Tips for Planning a Pool Party for Kids

School’s out for the summer, and the kids are loving it. If there’s one thing that kids enjoy, it’s hitting the pool on a hot, sunny day. Spending time splashing around with friends is one of the most fun things a kid can think of doing. Throwing a pool party for your kids and their friends can definitely make you the coolest mom around. To ensure the party’s success, here are some things to keep in mind:

1.   Decide on a theme. Choosing a theme not only makes the party more fun, it makes the planning easier. When you’re working around a central idea, it’s easier to choose coordinating decorations, foods, and games.

2.   Make fun invitations. Keep your invitations in line with your theme, and make them fun. Invitations don’t just tell people there where and when of the party; they’re a tool to get them excited about it.

3.   Plan food and drinks. Kids don’t care about fancy food, just that it’s fun and tastes good. Feel free to throw juice boxes and water bottles into a bucket or kiddie pool, filled with ice. Think about renting a snow cone or cotton candy machine. Remember, you’re outside; it’s okay for things to get messy. Just be sure to keep glass containers out of the area. You don’t want one to break and have a bare-footed child end up with shards of glass in her foot.

4.   Set up other water-related activities. Think water balloons, sprinklers, squirt guns, and hose fights. Set out buckets for kids to fill and dump on each other. It’s a pool party; you can never have too much water.

5.   Keep extra towels on hand. Inevitably, someone will forget or lose their towel. They may even drop it in the pool. Regardless, you’ll want to have a few extra pool-size towels ready.

6.   Plan water-related games. Be prepared to have the kids play Marco Polo, dive for rings or a special prize, or have a rubber ducky derby. The kids may have so much fun splashing around that you won’t need to lead them in any games, but if you need an activity for an icebreaker or to fill in a lull, it’s good to have something up your sleeve.

7.   Don’t forget the sunscreen. Chances are, the kids will be so excited to jump in the water that they won’t think of sunscreen. Remember, most sunscreens need to be reapplied after towel drying. You don’t want parents to drop off kids and come back to pick up lobsters!

8.   Have a couple of child-size life jackets. Everyone has their own level of skill and comfort in and around the water. If you are hosting a party for young children, offering life jackets for the kids who aren’t as skilled or confident in the water will allow them to have fun while remaining safe.

9.   Put safety first. Set clear pool rules and enforce them. Have multiple adults around who are actively acting as lifeguards. Have a first aid kit. Make sure there is someone on site who can perform CPR. Keep a phone nearby. Keep the party alcohol free.

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