"The Little Mermaid" is a popular Disney movie which chronicles Princess Ariel's quest from being a mermaid to becoming a real human offshore. At a "Little Mermaid" party, guests can snack on ocean-themed snacks such as fish-shaped crackers and gummy worms, sing songs from "The Little Mermaid" and play ocean-themed games.
Using card stock or cardboard, cut out fish shapes and color them with tropical colors. Glue a magnet on the back of each fish. Place the fish in a plastic tub or bucket. Tie a string to a stick and attach a magnet at the end of the string. Let children go fishing by trying to pick up fish with the magnet. Give each child a set time limit and award a prize to the child who catches the most fish. Another game option is to mix fish-shaped crackers in a big bowl with other items, such as raisins and chocolate chips. Give children tongs or chopsticks and have them try and "catch" as many goldfish as possible in a minute.
Three-year-olds have a lot of energy. Create racing games to burn that energy off. Play a "save the goldfish game." Give each child a fake goldfish on a spoon and have them race across the room to be the first to drop the goldfish in the bucket without dropping it. Have children step into a pillowcase to represent wearing a mermaid tail and race from one end of the room to the other while their feet are inside the pillowcase. Play a simple game of tag where the person who is "it" wears a sign designating her as the "sea-witch" from which the children must run.
Fill a small jar with fish-shaped crackers, gummy worms or other ocean-themed candies. Have children take turns guessing how many crackers or candies are in the jar. The child who guesses correctly wins the jar. Turn the game into a learning opportunity by showing children an empty jar and asking them how many of a certain food item they think will fit in the jar. Write down each child's guess, then slowly fill the jar, letting the children help count as you go.
Hide small prizes in a plastic pool filled with sand or a child's sandbox. Give children shovels and allow them to search for buried treasure. Allow the children to keep the treasure they find. Draw a picture of a shark on a large cardboard box and cut out a hole where the mouth is. Children can toss in small balls or bean bags to feed the shark. Purchase a pinata in the shape of a crab, a fish or other sea creature and have children use a stick to try and knock it open.
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