Splish-Splash Sprinkler Party Ideas

It's a lucky kid whose parents throw him or her a good and messy and wonderfully fun water theme party that allows children to splish and splash and parents not to worry about untidy results.

What makes such a simple party memorable for the guests? There's a single theme that's expressed creatively in all the details. Start by setting the tone weeks before with invitations that hint at what's to come. Look for store-bought cards, or create your own -- a project you and your birthday boy or girl can work on together. And trust us, the adults will have just as much fun as the kids during this summer-time extravaganza.

Creating a Watery World

To create a watery world, you don't need an adult-size swimming pool -- just lots of blue and green decorations, a menu inspired by critters from the sea, and a few aquatic activities.

Party Invitations

For the invitations, we used picture window cards with envelopes, cellophane bags that fit inside cards, plain paper, blue vellum, scissors, a scallop edge rotary cutter, and photo corners. We added a favor -- a cellophane "fortune fish" -- to each.

Design invitations on a computer, print them out, then cut them to fit in the cellophane bags. Cut the vellum to desired size (to overlay some writing), cutting the top with a scallop cutter. Slip the cards and vellum into cellophane bags; place bags in the cards behind the windows, and secure them with photo corners. Tuck them into envelopes.

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Towel Favors

Send guests home with this fish towel, made by you. The best part is, you can stuff the fish's mouth with candy, treats, and fun surprises.

Towel Favors

Fishing Game

For this game, you will need kitchen twine, 4-foot-long bamboo poles (available at floral-supply stores), a hot glue gun, a drill, blue and green Moosgummi foam, plastic crabs and frogs, and horseshoe-shape and round magnets.

Drill a hole through the diameter of each pole, 1 inch from the end. Cut twine to be as long as the pole, thread one end through the hole, and tie. Tie a horseshoe magnet to the other end. Use our template to cut out foam lily pads; enlarge and reduce the template on a photocopier for pads of varying sizes. Hot-glue round magnets to the backs of frogs and crabs, and let dry. Set a plastic animal on each lily pad and float pads in a kiddie pool or small pond.

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Gift Wrap Ideas

The presents you give your child can be wrapped according to the day's theme. To cover boxes in sea scenes, first wrap them in white or yellow paper. Measure one side of the box; draw a fish on colored paper to fit. Cut it out and glue it to the box. Use a hole punch to make round eyes from colored paper. Using a scallop-edge rotary cutter, cut water from blue acetate to fit around the bottom half of the box and secure in back with tape.

Safety Kit

For an outdoor party, stock up on water resistant sunscreen lotion and lip balm, both with an SPF of 30, and a lotion with citronella oil to repel bugs. Have first-aid supplies on hand, just in case.

Party Menu

For a party for kids you want the food to be fun, but you also want the menu to follow the theme of the party. That's why we put together this easy and festive menu that draws its inspiration from the sea -- perfect for a sprinkler party!

Fish Sticks
Tartar Sauce
Parmesan Fish Crackers
Starfish Biscuit Sandwiches
Fishbowl Gelatin
Sand Bucket Angel Food Cake
Sparkling Limeade

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