Kids Pool Birthday Party - Checklist?

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
593
Walnutport, PA
Wasn't sure where to put this, so hopefully here is OK.

In June, we will be having my sons 7th bday at our house. This is our first year with a pool, so I'm allllllllllll ears for suggestions on what I need to prepare for in terms of kids and a pool. It's giving me agita thinking about it, but I want to everything I can ensure a SAFE and successful party. We always hold the kids bday parties at our house, its chaos but we love it!

-I secured a lifeguard for the whole time; she is a certified LG and we don't know her (not a family friend, etc). I really wanted someone trained to just have eyes on the pool all day and not have a connection with anyone to be pulled away.
-We have a bounce house every year. I checked with the company to be sure having a SWCG pool is ok (it should be, but wanted to cover all bases). The bounce house has an attached water slide, so kids will likely be in and out of it and the pool. All good from the company.
-Towels. Hopefully parents will bring some, but I'll have a basket of clean and then a basket for dirty.
-Dollar store water guns
-Noodles. Do kids use them? Or just for swinging at each other?
-Extra sunblock.

-CHEMIKILLLZZZZ. Will need help on getting the water prepped for a zillion kids before the party (if that's suggested) and I'm sure how to handle a major freak out after once I test.
-Bodily functions in the pool. I'm sure someone will urinate in it. Really hoping for no BM's, but with toddlers and babies, anything can happen. How to handle that? Chances are I won't know if someones urinates, but fecal matter is another story.

I realize this isn't happening for 6 more months, but I'm bored at work and live to plan these parties. So enlighten me ?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,024
Tallahassee, FL
I got this!!! Here is your shopping list:
-pool safety hook like this: Amazon.com : Safety Pool Hook R221026 : Swimming Pool Safety Products : Garden & Outdoor
-some life vests for non-swimmers as well as water wings to have on hand
-pool noodle-they will swing them and float on them
-floats and ride on floats
- BIG, plastic trash can with liners for ease of emptying and starting over.
-liquid chlorine

-So what you will do is push the FC up to just under SLAM level for your CYA at the time. just before the first person arrives. Look in my siggy below for the FC/CYA chart. I would keep the pump running to help filter the water of the *deposits* in the pool.

IF there is a code brown then tell every one out. Test and add enough liquid chlorine to push the FC back up to just under SLAM level. Let the pump run for about 5 mins if it was solid and you could fish it out. If not then serve food and let the pump run for about 30 mins or so on high keeping the FC up.

-Lifeguard-get her a whistle- I was the lifeguard and it worked great to get the kid's attention. Get her one of those higher chairs so she can see over everyone's heads. It should be put right by the side of the pool. Make sure to have an adult that will let her get down every 30 mins for her bathroom breaks. Do NOT allow her to even bring her phone out of her car. Better safe than sorry. Head counts are very important.

Towels-good luck LOL the dirty, wet ones will not end up in the basket. They will be EVERYWHERE :roll: AND they will need a new one every time they get out of the pool!

Bathroom-make sure everyone knows where it is (not that they will use it but.........you can try).

NO glass anywhere! Plastic or paper only! Get colored plastic forks and such as it is easier for see/find when it is time to clean up. The clear can blend in too well.

I think I got most of it. Will keep thinking and add if I think of anything else.

Kim:kim:
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,723
Prosper, TX (DFW)
What is the ground situation, especially between the pool and the bounce house/water slide? A bunch of wet little kids going back and forth could make for a muddy mess pretty quickly, which will lead to a muddy pool, bounce house, and bathroom.

What about goggles? In my experience, kids generally dont need/want them until they see 1 kid with them, then they all want some :) I would honestly go get a bunch of cheap pool noodles, water guns, and goggles for the party, and the kids can take them home as party favors.

Add some cake and ice cream, and the kids should be in heaven.

Also, dont forget about the adults. 7 is a grey area on if you stay or go as a parent of a kid attending. I would make sure the adults felt comfortable staying if they choose to, so make sure they have a place to sit, something to drink, socialize, etc.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,566
NY
Good for you going right to having a lifeguard. 7 is kinda young still. You may not know some of the kids or their swimming abilities well. You also could end up with much smaller kids, either family members or tag-alongs.

However, even with the lifeguard i would assign at least one adult per 10 kids. Feel free to make it a 1 to 5 ratio. But the people you assign must understand they have a job. And they cannot abandon the position without finding a replacement that also understands that it is a job while the first chaperone gets food/ potty break/ etc.
 
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IMissNimoy

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
78
SC
We have twin boys who will be 7 in March. We host kid parties at least once a week in swim season. Your list pretty much covers what we keep on hand. We also have a few small pool-friendly soaker-type balls. We keep swim diapers of different sizes available for those unknowing or forgetful parents. If the child is not potty trained, it needs to wear one - poop containment is key. Early on, we designated a spot behind a bush for peeing. It was part of the way we potty trained the twins. To this day, the boys will hop out of the pool the to go over there. Other boys have followed suit, even a few of the girls. This is in spite of the pool house potty being very close. :) We take @kimkats approach to sanitizing for parties. It works.

We have 2 dual-suction channel drains. After few "incidents", I've found I have to monitor the pool toys some kids bring and those given to our boys. I've had to remove the drain cover a couple of times to extract small toys. Nemo is my frequent offender. It's an issue specific to our type of drain but hey, I can hold my breath now for almost 90 seconds!

We had a bounce house with wet slides last July 4th. I think the adults enjoyed it more than the kids! You'll have to be okay with the fact your pool will get dirty BUT you can reduce it some. Try to have some large washable door mats where the slide exits and at the bounce house door. It didn't take long for those parts to get squishy and muddy. The mats will help protect the grass some. Your big box hardware may have fake grass on a roll that would give better coverage at a better price point. A spray hose at the door where folks will need to enter for the bathroom or food will help too.

Hope this adds to what others have offered and enjoy the party!
 
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l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
593
Walnutport, PA
Thanks SO much everyone!

So. The yard is currently a disaster from construction. It was hydroseeded, but nothing took (yet). I am REALLY hoping we have grass come early June. However, I am so not a clean freak...so the pool getting dirty is a-ok by me.

I am totally good with peeing outside. I actually don't even think my two boys know there are indoor bathroom facilities once summer arrives. HA! And yes, the adults usually have a blast in the bounce house. We've rented the same one for the past two years - it is so much fun! 99% of the adults will stay, I think.

Excellent ideas about the lifeguard and scheduling breaks. I didn't think of that!

Googles - you're so right JJ. My son was that way last year. Didn't want googles, they hurt his face, he can't see, blah blah. Arrive at the pool party, bday kid has them on..."MOM! I need googles!!"

We have a bilevel home, so the lower level walks out directly to the patio/pool/yard. There is a bathroom on this lower level, which is directly accessible by a separate man door (that also leads out to the yard). Food will all be inside (it's a giant living room). We also get a tent with tables and chairs that will be right next to the patio off the pool. Great tip about the colored silverware! We generally don't have any glass (my 3 year old is the spawn of satan), and we don't have alcohol at the kids parties.

Y'all rock. Thanks so much for the suggestions!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,024
Tallahassee, FL
Pee pot-one of our guides made a large flower pot into a "pee pot" with gravel in it instead of dirt. It worked well for them. He has it behind a pretty screen with vines growing over it.

Kim:kim:
 
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kcmonarch55

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2018
91
NAZARETH
Hi Tara! Such a small world....we live in Nazareth.....not too far from you at all. Enjoyed following along with the pool build and this checklist as well.


Thanks SO much everyone!

So. The yard is currently a disaster from construction. It was hydroseeded, but nothing took (yet). I am REALLY hoping we have grass come early June. However, I am so not a clean freak...so the pool getting dirty is a-ok by me.

I am totally good with peeing outside. I actually don't even think my two boys know there are indoor bathroom facilities once summer arrives. HA! And yes, the adults usually have a blast in the bounce house. We've rented the same one for the past two years - it is so much fun! 99% of the adults will stay, I think.

Excellent ideas about the lifeguard and scheduling breaks. I didn't think of that!

Googles - you're so right JJ. My son was that way last year. Didn't want googles, they hurt his face, he can't see, blah blah. Arrive at the pool party, bday kid has them on..."MOM! I need googles!!"

We have a bilevel home, so the lower level walks out directly to the patio/pool/yard. There is a bathroom on this lower level, which is directly accessible by a separate man door (that also leads out to the yard). Food will all be inside (it's a giant living room). We also get a tent with tables and chairs that will be right next to the patio off the pool. Great tip about the colored silverware! We generally don't have any glass (my 3 year old is the spawn of satan), and we don't have alcohol at the kids parties.

Y'all rock. Thanks so much for the suggestions!
 

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
593
Walnutport, PA
Oh haayyyyyy!! Nice to 'e-meet' you, lol.

I have a few pet sitting clients in Naz, so I'm over there often. Oh, and I hit up Calandra's for rope cheese whenever I can too ?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,566
NY
Oh yes - we rent from a professional company (we tried the DIY rental one year and won't do it again. Folding them up is a royal PIA!)
+1 for sure. Whatever you may save, it’s not worth it. Plus some of them are so big you need a few people with muscles.

**sips coffee and points**. Put it over there
**has party**
**makes phonecall**. Come pick up your stuff

Sooooooo much easier.
 

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
593
Walnutport, PA
Getting it, securing it and blowing it up was easy. I may have even been gloating in my glory at how easy after my husband moaned about doing it. The next day though, I sadly realized I was not right (but still didn't actually admit that, you know...) when it was deflated and folded in the back of our truck.

Now we sip coffee and point also ?
 

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
593
Walnutport, PA

Found it - a video from last year. We were lucky that the rental company asked us if he could install a day early and leave it there for a day after the party. Ummm, absofreakinglutely! The kids loved it.

And wow, look how empty our yard was last June!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,158
Central California
Dang, got here too late! Pee pot? I thought everybody hated the idea of a pee pot? Mine is out of sight, and I'm afraid to look to see what goes on over there, but all the boys use it (and some of the girls). Make sure they understand it's for pee only. One of my young guests thought the pee pot meant not to use the bathroom, and there was "an incident." Poor little guy.

+1 for goggles.

I find squirting toys lead to problems. Kids looooove to squirt other kids, but hate getting squirted. Somebody is always crying, it seems. Those toys that sink to the bottom (rings and critters, etc) are a huge hit in my pool. Kids love to dive and retrieve.

From my experience, I cannot assign any lifeguarding duties to a guest's parent. Worthless. Not even for a few minutes. Apparently, the universe is in grave danger unless they do whatever they're doing on their phones! I spell the lifeguard myself. If one won't cut it, hire another. Parents lifeguarding = fail. They don't even watch their own kids!

OK, here's my nuke. Want a huge hit? Snow cones!! I started with one of the cheapie makers (about $20-30) and ended up with one like this. It's a little steep, but I use it year-round. That model shaves the ice and makes a nice cone, and it can keep up with a large gathering. The cheap-o ones produce much courser ice and may not even make it through a party. The kids (and parents) love 'em. I drag it out with about 15 flavors and they all can't get enough. Paper cups and plastic spoons. Plus, it's a good way to get all the kids out at once for a little "parent swim time." You can buy all sorts of flavors, but I use Torani Syrup. It's still loaded with sugar, but it's real sugar, no fructose, and real extract (for the most part). I have plastic squirt bottles for the syrup (no glass at the pool) and keep them refrigerated (which is key if you want a decent cone). Yah, I'm a bit of a cone snob now!! ;)

Go easy on the big floaties. The kids love 'em, but a few too many and they obscure the bottom from the lifeguard. (And they're another major source of kid-fights.) I don't allow them when there's more than just a few kids in the pool, because I can't get a good head-count fast enough.

Take the vacuum out of the pool. Check the flap is working properly on any suction ports. Take the thermometer out (they'll just be throwing it around). Lock up all pool chemicals.

Have fun!!
 
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l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
593
Walnutport, PA
Oh I LOVE the sno-cone idea! I am totally going to be on the hunt to find one of the legit ones (like you linked) locally or at one of my favorite liquidation places ?