For a really cool pool party, you need some hot decorating ideas. If you feel you are in over your head, relax. We will keep you afloat.

Welcome your guests with a party yard sign. You can even get a personalized yard sign. If you would like for your guests to come around to the back rather than through the house, consider posting a party banner on the fence.

Fill the backyard with balloons. Beach ball baloons go great with a pool theme.

Tie them in trees, on chairs, and on the fence. Tie coordinating curly ribbon onto the ends. Arrange them in bunches with something to weight them down such as sand pails filled with sand.

Set them on tables and around the pool. Bright colored ones are great and can be mixed in with fun and festive Pool Party theme balloons. Tables are practical and fun to decorate so you will want to have several.

No matter what size or type your pool is, it will no doubt be the center of the pool party so make it your focal point. Place some beach balls and fun floats in the water and maybe some colorful floating noodles. Add a splash of color with fun light up floating rubber duckies.

Deck out the deck. String lights like flip flop lights. Lanterns are festive as well. Even if your pool party is during the day, lights are always awesome.

Bring your pool party to life with a standee such as palm tree Set one, or even two, on the deck or in the yard for a real feel of the beach.

Don’t forget to decorate the trees and fence. Summer Fun Pool Party crate paper is great as well as banners. String lights on the fence and in the trees too. Add music to the mix. Play a summer CD like Beach Boys or Surf’s Up. A beach ball pinata is a must. They double as a decoration and a game as well.


If you are short of time or prefer the quick route, cake toppers are a great option. Simply bake a cake using our basic cake recipe and frost with our basic cake frosting. Add some beach figurines such as a cute lifeguard rubber ducks or miniature beach balls.

You can even color the frosting blue to look like water.

We prefer using Wilton cake coloring. You can also use a tropical fish cake pan or rubber ducky cake pan.


Mix up our basic yellow cake or your favorite yellow cake recipe or box cake according to directions. Bake in a bundt cake pan (or an angel food pan) until done. Invert onto a large cutting board covered with waxed paper.

Next, make our basic frosting recipe or your own favorite. Divide the frosting into six small bowls and color with Wilton cake coloring. You can use andy colors but my favorite is red, blue, green, yellow, orange and purple. Like the colors in the Pool Party cake plates. Section the cake into six parts and frost with the six different colors.

Carefully move the cake onto a serving area. I covered a piece of sturdy cardboard with a piece of solid blue wrapping paper and tape the edges. You can use a cookie sheet too. You can also tint coconut blue and sprinkle in the middle of the cake and all around the outside.

You can also make mini swim rings by using doughnuts or mini angel food cakes.

Make cupcakes using our basic yellow cake recipe or one of your own. Bake according to directions and frost with our basic cake frosting or your own. Color with cake coloring in the color or colors of your choice. Simply “top” each cupcake with one of sugar shape cupcake toppers, umbrellas or beach ball toppers and enjoy!


Use pool party serving dishes to serve up snacks such as assorted cheeses, sliced deli meats, crackers, pickles and green olives. Have colored toothpicks available on the side.

We have some really great main dish ideas for hungry swimmers like tuna boats, sunmarine sandwiches and beach ball cheese ball. Don’t forget the hot diggity dogs! Life preserver sugar cookies will certainly be a splash. Or, bake up some sugar cookies and top edible blue glitter then summer fun in the sun sugar shapes.

A favorite of ours is our candy melt dipped peanut butter Ritz cracker recipe. Use red, blue, green and yellow colored candies or wilton paste food coloring, fun and festive for summer fun at the pool.

Set a bowl of our sunshine Jell-O salad in the hole of an inflated swim ring.

Swimming pool dip is one of my favorite Pool Party snacks. It is always a splash! Make ranch dip and add blue food coloring to make it look like the color of water. multi-colored swim ring jigglers or use a fish shaped cookie cutter for fun fish jigglers.

Gold fish crackers and, fish aquarium candies (available in bulk) and fish or shark shaped gummies make good Pool Party snacks.

I like to use a square or rectangle clear plastic bowl, but you can use whatever you have that best resembles a swimming pool. Make a diving board out of a graham cracker and glue it to the (just make sure no one eats it).

For the diving board handles, use two red string licorice pieces.Another cute idea is to make a bowl of blue Jell-O and put life saver gummies on top like swim rings.

For a really quick and easy but adorable candy idea, take white life saver candies and paint on red stripes with a tube of red cake icing gel.

Jell-O jigglers are great and don’t melt even in the hot summer sun. Make our


Use a brightly colored table cover or solid sheet. You can even use a beach towel if you would like. If your pool party is outdoors, you may want to tack the table cover down with double sided tape in case the wind kicks up.

A pool party centerpiece on the table is like icing on the cake. You can create your own by setting a sand pail and shovel on the table and tying balloons to it. Or, tape a beach ball to the center of the table with double sided tape.

Floating candles in a fish bowl filled with water is a fun idea. You can even get fish shaped ones. You can put pots of brightly colored flowers on the tables too.

Another great idea is to spread a layer of sand onto a tablecloth and sprinkle on some sea shells and starfish. You can purchase spray sand in a can which is wonderful because it wont blow off.


You will want to make sure everything on this table (or section of the table) is waterproof.

This is one of my very favorite Pool Party item, an Palm Tree Cooler Each. How cool! Just fill with ice and canned or boxed drinks.

Toss a beach ball in the middle if you want. A table isn’t really necessary for the cooler, but you may want to sit some cups on a table next to it.

We have some great summer punch recipes. Make a fun punch bowl for it by using an empty medium sized or large fish bowl. Float some light cubes in the punch and amaze your guests.

Blue Kool-aide, Hawaiian Punch and fruit juices are refreshing drinks. They are especially good frozen a little so they are slushy. You may even want to rent or purchase a snow cone machine. Amazon has some inexpensive ones and no doubt you will use for many occasions in the future.

Arrange Pool Party paper cups on the table and some extra ice. A sand pail makes a fun ice bucket.


It is always nice to display gifts on a table. It shows your guests you appreciate their presents and presence. No need to decorate it much as the gifts will be the center attraction. You can cover it with a table cover however.


Ahhh, the big splash. The cake. This will no doubt be the favorite table, at least for the kids so, make it fun. This table is a nice place for extra balloons.

Place a beach ball or life preserver on the table too and of course, the cake. You will want to set out Pool Party plates, napkins and some colorful plastic forks.


Summer is hot!

It’s a time for fun and games so it was easy for us to come up with tons of games especially since Kim grew up having a pool and coached many summer camp sessions. The hard part was narrowing it down to our favorites.

I like to do games that use things I have around the house or can make for little or nothing and also I like to purchase a few new ones. I usually wrap the new game and let my birthday child open the present just before or even at the pool party during game time. We have included our picks of games to purchase in each section.

Just having a pool at your party is great entertainment but wait til you see the fun games we have picked for you to choose from.

Please be sure to supervise all water activities at the pool party and make sure you or someone in close distance knows water safety and first aid. Also make sure there are plenty of adults to help supervise.


This game is an all-time favorite so it’s a must for any pool party.

Choose someone to be "it". The person who is chosen closes their eyes and calls out "Marco", the players must answer "Polo". “It” then tries to tag the others by following their voices.

If "it" tags a player then that player becomes "it". If a player gets out of the pool and “it” calls out "Fish out of water!" then the person outside the water becomes "it". If there is more than one person outside of the water then "it" gets to choose who takes their place.

The game is just for fun and is played however long you and the children want to play. You can also play a summer music CD, like the “The Beachboys, Sounds of Summer”, and specify how many songs the game will be played through.


This is a pool party favorite. Give each of the guests a swimming noodle. Divide the group into two teams and let them pick a noodle name for their team like, “the chicken noodle team” or “the ramen noodles”. Have each team stay on opposite sides of the pool. You can use a rope or string to distinguish each side if you wish. It works best to have all players in water where they can touch the bottom. If your guests are really young, consider having them play this in the yard with the sprinkler on.

Toss a balloon into the air. Each person will then try to keep the balloon in the air using their noodle. If it touches the water, the team who’s side it was on gets a point. The balloon can only be touched by the noodles. If a person touches the balloon with their body, they loose a point. The first team to get ten points looses!


Have someone (like yourself or another adult) designated to read questions that have been prepared before the party. Line the children up alongside the pool and ask the first question such as: “Have you ever been to a pool party?”

If the answer is, “Yes”, the child must jump (or dive) in. Give the guests time to get back in place and ask the next question.

Questions we have used are: Have you ever taken swimming lessons? Have you ever swam in the ocean? Have you ever pee-ed in the pool while swimming? (that one was meant more for a joke!). You can make more of your own questions up.


Let each child take a turn trying to hoop the ring onto the starfish posts. Each player gets 5 tries. You can also have a standoff if any of the children tie.


Designate a “lagoon” area and divide the group into two teams. Let each group choose a team name like “The Lagoon Baboons” or “Water Swatters”.

Fill a balloon with water, actual water balloons work best because they don’t burst as easily. The two teams will toss the water balloon back and forth until it bursts. The last one to touch it chalks up a opint…for the other team. For even more fun, throw in several balloons. The first team to ten wins.


This game will leave your guests breathless, literally. Have the children get into the pool right behind the starting line. They will be racing their boats to the finish line. The tricky part is, they have to blow it there. No touching the boat.


This is a really cool game! Chunk a large tub of ice cubes into the pool. Give each child a sand pail and see who can collect the most before they melt.

You can freeze small floating toys (like bouncy balls) in some of the ice cubes for even more fun. The children who find those get to keep the favors inside.

Duck or fish shaped ice cubes add a fun twist.

Pool Party Bean Bag Toss Each



Give each player a swimming noodle and have everyone line up against the side of the pool. On the count of three, the race is on to see which player can ride his or her noodle to the other side of the pool first.


Divide the group into two teams the goal of the goal is to defeat the opposing team by being the first to reach a predetermined score. You can set a time limit instead if you prefer. The game can be played with or without a net. Game rules are the same general rules of traditional volleyball but is played in the water using a beach ball.

A player on one team serves the ball over the net to the opposing team; the serve must be within the boundary of the opposing team's side of the pool. The opposing team must then use no more than three hits to get the ball back across the net towards the other team.

This back and forth continues until the ball hits the pool, goes out of play, is hit into the net, or an error is made. When the ball contacts the water or an error is made, the team that did not make the error is awarded a point, whether they served the ball or not.

The team that won the point serves for the next point. The game continues until one team reaches the predetermined amount of points or the time limit is reached.


Toss some handfuls of loose change into the pool and let the children “dive for dollars”. When all the money is gone or when time runs out, the one with the most loot wins.


Place two lounge floats in the pool and divide the group into pairs. It’s two against two and the war is on! Two teams get on the floats, armed with one swim noodle a piece. Let them duke it out, using only their noodles until someone tips over. The couple still standing (or in this case, still floating), takes on the next pair and so on until one team comes out the champs. You can set a time limit on the game if you want but it usually goes rather quickly.


Have the children line up and take turns standing on a watermelon that is on the bottom of the pool. The object of the game is to get the watermelon to the finish line without their feet touching the bottom of the pool. This game is a blast and makes for a good snack afterward.



In a wading pool, float ducks so that each child can try to pick one up using only their toes. If a child gets one, it is theirs to keep. Light up ducks add a fun touch to the game.


Make a toy boat from our craft section or purchase one. Pour several sacks of marbles into a bowl or sand pail and place the boat in water.

Have the children sit in a circle and take turns putting one marble each in the boat until it finally sinks.

The one who sinks the boat is “out” and the game begins again until there is one winner. Remember though, everyone is always a winner!


Have a bunch of balls in the pool for that matter! Fill a wading pool with lots of colorful plastic balls. Have the children shut their eyes while you hide a plastic starfish in the sea of balls.

The first child then dives in to hunt for the starfish while you lead the group in counting to see how long it takes. The quickest fish finder gets to keep the starfish.


What’s in your bag? Dump a basket of items into the pool and give each child a beach bag, sand pail or waterproof container. Set the timer and let them see who can gather the most treasures.

Ideas for items include: bath and pool toys, sunglasses, balls, plastic dog toys, pennies, rubber ducks, a flip flop, an apple, water bottles, and a rock.


Give each child a rubber duck (the light up ones are really cool). On the count of three, the children race their ducks to the finish line. The quacky party is, they have to nudge them with their noses.


Purchase a magnetic fishing toy or make your own. Let the children take turns fishing and see who can get the “catch of the day” (the most fish the fastest).



Let each guest decorate a beach tote bag to take home. Just as with the t-shirts, you can lay out supplies like paint pens (available in glitter, glow in the dark, puff and metallics), tee juice markers, colorful sharpie markers,and iron on transfers, then let them create.

You can also include some summery stamps and stencils. It is extra fun to let them do both a t-shirt and tote and the children can take them home for a party favor.


Give each guest a beach ball and permanent marker (sharpies are great). Let them sign each other’s balls and write a short message if they want. This is a great way for the children to remember the fun they had at your party and makes a nice party favor as well.


Mix up a batch of our play dough (or purchase play dough) and let the children create. You can let them just use their own imaginations to make anything relating to the pool or you can do my favorite and that is to make a “pool” using the instructions below and let everyone make things to contribute to it like a diving board, floats, a sail boat, swim rings, rubber ducks, etc. If you want you can let the children paint the play dough creations too.


Purchase a rectangle piece of syrofaom and cut out where you want the pool to be. Paint around the pool white or light grey to be the concrete.

Fill the pool area with blue Jell-O chunks by simply making the recipe according to the directions then cutting into chunks. Let the children create accessories for the pool.

It is fun and you will be amazed how creative children can be.


· 1 Cup Flour

· 1/2 Cup Salt

· 2 Tbsp Oil

· 2 Tsp Cream of Tartar

· 1 Cup Water

· Food Coloring

Heat the oil in a pot then remove from heat and stir in all other ingredients (use food coloring if desired). Cook over low heat until mixture is firm, about 4-5 minutes.

Remove from heat, set clay mixture on wax paper and let cool.


For this project you will need:

empty baby food jar with lid (or you can use any jars with lids)

distilled water

dish soap

super glue

plastic miniature pool theme toy

sequins, beads, colored glitter, metallic confetti, etc.

blue food coloring

vegetable oil

Clean the baby food jars and lids prior to the party. Super glue a miniature summer toy to the inside of the lid. Of course you or another adult need to do this part.

Have the children fill their jars with distilled water and a tad of the dish soap and a smidgen of blue food coloring and vegetable oil. Then let them sprinkle in the decorations of their choice like: chunky blue glitter, tiny white floating balls, confetti, etc.

Next, make sure the jar is filled to the top then carefully put the lid on. The lid will be attached to the toy. The jar may overflow a bit so do this over a bowl. Let each child shake their globe.

If you want, the children can complete the globes by adding ribbons, clay or sand to the base. They can even glue on sea shells. This is a great take home party favor!


There are great Pool Party gift bags, perfect for filling with swim toys like beach balls, swim rings and squirt guns. Rubber ducks are fun additions that even the older children will quack up over.

We have found that sometimes it is better to give the gifts out during the party so the children can play with them while they swim but you can make that call.

Beach towels and sun supplies are nice to put in bags, especially for older guests. Sun screen and child friendly bug sprays can be found in mini sizes and come in quite handy.

Some dollar stores carry magic towels that come in fun shapes like fish and ducks and expand in water which is great entertainment for guests of all ages.

More fabulous Pool Party favors include: beach ball stickers, personalized buttons and magnets, candies, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, temporary tattoos, colorful sunglasses, and fun summer hats.

Buying ready made Pool Party Deluxe Favor Set is convenient and cost effective.

Pool Party Banner 36 X 104 Horizontal Vinyl Banner Each


For the most complete supplies Pool Birthday Box is the place to go, while Shindigz also has a party pack. The nice thing about Shindigz is they have lots of favors, and free shipping over $75.

Amazon is a great place to get favors and random items. Check for super saver shipping and sometimes you get free shipping.

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