If you have a backyard pool then you have a ready-made entertainment area. You can tap into this resource over and over again with awesome results if you are willing to think outside the box a little.

The first thing you need to know is other people love your pool. When it’s in your own yard you might not give it too much thought, but to friends, neighbours and acquaintances, it’s the best invention of all time, especially during those hot summer days. They might not say it, but they are itching to get an invitation to come over.

One way to really use that pool space and wow your guests is to make your next birthday for the kids at home. It’s cost effective, fun and seriously memorable.

Here are some great ideas to turn your pool party for kids into a fabulous day all-around.

    1. Pick a theme

There are so many fun, summer, beach and water themes to choose from as well as the standard kids’ birthday themes, if they already have their heart set on Superman. Picking a theme will allow you to target your decorating to a certain look and feel and create an atmosphere that is unique and buzzing. Keep in mind that kids parties are supposed to be bold and bright, so be courageous about choosing something that stands out and screams loud and be sure to go crazy with colour.

    2. Inflatables

Inflatable pool accessories come in all shapes and sizes and aren’t expensive to buy. A variety of stores like Kmart and Big W are a good place to get started for ideas. Find some that match your theme (or make your pool party theme match your inflatables). You only need two or three to get the party started with a generous supply of pool noodles to share the love around.

    3. Decorations

Balloons are your go to here; they are easy and cheap but result in a huge visual impact. Blow them up and float them right on top of the water for an effect that not only looks great but is fun as well.

For full effect, match your balloon colours and styles to your birthday theme.

If you are having an evening party then stuff glow in the dark rings inside each balloon before they are inflated. These look really fun at night and can make an interesting effect for a scary or superhero theme.

If you are using helium then you can weigh the balloon ribbons down in the water so the balloons are suspended in the air at different heights, or, you can go in the opposite direction and create aches over the pool by tying helium balloons side by side along two long pieces of fishing wire and fastening the ends down on opposite pool corners (tying the two in the middle beforehand will help stabilise the shape of the aches).

Another fun and easy decoration is beach balls. Hang them piñata style from trees or suspend them like string lights between branches.

    4. Games

Pool noodles are great, in and out of the water. On the grass you can bend them to make croquet style hoops to kick a ball through, in the water they can be joined together to make goals at either end of the pool or bent in a circle to make floating hoops.

Sinking pool accessories are great for kids to race to retrieve. You can throw all the sinkers in and have tag teams on the edge of the pool to see which group wins by racing to retrieve the weights one person at a time. Have some goggles handy for those kids who don’t like diving.

Marco polo is a classic game for a reason; it’s easy for anyone to play and so much fun. Who ever is ‘IT’ closes their eyes and swims around ‘looking’ for other kids in the pool. If they need a hint they call ‘Marco’, while those in the pool reply ‘Polo’.

For a big splash you can look at renting a waterslide for your pool or some inflatable games like jousting or sumo.

    5. Food & Drinks

Finger food is best for pool parties. Go for hot dogs, sliders, toasted sandwiches, nachos and potato wedges, or fire up the BBQ for some sizzling sausages, rissoles or chops.

For drinks, use a baby inflatable pool to store your drinks. Fill it with ice and throw in the bottles or cans. You can float it in the pool or have it by the food table.

For dessert think popsicles, individual mini ice-creams and big bowls of wobbling jelly.

    6. Entertainment

Music is a must for a pool party so be sure to have some great tunes lined up and ready to go. If using Spotify check the playlist ahead of time as not all the songs will be relevant.

If you have your television set up outside with an IP rated SealTV enclosure your outdoor TV can be connected to external speakers for an awesome stereo sound experience. Use your existing home audio or option up your package with an external speaker kit. This Speaker and Amp Kit combines weatherproof speakers, with a mini amplifier that can be installed inside the TV enclosure.

As well as sound you can install all your accessories inside the enclosure (so that’s Wi-Fi, Apple TV etc.) making sure you are fully connected and ready to go for a day or night that is sure to impress.

Got big kids?

A pool party is still the way to impress, especially if you have an outdoor TV set up to watch from your pool. Music, inflatables and a movie is everything you need.