Pool Party Ideas

Pool Party Ideas

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Make a big splash by hosting a pool party the kids will remember! Whether you're throwing a birthday pool party or are just celebrating the summer, we have tons of great ideas for games, favors, invitations, food, and more.

Shop our Pool Party Supplies

Browse this guide:
Pool Party Invitations
Pool Party Decorations
Pool Party Food
Pool Party Favors
Pool Games & Activities

Planning & Invitations

What Do I Need For the Party?

In addition to basic Pool party supplies, like plates, cups, napkins and decorations, you may want to consider purchasing, borrowing or renting the following items for your Pool party:
  • Extra lawn chairs
  • Beach umbrellas
  • Pop-up tent
  • Kiddie pool (for the younger children)
  • Beach balls
  • Pool volleyball net
  • Sand pails and shovels
  • Hula hoops
  • Sunscreen
  • Disposable cameras
  • Beach/pool party music-anything by the Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffett will set the mood.

Special Considerations

Before anyone gets in the pool, make your pool rules clear (e.g., no diving in the shallow end) and post them on a poster board in a prominent place near your pool. You also may want to consider inviting the parents to your party. If you have a few adults to help supervise, it will be easier to make sure everyone sticks to the rules and stays safe.
Don't send your guests home with a sunburn! Provide sunscreen for the kids who didn't bring any and make sure everyone gets out of the pool when it's time to reapply. Have plenty of shaded areas available-umbrellas, tents, trees, etc., and consider planning some other activities under a tent or inside to give kids relief from the sun.

Pool Party Invitations
  • Cut flip-flops, board shorts, tropical flowers, or fish out of cardstock. Write the party details on the back.
  • Invitations in a bottle are a super cute way to invite guests to your birthday pool party.
  • Write the party invitation on an inflated beach ball. Deflate the beach ball and stuff it in an envelope. Your guests will enjoy blowing up the beach ball to read the invitation.
  • Punch a hole in a card-style invitation, and use ribbon to tie it to the stem of an artificial flower, sunglasses, a squirt gun, etc. Hand-deliver these invitations, or mail them in a padded envelope.
  • Add some tropical confetti to your envelope for an extra special touch.

Have fun when you're writing the party details and use wording like:

Splish, splash, come to Tom's Birthday Bash
From 2 through 6 on Saturday night!

If you'd rather purchase invitations instead of making them, you can still have a personalized touch with our personalized pool party invitations, which will include your child's name and all of the party details.

Remember to tell guests to bring a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, and a mask or goggles.
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Decorating & Food Ideas

Pool Party Decorations
  • Decorate in lots of bright, fun colors. If you'd rather stick with a theme instead of solids, check out our pool party supplies.
  • Sand pails, beach umbrellas, swimming tubes, straw hats, flower leis, tiki torches, and beach balls will help set the mood.
  • Decorate your table with seashells, starfish, snorkels, masks, and sunglasses.
  • If your party runs into the evening, light the pool area with lanterns, tiki torches or Christmas lights strung from tree limbs.
  • Make sure to have umbrellas or a pop-up tent available to provide relief from the sun. A pop-up tent makes a great shaded play area for other activities you might want to plan.
  • Hang a colorful pinata on a tree as decoration. It also doubles as an activity later in the party. If you would rather not have small children swinging a bat, consider a pull-string pinata. Any traditional pinata can be converted to a pull-string using our easy instructions.

Pool Party Food

Consider having a barbecue at your pool party and serving hotdogs, hamburgers, etc. This food is always popular with kids, and it will make it easy to keep everyone outside. But here are some other food ideas to consider:
  • Set up a taco bar table outside and allow guests (with the assistance from adults if they're young) to create their own tacos. Items you may want to include are chips, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, hard and soft tortillas, shredded Mexican cheese, chicken, beef, beans, and shredded lettuce.
  • Serve a vegetable platter that looks like a beach ball. To do this, place a bowl of dip at the top of a circular platter to create the top circle shape on a beach ball. Next, use carrots or slices of red pepper to create the dividing lines between each section of the ball. Fill in each section of the ball with a different colored vegetable, such as slices of cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and celery. You can also do this with fruit.
  • Make Mini Beach Cups with pudding and crushed cookies. First, spoon vanilla pudding into a clear plastic cup and sprinkle crushed vanilla wafers on top as "sand." Place a gumball on the sand as your beach ball, and place a teddy bear cookie under a small drink umbrella.
  • Virgin pina coladas, daiquiris, or margaritas, will keep your guests cool. Serve with an umbrella in the drink.
  • Virgin pina-colada ice pops
  • Fruit kabobs or a tropical fruit salad
  • Watermelon slices
  • Ice cream sundaes or an ice cream cake for dessert
  • Serve food in clean, new sand pails.
  • If you don't have enough chairs for everyone, lay picnic blankets in the yard so guests can sit and eat.
  • Pool Party Cake: If you're feeling creative, try making a fun pool party cake. To do this, bake two round cakes and cut a circle out of the top. Fill the circle with blue Jell-O to create the pool and frost the rest of the cake with white icing. Add Lifesavers and other candies to the pool to create floats and other objects. For an extra-special touch, add a few teddy bear cookies and paint bathing suits on them with icing. Top with drink umbrellas around the pool.

Party Favor Ideas

Pool Party Favor Ideas

Thank your guests for swimming by with awesome party favors! To find a large variety of pool party favors, visit our Fun in the Sun party page and click the "Party Favors" tab or the "More Fun Stuff" tab. Some of the favors we have include:
  • Bubble necklaces
  • Buckets and shovel sets
  • Lei bracelets and necklaces
  • Water guns
  • Pineapple shaped sipper cups
  • Water balloons
  • Fun-shaped candy and lollipops

Also check out our complete favor sets and personalized products such as zipper pulls, placemats, and stickers.

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Party Planning Toolbox

Use the links below to quickly find related theme party supplies, planning tips, printable checklists, and advice from our party planning experts.
  • Pool Party Supplies: Includes paperware, invitations, personalized items, favors, and decorations for your party theme.
  • Pool Party Personalized Items: Check out our exclusive personalized items including invitations, bookmarks, stickers, and more!
  • Party Planning 101: Our useful party planning guide includes cake ideas, party etiquette tips, a printable guest list, and much more.
  • Birthday Party Decorating Ideas: This guide will tell you how to decorate for your party theme, what to do with balloons and streamers, how to decorate with food, how to set the table, and how to make your own party decorations.
  • Parties Under $100: Use this guide to celebrate in style without breaking the bank!
  • Party Budget Estimator: Download this guide to help budget your expenses.
  • More Birthday Theme Ideas: Browse our list of over 130 themed party guides to find tips for your child's next birthday! Each guide includes ideas for invitations, decorations, food, favors, games and more.

Games and Activities

Marco Polo

Close your eyes and listen to find tag victims in this traditional pool game for children.

Sharks and Minnows

Guests will love the classic game of sharks and minnows.

Floating Treasure Hunt

Race around the pool and collect the most treasure to win.

Beach Ball Pass

Teammates take turns running to the finish line and back while batting a beach ball in the air.

Water Balloon Toss

Players will team up to see who can "go the distance" in this fun water balloon game.

Ball, Squirt, Score!

Two players use water guns or hoses to spray their beach balls toward each other's goal lines.

Water Bracelets

Girls will love making their own bracelets filled with floating glitter and beads.

Flip Flop Fun

Your partygoers will love decorating a pair of flip flops to fit their unique styles.

Edible "Sand" Art

Fill a bottle with colorful layers of candy "sand" then eat it!


Just how low can you go? Find out with a game of Limbo!

Summer Coloring Page

Your guests will love coloring our printable Summer coloring page.