Summer is the perfect excuse to throw a pool party. My son Hudson has an August birthday, so this year we celebrated with a shark themed party at the pool!
To host a pool party, you’ll need a pool! Most pools charge a flat rate for renting the entire pool, or offer a private party area during open swim.
People often ask how the party planning process goes. I always start with the invite. My party invitation mantra is “The invitation sets the stage for the party”! I want guests excited to attend the second they open the invite!
Harper Gray custom created the most incredible wood invites in the shape of a shark. She continually comes up with new ideas and always knocks my socks off with her designs. I loved the designs she created so much that we sent out a combination of both in white boxes with paper shred. To date, these are my favorite invites we’ve ever done!
To keep little swimmers safe, it’s nice to offer life jackets for your guests. We set up a little swim shack area for our guests to grab a life jacket and pool toys. Swim Ways makes the cutest shark swim vests that were perfect for the party. Even the big kids (who knew how to swim!) wanted to wear them.
Not only do I like my kids safe in swim vests, I also like them safe from the sun! Swim Zip makes the coolest swim shirts with 50+ UV Protection.
Gather a variety of pool toys for guests of all ages. We had swimming sharks, squirting squids, water guns and plenty of goggles for everyone!
Invest in some pool floats. I live for fun floaties. (Yes, we are those people at the pool with the giant donut and pizza floats. It’s taken everything in me not to purchase the swan.)
We found these huge shark floats from hayneedle.com that were SO MUCH FUN. The kids LOVED riding on them!
Hudson loves a great water gun…I think most every kid does. A pool party is the ideal place to let kids go wild with their Super Soakers! We set up a Super Soaker station for kids to grab a water guns and let them go crazy.
Both boys and girls loved the Super Soakers. We made up a few pool games with them but the kids ultimately just wanted to squirt each other! So dig through the toy boxes and pull out those water guns for your pool party. You could even encourage guests to bring their own!
Instead of goodie bags, Hudson treated each of his guests to a custom monogrammed beach towel from Gentry’s Closet. The kids thought it was so fun to have their names on their beach towels.
Their towels are such great quality, I couldn’t believe how plush they were. Perfect to wrap up in after a night swim!
When hosting a pool party, remember your guests are going to be swimming the majority of the time. Keep desserts to a minimum. Don’t bother making ten different types of dessert for guests who may only have time to eat one treat.
I kept it really simple with a small cake, cookies, cupcakes and cake pops. I baked a 4 layer single tier cake, decorated with watercolor blue icing. To give the cake a shark look, I added a fondant fin I ordered from Cheri’s Sweets on Etsy.
To make life easier than forming cake pops into shark heads, I just made round cake pops sprinkled with blue sanding sugar and used broken wood dowels as the sticks. Think shark bites…
I always incorporate the number of the age the child is turning into the party. It personalizes the theme and makes for a unique detail. For the sugar cookies, I cut out 7’s and H’s and gave each cookie a “shark bite” with a flower cutter before baking. Hudson thought this was SO cool. “Mom, HOW did you get a bite out of these cookies??” (Cookie cutters found at CookieCutterKingdom.com).
Cheri’s Sweets also made fondant fin cupcake toppers. A hit with the littles!
A great party has a great beverage bar. I like to offer plenty of drink options for guests. To make party hosting simple, use beverage dispensers to hold your drinks. We had a great selection of drinks displayed in a variety of dispensers (found at hayneedle.com). From sparkling water to juices and sodas colored blue, there was something for everyone!
And since it was a shark party, we had to offer chum! (A combination of red soda, huge jaw breakers that looked like eyeballs, gummy worms, swedish fish, etc).
It’s a kid party, use paper plates, cups and napkins! Paper can be chic! Oh Goodie Designs created a coordinating napkin to match Hudson’s invite which went perfect with solid blue plates from Target! Personalized party details are my favorite.
The kids had a blast. Hudson thanked me after the party and said it was “the best party he’d ever had.” Pool party for the win!!
Happy Birthday Hudson! We cannot believe you are SEVEN!
Photography by KCB Photography