Under the Sea Party / Pirate Party

Party food

Aaaargh me hearties, are you up for some jolly good fun?
A Pirate or Under the Sea Party will do the trick - if ye dare! Aaaargh...

A word of caution....the below ideas are all well and good - but don't blow the budget! Set a budget before you begin planning, and try to stick to it - that way you don't regret it later when your credit card bill comes in! Scour bargain shops, Ebay and supermarkets for the best prices on any party products

There are lots of options with an "Under The Sea" theme and/or Pirate Party theme. And by using your imagination, you can bring out your inner kids-party-design diva too!

It's so easy to find party goods. Under the sea characters are many - fish - dolphins - mermaids (a.k.a. The Little Mermaid Party) - seahorses - pirates - whatever your birthday boy or girl love can be the central themes.

Girls get just as much fun dressing up as pirates as the boys do!

Costumes

Why not make it a dress-up party? Every child loves to dress up as a mermaid or pirate. If you want to have a try at making a mermaid outfit, source some shimmery silver material from your local sewing shop for the tail, bikini top over a pink tshirt and a long red or blonde wig tops off the outfit nicely.
Pirates can be particularly easy, with a red headscarf, cloth eye-patch and striped t-shirt - boy or girl pirates!
A cute octopus can be acheived by stuffing old pantyhose legs with newspaper or scrap material and then tying them onto a belt - which is also easily removable mid-party racing around!

Don't forget - if you want the kids to dress up - say so on the invitation "Dress up as whatever you like" or perhaps "Dress up as your favourite sea creature" For real incentive, offer a prize for the best costume on the invite - Mums often love a bit of a competition to prove their creative skills!

Money Saving Tip

Plan in advance! Pirate theme and other party goods are available very cheaply around Halloween



Go to singlemum.com.au

Invitation Ideas...

If you are making your own invitations, consider cutting your them into a waving skull-and-crossbones flag, pirate ship, fish, the shape of a water drip (use blue glitter paper for a "watery" effect!)...you get the idea!s

The cheats guide to making your kid popular...

Buy thin magnetic strips and some double sided tape (both available from any bargain or craft shop). Then, using the tape, adhere a magnet strip to the back of each of your super-cool invitations - your kids party (and so, your kid!) will be the star stuck on their friends refridgerators all year 'round! Instant popularity!

Make up a little invitation poem to get them into the swing of things -

"Deep down, under the sea - where mermaids and pirates and octopus be! Swim on down to Isabella's party..."
"Splish-splash-splosh! Come swimming the ocean with Josh!"
"Aaaargh me hearties, it's time to walk the plank down to Jay's party!"

Often, the kids can come up with a great little rhyme all by themselves, and save you from racking your brains for a word that rhymes with "octopus"!

Invitation Inspiration

For that extra touch, start saving your empty plastic drink bottles as soon as possible to use to insert rolled-upinvitations into - this makes them an authentic "message in a bottle"! You can even insert some sand and shells (available for around $2 a bag from your local discount store, such as "Hot Dollar" or "Crazy Bargains")

Decorations

A note on colour themes

Either Blue, or Blue and Green work really well for this party theme. Colour themes can be great fun, look good and give you some focus to stop your kids party decorations from looking "all at sea" (pardon the pun!).
Keep it simple, one colour with white, or two colours is usually a good effect. Balloons, crepe paper streamers and plastic tableclothes (around $2-$3) in block colours can make any party look great, and are all inexpensive items! You can get them from bargain shops at the cheapest prices, but also they are usually available from Kmart, party stores and supermarkets

Tie blue and/or green streamers to make an ocean doorway for kids to walk through upon arrival to set the scene! Simply tie them to a branch or light stick and fix over a doorway or tree with sticky tape or string.

Under the sea party decorations

Fish or Sea Animal print balloons can be bought from party shops or online - printed balloons are more expensive, so mix them up with some plain coloured balloons to make them go further - it usually looks better that way anyhow. If you don't want to buy printed balloons, a permanent black marker will do the trick to draw fish, octopus, starfish, etc on - if you have the time and patience! You can make really cute octopus by drawing eyes and a smiley mouth onto a balloon and then sticky tape eight streamers on it to dangle down! You can also buy transparent blue and green balloons that look very "sea-like" when tied together.

Remember, balloons, particularly hellium (hire a tank locally, or buy already blown up from your local party shop or florist) ones need to be inflated on the day for the best effect - plan your time wisely, or delegate the job to a helper, especially if you have little ones to care for and dress! To save time, you can cut pre-measured lengths of string to tie to the balloons (Just use thin coloured parcel ribbon, around $2 from bargain stores). If you are using hellium, balloon weights in cute shapes are available from party stores for around 30 cents each and the kids love 'em!

Decorating the table is fun!

For table decorations, the possibilities are endless. To get the kids involved, get them to colour in pictures available from craft websites, then they can cut them out and stick them on cardboard to stand on the party table. Look for low-cost shredded blue foil paper, or shred it yourself with scissors to scatter down the table. Borrow some dry sand from the sand pit, add shells that you've brought back from holidays or bought from bargain stores.

Buy cheap sea-themed stickers to stick all over large plastic chip bowls. Under the Sea and/or Pirate printed paper plates, cups and lolly bags can all be found on the internet too, with Pirate gear being the least expensive. Plain coloured plates etc still look good, and they all end up in the bin at the end of the day anyhow!

Party Favors

Cheap party favor ideas for table scatters or take-home lolly bags can be easily found at your local mall. Look for packs of blue blow-outs or party horns. Kmart stock the cheapest plastic sea animal packs ($3 for about 16 toys), Break up pirate stationery sets (Kmart) for each bag which will only work out to be about 20-30c an item, or Pirate party favor sets are often available from supermarkets in the party aisle, or of course party shops, for around $12 that will take care of 8 complete loot bags. You can also look for bulk pirate eye patches and pirate hat packs, gold party necklace sets and gold chocolate coins (Treasure Chest loot). Check Ebay, although sometimes Ebay can be more expensive - but sometimes it can be a lot cheaper! You can save lots by shopping around...

Going for some atmosphere music or sound effects? "Under the Sea" kids party soundtracks are sometimes available online or at party shops. Trawl sound-effect websites that have .wav files (the ones that can be played in normal CD players) available for download to burn to CDs. For sea side wave and seagull sounds, Google "relaxation sea sound effects .wav", "pirate voice .wav", etc.

Pirate Party Food

Food Ideas

A great centre-piece for your party table can be a watermelon pirate ship fruit bowl! This looks complicated, but it is actually quite simple. Firstly, you need to get yourself a whole watermelon. Try to source this from your local farmers market if possible, as this will probably be cheaper than buying one from the supermarket (around $15 for a whole watermelon). Then wash your hands - it's going to get messy from here on in! Cut your melon to the size you would like your pirate ship to be. Equal halves is fine, but it's better to have it slightly larger than half, to give you a little scope if you decide to carve it for detail. Now you have your half, either cut out the melon, or send in the kids to scoop and scrape it all out with their hands, taking care not to damage, crack or cut the melon. You now have your empty bowl which you can fill with fruit - prettily arranged, of course! The final touch is draw or print out two skull and crossbone flag pictures, one large and one small (you can download two differently sized skull and crossbones images here (word doc)) -. Cut them out and thread them, large one on the bottom, onto a skewer or thin stick to make your sail - You now have your pirate ship fruit bowl! Jelly cups go fast!

Jelly cups will go fast, so make as many as you have kids. To theme them, get clear blue disponsable cups and some blue spoons to go in them. Put the spoon in the cup, pour in your jelly and pop in a fish lolly or perhaps a jelly frog or "sea" snake lolly. Set them in the fridge as per usual and serve them on a tray. Hey presto - Jellyfish Jelly!

Under The Sea Party Food

You can get Star cookie-cutters (available from the supermarket, off of Ebay, or check out your local kitchen specialty stores) to make Starfish cookies or fairy bread with a difference. You can even stick eyes on them by finely slicing a musk-stick for star-shaped eyes!

Belgian sea shell chocolates scattered along the table make for edible table scatters - yum!

For hot nibblies, you can wrap mini fish-shaped nuggets and oven-bake chips in small squares of newspaper for "Fish and Chips". Frankfurts with tomato sauce dip can be pirate fingers dipped in blood (for those gory older boy parties!), and you can wash it all down with pirate blood (Creaming Soda).

Another great party idea is food signs. It can be fun to type sea-themed food names (in the "Blackadder" font in Microsoft Word) and then print and cut them out them out for placement on the party table. For example, you could have "Mermaid Scales"(Mint Leave lollies), "Crunchy Coral" (Frenchfries potato chips), "Cuttlefish"(Arnotts Thins potato chips), "Pirate Teeth"(Black Jelly Beans), "Baby Starfish"(Milk buds), "Sea Anemones"(Cupcakes with lollies sticking out of the top, or anything round and large - such as Marshmallow biscuits) - the only limit is your imagination!

Fish and Smartie Cupcakes

Cakes

If you are a dedicated party cake maker, fish and mermaid cake patterns can be found in most kids birthday cake magazines

Cup cakes are always crowd-pleaser. For one-minute themed decoration, Cake Toppers are simple plastic rings with pictures on, available from party stores and/or Ebay.

Fish lollies are available from some supermarkets, and are a quick and easy cup-cake topper - make up your icing with a few drops of blue food colouring, and then just dip the cupcake into a tray of hundreds and thousands and pop a fish lolly on top! For contrast, you can do every second cake with polka-dots (smarties)!

Continue to Pirate Party Page 2 here



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