October 17, 2011

"Under the Ocean" Pool Party

For the past week, I've been sharing several posts about our recent "Under the Ocean" birthday party I had for my girls.  I figured instead of one super, super long post detailing each part of the party, I'd break it up ~ especially since many of the things I did would be fun to do, party or not.  Anyway, since I think I've covered all the major details in the recent individual posts, I'm just going to put it all together now and give a party wrap up.

My big nine-year old birthday girl!

My girls are just under three years apart in age.  With just a couple weeks separating their birthdays, I usually do a joint birthday party for them.  This year, they both wanted to invite a couple friends from school as well as all their cousins (way too many people for our small house), so I decided to have it at a local indoor pool.  (Huge shout out to Kids First Swim School in Finksburg, MD ~ they were very reasonably priced and wonderful to work with!).  Both girls love ocean animals (dolphins in particular), so we decided an Under the Ocean theme would be perfect for a pool party.

The arrangement was that the kids would be able to swim for the first hour of the party, then celebrate with pizza and cake in the party room for the second hour.  Since the swimming provided the bulk of the activities and the pizza would cover the bulk of the food, I had the time to do a few other things to make it special.


The party room already had a mural on the wall, so I didn't have to do much.

I used the cute cupcake stands I had made as centerpieces on the two long tables.

Here's how I made them!

I also made two more of the watermelon sharks that I'd made over the summer.   (This time I used a seedless watermelon and my own knives and it was much easier!!) The sharks were a huge hit with the kids and adults, and the watermelon was a healthy compliment to the pizza and cupcakes! ;)

Here's a link to my post from this summer
(and here's the my original source of the idea, Sun Scholars)

I just used plain aqua and turquoise table coverings, plates, and napkins.  I did cut 1"x 6" strips of scrapbook paper to make little napkin rings.  All it took was a little swipe of the glue stick to secure.  Super easy, looked cute and it made it very easy to quickly pass out the napkins and utensils.   
(anything to make serving 20 giggling girls easier is a good idea!)


I already mentioned the pizza, watermelon and birthday cupcakes.  To round out the menu, I also had some goldfish crackers in bowls on the tables, some ice cream cups, and these Jello Aquariums!

Here's how I made it and what we thought about it!


The majority of the time was spent in the pool.  
The kids had a blast!

Everyone swimming and splashing!
A cousin tries out some flippers!

 Because some kids would take a little longer to change out of their swim suits and into their regular clothes, I wanted a little activity for them to do as they made their way back into the party room.  I ended up making some activity booklets for them to use at the party and then take home. 

The booklets had a few coloring pages...

 A birthday Mad Lib I made up with my girls as the main characters! (huge hit!)...

And a crossword puzzle and word find I was able to make up using words about my girls and underwater animals.  (I used this site to create the crossword puzzle and this site to make the word find!) 

Everyone really liked seeing the girls' names in the puzzles!
Everyone hard at work and having fun with the activity books

I also put out the pillow cases I made with some fabric markers so all the guests could sign them.

Here's more about the pillowcases!

Of course the best part of the party was singing and blowing out the candles!  It worked out great that I was able to inexpensively make two cupcake stands so each girl could have her own.

My six year old!

My nine year old

Each guest was able to leave with their activity booklet as well as these cute little favor bags.  
Each bag contained the Magical Playdoh Mix, 
some Swedish Fish and some goldfish.

Here's all the info on making this great playdoh mix!

And that's it!  Everyone had a great time and left happy (or, in my case, happy and exhausted!).  I think so many of the little things we did were inexpensive, but all together made for a great afternoon and a fun party.

(Phew, could you imagine how long this post would have been if I didn't do all the tutorials separately?!?  Hope you made it through here to the end and you got a couple good ideas you might be able to use)

Sharing our party at:
The Mommies Made me Do it!


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  2. that shark is too cute! great party:)

  3. AWESOME party for your girls!!! I'm already thinking of an "under the ocean" theme for Jameson's 1st birthday (ya know, 7 months from now) and I totally want to try that watermelon shark.

  4. Looks like a great party with some great ideas! I found your blog via pinterest and am following now. Have a great day!


  5. That watermelon shark is the best!


  6. Love it! Please post this, and anything else you may have, in my link party at



  7. Oh I loved it..Ur kids must have had a great time

  8. WOW!! The watermeloon shark & playdoh mix look AMAZING!!
    I would love for you to link up at http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/search/label/Linkey%20Parties

  9. So cute I love the watermelon! i just posted a bday party for my daughter too.

  10. Looks like such a blast. I would love for you to stop by and link up your under the sea party to More the Merrier Monday. It lasts through Wednesday so you have plenty of time to link up.


  11. This turned out great, Laura! Looks like so much fun!

  12. what a great party! Those treats were adorable & those goody bags - PERFECT!

    Thanks for sharing on the Sunday Showcase last week - can't wait to see what you'll share with us this week!


  13. Amazing ideas ... what a great party! I pinned your post to my Kids' Party Ideas Pinterest Board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/kids-party-ideas/ and my Ocean Unit Study board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/ocean-unit-study/

  14. I stumbled upon this post as I was posting something at "The Mommies Made Me Do It." I love it! My daughter has an August bday and we always do a swimming party. Thanks for the great ideas.

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