July 16, 2009

A Summer Pool Party

It’s summer! Given the rising temperatures, an outdoor water party for your child and his friends would be a perfect way to keep everyone cool.

On your invitation, ask your party guests to bring their swimsuits, a change of clothes, flip flops, and a towel.

The entire party time will be taken with the kids swimming and playing together in the pool. Jump right in and lead some of the following games, or ask a few parents who don’t mind getting wet to volunteer.


  • Play Marco Polo.
  • Hold a rubber duck race. Give each child a rubber duck and have them use their noses to move it to the other side of the pool. First one there wins!
  • Play Shark! Have the birthday kid start off as the shark and tag the fish (the rest of the kids in the pool). As the fish are tagged, they also become sharks. The game is over when the pool is full of sharks!
  • Have a splash contest to see who can make the biggest splash! Make sure to follow pool rules, however!
  • Place floating toys throughout the pool and divide the kids into two teams. Blow a whistle and see which team can gather the most floats in two minutes.
  • Have the kids swim through rings (i.e., hula hoops).


  • Play Water Balloon Volleyball: You'll need a net, lots of water balloons stored in a bucket full of water,and towels for each pair of children. Divide children into two groups, pair them off, and give each pair a beach towel. One side begins by placing a water balloon in the center of their towel. Each child holds onto two corners of their towel. The object is to toss the water balloon over the net with the opposing side catching the balloon in their towel. The volley continues until one side misses and the balloon breaks, giving the other team a point. First team to 15 wins.
  • Variation: If you don’t own a volleyball net, put two pairs of kids a distance apart and have them volley back and forth.
  • Variation for young children: Instead of beach towels, use two large blankets. Divide the kids into two teams with each team member holding a part of the blanket. Toss the balloon back and forth between teams—not too tough with a bit of teamwork.
  • Game tips: Make sure to carefully clean up the balloon remains, as they are a choking hazard for young children. Also, make sure to have an adult supervise the pool!
  • If you don't have a pool, fill a small plastic pool with bubble solution and water so that small children can wade in the bubbly water and blow massive bubbles!
  • Give out plastic squirt toys and fill them up so the kids can run around squirting water at one another. They can also keep the toy as a party favor.
  • Set up a sprinkler or Slip 'n Slide.

Food and Beverages

Make sure to have fun pool party food and drinks on hand:

  • Juice boxes and small water bottles
  • Fish chow: popcorn, raisins, gummy fish, Goldfish crackers, and chocolate chips—what a yummy snack!
  • A variety of small sandwiches cut into fish shapes with a cookie cutter
  • Skewered fruit served with yogurt for dipping
  • Pizza

Party Favors

Send the kids home with a taste of summer:

  • Small glass fish bowls filled with blue gelatin and gummy fish
  • Bubbles and Lifesaver candies
  • Pool floatables, such as rubber duckies and noodles
  • Sun glasses, sun visors, and whistles

Enjoy this fun-in-the-sun party this summer!

More Great Summer Parties and Activities

Banana Split Fun
Plan a Summer Ice Cream Social
A Family Luau Party
Tips for Great Summer Parties

Peppers logo Lisa Kothari has based her ambition on helping parents throw the best children's parties without the added stress that planning often creates. She is the founder of Peppers and Pollywogs, a kids' party planning company providing families with party ideas and inspiration.


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