Great Party Ideas: How To Throw A Pool Party

To throw the perfect pool party, you should make your own invitations, plan games, prepare appropriate foods and beverages, and make beach and pool-inspired decorations.

Pool parties are a blast for kids and adults on a hot day. They are a great way to celebrate summer holidays (or any holidays if you live in a warm climate), birthdays, and graduations"¦ and they are also fun when you just feel like partying. To throw the perfect pool party, you should make your own invitations, plan games, prepare appropriate foods and beverages, and make beach and pool-inspired decorations.

INVITATIONS

To make your pool party invitations, you need un-ruled 5"x7" white index cards, a black marker, translucent plastic paper with a blue tint, four small sea shells, masking tape, and bright blue nail polish. Here are directions for invitations you can make that look like the aerial view of a swimming pool.

1. In the center of your white index cards, use your black marker to write the invitation wording. You should include your name, address, the date and time of the party, what is being celebrated (if something is being celebrated), an RSVP date, and your phone number. Make sure that you also write that it is a pool party - it might seem like that should be obvious when they see the invitation itself, but you just never know, and you don't want people showing up for your pool party without bathing suits. On the opposite side of the index cards, simply write "POOL PARTY" in the center in bubble letters.

2. Cut your translucent blue-tinted plastic into 5"x7" rectangles. You need two 5"7" pieces of plastic per every one invitation.

3. Use your masking tape to mount the plastic pieces onto the front and back sides of your invitations. When you tape them on, make a frame around the wording on both sides of the invitation with the masking tape. Don't worry - you are going to be covering up that ugly tape in just a moment!

4. Use the bright blue nail polish to paint the masking tape frame that is holding your plastic pieces to the index cards. Allow the polish to dry before moving on to the next step.

5. Use glue to mount one tiny sea shell in each corner of the front of your invitation (the side that says "POOL PARTY").

GAMES

There are several incredibly fun games to play in the pool, and water games are probably the number one reason why pool parties are such a total blast. Marco Polo is one of the most popular games to play in a pool - and believe me; adults can have just as much fun playing as the kids will! To play (just in case you are unfamiliar), one person is chosen to be "it" (like in a game of tag). That person goes underwater, eyes closed (no peeking), and counts to ten. While counting, the other players should be positioning themselves in the pool because when the person who is "it" is done counting, he or she is going to try to tag one of the other players. The "it" person has to keep his or her eyes closed until they tag one of the other players. In order to chase them down without being able to see, the "it" person calls out, "Marco" to the other players, to which they must immediately respond "Polo." To avoid getting caught, players (other than the "it" player) can get out of the water, but they should be quiet because if the "it" person suspects, he or she can yell "fish out of water" and if someone is out, then they are "it." You can also play pool volleyball by setting up a net in the middle of the pool and dividing the guests into teams. If you have a very large number of guests playing, you might make more than two teams, and have teams rotate in the pool so that it isn't too crowded to move around in the water. Another fun activity that kids especially like is a canon ball contest - biggest splash wins. You can also play for smallest splash.

FOOD AND DRINK

Pool parties are great opportunities to barbecue. If the weather is nice enough for swimming, then it is nice enough for a cook-out. Before dinner, have fresh watermelon wedges available, fruit salads, macaroni salad, potato chips, and some dips, such as ranch dip. As far as the main course, grill some hotdogs and hamburgers, some chicken breasts smothered in barbecue sauce, and some corn on the cob. For dessert, toast marshmallows and provide your guests with the graham crackers and squares of chocolate to make some s'mores with. For beverages, have fresh squeezed lemonade on hand and plenty of ice. You don't need to play bartender all night - just get a keg of beer and let your guests serve themselves.

DECORATIONS

The focus of attention at the party is the swimming pool, so do the bulk of your decorating in the pool patio area. Tiki torches are great décor around the pool, especially if the party is going to be extending into the evening and night hours. Decorate your tables with grass skirts, and garnish glasses with miniature umbrellas. You can also scatter seashells around for a beach look.

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