The beach is a world of endless possibilities for kids, and it is super fun as well! This is why beaches or even just beach themes add such a thrill to children’s parties. For a beach party for kids, whether you choose to go to an actual beach or create a beach theme at home, it’s always good to incorporate as many oceanic elements as possible. To help you plan, we’ve compiled a list of tips and ideas to pull off the ultimate beach-themed children’s party!
Expert tip: If you want to take your child’s beach birthday party to another level consider a beach vacation to an exotic island like Jamaica or Turks & Caicos where your beach theme will flow naturally!
If you’ve got a beach party in mind and you’re looking for a fun theme, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some ideas that you can get creative with for your child’s beach party:
Ocean themes always have a little magic to them. If you put together the right elements, you’ll have something truly enchanting that your child will love. There are many areas of inspiration parents can play around with for this theme. Movies like ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘The Little Mermaid’ and others can provide some insight into what can be included in this theme.
Consider your child’s preferences when it comes to what sea creatures will be highlighted and even think about whether there’s a particular beach activity, they love that can also be showcased. Overall, just focus on making your child’s guests feel like they’re immersed in the wondrous world of the undersea!
Expert tip: Want to travel to the Caribbean to celebrate a birthday? Why not throw in some diving starting with the 10 best places to snorkel in The Turks & Caicos.
It’ll be fun getting everything set up for a traditional beach luau party that you can have in your own backyard. All you’ll need is some grass skirts, leis, flowers, and any other décor, lively music, entertainment, and some beachy eats and drinks and you’ll be all set for this super exciting occasion. Both kids and adults will be able to get into the fun at your family beach luau and you’ll all have memories that will stick around!
Sun, sea, and sand are always a great combination for fun times. For a birthday, this can be even more so. A birthday beach trip with the family will give you lots of time to plan ahead, particularly in terms of the activities kids can get up to while out on the seashore. You can choose a local beach or opt to head further out for an even more incredible time.
The best thing about this type of beach party is that it doesn’t even need to be hosted on a typical beach – a breezy stretch of sand will be enough to organize your set up and for the kids to have a good time. If you really want to take your child’s beach party to the next level, you can consider heading to a beach like Seven Mile Beach in Negril which is one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean!
A beach barbeque is a great option for a birthday event or just a relaxed family get-together. For a birthday, there are many beaches you can find with their own barbeque pits, and this will take away some of the hassles that can come with bringing your own grill though some families may prefer that option. If you want to arrange a beach barbeque on a public or private beach, make sure to check the regulations before you go.
The next step after you’ve selected your theme will be creating an invite list. For the most part, parents of younger kids will be responsible for the actual list of invitees. Kids can get involved with the creation of invitations or simply with choosing which beachy invites they’d like to send out.
Beach themes are super fun because they leave room for lots of possibilities in terms of invite style. One of the possible options will be flip-flop invites, which will basically consist of invites written on actual flip-flops.
Flip flops are pretty low cost with a pair often available for $1 USD or less. Every pair will give you 2 invites, so you’ll just need to take a look at your invite list to decide how many to purchase. Keep in mind that buying in bulk can save you money. Get your kids into the creative process of designing the invites. If you’d prefer a less bulky invitation option, consider using cut-out flip-flop invites which might be easier to mail out.
Shell invites are another possibility. You can use large shells for this option - these are fairly easy to find at dollar stores or craft shops. If local beach regulations allow it, you may even be able to pick up some shells from the beach as well. The size of the shell will determine how big the invite details will need to be written, with smaller shells calling for smaller print. If you like the shell option but need more space, you can cut out your own shell shapes from sparkly paper and design your invites from these.
Next up … beach balls. This is a fun beach invite option because most kids will get excited from the moment, they receive the invite. Your beach ball invite can work in a way that invitees need to blow up the ball in order to see the details of the party. This means you’ll have to include a little card with instructions along with the beach ball.
For the beach ball invite idea to be a success, you’ll need to find a company that is able to print details on beach balls. You can also write the information on the side of the ball yourself. If you wind up writing the birthday details on the balls manually, do this when the balls are inflated. Wait for the ink to dry then deflate ahead of sending out your beach ball invites.
Grass skirt invites are the next possible option. These are ideal for a luau-style beach party, but they can be used for many other beach party themes as well. You can either find invites that already include the grass skirt theme, or DIY by gluing a ‘grass skirt’ in an appropriate place on the card, like to the bottom. Kids can get involved in creating these invites by helping to cut out the strips for the grass skirts if they decide to make it into a project.
Sea creatures can be an interesting feature on an invite that will for sure grab the attention of your guests. Depending on what your child prefers -- tropical fish, dolphins, sharks, jellyfish, or even coral, these can be included in the design of this invite. The sea creature invite can also be turned into a craft project with your kids as they cut out paper sea creatures or do some coloring to make their invites stand out. If you decide to make these invites yourself with your kids, a good option is cutouts of sea creatures that you can later color with them. You will then be able to write all the party details on the cutouts before sending them out.
Who wouldn’t want to receive a secret message in a bottle only to find out it is an invitation to what promises to be an exciting beach party? Your kids and their friends will certainly love this idea, and all you’ll need is some paper, pens, and some bottles from the craft or dollar store (or bottles you’ve saved up) to get started. For added effect, throw in things like colored sand and craft shells which will really add to the overall beach theme of your child’s party. The invite details can be written on a piece of paper, rolled up, and inserted into the bottle along with the sand and shells.
The type of food you select for your child’s beach party can add to your overall beach party theme. Here are a few of our favorite food and drink ideas for a beach-themed party!
Jello is a simple and fun treat you can include on your child’s party menu not only because it is fun to eat, but because it can be used effectively for a beach party theme. As there are many colors of Jello to choose from, you can make ocean colors and even add candy or small crackers with marine animal shapes. If you decide to make a ‘Jello ocean’, you can use cracker crumbs or another tasty alternative as sand!
Slushies are another treat kids will love at a birthday celebration. These are easy to make and perfect for cooling down on a hot day, which makes them ideal for anything beach related. Even if it isn’t that hot, for instance, if your child’s beach birthday party isn’t in the summertime, everyone will still be able to appreciate the burst of deliciousness that slushies bring.
Expert tip: Cater to the adults at the party by adding a bit of alcohol to blue, icy drinks along with a cocktail umbrella for a beachy treat!
Cookies are a sure way to please kids and they’re worth including on your child’s party menu as there are just so many flavors and designs you can choose from. They’re also easy to get as you can simply pick some up in the store or bake them yourself. For a beach party theme, you might want to focus on getting cookies with oceanic themes – from fun and mystical sea creatures to flip-flops and umbrellas!
The cake tends to be the center of attention at kids’ parties and for your child’s beach birthday party you’ll have a choice to make. Do you want a large traditional cake, cupcakes, or both? Whichever option you go with you’ll need to make sure your child’s cake fits into the overall beach theme. Avoid excessive icing if the weather will be hot, particularly on larger cakes. Cupcakes tend to fare better as it is easier to get these into a cooled box particularly if a beach trip is part of the party plans. Kids also tend to get a little more excited about cupcakes, perhaps because they’re easier to hold and eat!
Who doesn’t love a barbecue? Just thinking about it has us imagining the crispy chicken, hot dogs, burgers, and everything else you’ll be able to throw on the grill for your child’s beach-themed party. The great thing about the barbecue option is that you don’t need to have a barbecue-themed party just to include it. This can be incorporated into pretty much any beach theme and with the right amount of effort, you’ll have the same delicious result!
Expert tip: Find out the local regulations ahead of time if you’ll be heading to a private or public beach and want to barbecue on the sand.
Are there any special food items your child has been asking about for a while, like perhaps Jamaica food and drinks (jerk chicken!) or Turks & Caicos food from a previous vacation? If so, a beach-themed party will be a great time to bring these things back as they’ll hardly be expecting it. The items you include can be from anywhere -- just something that you know they’ll love.
Even if you’ve never been on a beach vacation, with some research you’ll be able to find some pretty tasty, tropical recipes. If you can pull this off, you’ll really be able to bring the beach vacation to your child’s party no matter where you are!
After deciding on food and drinks, the next step will be selecting or coming up with your own activities and games for the occasion. Here are some beach and ocean-themed games and activities that can be fun for kids:
The best beach parties will include opportunities to put on a swimsuit and splash around in the water. The top options for kids for water play will of course include splashing around in the ocean or in a pool, but water balloons and sprinklers can be good fun especially if there isn’t an ocean or pool nearby. For your child’s beach party, select water games based on the ages of the children who will be attending.
A beach scavenger hunt can help bring everyone together at your child’s beach birthday party no matter their age. For this to work, you’ll need to hide beach-themed items ahead of the party and then round up the kids when it’s time to play. The items you pick don’t need to be fancy, but they should definitely be items that can either be utilized on a beach or things that can naturally be found there, like seashells and pebbles. If you plan a scavenger hunt on an actual beach you may not need to hide anything at all. Create a contest for the kids where the person who finds the most shells, or the smoothest pebble can win a cool prize!
Some coloring time while out on a sunny beach or in your backyard can be a great way for kids to mellow out a bit and get a break from the sun. This is a good idea, especially for younger kids, and you can bring along some beach-themed coloring pages (featuring fish and other sea creatures, for example) and crayons that they’ll be able to settle in and enjoy.
A sandcastle-building contest will definitely be an exciting activity that kids can enjoy during a beach birthday party. This activity will be perfect if you’re headed to sandy shores where you’ll be able to put sandcastle-building toys to good use. For your child’s birthday, find some low-cost sandcastle-building kits (buckets and spades included) that guests will be able to use on the day. While you’re shopping around, also pick up a small prize for the group with the biggest or fanciest sand castle.
Beach volleyball, soccer, and beach ball games in general are fun for kids on an average beach day. For a beach birthday party, you can up the stakes and include prizes for the winning teams. These activities are great for a beach party as you won’t need much to put them together, just a few balls, goal markers, and some enthusiastic kids.
Now for the fun part – decorations! While there will be a variety of options to choose from for your child’s beach-themed party, here are some of the ones that have been tried and tested successfully, with the best results!
Unless you’ll be hosting your child’s birthday beach party on an actual beach, chances are you’ll need a cool beach backdrop and/or a banner. This backdrop can literally be the element that will transform a regular party into the ultimate beach-themed party along with all of the other fun beachy bits and pieces you’ll easily be able to incorporate. Beach banners, backdrops, and other decorations can be sourced from party stores or ordered online in advance.
Table grass skirts can really uplift your beach theme, and they’ll be easy to place as well. You can either make these yourself by sourcing the material of your choice and cutting it to suit, or by purchasing precut paper and then hanging the grass skirts around the edges of your main party tables. These won’t be hard to make, and you can get the kids to help!
If your child’s party will be hosted on an actual beach, you’ll hardly be in need of decorations or inspiration. If you won’t be able to get to a beach in time for your child’s birthday, then you can improvise. Use buckets filled with sand and let the kids help you to decorate these with shells and pebbles. Save some sand to place in bottles that can be used as table decorations with shells included. Paper cutouts of shells and other beachy elements will be great too - string these up and hang them for a garland effect.
Streamers in the right hues can have your guests feeling like they’re walking right into an ocean paradise just as soon as they enter the door. These will work well for an indoor or outdoor party and all you’ll need to do is look for streamers in a variety of oceanic colors (blues and greens) and hang them up. For outdoor locations, before you purchase any streamers identify an area where you’ll be able to hang them up.
Inflatable floatation devices always tend to excite children. They are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, including palm tree and sea creature designs. You can incorporate a few of these into the beach party theme whether you’ll be on the beach or not. You don’t even need to have a pool to use these at your child’s party either. Inflatables can work as decorations, but only if you use them with the expectation that the kids will at some point want them as toys.
Expert tip: If your child’s beach-themed party includes an actual pool, you might want to have separate inflatables that you use for decoration versus the ones that will be used for water safety.
Kids will be all about the party favors at your child’s beach-themed party. Here are some of the goodie bag items that will help them take some of the great moments home with them.
Shell necklaces or bracelets will be fairly easy to find and will be well received by party guests. These items are cute, beachy to the core, and can easily fit into goodie bags. Shell necklaces are bracelets that are usually low cost, so you’ll be able to get enough for everyone. Choose whether you want to pick up readymade ones or get shells and string from the craft store to make them with your kids or as a party activity.
Sea creature toys can add to your child’s beach party experience. You’ll be able to use these for both decoration purposes and as party favors. While younger kids are likely to really love sea creature bath toys as party favors, older kids might prefer sea creature stuffed animals or plastic toys.
You’re unlikely to find any of the kids saying no to candy at your child’s beach-themed party, and rightly so. Parties are made for fun! For the sake of sticking to your beach theme, why not pick up some colorful fish candies that’ll help guests get into a beachy mood? These candies will go down well with the kids especially after indulging in all the other tasty party treats!
Flip flops can come in handy for your beach-themed party for more reasons than one. You can use them for invites and also for decoration. Stick a few of these around your party location for a beachy effect and even save some for the goodie bags if you can. The best thing about using flip-flops is that they won’t go to waste when the party’s all done!
Help your guests get into the beach zone with some mini beach balls. These will be fun to look at and play with and they’ll also complement your overall beach theme. Plus, your guests will be able to use them after the party!
Expert tip: When beach ball shopping for a party, you can choose between a single style batch or something mix and match with a variety of colors children will enjoy.
What better substitute for a beach than your own backyard? Granted, you’ll have to put some work into setting the whole thing up and inviting guests, but once all is said and done, you’d have set the scene for a party the kids will love. If you have a backyard pool, even better as this can be used in your theme to represent the ocean. If you don’t, there’s always the option of getting an inflatable pool. The key to an amazing backyard party is really getting the decorations right, hosting it when the weather is good, and ensuring there’s great music, entertainment, and lots of drinks and food for everyone!
If there’s a local beach nearby it might be a good option for your child’s birthday beach party. You’ll need to plan ahead for this as you’ll have to bring along party supplies including food and drinks, decorations, and tables. In some areas, you can rent out small sections of the beach which can be useful for a beach party. If you plan on barbequing on a public beach, make sure to check the regulations in advance. Ask about everything you aren’t sure about including bringing tables and seating along.
Maybe you’ve never really considered it, but it really can be a possibility to have an indoor beach party. This type of birthday party works when your kids have their hearts set on a beach birthday party, but for one reason or another (perhaps it’s just way too cold!), you’re unable to make it to the beach. You can decorate an area in your house with beach-themed decorations, put out some beach towels, and even throw in ideas like sand bucket popcorn holders or an inflatable pool (balls can be used in lieu of water). Add a makeshift sun with a yellow beach ball to bring some real sunshine to your child’s beach party!
All-inclusive resorts are a great option for hosting parties especially if you planned on only inviting close friends and family anyway. This location idea can take away some of the stresses of planning as most all-inclusive family resorts have lots of activities children can enjoy and you won’t need to think about catering either as the food, drinks, and snacks are included.
Go for a Caribbean waterpark resort if you really want to give the kids a thrill. If you choose an island like Jamaica, you’ll be able to organize your child’s beach-themed party on Seven Mile Beach Negril Jamaica or Doctor's Cave Beach which are among the best beaches in Jamaica.
The beach theme will never get old for kids’ birthday parties! Whether you go to a nearby beach or plan a beach party at home or overseas, this surely can be a memorable experience for your child. Once you’ve decided on the theme, decorations, and other aspects, you’ll be well on your way to the exciting party day.
If you want to combine the fun of a birthday party with a family vacation there are many amazing possibilities, including a Turks & Caicos vacation! Jamaica with its stunning beaches is also an option where you and your loved ones can enjoy not just one day of celebration, but an entire vacation!