I decided to go for nautical themed decoration for Bobcat’s 2nd birthday party. I really like nautical design (of everything) and it’s easy to coordinate. Because it’s easy to coordinate colour and pattern-wise, it doesn’t cost an earth either. Unlike character based theme parties you can easily find substitutes if you need to. There’s also plenty of opportunities for a crafty mummy to DIY decorations. Bigger children, daddy and grandparents can also be involved, turning it into a great fun for everyone. And outsourcing some tasks 😉
What I used for decoration:
- For paper table ware: blue (or red) table cover. Blue, red and white paper plates, cups, drinking straws, napkins, muffin cases and cake stand. They can be plain, stripy, dotted or all of these mixed, it will all look nicely coordinated.
- For the bunting: paper boats folded from blue, red and white A4 and A5 paper sheets and just strung them on a red raffia string in random order.
- Balloons: dark blue, light blue and red helium balloons.
- Even the wrapping paper and the invitations can be nautical themed.
- No plastics: since it was a sea inspired party, I only used paper plates and cups, birchwood forks and glass/porcelain in order to not to produce plastic waste.
You can order everything online, I chose Party Parade for most of the paper decoration.
Cake. Very important of course. I found some great ideas on Pinterest and I was lucky enough to find Rabi’s Kitchen to make the cake for me. She made the absolutely perfect cake with rich chocolate filling, every guest loved it. It looked fantastic and it was very tasty. Here’s her page for fellow South Londoners and Surrey mummies: Rabi’s Kitchen on Facebook
Food -wise I was trying to combine children friendly food with the nautical theme. Now, that’s challenging, but you can make it work with serving it in cute paper tubs and adding little nautical flags.
- Use a lot of red and white coloured food, which is not too hard: tomatoes, peppers, mozzarella, all sorts of berries and grape.
- Make it look fun: cut an octopus with 8 legs out of a red pepper topping a bowl of hummus or other dips.
- Decorate muffins and cookies with nautical coloured sprinkles, toppings etc.
- I was really tempted by a paper fish and chips station containing just a few toddler size fish&chips in small paper bags, but that requires someone to be in the kitchen to prepare it freshly when most of the guests arrived.
- When it’s summer and the weather is warm, you can also serve home-made ice lollies.
Party bags. The trouble is with most of the loot bag fillers, that they are simply just a waste of money and they only produce landfill. I opted for something which hopefully won’t end up in the bin on the same day. So, I bought cute sets of buckets and spades and put them into paper bags (decorated with sea animal stamps). Also used a large seaweed basket (normally use it for toys) to display them. (Ordered the sets from Party Packs. )
Entertainment. If it’s an outdoor party, then you have the easiest thing:
- Use paddling pools and create a fishing game for plastic fish or rubber ducks. Or float paper boats. Or organise a boat, maybe a duck race.
- Use a small sandpit and organise a sandcastle building competition.
If it’s an indoor party, you can still opt for the mini fishing game or sea themed puzzles.