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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Backyard Beach Party

Yesterday's beach cupcake post had me reminiscing about a backyard beach party I threw for Cameron about five years ago, before the days of Pintrest!

We hosted a beach party in our inland backyard when his preschool let out for summer vacation. It got everyone excited for the summer and made them feel like they were already at the beach without the traffic or the commute! I used bright colored beach balls as the central scheme for the party then found tableware and made decorations to match.I hung beach balls from a canopy and play structures then made fish and sailboats out of the same bright colors. I filled beach buckets with snacks to anchor balloons and used beach toys as centerpieces.Kiddie pools filled with  play sand concealed seashells and plastic sea animals for a treasure hunt. The children had a blast digging to find the buried treasures.A third inflatable kiddie pool was filled with water for the kids to splash around in and I made a water slide by placing a small step slide into the pool. I floated lots of rubber duckies and plastic bath toys in the water and before the children went swimming they lined up and went "fishing" with a plastic net for a floating toy with their name written on the bottom.I also had a beach ball sprinkler going for the kids to run through and cool off and a specially requested beach themed moon bounce set up in the corner of the yard.While these activities alone would have sufficed at keeping the kids happily entertained for the afternoon, I also set up a craft in the shade for a quieter alternative. For this I had the children decorate sun visors with puffy paint and foam stickers. They took these home along with a pair of sunglasses and package Swedish Fish candies in a bucket as a souvenir.
Since the party fell at lunch time I made a variety of different sandwiches on a wide selection of breads and used cookie cutters to shape them into fish, sailboats and ducks.I served these with Goldfish crackers and fruit salad topped with a tropical umbrella toothpick. For dessert I made a blue jello mold served in a clear plastic fishbowl to look like an aquarium. I used blue raspberry flavored gelatin and made it in layers with gummy fish floating around at varying depths. I covered the top with whipped cream to look like waves, and the kids thought this was so fun to look at and even more fun to eat. I also made a cake decorated with colored goldfish and Teddy Grahams to look like a beach scene.I made bathing suits for the teddy graham cookies using colored icing, blue frosting for the water, crushed graham crackers for the sand, round candies and gumballs for beach balls, Fruit-by-the-Foot for towels and life savers to look like inflatable inner-tube rafts. It rounded-out our beach ball party very nicely! For a fun start to summer try hosting this cool party on a hot summer day!

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