Birthday Party – Island Style

My daughter’s birthday party was so super fun, and I want to share what we did so that you might be inspired when planning your next child’s birthday. I first want to give credit to Family Fun magazine for giving me some of these ideas. (Check out my post about how this awesome magazine can erase boredom in your house here)

The kids met at our house first, and I explained to them that we were going on a trip to a deserted island. We then went to a beach park (of course, you can use any park or backyard) where we found ourselves shipwrecked. How were we going to survive?!?

The games that followed were all connected to being on an island.

Game #1 – Slipper Relay

We played Slipper Relay (or Sandal Relay, whatever you want to call it) where each team ditched their slippers in a pile, then each teammate had to run, find her slippers, put them on and run back. First team with feet covered wins.

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Slipper Relay

The prize for the game were Slipper Cookies! These were such a hit that I brought these to my daughter’s school class on her birthday.

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Slipper Cookies

These were so easy to make: buy oval shaped cookies (we used Nutter Butter), cover with colored frosting (we used powdered sugar, water, vanilla and food coloring. done.) then make the straps from cutting strips of licorice or sour patch strips, leaving the end attached. Place a small candy on the tip. (we used skittles and gum drops).

Game #2: Water Balloon Relay

We happened to find fresh water on this island of ours! We had to carefully bring it back to camp without losing any of it. This led to the Water Balloon relay: Again in teams, the girls paired up back to back and arms linked to carry a balloon between their backs carefully to a designated place.

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Water Balloon Relay

Prize for this game: Water, of course!

Game #3: Save the Turtles!

The girls helped baby turtles trying to make their way to the ocean without being eaten by hungry seagulls. We made turtles out of washcloths and rubberbands, which were so cute that the kids wanted to keep them.

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Our baby “turtle”
Played like tag, you can determine how many seagulls are trying to catch the kids carrying the turtles, who are then out.
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“Save the Turtles!” game

Each child ran with one turtle at a time to a pool representing the ocean.

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Baby “turtles” making it safely to the “ocean”

The kids loved this game and we played again and again.

Prize for this game: Turtles’ favorite food — Seaweed! (So, I don’t know if this is a favorite treat where you live, but in Hawaii, the kids couldn’t have been more excited.)

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Mmm- Seaweed!

Game #4: Find the Natives

So, this island was deserted….or was it? Afterall, we never really looked for people living here, had we? I then pointed to a tree and told the party goers to see if they could find any “natives” there. If they found one, they were allowed to keep it.

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Finding the Natives

(We happened to have a bag full of dolls that were given to us. Problem was, they were all naked. My daughter ingeniously thought of clothing them with felt, so that is what we did and we used this game to give away the dolls at the party as their “goody bag” gift.)

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Found one!

After finding their island dolls, we happened upon a real turtle making its way out of the water. Totally cool, but of course, only in Hawaii 🙂 Thanks, turtle, for joining our party! You were right on cue.

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An unexpected party guest

Game #5: Shrinking Islands

Our next and final game was Shrinking Islands. I placed rags around in a circle and told the partyers that we discovered this island we were on was a part of an archipelago, and the ocean level was rising so quickly that islands started to disappear! Played like Musical Chairs but with no losers, as the music stopped, each girl had to find an island (rag) to stand on. As islands disappeared, they could share an island with someone else. By the end of the game, they had to figure out how to have everyone fit on one small island!

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Helping everyone keep afloat on the last shrinking island

Luckily, before that one disappeared, a ship found them and “rescued” them, and we all returned to civilization (aka home) where we were greeted with an island style cake.

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Island Cake

Perhaps the highlight for me was hearing the girls tell their moms when they were being picked up, “Mom! We were shipwrecked on an island, and we had to find water, and there were baby turtles that we had to save, and then we found natives that lived there, and then the islands started shrinking!!” as though it all really happened.

And the highlight for my daughter was her friends telling her it was the best party yet.

(Did you like these ideas? If so, consider “pinning it” or posting it on Facebook 😉 )

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About Heidi

My name is Heidi and I live on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. I have three young girls and a baby son, and a husband who makes me laugh. We love to turn up the music and dance in the livingroom, bend down and smell fresh grass, and play at the beach in the sunshine. I run a stand up paddle school, sharing good times with tourists on the island. I love teaching stand up paddling, and it proves a challenge to do a good job raising a family while running a business. Like my post? Please leave a comment.
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