Party on, dude: A kiddy luau
The location was a local splash park and the theme was a luau. There were the requisite birthday cakes - two tasty layers, one with Nemo decor. If you're into making your own cakes, a beach cake is fairly easy with minimal piping required. Or you could let your Teddy Grahams chill out on a raft or create an easy clownfish cupcake.
Snow cones prepared on the spot replaced ice cream. The parents used a big honking cooler of ice and a manual snow-cone maker, available for $15 or so at Target and definitely a purchase that will come in handy through out the summer.
Other refreshments included Gold Fish, of course, fruit kabobs and fishing pools made from big pretzels, string licorice and gummy worms. My favorite snack was the blue Jello with the gummy shark at the bottom. These and the fishing poles also doubled as table decorations.
With the splash fountain nearby, not many organized games are needed, though the kids played limbo and musical beach towels.
In this case, I think the ease of cleanup, combined with how much fun the kids had, outweighed the hassle of trucking the whole party across town to the park.
If you have room in your back yard and a tolerance for wet carpet, a slip and slide or kiddy pool easily could serve as the site as well.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.