Tuesday, June 23, 2009

mermaid party

The invitation read "You are invited to a Mermaid Tea Party. Pirates Welcome." I had to add the pirate bit in order to entice the little boys to attend!

My four year old daughter loves mermaids, so we celebrated her birthday with a mermaid tea party. I was bound and determined not to have a Disney party, which made things a bit complicated! I used one of my original illustrations of a mermaid as my theme and went from there. The party was a day before my Multiple Streams of Income retreat, so I wasn't able to do everything I wanted, but I am pretty proud of the results regardless. Most importantly, my little mermaid was a very happy birthday girl.

We had the party in our backyard. I hung green & blue streamers and blow-up fish from the trees and the table umbrellas to give the backyard an under-the-sea vibe. Sticking to a color scheme of light green and blue really helped me keep a focused, pulled together look.

For food, I served mermaid bait (aka Goldfish crackers) and cake and Ben & Jerry's Phish Food (TM) ice cream. The cake was a Disney character cake. I didn't have time to make one and getting a bakery to make a generic mermaid cake would have been too complicated a task. If I had more time, I would have added some madeline cookies since they look like shells and maybe some starfish cookies, made using a star-shaped cookie cutter. Maybe some tuna fish finger sandwiches too. We also had pink lemonade for the tea and mermaid water. I dressed up the mermaid water bottles with scrapbook paper to keep wit the theme.

Entertainment consisted of hunting for treasure, (basically plastic coins and necklaces buried in the sandbox) and a craft project. I wanted to have them decorate mermaid crowns, but couldn't find the supplies, so we settled for some cute foam sandcastle kits. We had a very short water balloon fight as the Southern California weather didn't really cooperate with us that day. We also gave the kids sidewalk chalk, and had them trace each other on the patio. Instead of legs though, they added mermaid tails and then decorated themselves as mermaids. It was a pretty cute activity.

For party favors, I filled sand pails with a mermaid notebook (okay Disney snuck in there) and t-shirts with my illustration on them. One is being modeled in the photo at the top of the post.

Can I just vent here for a minute about party favors? Why do moms do this to each other? When I was little we didn't have huge favor bags and we all lived. I don't know a single mom who likes to see their child come through the door with a huge bag of little plastic toys that are only going to end up in the couch cushions. Why can't we all just decide that we don't need to do favors? The only way around the favor thing for me was to invite fewer kids so that I could send the guest home with things they might actual use and remember the party by. I keep a strict rule about only inviting as many children as my daughter is old. This keeps us all sane. I don't have to do plastic toy favors, my daughter isn't overwhelmed by the number of guests and she doesn't get a ridiculous number of gifts. She gets gifts from her closest friends, who really know what she likes. Does all that make me a birthday scrooge?

Okay, this wasn't supposed to be about my stance on children's birthday parties. (But I would love to hear your thoughts!) Just mermaid fun. And I, for one, had fun!