Octonauts to your stations! It’s a sensational Octonauts party! Dive into a beautiful underwater world for two sea-themed birthday parties, with lots of watery decoration and game ideas.
I had the pleasure of working on two sea-themed parties over one weekend – both for 4th birthdays, and both to be held on the same day. As my party planning talents don’t extend to being in two places at once, I set up the decorations and games for Callista’s Under The Sea party the day before, and then attended Deus’ Octonauts themed party on the Sunday. Lucky me, I had the talented Stephanie from Silvergum Photography there to document both parties. So now I get to show you just how enchanting an under-the-sea themed party can be.
Under The Sea and Octonauts Decorations
The first party was held in a childcare centre, which had string crossing one end of the room, from which children’s drawings were usually hung. I decided to create a seaweed curtain to hang from this, that the children would be able to run their hands through and discover sea creatures within. My ‘seaweed’ was made from cheap plastic vines, along with strips of plastic cloth that I’d stretched with my thumbs to create a ripple effect. Hidden in amongst this were laminated cutout sea creatures – made from this beautiful clip art, available on etsy.
I also created a large mobile of hanging ‘jelly fish’, using paper lanterns and strips of plastic cloth. This looked lovely gently rotating in the breeze, and made a nice central focal point for the room.
Over at the Octonauts Party, I was getting ready for with full bells-and-whistles decorating, party treats, seated place settings, craft activities and games. This party was held in a hired hall, which also had a fabulous outdoor play area . At one end of the room, I set up an Octonauts themed decorative buffet. The central focus was my hand-made Octonauts backboard, which I created on an art canvas. Helium balloons framed the canvas on either side, and the table was finished off with Octonaut-cutout bunting in front. I love making this cutout bunting – I think it gives a really unique touch.
In front of this was a long party table for the children to sit and eat at. Orange and turquoise plates were topped with Pop Top drinks bearing Octonauts character stickers, and more little cutout characters were placed there ready for play. This table looked lovely for all of 10 minutes…naturally, it was half-demolished within a few minutes of the party guests arriving!
At the front of the room I placed a ‘to the launch bay’ welcome sign, and a big empty basket ready to receive presents. If presents aren’t going to be opened right away, it’s good to have a designated place like this to put them.
Decorating Treasure Boxes
Both parties started with a welcoming activity for the guests to do as they arrived – decorating treasure boxes. Trestle tables were laid out with paper mache boxes and trays full of stick on foam shapes and rhinestones. It’s always fun watching the kids do this sort of activity – some slap on a few stickers and that’s that, whereas others go to great pains to create really elaborate masterpieces.
Treasure Digs and Treasure Hunts
After my welcome craft, I like to get the kids burning off energy with a themed treasure hunt. The mother at my first party wanted to keep things as environmentally friendly as possible, so rather than hiding plastic trinkets here and there, I decided to create a ‘treasure dig’ in the sandpit. I had a bag of story stones custom-painted by Little By Nature, with beautiful sea-themed images, and bought a big bag of shells. I hid these just under the surface of the sand, and provided digging implements for the kids to go hunting with. After they found their ‘treasures’, they got to put them in their treasure boxes and these became their take-home gift.
Over at the Octonauts party, a sudden downpour delayed our treasure hunt and drenched many of the treasures. That didn’t seem to dampen the kids’ enthusiasm, however, and when the sunshine returned, they happily scoured the play area for gold coins, Octopod stickers and Octonauts themed bookmarks. Making themed treasure hunts is one of my favourite parts of party preparation.
Pin The Eye Patch On Kwazi
Our next Octonauts game was a version of pin the tail on the donkey. I created a big poster of Kwazi, and gave each child an eye patch to pin on. Little kids usually enjoy these pinning games, but just try keeping everyone sitting down after their turn! Most of the little Octonauts ran off to play with the figurines on the display table…which was fine, as that’s what they were there for!
Pass The Parcel
At three and four years old, some of the guests were not quite familiar with the rules of this classic game. Some extra pairs of hands were required to ensure the children didn’t keep ripping through every layer of paper, or forgetting to pass the parcel around.
I always wrap my parcels in theme-coloured paper – for the Octonauts, alternately green, blue and orange – and have a particular way I like to wrap it in order to keep it neat. You can find my tips on wrapping in this blog post.
The Fishing Game
Here’s another classic game that can be adapted to suit your party theme. For an Octonauts version of this game, I purchased magnetised rods, then made Octonauts fishing pieces by printing the characters on cardboard, cutting them out and attaching a paper clip to the top. In a moment of inspiration, I worked out that you can use a pool noodle to stand them up – just slice off an inch thick piece of noodle, make a slit half way through one side and slip the cardboard piece into this slit. Short, squat character cards will stand more steadily than taller ones.
Because of the young age of the children, this game wasn’t run as a competition. Instead, I got the children to line up and each have a turn fishing one character out of the tub and shaking it off onto the ground. A little assistance was sometimes required for the youngest children.
Party Food Time
These activities took around an hour at the Octonauts themed party, after which the children were more than ready to eat. While the party Mum served up food, I set up a make-your-own-sundae station, with pre-scooped icecream cups and lots of toppings and sprinkles. I provide these sundae stations at many of my parties, and they’re always a hit with any age group. They’re also a really easy way to take care of dessert. Finally, it was time to sing Happy Birthday and cut up the beautiful Octonauts cake.
Take Home Treats
While Callista and her friends took home their treasure boxes filled with story stones and sea shells, Deus’ friends fished for fish-shaped crayons in a fish bowl (!). They also each took home a laminated Octonauts alphabet puzzle game, downloaded from Funkidoo.
Happy birthday to both Callista and Deus! I hope you enjoyed your Easy Breezy Parties as much as I did.
Photography courtesy of Silvergum Photography, Melbourne, Australia.
Hand-painted story stones and fish-shaped crayons made to order from Little By Nature, Melbourne, Australia.