.
Theme Music
Download some kids underwater themed songs and steel drum island music for the party.
3 for 1 = Dance Party + Hilarious Game + Thank You Cards 
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 Activities
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.

Travel size sunblock
Go Fish Cards
Blow Up Beach Ball
Small pack Goldfish Crackers
Sea Shells or Starfish
Moon Sand
If you have any other ideas please share them with our dapper friends in the comments section below! Have pictures and want to share? Contact me and I will do a feature on your creative ideas!

! Have a Fabulous Day ! – Jenny at Dapperhouse