Tuesday, August 05, 2014

How To Throw A Backyard Pool Party For Kids {Guest Post}

Today I am delighted to bring you this guest post from my new friend Kaitlin Gardner. Kaitlin blogs at AnApplePerDay.com about eco-friendly family living. Read on for her advice on hosting a pool party for your kids and their buddies. And be sure to visit her over at her little corner of the web too.

Let's soak up this last month of summer vacation!

image from Kozzi.com
One of my boys walked in to the kitchen a while back and said, “Mom, we haven’t had a pool party this summer.” I guess I had gotten busy, and forgotten this fun event we usually throw when the weather warms up. The kids love to have their buddies over to swim and play. The best part – planning is pretty simple. Here’s how I do it:

Get everyone invited. If I were setting up a party for adults, I might use Evite. But for the kids, I think they get a kick out of receiving a printed invitation. My son and I go to the party store and find some pool themed invitations he likes. I have him make up a list of friends, and I call the parents of any kids I don’t know, to get their address and confirm that their child can swim. I have my son address the envelopes, and we send out our invitations.

Think about safety. Have you ever seen a group of kids at the pool, and watched how rambunctious they can get? They can be a handful, and I’m not fond of the idea of being the one who tries to herd them into good behaviour. So I just hire the teenager down the block who works as a lifeguard during the summers. The kids all know him, and they’re used to obeying him. It’s amazing to see how subdued they are when he’s standing there with his whistle around his neck. I’m thinking of hiring him when it comes time for my boys to clean their rooms.

What about entertainment? My sons know how I am, and they usually have to tell me, “Mom, we just want to play.” I have a tendency to set up elaborate pool games, and I had to realize that for them, it is an exercise in creativity to make up their own games. It’s funny to watch how the kids will find gaps in the rules. “You didn't say I had to stay in the water.” I have a few standbys like “Marco Polo” and “Shark in the Water” that I can mention if they get stuck, but mostly I just sit back and relax.

Take care of the food. Ask the kids what they want for food, and I’ll be surprised if they ever say anything besides pizza or burgers. I’m covered either way – if they want burgers, my husband just fires up the back yard grill. If they want pizza, I have the number of a great place that delivers. The pool empties when the guy comes into the back yard with a big stack of pizza boxes. The kids will have to stay out of the water for a while after the meal, so I have a bunch of Frisbees and a croquet set out in the yard so they can have some fun.

Play hostess to the parents. When we have a pool party, a lot of parents will stay. I know where they’re coming from, because I do the same if my son is invited to a party at someone else’s pool. It’s great to see the parents sit back and relax when they see the lifeguard on duty. So my job will be to make sure everyone is introduced, and play hostess to the adults. I have a couple of tables set up in the shade, and parents have a pleasant visit.

By the end of the day, I’m tired, but smile at the good feeling I got from watching how much fun my kids had at the pool, splashing and playing with their friends. 

For more ideas on throwing a kids’ pool party, try these sites:
Pool Party Games
Pool Party Planning; Pool Party Ideas

Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.

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