Fun Kids' Birthday Parties

Your guide to throw age-appropriate home-made fun kids’ birthday parties​

Under the Sea Party Sand Play Dough

Play dough, what child does not love it? It’s always a winner! And let’s add something different: sand play dough. Would you believe that you can make a play dough that looks and smells like sand? By combining both kinds of play dough, in this activity we create an under the sea environment that will be a big sensation for your child and their little guests. Multiple the fun with tools and sea creatures figurines. This can go well with the other three under the sea party theme: Clean the ocean , Chemical reaction meet Sea Life and Gooey sea animals.

Under the sea sand play dough

I love this activity because it includes sensory play, fine motor skills and a small ocean world to imagine. The blue play dough recreates the ocean waves and deep waters while the sand play dough recreates the sea bottom and the beach.

It is an invitation for children is to use a variety of natural shells, sea creatures figurines, stars and fishes cutters, rolling pins, squeezers, plastic or wooden pretend play knifes, plastic toy scissors, dual ended tool and 2 rotary cutters to mould, flatten, squish, pinch, break and roll play dough. They can create different scenes like the beach, seaside or the sea bottom.

What is play dough?

It is a soft and squishy substance like clay made out primarily of flour, salt, cooking oil, water, and cream of tartar. Children can mould, flatten, squish, pinch, break, and roll play dough. It can be made in different colors. Simply add food coloring or tea bags to the preparation. You can also vary it’s perfume by putting a few drops of essential oils (peppermint, lavender), coffee, rose petals, cloves, spices or even herbs.

What makes play dough so irresistible to children?

Children love touching, seeing and smelling play dough. It can be relaxing and give them a real sense of well-being. Some say it is even therapeutic. It also develop children’s fine motor skills: the squeezing, pinching and pulling movements help strengthen their little hand muscles.

Children gain many benefits from making and playing with play dough. During the play dough making process, multiple learning opportunities arise while mixing and pouring the ingredients.

  1. Numbers and quantities: when we use appropriate vocabulary to describe volumes and quantities, children’s understanding of measurement and number improve.
  2. Develop their senses: by making use of their sense of touch, sight, and smell to guess of what the dough was made of.
  3. Cause and effect: children can experiment with this principle by mixing colors and discovering how new colors emerge.

Why play dough is a perfect activity for birthday party celebrations?

Playing with home made play dough is a calming and relaxing activity for children. The color, texture, and smell of the play dough will make them engage their senses, mind and body.

Because of its relaxing effect, it is a good idea to offer play dough activities after all the dancing, running, and noisy play. Another reason why play dough works so well at birthday parties is because it is quick and easy to make. You can either make it in advance, or why not with the kids directly during the party. You can make a big batch for many children to play with in no time.

You can adapt the color, texture, and smell of play dough to any party theme.

It is also a great toy to offer in a clear jar as a party bag.

Finally, when you can really spark kid’s imagination and creativity when you offer them some tools and toys to add to the play dough activity.

Creating the Under the Sea Party Sand Play Dough activity

Under the sea sand play dough ready

What you will need

  • Home made sand play dough
  • Blue play dough
  • 1 Chips and dip tray
  • Baskets to put your play dough tools
  • Assorted natural shells
  • 2 Rolling pins
  • 2 rotary cutters
  • 1 dual ended tool play dough
  • 4 different squeezers or dough extruders
  • 2 plastic toy scissors (I have them from two play-dough sets)
  • Star and fish cookie cutters
  • Wooden pretend play knifes
  • Ocean creatures figurines
  • 1 Kitchen Scale

How to make it?

  1. Set up your play dough activity on a firm surface or table for all the children to play with enough space (suggested number of children for this activity: 5). You could add to your table a clear Vinyl Tablecloth Protector.
  2. In your chip and dip tray add the sea animal figurines and play dough tools.
    Sea animals and play dough tools
  3. For every child put on the table 250 gram of sand play dough and 250 gram of blue play dough. You could add a little bit more quantity if you like. I doubled the recipe in case more than 5 children wanted to join in and play.
  4. You are ready to go!
Under the sea sand play dough for five
Under the sea sand play dough setup idea

My child’s experience

My son was blown away by the coconut smell of both the sand and the blue play dough. It was the first time he was playing with sand play dough and he loved making imprints with the seashells on the dough. He took the shells from the tray and started to put them on the sand dough. We counted them and then he chose algae, corals, sharks, starfishes, a sea horse, a stingray, an octopus and a lobster to tell a story. We created together different scenes like the beach and the sea bottom.

Make Sand Play Dough

What you will need

  • 1 1/2 Cups of Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Sand
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Cups of Boiling Water


  1. To make sand play dough, simply combine the dry ingredients, including the sand in a mixing bowl. Then add the coconut oil and 1 cup of boiling water.
  2. Give the mixture a good stir. If it feels too dry, add a little more water in small increments until the right consistency is reached.
  3. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, take it out of the bowl and give it a really good kneed on the worktop.
  4. You’re now ready to play!

Make No-cook Play Dough

What you will need

  • 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • Blue Food Colouring


  1. Combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar and coconut oil in a bowl.
  2. Add the food coloring (blue) to the boiling water. Then pour the liquid into the bowl with the other ingredients. If you are making this with children be careful at this point and keep them at a safe distance.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together until is starts to come together as a dough.
  4. When the dough has cooled slightly take it out of the bowl and kneed it really well. This is the most important part!
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