Come along and Follow me, to the bottom of the sea!
I may have created a monster (or 4), first the Inside Out party, then the Harry Potter party, now they all want themed parties with activities and decorations!
My dream is to create parties that look amazing and where the guests all have a great time, while also not driving myself over the edge. This party found a happy balance between time, energy, and money put into the food and decorations while also looking good. Well, as good as a home in the middle of renos can look! lol
The dollar store was my friend for the decorations and activities. Most of the items will be able to be re-used for future parties, and the cost was perfect for our super small budget!
The biggest hit of the party were the water beads and foam sea creatures.
At first the children reached in and just enjoyed the feel, though it didn’t take long for them to start experimenting with squishing them, dropping them, bouncing them, throwing them, and then climbing right into the tub.
It looked like a huge mess at first, but it was really easy to clean up the next day (the beads just shrink right back down to their pre soaked size) and if you step on them, they just squish and don’t have a gritty feel and nothing gets sticky. A quick vacuum and everything was good as new.
Once all the party guests arrived, I sent them to the craft area. Pipe cleaners and coffee filters were used to create ‘sea anemones’, and I made some puff paint with glue and shaving cream and they all worked together to create a puffy masterpiece on a 1.5m x 1m length of paper.
The great thing about this paint is it’s super easy to clean after it dries. Just pick it up and throw it out. Poor Ryan thought he needed to clean it while wet and panicked when it fell on the carpet. But it really was a breeze to clean the next day.
I loved creating the menu for this party! Mostly because it was so easy! The main dishes were shells and cheese and ‘octo-dogs’ (hot dogs with the lower half cut into quarters lengthways to resemble octopus tentacles).
Some of the children were a little nervous trying starfruit for the first time, but it’s so good that most of them had seconds or thirds!
We also had a bowl of ‘sea’ cake, as well as a few little treats: meringue ‘pearls’ and hard candy ‘sea glass’. I really want to find a way to make hard candy that’s light enough to be coloured. But corn-free candy means I can’t use the light corn syrup most recipes call for.
While the guests snacked and moved from one activity to another, they also played with heir ‘puffer fish’ (punching balloons). Everyone had a great time and it seemed things couldn’t get any better.
And then there was cake! I’m ridiculously proud of this cake! First, gluten-free baking isn’t always easy, second, corn-free frosting means the colours are often very pale, and fade very quickly, so it has to be decorated as close to party time as possible.
To colour the frosting, I boiled red cabbage to get a pretty purple liquid, strained out the cabbage until only the liquid remained in the pot, then boiled it down from about 2 cups worth to just over 1/4 cup worth. It was thicker and kind of syrupy at this point. Then I added just a pinch of baking soda.
I added about 1/2 tsp to the huge batch of frosting and mixed well. The result was an amazing blue colour. (It really was gorgeous!) The blue faded to sea green over night.
The shells are made with white chocolate and dusted with edible glitter. The ‘sand’ is ground almonds and the pier pillars are marshmallows painted with white and dark chocolate. The birthday sign at the top is white chocolate painted with dark chocolate for the letters. The entire thing was super easy to make and only took about 30 minutes to decorate (the shells and marshmallows were made in advance, a week prior).
Don’t mind the grumpy daddy face in the back-ground. It’s difficult to get a good picture of everyone without also having extra people in the picture.
The birthday girl wearing the dress I made her for her birthday and excitedly opening presents.