Cool pool party ideas

What better way to celebrate summer than with a party by the pool?

Whether it’s a birthday celebration or just a fun day at home, pool parties are fun for all ages.

It could be a well-planned, sophisticated get-together for adults, a child’s birthday party or just an impromptu gathering. Either way, there’s plenty of options to consider.

Pool parties for kids can include games in and out of the water, especially if you have plenty of grass nearby for relay runs – think small buckets of water instead of batons – or even a slip ‘n slide.

If you want to have a theme, what about pirates, the seaside or your child’s favourite movie or television character? You could send invitations written on a treasure map, deflated beach balls or small pool toys. You can also plan games based on your theme.

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Decorations could be as simple as balloons and streamers or as over-the-top as your budget and back yard layout will allow.

For times when they’re not in the pool, you can supply the kids with water guns or even set up a totem tennis game or volleyball net.

Easy food and drink can include home-made fruit icy poles, cupcakes with beach umbrellas or simple sandwiches or party pies. You could also set up a table for kids to decorate their own ice-cream. If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor pizza oven, they can design their own pizzas.

The birthday cake could even be made to look like a pool. And if you want to send little guests home with a party bag, why not use small plastic buckets filled with treats or even goggles and sunglasses?

If you’re planning a pool party for adults, the sky is the limit.

Paper lanterns are easy to string up around the area, as are fairy lights. Glow sticks, solar lights, floating pool lights or tea lights in hurricane lamps can add to the atmosphere after dark. Music can also create ambiance.

Again, you can choose a colour and theme – Hawaiian, well known movies or a 1960s-era theme are popular examples – and tie in everything you do. If you’re a fan of the movies, your pool party could start with fun in the water and end with everyone watching a movie by the pool with popcorn and cocktails.

Large beach buckets can hold ice and drinks, finger food and cocktails can keep everyone easily entertained.

Or why not an Australia Day theme for the forthcoming public holiday? You could host family and friends for a patriotic pool party with a decidedly Aussie flavour. Australian flags and flag-themed beach towels are easy to find, as are other themed decorations.

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The iconic esky can be front and centre, and most supermarkets will stock Australia Day paper plates, cups and other supplies. Food could include, meat pies or chops and sausages on the barbecue, with lamingtons, trifle and pavlova for dessert.

You can continue the Aussie theme with music or listen to Triple J’s hottest 100 countdown. And, if you plan to kick on into the evening, how about a poolside screening of The Castle?

If you have outdoor space, games could include lawn cricket, flip flop throwing competitions and themed relay races.

Having extra towels on hand is helpful, as is providing shade options such as umbrellas or pergolas.

Whether the party is for children or adults, a few safety tips will ensure everyone stays safe while having fun.

Use plastic cups and plates and make sure poolside furniture is not too close to the edge of the water.

Make sure all swimmers know how deep the water is and where the steps are. Have floating toys or safety devices for younger children, and make sure you have enough adults supervising. Even older children can be injured if they fall while running around a pool.

Ensure you have plenty of sunscreen on hand if it’s a daytime party. And have fun!

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