Kiddie pool party birthday ideas

Fun wading pool activities for toddler birthday parties.

Toddlers love water play. So when you are looking for a theme for your next warm weather toddler birthday, consider a pool party. The pool provides plenty of free-form play for everyone, but it also lends itself to some great games. The following activities are sure to keep everyone happy and cool for a fun afternoon.

Basic gear

Make sure that you have either a big wading pool or multiple pools for the kids. A good rule of thumb is an average size wading pool per four children; if it is too crowded for the kids to play, it can be frustrating. In addition to the pool or pools, make sure you have plenty of water toys. They do not have to be complex. Kids love buckets and plastic cups for scooping and pouring, watering cans, boats, squirters and wind-up water toys. All of these can be purchased inexpensively at local discount stores and you can either keep them for future backyard bashes, or send them home as party favors.

While you may ask parents to bring towels for their toddlers, it is a good idea to have spare beach towels for anyone who may have forgotten.

Fun water activities

While the kids will probably be perfectly content to splash and play with the toys, it is good to plan a couple of games or activities in case you need something to get them rolling.

Water slide: If you have a portable, plastic back yard slide, position it so the base is in the pool. Let the kids slide down and splash into the pool! For extra fun, place a hose at the top with water running down the slide.

Wind-up races: Purchase enough small wind-up water toys (boats, frogs, turtles or fish all work well) for each guest to have one; make sure to get different colors or use permanent markers to label one with each child's name. Set up one of the pools to hold races. If you have a round pool, have everyone start at the outer edge and see which toy gets to the center of the pool first.

Bobbing for prizes: Purchase inexpensive plastic toys that will float in the pool. Let each child try to grab a prize out of the pool, using only his mouth. He should kneel by the side of the pool, with his hands behind his back.

Sand play: Don't have a sandbox in your back yard? Fill another wading pool with sandbox grade sand and let the kids have a virtual beach to build sand castles.

Ping pong ball toss: Float a couple aluminum pie pans in one of the kiddie pools. Let the kids try to toss ping pong balls into the pie pans.


- Since kids will inevitably need to go inside, place a washtub of clean water next to the back door. Have the kids step in it to wash mud and grass off their feet before drying off and going inside

- Always supervise water play very carefully. This is a great party to invite parents to stay for to ensure there is plenty of adult supervision!

- Make sure to have extra sunscreen on hand!

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