(image by Picture People)
My baby boy turned 3 years old this month! I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. One day I was picking out fabric for the nursery and before you know it, he is a walking talking boy. For his first birthday, I created a giant Candy Land game that the kids could actually walk through like a little obstacle course for a one year old. For his second, it was all about his very favorite, Thomas the Tank Engine. We are lucky that his birthday is in August and we (knock on wood) have always had great luck with the weather. So this year, I decided he would have a Surf’s Up beach theme. In order to create this, I knew I needed two things… a beach and water.
At the center of my design is a hand-made beach. I approached the water on three fronts. My parents offered to host the party and they have a yard large enough for everything I wanted to do. They already have a pool, so that was water feature number one. BUt, this is a party for a 3-year-old and if I wanted him to have fun while we still were able to host the party we needed to have more than that. So we had a smaller scale kiddie pool as the second water feature. And for the third , we ordered a giant bouncer with a water slide attached! All of it was a hit.
But not only cool water activities does a party make. We also had a big spread of food. I actually kept it pretty simple for the food. We served hamburgers, hot dogs and Salsa Lime BBQ Chicken Skewers hot off the grill. We did a couple of super simple sandwiches… My mom made her Chouriço & Peppers sandwiches, and I made some super fun “Crab Stuffed Crab” sandwiches. On the side we served corn on the cob, Stacy’s Best Potato Salad, Shells Pasta Salad and Veggie Straws (my kids favorite). For dessert, cake and ice cream, Sand Dollar Snickerdoodles, a watermelon and blueberry salad inside a watermelon cut out into a shark and Shark Attack Jello.
In addition, we had some special activities for the little ones. You can’t have a beach without sand castle building. So I made a board for magnetic sand castles. We had an extra little bouncer with a ball pit for the under 5 crowd that was shaped like a castle. Instead of throwing a football on the beach, we had a football pinata. And lastly we had a magnetic fishing game.
Oh, and I don’t want to forget to mention that my husband made up a great playlist for the party of the Beach Boy’s Greatest Hits! Music is always important no matter the function!
I hope you enjoy taking a look at my party creativity…
To make the beach, I sewed 25 yards of fabric together and pinned it down with landscaping staples. I lined the beach with palm trees I made from pool noodles I wrapped in packing paper and green fabric mesh.
The kids loved it!
My sand castle board was a sheet of sheet metal a friend of mine procured for me. Then I grabbed a bunch of sand paper and some sparkly foam for fun and got to cutting. I backed each piece with some self stick magnets and walla.
Even some of the bigger kids had fun in the kiddie pool with the little ones.
Got to remember beach balls… this one is a giant!
The pool was a big hit of course… I neglected to take a picture of it, but with a party this size I though it important to make a “pool rules” sign. Mainly, no kids in the pool without adult supervision.
And there it is… the Bouncer/Water slide! The kids had a ball with this one!
And the little ones loved this one too!
This was the only thing I needed to cook during the party.
Crab Stuffed Crab sandwiches
Aren’t they cute?
All of m serving trays and bowls were beach themed.
We used sand pails for serving bowls where ever we could and conveniently they come with a little shovel to scoop out the goods… Here you see the Shells Pasta Salad, Stacy’s Best Potato Salad, and Veggie Straws. Also, decorating the table is original art work from my big 3-year-old! Painted shells and a lovely colored fish!
Shells Pasta Salad: Caprese Style Pasta Salad – Cooked large shells pasta, mini mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes and fresh basil. For the dressing just a simple oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper with a touch of dried italian seasoning.
Stacy’s Best Potato Salad
Veggie Straws served as “pool noodles”… if you will notice my card holder… it’s just three wooden dowels cut to varying sizes and tied with rope as though they are little dock posts.
My sister and brother-in-law were assigned with the task of creating this bad boy… I think they did a stellar job!
“Da da, Da da, Da da…” Shark attack jello… at the other end of that shark fin is a little spoon!
Did I mention we also had a snack table???
Fish as “Shark Bait”
“Chum” My own little Chex Mix… Chex Cereal with different gummy sea creatures mixed in!
“Beach Balls” Peppermint candies… the kind that are all puffy and melt in your mouth, yum!
“Surf Boards” aka sugar wafers… and I didn’t get a good picture of it, but in the background you’ll see I used Triscuits as “Rafts”
Bring on the waves! Here is my 3 year old’s Wave cake!
This was the first year he understood how to blow out his own candles! Yay!
How to blow one of the party favors is another story LOL
Having a so much fun!
This game is just simple fish cut out of foam paper with a couple of paper clips attached… then I secured a magnet to the end of some twine and tied that to the end on half a real fishing pole… You could use a stick :)
(image by Picture People)
Following the party each guest got this image on a card thanking them for coming to his party! (image by Picture People)
All in all, the most important thing is that my boy had a blast at his birthday party. It had been quite the build up… the entire month of July was filled with an excited almost 3-year-old telling everyone who would listen that his birthday was on its way! We made sure he had a nice long nap just before the event and off he went, he was the life of the party! I hope you enjoyed seeing all my ideas… I have to give a big thank you to my parents for hosting this fun day and my many helpful family and friends without whom it never would have all come together!