Best Kids Parties: Fishing

My Party: Henry (Germany)

Swenja's party looks like great fun, but these little partiers had to pass a fishing test! She shares this and many other creative ideas: My son loves fishing and went on his first fishing trip with his dad this year, so out of the many inspiring party ideas on Ohdeedoh and other blogs, we chose a fishing theme.

I found this great handmade fish stamp and build everything around that, from invitations to decorations and games. I'm not really good in the craft department, so having a stamp to work with really helped! I made the invite, laminated labels for little water bottles that the guests got to take home, goodie bags, garlands, fish shirts for the birthday boy and brother and much more.

For the colors I followed advice from Greta at Picnics in the Park, one of my all-time favorite blogs that I actually found through Ohdeedoh: use colors that you already have on hand. For me that's red because I love red, plus some light blue that we have around for the boys, and white. I added some yellow since my younger son loves it, and some dark blue for contrast.

The highlights of the party were the fishing cake and the games. The cake was my favorite chocolate cake, complete with crumb "dirt", whipped cream "water" and a Lego fishing trip set. I think that made up for me not having one of those giant dessert tables you guys all seem to do in the States!

I didn't want to do too many activities, so we just had the kids run around the yard, but I did make a fishing game. First they all got personalized little plastic fishing rods, then they had to pass a fishing exam my husband did with them. I made pages with illustrated questions such as "What do fish like to eat - smaller fish or ice cream?" and various types of fish to identify (they all got the shark and Nemo right, the trout was a bit more challenging). Once they "passed the test", they got personalized fishing licences made on the computer to look like real ones and then laminated for durability. We then pulled out a small pop-up pool and put fish in it for the kids to catch: I had made tags with the fish stamp, attached small metal clips since the fishing rods were magnetic, and some gummy bears and chocolate candy. They also got to catch the plastic fish, lobster and turtles that came with the fishing rods. I don't usually like cheap plastic toys, but these little guys came right in our party colors and the kids had a blast reeling their catch in. They each got a little bucket made from paper cups to put their catch in.

The house was a mess, crumbs were all that was left from the cake and after we sent some quite tired but happy guests off with their goodie bags including all the stuff they caught plus some flash cards about fish, we were left with two very tired kids running happily around the yard and refusing to let the day end.

I didn't have a lot of guests, my kids are still small and I didn't need to build one of those impressive dessert tables, so for us this worked perfectly and we had a great party. More pictures and details on my very recently started blog.

Thanks Swenja! Readers, say hi to Swenja and see more of this party on her new blog Henny Mats.

(Images: Swenja/Henny Mats)

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Family, My Party

As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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