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How to Throw a Shark Theme Party

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The sharks are circling! The sharks are circling! (Insert Jaws theme music here.) But don't run away screaming just yet. There's nothing to fear at this party where the only thing in danger of being devoured is the cake. A shark-themed party is a fun way for fans of this carnivorous sea creature to celebrate a birthday, shark week, a pool party or any occasion under the sea.

Invitations

Image ©Christine Gauvreau
There are many ways you can invite guests to your shark birthday party, but if you want something that is easy to make and suits your theme, try printing a shark clip art image onto colored paper and cutting it into an invitation. One idea is to use blue paper and trim the top to look like the waves of the ocean. Other ideas:
  • Cardstock paper cut into the shape of a shark.
  • Shark coloring pages: Have the guest of honor color them before sending, or ask guests to color and bring them to hang at the party.
  • Note card invitations that have been cut around the edges to look like a shark took a chomp from them.
  • A photo of a shark, or of your child in a shark costume, printed on postcard paper.
You can use cute shark-themed phrasing for the invitation text. For a shark-themed pool party, for instance, you could write something like You’re fin-vited to swim with the sharks at Leo’s 8th birthday!

Decorations

Image ©Christine Gauvreau
To decorate for a shark party you could use beach and ocean themed accents such as seashells and sailboats. Combine them with some under the sea creatures, like inflatable or cut out decorations of seahorses, squid, fish and, of course, sharks. More ideas for shark themed party decorations include:
  • Shark party hats.
  • Flying sharks.
  • Shark fin banners: cut construction paper into the shape of shark fins. Write the letters to spell out a message such as Happy Birthday on each fin and string them together to create a hanging banner.
  • Fishing nets draped over tables and other surfaces.
  • Pail and shovel sets: serve food from them or send them home as party favors.
  • Shark yard decor.

Food

Image ©Christine Gauvreau
Many kids don’t like to eat fish, but sharks sure do! Perhaps you can encourage kids to dine like the sharks with fish recipes for kids. Fish cakes and fish sticks are other kid-friendly options that may be a hit on the shark party menu. If eating actual fish seems out of the question, however, you can use a fish-shaped cookie cutter to shape items like sandwiches and quesadillas into shark food.

More shark party menu ideas:
  • Make shark cupcakes – simply top your favorite cupcakes with blue frosting and a fondant shark fin. Not good with fondant? Just use construction paper that kids can remove before eating. With paper shark fins, you could even write their names on the fins and use the cupcakes as place markers.
  • Gelatin shark cups: Make individual servings of blue gelatin dessert. Once the gelatin has set, insert a gummy fish so that only the head sticks out, resembling a shark fin poking out of the water.
  • Fish crackers.
  • Shark cake.
  • Shark melon: watermelon carved to resemble a shark.

Activities

Image ©Christine Gauvreau
No one wants restless sharks circling the party space, so keep them occupied with a few games and crafts. Shark-inspired party activities include:
  • Pin the Fin on the Shark.
  • Make shark jaw “masks” by cutting teeth from the center of a paper plate.
  • Shark jaw photos: Mount the paper plate shark jaw onto a piece of poster board or foam board that has been cut into the shape of a shark. Have kids pose behind the cutout with their heads in the jaw of the shark. Print the photos at the party and send them home as souvenirs.
  • Watch a kid-friendly shark movie.

Favors

Image ©Christine Gauvreau
When the party is over, send them home with something on which to nibble. Just fill a sandwich bag with a combination of fish crackers and gummy fish. Add a label that reads “Shark Bait.”

More ideas for shark party favors:
  • Shark’s tooth necklaces.
  • Shark coloring books.
  • Beach pail and shovel.
  • Plush sharks.
  • Inflatable sea creatures.
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