First Birthday / Toddler Pool Party Ideas
Tips for throwing a party for kids in a wading pool

Have a water baby on your hands? Thinking of having your first ever pool party for
your little one? Granted it's not the typical first birthday party, but if you want to
celebrate a party in the pool, then here's the drill:

  • Swim School's in for summer! An unusual birthday bash idea for a first birthday is
    to provide an organized swim lesson. Hire a swim instructor and have parents
    and their kids in the pool for the lesson. In this way, each parent is responsible
    for his or her own child. And parents will certainly appreciate the lesson! Ideally,
    you should also hire a lifeguard to keep for more peace of mind.

  • Wade it out. Gather up the mother's group and get the kids together for a
    wading pool party. Whether you're planning a birthday party or a play date,
    you'll find a variety of wading pools online, like the Wading Pool Play Center, left,
    which has an ocean theme. No matter what kind of wading pool you'll use, the
    water will get dirty fast, so plan on refilling the pool a few times during the
    course of the party.

  • Splish-splash, here's are more ideas for your bash:
  • Consider hosting your party at a splash park. You may find a local park
    with foam padding and sprinklers. It's an ideal location for a birthday
    bash, particularly if there's a picnic table near by.
  • Can't find a local water park? Then create your own water park with
    misters, water guns and sprinklers.
  • Or try a dry pool! Make an activity center with an inflatable pool where
    kids can play in a tub of plastic balls. Hide rubber duckies for them to find.
    Other fun additions to any outdoor party, include bubble machines,
    percussion instruments, pinwheels, and sandboxes.

More tips for planning a safe and fun toddler's pool party:

  • Keep the guest list short. About four toddlers should suffice especially given the
    capacity of wading pools and your child's attention span.

  • Beach, blanket baby-lawn. Set out plenty of umbrellas, and provide extra towels.
    After playtime, have a picnic on beach blankets or towels on the lawn.

  • Provide a sunscreen without harmful parabens. The moms will thank you for this
    detail. A good choice is Kinesys, a paraben free sunscreen for kids that comes in
    a spray. The formula is water- and sweat-resistant, hypoallergenic, oil-free,
    alcohol-free, and PABA-free.  Watch out for parabens! Parabens are chemicals
    found in some suncreens and cosmetics, even toothpaste. Used as a
    preservative, parabens can enter the blood stream through application, and may
    cause cancer.

  • Have plenty of disposable swim pants on hand. Provide your guests with Huggies
    Little Swimmer's for your little water babies, left, or supply a few re-usuable
    swim diapers guests can borrow. Even though you're taking the precautions,
    have a whistle in hand in case any waste matter "escapes," so that you can get
    everyone out of the pool quickly. Also remember to check the pool levels often.

  • Have a watchful eye. Be sure to have a lifeguard on duty in the pool, in addition
    to making each parent in charge of their own child. Having one eye on all the
    kids will go a long way towards preventing a mishap. This is a social event for
    the parents too, and slips, trips and falls may happen in the blink of an eye,
    while parents are engaged in conversation at your party. You'll feel better for
    hiring someone to watch.

  • Most importantly, be sure to consult with your insurance agent about hosting a
    pool party, as such a party poses liability risks that you may not wish to
    undertake. In the end you may consider hosting the party at a public pool.

Here are more ideas for your pool party

  • Safety first! Keep the hot tub or Jacuzzi off limits!  Hot tubs are obviously not
    appropriate for infants, but also not for children who can't resist submerging
    their heads. Suctions pull hair and cause drowning.

  • Have a whistle to stop the runners. Bench the offenders to enforce the rules.

  • Require life vests. Swimways swim vests, left are as low as $14.95. Stock up so
    you have them for guests in a variety of sizes. Above, the Swim School Deluxe
    Tot Trainer Inflatable Rubber Tube Swim Aid with Pants is a flotation device that
    ensures secure fit. Plus, it's brilliant yellow for visibility!

  • Ban pool floats. Flotation pads will make it difficult to see children struggling in
    the water. It's best to avoid them when you have a crowd.

So there you have it: a pool party as a first birthday isn't a crazy idea. It just takes a
little extra planning with little ones in the pool.

Amazon is a great place to find things for your toddler. Enter for a chance to win the weekly
giveaway of a $500 Gift Card in the 2011 Amazon Baby Registry
Sweepstakes. No purchase necessary. Ends 04/07/2012. For details and to enter, click the
toddler sunglasses link above, center.
Toddler pool toy birthday decoration
Recommended diapers for pool: Little Swimmers
Kids Party Ideas
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