Wednesday, September 2, 2020

DIY Beach Fun Birthday Party

Every year we try to do a fun outdoor party for our middle daughter's birthday since it's the only one out of five kids that is in the summer.  With all the 'rona related hassles, and being short on party planning & prepping time, it needed to be simple.  It was just for us and a few other extended family members.  She said she just wanted it to be water themed and left it to Mom here to put together. 

I started by throwing together a quick digital invitation with a few free clip art files 
and iPiccy:

I spent about 15 minutes planning a week ahead by shopping online & another 15 minutes to lay it all out just before things started (with my 2yr old playing outside so as not to yank it all apart before anyone saw it).  And despite the no frills approach, we had decent a beach party display:

I've gone all out in previous years with DIY-ing every little decorating detail, but if you don't have a lot of time or open budget, that just gets super stressful.  Keep It Simple was the mantra this time.  I found a set of paper plates, cups and napkins on Amazon that were perfectly themed:

My toddler is obsessed with beach balls so I used a few we had in his toy bin as decorations.  A little galvanized metal planter blended right in an was ideally size to hold the treat bags:

I had a yard of the sand print cotton fabric in my stash so it was perfect as a table runner:

We did some sandwich trays, coleslaw, potato salad & chips from a small local deli for the eats to keep food prep easy.  I barely have time to tidy up and get dressed so elaborate themed, hand prepped food is too time consuming!  I went for some easy, water themed, ready made snacks instead. Goldfish crackers & Swedish fish candies in some colorful bowls we already had that were perfect matches to her party supplies:

Part of our gift to her was this jumbo 10'x6' pool and the red, white & blue inflatable speaker in it so she can splash and soak while listening to her favorite songs.

And since there were teenage brothers & a cousin who we knew wouldn't be as excited about splashing in a wading pool with the smalls, we got a jumbo package of 420 water balloons and got all the squirt toys out so they could all get wet & wild and have fun.  Even the adults joined in.

 Normally we splurge on an elaborately decorated cake from a local bakery, but we kinda spent the cake budget on the pool instead, so we went with a basic sheet cake from the grocery store that was about 1/4 the price. I sprinkled on a bit of brown sugar for sand and pipped on a bit of blue frosting for some waves and added a few Swedish fish.  Adding in a couple of paper drink umbrellas to act as our beach umbrellas and some Happy Birthday shaped candles and the cake was good to go.  

Our indoor table centerpiece, a shark shaped piñata I got from Hobby Lobby, was also part of the festivities.  

Even our little guy got in on the action since he'd napped through her previous two birthdays and not had the piñata experience before:

And for the sunblock police (because there's always someone on the internet who feels compelled make a judgement & comment on things like this), he wore a sunhat & rash guard all day and was only without them for the 30 seconds he hit the piñata so he could see and swing the bat freely.

All in all it was really fun and the birthday girl was super pleased.  For the first time in 11 years we didn't have a day of rain or sweltering 90+ degree weather either, so it was a real blessing.  Everyone had a blast and it felt so good to have one thing seem normal this summer.  It's hard to believe it's now September and summer is winding down, but we got to wrap it up with some good water filled fun!


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