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Dazzle your young guests with an aquarium party

There's something about the underwater world that kids find endlessly fascinating - it's an ecosystem completely unlike our own. If you have a son or daughter who can't get enough fishes, whales and octopuses, why not give him or her a wonderful underwater-themed party? If you've got an aquarium nearby, all the better, but even if you need to keep things in the house, there's a lot you can do to make it a memorable occasion.

Start by outfitting your home in underwater garb. Grab a few bags of shells and scatter them throughout the space. Kissing fish candle favors are a cute little touch that you can throw on top of the dining table. Make sure you have the right music lined up! You can't go wrong with steel drum tunes.

As far as food goes, get creative! Try slicing small "legs" into the ends of hot dogs and boiling them. They'll curl up as you do so and resemble octopus legs. Of course, shell pasta is an obvious choice, and quite easy to make. Chances are, you can find cookie cutters in fish shapes, so make a stack of sugar cookies while you're at it.

AWhen your guests leave, make sure they walk away with awesome party favors. Give them some "hidden treasure" in the form of chocolate half-dollar coins, and throw in a personalized notebook so that the kids have somewhere to write about their future excursions. Children love the underwater world, so you should have no problem coming up with wonderful ideas that they'll adore. Who knows? You may be hosting the world's next great marine biologist!