This party was SO MUCH FUN to plan! We’ve done some fun party themes in the past including Daniel Tiger, Jane Goodall/Jungle, and Frozen, but Moana…this may be my favorite to date! It just so happened that we had our pool installed right before my oldest daughter’s birthday, so a swim party was in order, and Moana was the perfect theme!
>> WARNING: This post is super long and image heavy!!<<
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I kept it pretty simple for foods…Goldfish crackers, “Heart of Te Fiti” cookies (that were supposed to have a darker green swirl, but….that didn’t happen!), Hei Hei Chicken Nuggets, Sea Water (Blue Hawaiian Punch), and sausage & pineapple bites.
I had leftover palm leaf serving trays from our jungle party, and my daughter begged for these adorable coconut cups, which I was lucky enough to track down at the last minute! I added personalized drink tags to go around their straws and the kids got to take home their cups along with their bag of favors.
DIY TIP: With a little heat transfer vinyl (HTV) these jute bags (approximately 6×8″) easily turned into Moana theme favor bags!
We included fruit snacks, tropical bracelet or ring, Bug Soother bug spray (the BEST bug spray around, and it smells AMAZING!), a flower lei, and a little container of “Sand Scrub”.
DIY TIP: You can make the scrub with equal parts brown sugar, white sugar, mixed with enough coconut oil to the consistency you like. And, despite the label saying it’s not to eat I totally used the leftover mix in my coffee. =D
Since we were outside for most of the party I didn’t do a lot of decorating. However, I had a really cute and inexpensive idea…DIY TIP: I printed an image I found online and added a quote from the movie. I glued this on top of some wooden pictures I found at Goodwill, and after the party I put it in my daughter’s room! She loved it! You could DIY this with a little Mod Podge, and you wouldn’t even have to add the quotes, just pictures you like!
Being a pool party I was afraid paper decorations would get ruined easily so I used foam sheets to make flowers to float in the pool (very cool to look at but honestly a waste since we took them out as soon as people jumped in!), and a foam “Happy Birthday Banner” which I was able to give to someone else to reuse.
As I mentioned we had just had the pool installed and part of our yard was a mess, with a huge dirt pile. The plan was to have that dirt moved before the party, but we still had quite a bit left…whatever should I do?? Make it a part of the decor, of course!
I stuck a “Island of Teka NO TRESSPASSING” sign in the big mound and called it good! My friend jokingly said, “You are so extra! Of course YOU would have all this dirt hauled in for a party!” Bahaha!!
We were so fortunate, the mother of some of our friends is a FREAKING GLITTER TATTOO ARTIST!! At our last birthday party she quietly came up to me and said, “Um, I don’t know if you’d be interested, but I have my kit in the car if you want me to do glitter tattoos for the kids?” Didn’t have to ask me twice! Heck yes! =D It was so much fun I asked if she would come apply tattoos at our Moana party…even the adults got in on the fun! Not only did she do this at the party, but she gave me a little starter kit to do my own!
DIY TIP: If you have a cutting machine it wouldn’t take much to DIY stencils in any theme imaginable. If you want to make your own glitter tattoos you need your Silhouette, Cricut, or similar cutting machine and vinyl (we used Oracal 631) to make stencils, (alternatively, you can order stencils if you don’t have a cutting machine!) body glue + application sponge, body safe glitter and application brush.
Another fun activity we had for the kids was a simple DIY Candy/Cereal Necklace. The kids enjoyed stringing various pieces of candy and cereal onto their personalized necklaces. Although, again, a pool party means wet kids and things got a little bit sticky!
My daughter asked for a Moana crown to go with her Moana costume she already knew she was getting for her birthday. We watched this video and made a few adjustments to make ours.
And now, I’ve saved the best two things for last….first, let’s talk about the CAKE!!!
I browsed Pinterest night after night pinning so many beautiful creations trying to decide what I would attempt. I really like the cake I made for our Jane Goodall/Jungle party the previous year so I thought I’d sort of follow that design, plus I could reuse the palm trees, too!
DIY TIP: I found a wooden photo frame at Hobby Lobby in the clearance aisle that I just knew would make an awesome cake stand. I glued 3 sturdy cardboard cylinders to the bottom to give it a little height. I was going to try to remove the acrylic frame on top, but decided it was fine as is and I would just cover it.
For the cake I started with an 8″ round base, and offset a 6″ round top layer. After I frosted the layers I added those DELICOUS Pirouette Cookies, cut to size, alternating chocolate and vanilla. I tied some raffia ribbon around the bottom layer to secure the cookies to the cake. I sprinkled brown sugar on the top layer so it looked like sand, and I stuck pink flowers leftover from the Moana Crown project mentioned above.
Now, that was all fine and good, but the plastic figurines I ordered ended up being quite a bit larger than I expected. Or the cake was smaller than I expected. Either way, I couldn’t fit them on the cake like I had originally envisioned. But I didn’t let that bother me…I simply added the little Hei Hei and Pua figures on the top, and put Moana, her boat, and Maui on the sides of the cake.
To be honest, I think the cake actually turned out better than what I originally planned! I seriously could not stop looking at it! My daughter said, “It’s so beautiful I don’t want to eat it!” ♥
And last but not least…the AMAZING MOANA FLOAT!
My idea was to get a pallet and turn it into a makeshift boat to take photos on. I was explaining this idea to my husband who said, “I have a better idea…”
>>NOTE: If you think I’m extra you should meet my over-the-top-husband; We call him Handy Andy. =)
A trip to the hardware store and an afternoon later we had ourselves our very own mini parade float!
I’m not sure who loved this more, the adults watching or the kids riding! ♥
Is this not ADORABLE?! I definitely think it was better than my pallet idea!
I made the flag using maybe a yard of burlap, HTV, and I sewed channel on the side to slip it on a broom stick. I originally bought blue poster board and planned to make “waves” at the bottom, but I didn’t like that. I dug through my fabric stash and found some light blue velour material, which we cut and stapled to the bottom. Not my favorite, but definitely better than the poster board idea. Of course we had to have Pua and a canoe paddle, we were missing Heihei because it was out of stock at the time) =(
Seriously…Best. Party. Ever! Amiright? =D I hope you enjoyed this loooonnnnnggg post (What can I say except you’re welcome?!) We don’t always go all out for parties, but we sure do enjoy it when we do!