All three of our children were born in the beginning of the year, making January a crazy time for us. Since our surprise newest addition was born last February, I’ve been gearing the older ones to a joint family birthday celebration. But I had a change of heart and before I knew it I was knee-deep in planning a mermaid party for my 7-year old!
It’s true that even when you keep things simple, throwing a party at home takes some work. But a lot of it is in the planning. So hopefully, if you’re in the market for mermaid party ideas, this post will help with that!
Following the “age + 1” formula for number of guests, we kept it small, simple and had a splash! *mermaid wink*
A few simple decorations went a long way!
2. BIRTHDAY BANNER: We hung this “let’s be mermaids” garland on a window. It is seriously the cutest garland in the history of garlands! And it goes well in a girl’s bedroom once the party is over.
3. LIGHTING: At the last minute my husband purchased two of these outdoor Christmas light projectors on sale at Lowe’s. As an afterthought, he put them in the corners of the room behind chairs (the light source is bright and needs to be covered when using indoors). It created a cool effect on the wall like tiny tropical fish swimming around! Much cooler than this picture shows:
4. Lastly, I created a mermaid nook by hanging a few paper lanterns and spiraling green crepe paper up the wall:
The party went something like this:
1. DRESS UP/MERMAID STORE. When the girls entered, they were ushered to the “mermaid store” where they picked out mermaid socks and a colored hair extension. I just laid these out on the coffee table over some driftwood we had. The socks are pretty awesome and fit everyone – as knee highs for adults and tall girls and as thigh highs for petite mermaids. They got to keep the socks and hair extension for a party favor.
I had sent an email a few days before the party suggesting the girls come dressed in something that would show the socks well – leggings or tights that they could put the socks over, or a skirt or shorts. The day of the party, I helped them put on the socks and hair extension (super easy) and cut it to the length of their hair.
(Incidentally, a couple of us grown mermaids wore these leggings.)
2. FACE PAINTING. We have a pro in the family, but if we didn’t I would have asked a friend to paint something simple on their cheeks like a fish or seashell. Be sure to ask parents in advance if this is ok with them – especially if you have young children at the party.
3. COLORING. We printed up a few free coloring and activity pages for mermaids to work on while they were waiting their turn to get their faces painted. I wrote down their names so they didn’t feel they had to hover around the face-painting station. They went to play or ate some food and I called them when it was their turn in the queue.
4. MERMAID BOOK. When it was time for cupcakes, the girls gathered in the “mermaid nook” on a large picnic blanket and we read a couple of books. Mermaid Sister by Mary Ann Fraser was our favorite! It was easy to read, great pictures and clever enough to entertain the older 3rd graders on down to the preschoolers.
This is when parents started arriving (the party was 2.5 hours).
We decided on a mermaid brunch with the party beginning at 10:30. This menu went over very well. The kids actually ate! Even the healthy stuff! And it was super easy to put together with little prep. Thanks to my husband for making the grape kebabs and picking up the chicken minis.
Chick-fil-A minis (clamshells) – pre-ordered on the CFA website
Cucumber slices (sand dollars)
Grape kebabs (purple algae)
Rainbow goldfish (goldfish salad)
Mini-quiches (It would also be fun to make deviled eggs and call them “Ursulaed eggs”)
And the hit of the party: Mermaid sushi!!
Call me a party pooper but I typically don’t like serving another super sweet food (on top of cupcakes) to children. But I just could not resist. These are easy to make – just make rice krispie treats and shape them while still warm into sushi rice shapes, then top with swedish fish (or a healthier option, dried mango). I also used leftover vibrant green candy melts I had from the mermaid tails to resemble seaweed on the roll pieces.
Usually my mother in law makes a professional cake but this time she was sick so she talked me through making candy mermaid tails. It was fun and easy – a great job for the birthday girl to help with!
Great deal on “natural” cupcakes! We ordered cupcakes from Whole Foods. (I was trying to limit artificial dyes & preservatives and they don’t use any). We got custom cupcakes for a really low price (just about $1 each) since they misquoted me at the price of prepared cupcakes sitting out at the bakery. However – next time I would buy ready-made cupcakes at that price and add a topper and sprinkles to customize them.
Whole Foods also has great bakery-quality, gluten-free cupcakes in the freezer. Or, if you have a child attending who can’t have dairy but can have gluten, their vegan cookies are a good option. I find children with allergies or sensitivities always really appreciate it!
Here’s how we made the tails:
1. We bought candy melts in vibrant green and lavender and melted them according to package instructions. Admittedly these are kinda gross ingredient-wise, but I needed this to be easy and a guaranteed success. These are much cheaper ($2.99) when you buy them at Michael’s or another craft store.
2. Then we spooned the melted candy into silicone mermaid tail molds (size small). Since we were newbies we stuck to single colors, but a little experimentation toward the end revealed that multi-colored tails are easy to make so don’t hesitate to try!
Since we only had two molds it was a little time consuming. We froze the pair each time to set them fast (5-10 minutes) and meanwhile worked on other tasks in the kitchen.
3. We used food-grade paint brushes to add some silver pearl dust to the tails. I recommend this extra step because it really added that extra something! I found Amazon’s pricing and availability to be competitive on these items.
The girls had a great time and we created some fun memories!
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