Saturday, June 2, 2012

5 Tips For a Fun & Successful Pool Party

Since we built our pool almost a year ago, we've hosted several get-togethers with family and friends and I've started to learn a thing or two about throwing a successful pool party.  If you're not careful, kids can get ridiculously tired and hungry, which leads to crankiness.  And crankiness in the pool is never a good thing.  And if you're really careless, kids can get bored!  In a pool you ask?  Yes, even in a pool I've seen some kids get bored and restless.  After a year of hosting pool shindigs, here are a few tips I've learned to help have a successful (and safe) pool party.
 Hire a lifeguard - First and foremost this is the most important thing I've learned, and that's maintaining the safety and peace of mind of my guests.  Now I don't hire a lifeguard every time we have kids swimming in the pool, but for big birthday parties like Taylor's and Syd's, hiring a lifeguard from the local swim school has given me, and my guests immeasurable peace of mind.  At the last party he jumped in and saved 3 kids.  Granted there were plenty of adults around, and the likelihood of something tragic happening was probably slim, it did save some adult from having to jump in with their clothes on ;)  In Southern California a lifeguard runs about $50-$60 for a 3 hour party and it's well worth it.  This is the best piece of advice I can give.
 Have a few other activities lined up - Not every child knows how to swim or even enjoys swimming, so have an activity or two that those not wishing to swim can enjoy.  At Taylor's party we had hula hoops and a craft set up.  At Syd's party we had a small bounce house a neighbor lent us and the homemade light sabers.  Having these extra activities really helped to make all the kids feel involved and have fun, whether they were swimming or not.
 Set up a break time for the kids to all get out and get some rest - 3 hours of non stop swimming can lead to really tired, hungry and eventually, careless kids.  Set up eating times so they all get out and get replenished, and plan a separate activity that all kids participate in, like a pinata, to give them all a much needed break.
Keep pool toys to a minimum - For safety and sanity, limit the number of pool toys allowed in the pool when large groups of kids are swimming. This will lessen conflict over kids fighting over toys, and also give you better visual coverage so each child can be accounted for at all times.
Establish rules up front and stick to them - one friend has a no diving rule, another has a no jumping off the raised wall rule.  Our rule is no hanging onto each other when swimming.  Set your rules and don't be afraid, or negligent in enforcing them.  Set up warning systems so that if a child disobeys the rules, they get a 1st warning, 2nd warning means they take a break, 3rd warning means they are out of the pool.  Pools are supposed to be fun, but they can also be dangerous and above all else we need to set the tone that safety is the #1 most important priority, then comes the fun.  

I hope these tips have been helpful, and please share any others you may have learned along the way as well!  We've got a long summer of swimming ahead of us ;)   

This post is sponsored by Disney Baby. I'll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month, and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories (projects/ideas/etc) with you over there! Stay tuned for more details!

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