arlos 6th jaws themed birthday party

another arlo birthday party on the books! this year i decided to not host the party at our house, and to not go overboard on the planning. and at least i did one of those things!

i tried to have his party this year at an art studio but arlo was adamant about wanting a pool party, so we decided to do it at the grandparents house. it was really nice not having to worry about cleaning up our house the whole week while planning a party.

i really planned to go more low-key this year with the decorations, but i just can’t help myself. once i’m into the theme there’s no stopping me!

arlo has been really passionate about sharks for a while, but our trip to martha’s vineyard really ignited that passion even more (they shot jaws on the island and you can’t really go anywhere without seeing something jaws related). so the original party theme was “a scary shark eating a guy” themed, but naturally evolved into more of a straight jaws theme.

and no, he hasn’t actually seen the movie. but he has read this cover to cover and he’s watched the trailer haha. my brother actually edited a more kid-friendly version of the movie for him without the violence, but i’m still a little nervous about showing it to him!

only people that know me well know that i actually have had a lifelong fear of sharks, so this obsession of arlos has been a good challenge for me. honestly i feel almost cured because i’ve had to face my fear so much! when i was a little kid, maybe arlos age, my grandma had the paperback novel of jaws on her shelf. the art traumatized me.

so much so that i couldn’t see the poster at the video store (i would run by the section where i knew it was), i had to avoid this one wall of the candy store in my town because i knew it was hanging there, and it evolved into just a straight fear of all sharks. i have seen many shark movies, but i find them to be the scariest genre of horror movies by far, and i have always had a thing about even looking at pictures of great white sharks. i’ve never been ok with it! but now i have no choice. so i guess in a way arlo cured me 🙂 so that’s pretty cool!

ok enough about me and my weird fear, let’s move onto the party!

as decorated as the party may seem, i actually only made/purchased everything hanging the week of (that’s the way i work best!). so at the beginning of the week, we started making lots of things out of cardboard and i purchased a 5 pack of the fishing net which really helped sell the vibe.

we’ve used cardboard to make party decorations in the past, but making them almost all exclusively from cardboard was pretty chill and SO FREE!

my in-laws have this nice covered patio so i put all the food here and we hung arlo’s giant shark stuffy from his tail (this probably would have been simpler with a shark balloon lol)

i used tablecloths i already had and then covered them with fishing net, and we hung more on the walls.

i got a cotton candy cart and it was kind of epic. i’m not into cotton candy but all the kids loved it so much. he chose the flavors and toppings and it felt like such a fun special touch. a pool AND cotton candy?! how could i top this?

the night before the party i realized we didn’t have the amity billboard like when you first enter on the ride at universal studios so i frantically asked my stepdad who has a giant printer to print one for us and he came through!! we changed “help! shark!!” to “help! arlo!!” lol

the dessert table — in an effort to remain chill, i made ZERO food. i’ve realized over the years it’s completely unnecessary to bother with any of that, so i bought the cake, the cupcakes and the cookies.

i almost decorated powdered donuts to look like life savers (it’s all over pinterest) but when they looked dumb and nothing like they do on pinterest, i gave up and realized it wasn’t worth my energy.

the cake and cupcakes were both from the grocery store, i stuck the shark fins on the cupcakes and that was it!

and for the cake– it’s just a store bought cake with a shark hand puppet on top. i did a separate post with the how-to instructions!

for the goodie bags, honestly i spent too much money lol. arlo loves these shark bite lollipops so much so i thought they would be a hit for all the kids, and they were, but there are much cheaper options like this one i almost ordered! i did the lollipop plus a shark finger puppet and a little bag of swedish fish.

i loved the idea of the pool feeling like shark infested waters, so we filled it with shark floats.

no one is surprised that poppy wore a shark costume. the mascot of every party! after everyone got out of the pool, we played a few games with him in his shark suit.

we did a game i’m calling catch the shark, where all the kids had to throw hula hoops on poppy and they had a blast. then we played a little freeze dance to the jaws theme music.

i had the cake made with strawberry filling so it seemed like bloody inside too haha– no kids explicitly told me they were afraid of the cake, but while i was cutting it almost no one wanted a “bloody” piece besides arlo hahah.

i was SO excited when i found the tableware. target has a lot of very cute shark party goods, but arlo was insistent on the sharks being scary, which i thought would not exist. somehow not only are the sharks on the napkins and cups scary, but it’s also even kind of aesthetic!!

i setup a table for the kids and covered it with some of the cookies, shark gummies (having these on the table was thrilling for every kid and annoying for every parent). i also last minute found these buoys and then last minute painted all of them different colors, so i used them as the centerpiece on the table.

shop the party

striped blue tablecloth / fishing net / paper plates

shark napkins / water napkins / cups / hanging shark

shark costume / shark t-shirt / fin cupcake toppers

goody bags / shark bite lollipops / finger puppets

shark gummies / blue pool floats / silver pool floats

cake stand (similar)

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  1. You always throw the most creative birthday parties!

  2. cute party!! could i have the link to the alternative shark lollipops? i think you forgot to add it!! I’m going to try to recreate a similar party for my son 🙂