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My daughter was turning 5 and she loves water and princesses! I knew I had to throw her a party under the sea with lots of mermaid princesses. For inspiration I scoured the internet and dollar stores for budget friendly ideas! I then searched through her room and the rest of the house looking for anything resembling a water theme. And I scored big!!!
At the dollar store I found all the favors for the party. I set out a few options for kids to choose from since we had an array of ages. There were some amazing water shooters (watch out parents), mermaid puzzles, and glowing rubber sea anemones. I also grabbed a bunch of pink, green and blue oval rubber place mats and layered them down the tables as runners so they resembled fish scales.
I decorated the inside of my husbands giant (and forever empty) fish tank with a fun water scene. To help decorate the dinning area where we were serving all of the adult drinks ("Mer"garitas and Bottled Bilge Water).
I found some great jelly fish tutorials on Paper and Ink (http://bbpaperandink.blogspot.com) and Scrapbooks etc. (http://www.scrapbooksetc.com). These were time consuming but lots of fun to see spread throughout the party. I hung lots of them along the canopies which were also decorated with fish nets filled with color coordinated balloons. Under the canopies all of the tables were set with appetizers, such as, goldfish crackers, "sushi" rollup sandwiches, and chicken salad.
I also set up a table filled with pictures of my daughter from her first five years. In the center was a giant brass ship that was rescued from a garage sale. I spray painted it in shades of pink and added a few princesses on board to enjoy the voyage!
Of course we also had a dessert table. I really tried to focus on some healthier options this year and not go overboard with too much sugar. There were a few sea creature cookies "swimming" around the table, a two tier cake, lots of fruit and a blue chocolate fountain. I even decorated the fountain skewers with pink luster crowns for a nice princess touch.
For activities all the kids made sea shell bracelets at a craft table. The big kids then went crazy on the giant water slide we had set up, while the smaller ones enjoyed a homemade water slide down a small hill.