Consider throwing a shark birthday party if you have a special child deserving of unique birthday party ideas.
My daughter can look at a shark and tell you which species it comes from. She has shark hats, shark clothes, shark books, shark videos, shark pens and even a shark-shaped toothbrush. She can recite the names of the top marine biologists who study sharks and tell you where the most recent shark attack in the world occurred.
She wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up, or at least when she learns how to swim. When it came time for her 5th birthday party, I used her interest in sharks to fashion a special Shark Party for her, which the guests and their parents raved about for months. What follows, for other parents with sharkaholic children, is a step-by-step guide revealing how I did it.
This is an easy concept that will work with any type of regular invitation card, as well as any you might fashion on your computer and print on card stock using pictures of sharks. Take the invitation card and use a pair of scissors to cut a large, zig-zagged arc across the cover of the card, so that the card looks like it's had a bite taken out of it by a shark. On the inside, write, "You are invited to (Child's) Shark Party! Join us for a bite!" in large letters over the date, time, place and RSVP information.
Cut a piece of colored construction paper in half, lengthwise. Take the two halves and tape them together into a tall circle that can fit on a child's head. Cut two vertical slits in the hat, directly across from each other. Using a piece of cardboard (the tops of used pizza boxes are great for this), draw and cut out the shape of a shark no taller or wider than a piece of construction paper; this is your stencil.
Using the stencil, trace and cut out paper sharks on blue and grey pieces of construction paper. Take the paper sharks and insert them into the two slits you cut in the base of the hat. The finished hat should look like a tall, straight hat with a shark mounted vertically across the top. The hat base will have plenty of room for you to write each child's name across it.
You can find many inexpensive items to help you create the perfect shark-themed party foods. For lunch, serve shark-shaped Spaghettios in blue plastic bowls. Use a novelty ice cube tray that makes shark-shaped ice cubes or fish-shaped ice cubes to place in blue raspberry Kool-Aid. Use a shark-shaped cookie cutter to make sugar cookies to pass out in the favor bags.
Serve blue and white jelly sharks found in the candy section of your grocery store. Amid prepackaged fruits for children's lunches, you'll find fruit snacks called "Shark Bites" from Betty Crocker, conveniently packaged in a group of 10 individually-wrapped portions. For birthday cake, bake one in a rectangular pan using a cake mix, and use your frosting set to draw a shark on top of the cake.
The way I handled activities for the party was to take games the children were already familiar with and change them slightly to involve a shark theme. For prizes, we used copies of Ultimate Sticker Book: Shark and Whale, purchased at a bookstore for under $5.00 each.
The contents of our favor bags were:
The Aquarium Party we originally envisioned would have easily cost $200.00, and we came out far ahead by doing things this way instead. We avoided space rental completely by having the party at home, mostly in our backyard. A park is also ideal for this type of party, because the food and supplies in question can be easily moved and used. The total cost of this party for 10 people was less than $100 (a savings of 50%), and the kids had a better time. An added benefit to the cookie cutter and ice cube tray is continued re-usability.
Aside from the obvious benefits of saving money and children having a unique, fun afternoon, you'll find that your young shark lover never forgets your extra efforts to help them share one of their interests with friends in a fun way.
If your child cannot tear himself away from the television when "Bob the Builder" is on, then consider holding a construction-themed birthday party that will let kids play with their hands.
Party food should be the last thing you should stress over when you are planning a kids birthday party. Handling a room full of kids is no small feat, so low-maintenance party food is a must.