Happy Wednesday Friends!
I want to start by saying my heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the recent hurricanes in Texas, the Caribbean and Florida. Its been gut-wrenching to know that so many people’s lives have been displaced by the storms. And to see the devastation in some of the most beautiful spots our family loves to visit on vacation has been equally sad.
While I would love to jump on the next Red Cross bus bound to help those parts of the country, at this stage in my life, it’s not always so easy to dedicate my time in that way. But I can certainly help in other capacities through donating food, supplies and money to local organizations and national charities I know are reputable sources for aid. And let’s not discount the most important thing of all….our prayers! God hears the cries of the weary and we can be lifting each and every person impacted by the hurricanes up in prayer to Him.
Even before Harvey and Irma hit, my oldest daughter was talking about wanting a tropical themed birthday party this year. She has loved our family trips down to Florida over the last few years and wanted that beach-inspired vibe at her celebration.
With her early September birthday still so close to the cusp of summertime, we decided to go with, making it into an outdoor swimming party for some of her girlfriends to attend.
We luckily have an above ground pool that’s the perfect size for a handful of kids her age to swim in safely and still have a good time.
There was only one slight problem we encountered. Due to an unusually cool stretch of weather at the end of August, we were concerned that it might not be warm enough for swimming. Even on the day of her party, it did not reach above 70 degrees outside.
Cool temps aside, those kids still swam and had a blast! They may have only lasted in the water for 20 minutes and came out teeth chattering, but they still had a ton of fun!
Here are a few of the highlights from her tropical themed special day:
Party Like a Pineapple
I wanted to recreate an island oasis without going too much over the top. I found a cute printable invite on Etsy, with a matching banner and went from there.
We used wrapping paper from the Dollar Store in a tropical print for the tables, easy to toss and throw after a mess.
Yellow tissue ball puffs and balloons suspended from the ceiling with green tissue stems looked just like pineapples.
A simple blue ribbon down the center of the table simulated ocean water, along with some tropical stuffed animals that we already owned to accent.
And each girl got a tropical goody bag with a fun dolphin pen, pad of paper, ocean stickers & Life Savers candy to take home with them.
Island Chow Time
We kept the food simple since it was an outdoor party and we knew kids would still be wet from coming inside the house after swimming. We served Hawaiian pizzas with salad, but also had some treats to munch on like Swedish Fish and “pool noodle” tropical fruit Twizzlers.
I made a simple “pool water” punch using lemon-lime soda, coconut juice and blue food coloring.
Then for dessert, it was chocolate cupcakes with homemade butter cream frosting tinted yellow. We decorated each one to look like a little spikey pineapple.
I planned a fun craft activity that the girls could take home with them. You all know how much I love mason jars, so it should come as no surprise that I found a way to incorporate them into this project!
I went to the Dollar Store and purchased a bag of seashells and some blue glass stones, then along with some gold glitter, blue food coloring, vegetable oil and water, we made an ocean in a jar!
The kids really loved being able to swish their jars around, see the shells bouncing and the glitter twirling….moving just like the ocean.
There was one more special element to this party that was especially fun for the kids. We set up our outdoor movie projector with a large white sheet stretched across a stand for the screen, and at dusk showed the movie, Nim’s Island.
The movie is a fun, action-adventure, tropical island tale, based on the book, Nim’s Island, by Wendy Orr.
We brought out sand pail buckets filled with movie treats like popcorn, cheese puffs and pretzels for the kids to munch on while watching the movie.
And a pinata, glow stick necklaces and silly string to keep them entertained outside until it was dark enough to start the movie.
All in all I’d say our “be cool at the pool” party made a big splash! It was a great way to have one last send-off to summer.
I’m still trying to motivate myself over here to take down all my summer decor and make the official switch over to fall…but with the warm, sunny days we’ve been getting this week it’s especially difficult!