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Shark Birthday Party Ideas for Kids

A shark birthday party is actually a really great theme for kids because it’s got sea life fun with a dash of excitement and danger! One caution is that a lot of party goods and ideas are geared towards Shark Week and therefore a bit scary for the younger crowd. This party planning guide is chock full of shark birthday party ideas for kids!

Our oldest son has been choosing his own birthday theme for the past three years. For his fifth birthday, he threw me a curve ball by chosing… SHARKS! I immediately added all the shark birthday party ideas I could find to my Pinterest Birthday Parties board!

Shark Birthday Party Ideas

Review products were sent for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own.

Shark Birthday Party Ideas for kidsShark Birthday Party Ideas

After some searching, I finally found a complete set of shark party decor supplies at Oriental Trading. A smiling and not-too-scary shark on cups, napkins, plates, hanging decorations and a table centerpiece! It’s a huge relief to know that no matter what happens in the party prep, I had all the basics covered and ready to go!

For interactive play, the Shark snapper toy from Safari Ltd. made the rounds of all the kids (and adults!). We hung the cardboard shark photo prop from our Learning Tower for the kids to play with, which made us all laugh! (I made the boys shark tees and pajama pants too!!).

Of course, you know I can’t let a birthday party go by without a little DIY project, so I did have to make a few things!shark birthday party ideas

Easy shark party backdrop with balloons and streamers

Shark Birthday Party IdeasOne of the hardest parts about decorating our dining area is that we have red walls, so most party colors don’t blend in well. However, this year I spread a silver plastic tablecloth against the wall and decorated over it, which improved the look.

I taped twenty-two streamers to the wall and twisted them for an ocean waves effect. We saved money and did without the helium tank this year. I just blew up the balloons and tied them one after the other on a long length of curling ribbon. Suspending them from the wall created an oceany “bubble” effect across the ceiling.

Finally, I strung a shark photo garland across the waves. I love the effect! It’s my favorite party decor to date! I’m definitely leaving it up for awhile. Plus I love looking at the photos of our son!

I had this idea for a birthday photo garland using pictures from each of my little boy’s five years. Be forewarned, the danger of this type of project is you’ll cry a lot! After I was done with the crying, I traced a bunch of sharks onto various shades of blue cardstock and cut them out. I cut the photos into circles and glued them onto the shark. I taped the sharks to the thread, which worked just fine, although maybe next time I would punch a little hole and string them on.

Shark birthday party food & dessert table

Shark Birthday Party Ideas

The food for this party came together easily (very little cooking! Beach-themed, remember!?) and it was delicious. Here’s the shark birthday party menu:

Appetizers: Shrimp (because, yeah), veggies & dip (sea cucumbers and crab legs with an octopus pepper! Loved making that!), fish and chips (blue corn chips make awesome shark fins!).

Dinner: Submarine sandwiches (ordered from the deli!), Macaroni & cheese (coral reef), and salad.

Beverage: Squid Ink Punch (grape juice, lemonade, and Sprite or seltzer) – it was a huge hit! Plus water (fresh, not salt!).

Shark Birthday Party IdeasShark Birthday Party Ideas

Dessert tables have been a huge hit at parties for many years now. However, they can be sugar heavy, so we wanted to keep it simple. Instead of bowls of candy, we opted to tuck a few candies in with some healthier snacks.

I filled mini popcorn boxes with “shark bait” party mix with popcorn (sea foam), pretzels (driftwood), peanut butter crackers (sand dollars), and mini marshmallows (sea sponges). Then on top, some Surf Sweets peach and watermelon gummi rings (life preservers), jelly beans (shark eggs, yes some sharks lay eggs), and gummi worms (eels). These party mix boxes were a huge hit and chomped down quickly!

For the food signs, I just designed my own with picmonkey and printed them out on cardstock. Then I used my Stampin’ Up flower circle punch to make the “bite” in the corner of each sign! Leave a comment below to ask for the printable and I’ll email it to you. One of these days I’ll get around to uploading it here to click and print.

Shark party birthday cake idea

Shark Birthday Party Ideas

Shark Birthday Party Ideas

The shark cake was probably my hardest challenge. I had to make it full of sharks, but not scary! Fortunately, I got to work with Safari Ltd. again this year. Their hand-painted, realistic animal figurines are the perfect shark party accessory for cake toppers, cupcakes, party favors and games!

Using Safari Ltd’s TOOBs of mini shark figurines, our oceanic cake swam with an awesome variety of sharks! I placed a large Great White Shark splashing down into the cake. And the shark snapper toy (pictured above!) made his way around the dessert table chomping on everything. Safari Ltd. large shark figurines were great for decorating dishes and tabletops…unfortunately, the trouble with using cool toys as decorations for a kid party is…. They often get shark-nabbed!Shark Birthday Party Ideas

Surf Sweets candies swam in the shark bait mix and cake decor. Gummi rings and gummi bears became swimmers on inflatable tubes! Gummi worms and jelly beans marked off the “safe waters,” and my son was so taken by the “diver below” buoy made of jelly beans, that he chose that corner as his birthday slice!

What I love about Surf Sweets is they make organic candy using only natural fruit juice as a sweetener. There’s no artificial colors, flavors, or any of the top 10 allergens in their candies! Plus, you get Vitamin C. There’s no food dyes, because Surf Sweets uses plant-based colorings! Surf Sweets gummis have a fresh fruit flavor, and are chewy with soft texture and perfect sweetness. Yum! Their snack packs are perfect for party favors too!

Overall, this has been my favorite birthday party yet! The excitement on my son’s face when he came down in the morning to see all the sharks and ocean decor made my day!

Shark Birthday Party Ideas

Shop these Shark Birthday Party Ideas:

The New W0rld15 latex balloons 12-inch white and blue and light blue 100pcsSafari Ltd Sharks TOOBBundle of 2 Safari Ltd Great White Shark SnappersJawsome Shark Dessert Plates (8 pc)Jawsome Shark PiNata 2 packMini Navy Blue Popcorn Boxes

For more birthday party ideas:

Graphic mockup of an ebook with birthday cupcakes on front

Thanks to Oriental Trading, Safari Ltd., and Surf Sweets for providing samples that helped make our son’s birthday party amazing! All opinions are my own.
Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Purchases made after clicking the links may generate a small commission for me. All opinions are my own.


Thursday 17th of August 2023

very cool! What activities did you do?


Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

Hiii! I loved your ideas and would love your printable. Thank you for sharing!

Serena Sword

Wednesday 3rd of May 2023

Hello. I'd be so grateful if you could email the food labels.


Monday 10th of October 2022

Could you please send me the link for the card so I could print them out? Thanks

Pat Messina

Sunday 25th of September 2022

I would love to use your food printable for my granddaughters shark themed birthday party! Thank you, Pat