Whether you select simple elements or more elaborate ones, a seaside summer birthday party is the perfect theme.
Summer is the perfect time to round up your mermaids or mermen and bring the fun outside. Whether you have a beach nearby or a kiddie pool, this mermaid party lets girls be the Queens of the Sea.
But these ideas can be adapted, too. Why not—for boys or girls—instead of mermaids, little ones can emulate oceanographers or marine biologists. Or, they can play pretend as surfers at a 1950s beach bash or as parrot-loving pirates, matey. Depending on ages, fun games for the beach party can include dolphin-dolphin-shark (like duck-duck-goose), old-fashioned limbo and relay races where getting wet makes it all the more fun.
If you don’t live near a beach or pool, you can transform a backyard or a nearby park with colorful sand buckets, beach blankets and chairs, sun umbrellas and more. A sand castle can take center stage on the food table (project follows) and you can surround the castle with pebbles, brightly colored beach glass, shells and homemade sand dollar cupcakes. Or try this project idea to shape a whale or pirate ship, depending on your theme.
A sign topped with balloons will help guests find the party site. Treat guests to their own beach bucket filled with a tasty lunch and have a treasure hunt for party favors like inexpensive sandals, seashells, a message-in-a-bottle or other sea-themed trinkets. Just remember the sunscreen, and for safety, if you’re near water, make sure to have enough adults/lifeguards in charge of keeping a watchful eye on the party guests.
Direct your guests to the party location with a colorful sign and balloons.
Wood, 2×4 or 1×4, 24-inches long
White acrylic paint
Turquoise acrylic paint
Hammer and nails
Hot glue gun
Balloons tied with ribbon or string
1. If not already done, cut the wood to 24 inches.
2. Paint a large section on the front of the wood white. Let dry.
3. With the sticker letters, spell out “Mermaids” and create an arrow from other parts of the sticker letters on top of the white paint.
4. Paint over the sticker letters and the whole piece of wood with the turquoise acrylic paint. Let dry.
5. Carefully peel off the sticker letters.
6. Hammer a few nails into the wood for tying balloons to the sign.
7. Hot glue seashells to the front of the sign as an embellishment.
A variety of cardboard boxes in various sizes, such as berry baskets and/or cardboard egg cartons
Sandy-colored acrylic paint, optional
White school glue or Mod Podge
Flags (see note)
Hot glue gun
Sea glass and/or seashells
1. Tape boxes together with masking tape to form a sandcastle shape. Use the berry baskets and egg cartons to add variety.
2. If there is dark writing on your boxes, paint the boxes a sandy color with acrylic paint.
3. Paint the boxes with Mod Podge or white glue, in small sections at a time. Press handfuls of dry sand onto the wet glue.
4. Repeat until the castle is covered with sand.
5. Cut out the flags from onecharmingparty.com and tape or glue to a painted skewer and poke into the sandcastle.
6. Once the glue and sand are dry and hardened, hot glue sea glass and seashells onto the castle.
7. Sprinkle the entire castle generously with extra sand.
Note: Only use completely dry sand and masking tape (sand won’t adhere to packing tape). Flags are available at onecharmingparty.com.
Projects written, created and styled by Sara Westbrook and Brittany Egbert for One Charming Party
Photography by Nicole Hill Gerulat