[PHOTO – Menno Deen – ‘Games [4Health] Jam 2013’]
Today’s pool owners are taking full advantage of their investment by creating a new part of their lifestyle around the pool. Below are some ideas for pool parties you can host with a little preparation and planning.
January – Beat the Blues by the Pool
Once the hectic holidays are over, most people are feeling a little “blue” in mid to late January. Why not try a progressive pool party? Like a progressive dinner, a few (or more) families join together and each host a part of the evening … from munchies to main meals to coffee and dessert, everyone shares in the planning, the costs AND the “beat the blues” fun!
February – For Cupid’s Couples Only
Candlelight, music, dinner and beverage … a perfect date for couples to share a romantic evening by the pool. Whether you celebrate Cupid before or after February 14, create a heartfelt night for one couple or many…. and don’t forget to enjoy the midnight swim — a perfect end to a perfect pool date!
March – My March Pool Madness
March Madness? Are you ready for college basketball tourney madness? Show your support for your favorite team — get your hats, t-shirts, banners or “cry towels” — and meet me at my pool. The pool hoops are ready for My March Madness. For fun or for competition, co-ed teams are a must. Get fun prizes together and finish up with a cookout. No one will even think about turning on the TV (unless it’s outdoors).
April – Garden Pool Party
Remember Ricky Nelson’s “Garden Party”? Create your own Garden Party for the Millennium. Guests arrive with their favorite gardening secrets or plants … perhaps add a secret surprise gift exchange (small garden tools?)… Everyone knows that a garden needs plenty of water, so get in the pool . . . relax, enjoy and soak in the pleasure your Garden Pool Party.
May – May Showers
A bridal shower? A baby shower? A graduation shower? Your pool will make the “picture perfect” spot for the bride-to-be, an expectant couple or a student to capture special memories of a most memorable time in their lives. Hosted on your own or with a group of friends, you and your guests will remember this once-in-a-lifetime celebration. And there’s no rain in the forecast — Remember it’s “April showers” that bring “May flowers”!!
September – Back to School Splash
With Labor Day comes the official end of summer. And, the back to school blahs take over for most students. What a great time to EXTEND THE POOL SEASON by inviting classmates (and parents/teachers if desired) to get together and renew friendships and make new ones. Keep cool by the pool and add your own theme — perhaps with a “wacky hat contest” with plenty of games, activities and fun for all!
October – Tricks and Treats by the Pool
Get spooked in the coolest way by hosting the young or the young at heart at your backyard pool. Halloween decorations are a must and with the “natural night light”, let your ghostly imagination take over. Create your own unique costume themes (bathing suits included) and refreshments to brew up a magical party that guests will be screaming about!
November – Turkey Barbeque
Start a new family tradition with a turkey barbeque by the pool. Everyone brings their favorite Thanksgiving dish and whether or not the turkey is actually “cooked on the open fire” or “in the kitchen oven”, everyone can enjoy the traditional day of thanks in a non-traditional but most memorable way by your pool. Last one in the pool is a real turkey!
December – Independence in December
You’ve heard of Christmas in July? Well, turn your backyard escape into a sparkling holiday season that everyone will be cheering about. Complete with Santa decked out in red, white and blue, let your patriotism shine through for your guests. The theme is set, costumes should be encouraged and food and drink should be an All-American affair. Fireworks are optional (as local laws permit) but, remember, first one in the pool gets the biggest present — Ho! Ho! Ho!
Searching for cool pool game ideas? We’ve created a list of popular games below.
Have the kids wait in a designated space (in or out of the water) and toss water balloons for them to catch. After throwing a couple, tell them that they don’t get anymore unless they sing a song (can be anything like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, or Humpty Dumpty…) Every time they sing a song, throw in a few more balloons and try a different song or make them say something like: “I love swimming!” or “Happy Birthday!” Keep doing this until you are out of balloons.
This is a relay race, which needs 2 teams with an equal amount of players. You also need enough water balloons for one for each player-and a few extra for mistakes. Make start and finish lines about 20 feet apart. Place the water balloons in two piles at the starting line. Call out “go” and the first person on each team picks up their balloon and runs to the finish line. There, they must sit on their balloon and pop it and then run back to the start line. Then the next player grabs their balloon and does the same thing. If a player drops his balloon, or pops it on the way, he must go back to the start line and take a new balloon and start again. The first team to finish popping all their balloons is the winning team.
Have two groups; one for the cannonballs and the other group a team of judges. The cannonball group line up behind a diving board and have to make the biggest splash to get the highest vote. The judges are the voters and give each person a vote out of ten. An adult is needed to decide what the majority of the judges want to give each person.
Preferably in a smaller pool; it’s just like regular frozen tag, but once tagged, a person has to swim under your legs to free you.
Everyone walks clockwise around the swimming pool without stopping. One per is in the water with a water hose under the water, which is turned on. Everyone sings, “London river’s flooding up, flooding up . . .” as the people walk whenever “flooding up” is sung the person in the water can move the hose out of the water and spray the person. THEN, the part in the song, which says, “Take the key and lock her up,” you will hold the hose out to a person and this person holds the hose and jumps into the water.
Throw a large amount of pennies (depending on the number of kids) into a good size pool. Cover about a third of the pennies with white out and send the children in to dive for them. If a child finds a penny with white out, that child gets a prize. Great for all ages! Shallow for the youngest and deeper for the older kids.
Seahorses and Mermaids
This game is played in the shallow end of a swimming pool. You need at least 5 people- 2 seahorses, 2 mermaids, and one caller, but the more people you have, the better.
The seahorses make a circle in the water and the mermaids stand behind the seahorses. The caller calls out “Mermaids”, or “Seahorses”. If the caller says “Mermaids”, the mermaids must swim like a mermaid with legs together, clockwise around the circle and take their place behind the seahorse. The last mermaid in her place is out and so is her partner. If the caller says “Seahorses”, the seahorse must back out between the mermaid’s fluke (legs), underwater. The seahorse must them swim clockwise around the circle, back under the fluke and stand up. The last seahorse in her place is out and her partner is out too. The last couple standing is the winner.
Have the kids line up beside a length of a pool, (25m is ideal). One by one they have to start at one end and swim as far as they can underwater, until they have to come up for air. Once they surface, have them sit on the pool deck, beside the place where they came up. The top 5 or 10 people who went the farthest get a prize.