Mayana’s fourth birthday party was over a week ago now… with all the floods and everything that has happened since then it feels like a month ago! I’ve finally gotten time to write a post about her party… better late than never. Enjoy!
Pretty much since her third birthday Pancake Party, Mayana has been asking for her fourth birthday to be a Mermaid Party.
And so, after much pinterest research (what would we do without that wonderful website?) and creative thinking, we managed to do just that… we pulled off a Mermaid Party for Mayana’s fourth birthday.
I designed the invitations, asking people to dress up either as a mermaid or their favourite sea creature. Mayana was quite insistent that her friend Max had to be Prince Eric, but other than that people could be whatever they wanted to be.
I found an awesome tutorial for making a mermaid tail online, and Mayana chose a deep turquoise velvet, so that she could look like Ariel. I drew the line at colouring her hair though! (just a note if you’re looking at the tutorial – I used velvet instead of the stretchy sequinned fabric, and tulle – soooo cheap, and much easier to work with, no fraying!- instead of the organza)
My sister and I spent half an hour plaiting Mayana’s hair in tiny sections so that she would have super-wavy mermaid hair for the party instead.
We originally intended for the party to be outside, turning the trampoline into a giant sea anemone and setting up ball games and other things to keep sugar-hyped kids entertained. Unfortunately the great rains started on Friday, so we had to change tactics. We cleared the furniture in our dining/family room area and set up the party there… food at one end and a mat at the other for sitting on to eat, play games and open presents. I had made a huge… I don’t know what you would call it.. banner maybe? decoration out of tulle and ribbon, and bought three paper lanterns to hang above the table.
The morning of the party we were very busy, finishing off the decorating, the food and dressing up our beautiful mermaid… Before we knew it Mayana’s friends were arriving!
I had planned a game of pass the parcel, and other than that the games turned out to happen organically – a round of musical statues, and then an impromptu dance party. Mayana has a thing for dance parties at the moment, and most of her friends were keen enough to join in eventually!
The cake was a Lady Flo butter cake, with buttercream icing and white chocolate decorations, topped with a mermaid Lala-Loopsy. I couldn’t quite get my head around a mermaid cake, and thought this was a pretty good alternative.
I had gone all out with the food… while there was nothing especially fancy, we had gotten very imaginative with the names, and everything had an under-the-sea theme, complete with a little mermaid label describing what it was.
We had chocolate fish, and the tiny coloured biscuits I’d made along with some multi-coloured jube lollies became ‘mermaid treasures’. Drumstick biscuits were ‘shark bait’ and carrot sticks in tatziki dip became ‘crablegs with seaweed dip’ (these were a huge hit actually, the kids and adults both loved them… I liked the idea of individual serves, because kids are notorious for double dipping!)
Triangles of cheese were ‘shark teeth’ and a bowl of potato chips were ‘sand dollars’. I’d made colourful rainbow fruit kebabs and named them ‘fruits of the sea’.
I think for novelty value, the ‘octopus in a blanket’ were probably the biggest hit. They were a cheerio/small frankfurt sausage cut into 8 legs, with the head wrapped in puff pastry then baked. As they cooked the legs separated and splayed out, turning them into octopuses! More simple were the ‘fish egg’ jelly beans.
I usually over cater and have heaps of food left over, but someone this time I did well. At most there were only a few things left.. everyone was satisfied and we weren’t eating sea-food for the rest of the weekend!
For drinks, I poured a bottle of lemonade into my funky new punch bowl, and added a few drops of blue food colouring. I had been making up the ‘goldfish’ all week, by freezing orange juice onto a fish mould I had bought from Ikea for 99c. It looked very effective, and the kids loved drinking it out of the cute little milk bottles (purchased from The Big Little Company for last year’s party) with the paper straws that I picked up from Typo!
All of the kids and some of the adults dressed up. We had a handful of mermaids, some sharks, a crocodile.. a Poseidon (Greek God of the Sea) and a Neptune.. it was lovely and Mayana appreciated it so much!
Mermaid Mayana and her Prince Eric!
Peter and I loved putting on this party for our girl, it was so worth it to see her big smile and watching her have fun with all her favourite people.