How to organise a seaside-themed children's party
It's easy to bring some coastal charm to your celebration with traditional beachside treats and old-fashioned school games – just add water (and a bit of sand)
Set the party's theme from the start.
- Send postcards – buy a selection from a nearby location, or design your own
- Or give out arcade tickets – each admitting one child to the birthday celebrations
You may not be lucky enough to live near the coast, but you can create a fun seaside feel, whatever the Great British weather, in your home or garden, or in a local hall.
- Hang a sign outside the venue, directing guests to the beach
- If you have an outside space to use, fill up a kids' sandpit and perhaps a paddling pool (if you have enough parental supervision)
- Scatter around buckets and spades
- Fill the air with bubbles – using a bubble machine, or give children individual wands
- Decorate with bunting, balloons and streamers
- Put out deckchairs – perhaps for the parents rather than the kids!
Activities and party games
To keep guests busy as they arrive, get started building sandcastles or hunting for and decorating shells.
- Get children to make their own paper boats – you could even race them on water later
- Go fishing in a paddling pool – or play hook-a-duck
- Have a lucky dip in a tub of seaweed made from coloured paper/cellophane
- Let kids work off some energy playing ball games with an inflatable beach ball – keeping it off the ground, hot potato, piggy in the middle or beach volleyball
- Have a crab crossing relay, where children have to get from one point to another, walking like a crab: on their hands and feet, belly upwards
- Or try a bucket relay – get the children to race holding a bucket filled with water, passing it between each player as quickly as possible without spilling it
- Doughnut eating: hang ring doughnuts from pieces of string (off a clothes line, football post, or between two fences) and get children to eat them off without using their hands
Other traditional party games that are perfect for this theme include:
- Pin the tail on the donkey
- Bobbing for apples
- A piñata
- Make a head in the hole picture board – kids can have their photo taken pulling silly faces behind the picture, or have a go at throwing wet sponges at the people behind (if mum and dad are brave/foolish enough to volunteer)
Get stuck into some traditional seaside fare.
- Fish and chips served in a newspaper cone
- Mini hotdogs
- Any party favourites served in plastic buckets or on plates topped with newspaper
- Use a cookie cutter to shape nautical biscuits (sweet or savoury) such as boats, anchors, fish and starfish
- Make sailing boats out of different salad/vegetables on cocktail sticks
- Bags of seaside treats like candy floss, popcorn and warm doughnuts
- Colourful fruit salad ice lollies – easy to make with blended fruit, frozen in moulds
- A jug of homemade lemonade
Round the day off with cake and a chorus of 'Happy Birthday to you'.
For a real seaside feel, serve up cake in a cone: wafer cones filled with sponge cake, topped with icing, sprinkles and a Cadbury flake – just like a 99 ice-cream!
What can I put in the party bags?
Send guests home with a seaside souvenir of the day.
Some ideas for small gifts include:
- A stick of rock – you could get some printed with the birthday child's name on, or buy from the nearest coastal town
- Sweetie cones or homemade fudge
- A beach towel
- Inflatable beach ball, or other outdoor toy
- Their own plastic bucket and spade