How to Throw a Pool Party for Kids

Pool parties can be a great source of entertainment for even the oldest child. Yes, adults enjoy them too! Throwing a pool party need not be expensive, or time consuming, but there are a few things that are needed in order to make sure that the party goes off without a hitch.

Get the pool ready.

At least a couple of days before the party, make sure that the pH level of the pool is correct. If this is done early, there is the chance to balance the water well before the day of the party.

Give the pool a good clean, and replace the pump filter as well. Also, check that the ladder has no sharp edges, or is missing any screws or ties.

Weather Forecast.

Unless there is a storm raging outside, kids will want to swim. It is a good idea to check the weather forecast to make sure that the day is going to be warm, fine and not too windy. Wind on wet bodies can make children cold very quickly.

Send out the invitations at least a week before the party and put an RSVP for at least 3 days before the party, along with contact telephone numbers.

Slip, Slop, Slap.

Everyone attending, even those not swimming should put on sunscreen (SPF15+ at a minimum), a hat and a rash vest (or t-shirt to protect from the sun). For those out of the water, it is also a good idea to wear a wide brim hat. Sunscreen should be applied at least every hour and a half.

Prepare the kids.

Wait until everyone that is supposed to attend has arrived before allowing anyone in the pool. Make sure that all kids know what signal to use if they get into trouble, and the rules.

Supervision at all times.

A responsible adult should be supervising all kids in the pool. At times, there may need to be more than one adult to keep the child to adult ratio down. The idea ratio is 1 adult to 5 children.

Keep the activities under control.

When there are a lot of kids in a pool, this not only equals a lot of fun, but it can be dangerous, or frightening for those who do not swim well. Set some rules before everyone enters the pool and make sure there are consequences for disobeying the rules. The best discipline for someone that has done wrong is to remove them from the pool for a specific amount of time.

Do not allow jumping, or diving.

This is when most injuries occur. The sudden impact with the bottom or side of the pool can cause serious damage. Even if a child was to land on, or crash into another child, it can, and will, hurt.

Parental consent.

For every child that is attending the pool party, the parent of that child must know what is going to be taking place on the day and give their consent. Talk to the parent directly, rather than relying one hundred percent on the child to get the information correct.

Kids who do not swim well.

Keep those who do not swim well close to the edge and in the shallow end of the pool. Although danger will still be present, it is minimised greatly if the child can stand on the bottom and still have their head out of the water.

Sort out some pool games.

Depending on the size of the pool, some games may or may not be suitable. Object retrieval is always a lot of fun, with children swimming under water to retrieve and object that has been thrown in for them. For large pools, swimming races can bring out the competitive side in most children.

It is a good idea to give slower children a small head start, even if it’s only a meter or two to give them a fighting chance.

For small pools, a game of volleyball, water polo or object retrieval are all things that most kids will enjoy doing.

Sort out some prizes before the games begin, and make sure that each child receives a prize during the day.

Have one personal floatation device for every child.

No matter how good the child swims, there is always a risk of getting into trouble. Strategically place PFD’s around the pool so they can be grabbed quickly and given to anyone who needs it.

Stock up on party food.

Any child who spends a lot of time in a pool will come out hungry, very hungry. Rather than have everyone sit down to a three course meal, organise finger food like party pies, party sausage rolls, Cocktail Frankfurt’s etc. Avoid having soda drinks by offering a couple of types of fruit juice, cordials and fresh cold water. Soda’s will not quench their thirst for long.

In case of emergency, keep a phone nearby at all times. It is also a good idea to have a list of the name of each child, the parent’s name and a contact phone number by the phone.

Kids love water, whether swimming around, or just splashing. With adult supervision, some safety precautions, games, food and drink, a pool party can be a very memorable experience. Make sure that everyone follows the rules, and knows what is expected of them, and the day should go off without a hitch.