||Winter Beach Party
I spent my junior year of college studying in England and during the frigid winter I was often missed my home in California. Whenever I was homesick I would crank up the heat in my dorm room, put on some Beach Boys music, change into a pair of surfer shorts and dream I was back in sunny California.
Using the same idea, why not transform your child's winter birthday into a reminder of warmer summer days with a Winter Beach Party! Check out our tips below to transform your house into the coolest beach scene ever, complete with all the sights and sounds of summer -- even sand!
With this terrific party, you'll be the Big Kahuna of the neighborhood. Totally awesome!
Write or print out party info on 6" x 6" paper, and attach to a pair of plastic children's sunglasses with a ribbon. You can purchase a pack of 12 plastic sunglasses at your local party store or Target for approximately $3.99. Then stuff into envelopes and mail for a cute beach themed invitation.
On the invitation, instruct everyone to wear their bathing suits/shorts and sandals.
- Raise the heat in your house so guests are comfortably warm in their bathing suits.
- As each person enters party give them a Hawaiian lei.
- Buy blue and green tulle at your local fabric store. Twist the two colors together and hang on walls to simulate water. You can also add starfish and shells found inexpensively at your local arts and crafts store.
- Make cut-out cardboard suns and seagulls and attach to walls or hang from ceiling using fishing wire and push pins. If you have an old appliance box use the larger size cardboard to cut out surfboards as well.
- Set up beach umbrellas and chairs around the house. (Borrow extra from friends if necessary).
- Beach balls around the house.
- Bring your plastic play pool inside for a fun place to sit. For kids under 5 you can fill with plastic balls for a homemade ball pit.
- Beach snack stand fare: hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries. Put items in individual containers (see paper goods below) so kids can grab what they want.
- Popsicles or ice cream cones.
Beach themed cake or cake in the shape of a surfboard.
- Use fast food containers just like a beach snack stand. Drinks in paper cups with lids and straws, paper baskets for hot dogs and hamburgers, paper cups for fries.
- Bright colored paper plates and napkins for cake.
- Individually wrapped packets of plastic utensils.
- Paper umbrellas to stick in drinks.
Decorate foam visors or beach buckets with foam or regular stickers. Use sharpies to write the kids' names on them.
Have kids decorate large solid color towels with fabric markers for their own personalized beach towels. Make sure you put cardboard (best) or several layers of newspaper under towel because markers may bleed through.
Make a sea life necklace with these cute plastic beads. Just add string.
GAMES & ACTIVITIES
The Big Dig
Fill big play pool with sand (buy year-round at local home improvement store). Gather a 20-30 small sand toys, balls and other items and make a list of them. Make sure none of the buried trinkets have sharp edges. Bury all items in the sand before the party starts. One at a time, give each child a beach shovel and instruct him to dig for as many items as he can find in one minute. Make sure to have a timer handy. If you would like to award a winner, let the child who found the most items keep one of the toys he found while digging.
Surfer Boys and Girls
Dress up each kid with a towel around their neck, sunglasses, and zinc oxide on their nose. Sit them in a beach chair under a beach umbrella and take a polaroid picture of them. Send them home with the photo in an inexpensive plastic photo frame (check your local $1 store).
Fill your bathtub with water and let each child "fish" using a magnetic fishing set ( inexpensive sets available at most toy stores).
Hot Beach Ball
Hot potato with a beach ball. Use Beach Boy Music as your background.
Sand Bucket Relay
Divide kids into teams, line them up in a single file line and give each group a big sand bucket filled with shovels and other beach toys. When you shout "Surf's Up" the first person in each line must pick up the bucket and run to a designated spot. Dump out the contents of the bucket and then run back to their line with the empty bucket.
The next person must grab the bucket run over to the toys and put them all back in the bucket and then bring the filled bucket back to the next person in line. The relay continues with each person in line rotating jobs of either dumping toys or putting them in bucket. The first team to have all players complete their tasks wins!
Do the Swim
Turn on some beach music (think the Ventures, Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys) and play freeze dance while one of the adults teaches the kids how to do "the swim," Instead of yelling freeze, say "Cowabunga!"
PARTY FAVOR IDEAS
Beach Bag filled with goodies.
Buckets (write kids' name on it with Sharpie®.)
Decorated Beach Sandals (see related article)
Summer Gift Set
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