natalie’s under the sea birthday party

I have lots to share from our weekend getaway to celebrate Natalie’s 2nd birthday, but I thought I’d share just a few pictures of how we decorated the church hall for our girl’s Under the Sea themed partay.  I take credit for none of the creative ideas–they are all courtesy of Pinterest! šŸ™‚
We set up a little surfer-photo cutout table (cardboard cutout from iparty)

Kiddos got to dig for their party favors–we filled a big plastic storage bin about halfway with rice, and mixed in lots of shells, “seaglass,” and tons of little cheapie favors like plastic motorcycles, sunglasses, bouncing fish, etc.

All the tables had disposable blue tablecloths and a bunch of random fishy stuff–ocean-themed activity books, fish temporary tattoos, blow-up beach toys, etc.  I made an easy little centerpiece for each table using tissue paper flowers, #2 birthday candles, and paper cups.

Our little fishing hole was just a shallow plastic storage bin filled halfway with water, and then we plopped in a couple of magnetic fishing pole kits.  The little ones had more fun with this than I had imagined, so I’m really glad we decided to do it.  I am also soooo glad that we put a plastic tablecloth underneath it to catch all of the spills!

The room we were in was HUGE, and there was a ton of blank wall space to fill.  One wall had the little “aquatic alphabet” banner that Natalie and I colored together.  It had almost seemed like an unnecessary craft project at the time, but I’m really glad we had something to put on the walls that matched the party theme.

We had a couple of tables designated for some kiddie activities–I printed lots of under the sea coloring pages, and had bought a t-o-n of fish, shell, and beach stickers for kids to use to make their own paper fish tanks with.

The church hall has a big kitchen with a serving counter ready to go, which made getting food out really easy.  We went the most basic route possible on food this year–pizza, goldfish crackers, chips, grapes, Swedish fish, lots o’ juice boxes and lemonade, and plenty of cupcakes.  I hid the ugly industrial church kitchen by hanging a fish-patterned shower curtain just behind the counter.

The only other thing hanging on the walls at the party was a timeline banner of Natalie’s 2nd year–months 12 through 23.  It was crazy to see how much she has changed over the past year!

I had originally planned on stringing balloons across the length of the room, but the super high ceiling & oversized room put the kai bosh on that plan.  Mike suggested just leaving the balloons all over the floor to look like a little ocean, so that’s what we did.  The balloons were great for the kids to kick & toss around, and remarkably none popped until the end of the party!  We had a couple of bubble machines set up for kids to run through, too, and I think they were probably the hit of the afternoon.

I made lots of tissue paper pomanders, of various sizes, and hung them from pretty much every doorway and window in the place.  Just little touches of blue everywhere! 

I covered Natalie’s gift table with a blue tablecloth & hung this little banner on the front with lots of birthday phrases on it.  Easyyyyyy.

The only non-pictured aspect of the party decor was our water-themed playlist, which had everything from Pearl Jam’s Oceans to The Little Mermaid’s Under the Sea.  Some big hits were Surfin’ USA, Itsy-Bitsy Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini, Down by the Bay, and Under the Boardwalk.  Such fun!

I’ll have another post up this afternoon with much more fun stuff from the party–you know, kids eating cupcakes and opening gifts and chasing bubbles and stuff.

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