by Cindy Bendel
My little guy has a summer birthday and is turning 8 this year. I can't believe how quickly he's grown! He's just a few years away from being a teen. Geez, where does the time go?
Anyway, we put together a beach party for him. While I'm a graphic artist and run my own store, I'm also a stay-at-home mom. Things get very busy when you're managing a small biz and taking care of a family. Sometimes it's crazy and leaves me with little time to plan a Pinterest-worthy party. But creativity is something we cherish in this household. And we put it to use to come up with something fun and memorable.
The little man has autism so we do things for him on a smaller scale. He has sensory issues and can be oversensitive to certain sounds. So our party became an intimate one with select friends and family.
We started with goodie bags. What's a kids party without them? Sensory kids like my son love the glitter putty at Party City. It's soft and pliable like playdoh, and you can see through it.
We added other goodies such as mini toys and an activity book. Then I designed bag toppers to go with our beach theme - an ocean scene with lifesaver, anchor and beach ball.
Just a recommendation on bag toppers - use photo paper. The color will be more vibrant. You can get it at Walmart, Target or an office supply store. And if you can't make it to the store Amazon has it too (aff link).
For entertainment I created an I Spy List. The kids had fun running around to find the items. To download a free printable PDF of this I Spy list, click here. Please note you will need Adobe Reader to view and print the file. It also helps to have a color printer, although it'll print on a regular black & white one as well. There are four lists to a page and I include cut lines to guide you.
Last but not least was the cake. We love a good "Iron Chef" challenge and use whatever we have on hand. My older son came up with the idea to decorate the cake with fish. So he broke out his gummy candy maker and went to work.
We discovered this gummy maker from Evantube. If you're not familiar with that Youtube channel, it's about a boy named Evan who showcases various toys and fun activities for kids.
If you'd like to buy a gummy maker they are available on Amazon.com (aff link). We've had ours for quite a while now, the kids never get tired of making gummies with it. We also ended up making "bubbles" to go with the blue fish.
As far as the actual cake is concerned, King Arthur cake mix is my favorite. I love to use one box of yellow and one of chocolate to make a marble cake. The combination of vanilla and chocolate is heavenly to the taste buds.
Here is the final result. It's always fun to use our creative juices and see what we can come up with. And it's even more fun to sing Happy Birthday to my little guy and see the joy on his face.