My sweet boy turned five this week, so we celebrated with a handful of his close pals at our favorite summer hangout–the pool.
His only request was cupcakes, pizza, Cheetos, and Doritos (so he really wanted a health food party), but we decided to spruce things up with some Perfectly Perfect Pool Party Cupcakes inspired by some last-minute searching on the ‘net.
Cupcake-baking and party-prepping is always a super time to get little guys involved in the festivities, so that’s what we did on Monday after I returned from a long weekend in NYC.
- Perfectly Perfect Pool Party Cupcakes: Owen wanted chocolate cupcakes with red icing. I gave him the chocolate but nixed the red in exchange for blue icing with swimming bears. Once he realized what we were doing, he was totally game.
We baked the cupcakes before we took Brady to the vet, and between the egg-cracking, recipe-reading, and ingredient-adding, baking was a sneaky way of throwing some math and reading learning into our day from the start.
Even the way we fill cupcakes–top left to right and return sweep–mirrors the way we read words on a page. Counting as we go gave us a teeny bit of math practice on top of measuring water and oil.
Then we watched as Owen mixed his idea of the perfect pool-blue icing, and we headed to the store for some candy to double as pool toys. We are a sweet-tooth family, and I’m not afraid to use candy in the kitchen every once in a while!
We decided that Life-Savers would work as small inner-tubes, gummy rings would be our big inner-tubes, gum balls would be beach balls, gummy worms would be our noodles, and Maddy decided that the circus peanuts would be perfect rafts for our bears. It really would be a healthy party after all!
Little fingers got right to work, unwrapping Life-Savers and setting up Teddy Graham teddy bears in pool-happy swimming situations.
Once all the cupcakes were decorated and all the bears were playing ball, lounging on rafts, and peeking through inner-tubes, I put black icing eyes on them and stuck them in the fridge until party time.
We had a mix of ages at the party, but we wanted to have some party games to play during the shin-dig. We bought several 4-packs of dive rings as the party favors for little guests, and our plan was to play with them then let the kids take them home.
Here’s what we planned: (fyi, my husband totally rocks and did a fantastic job of leading the games while I got food together!)
- Dive Stick Games–Our idea was to throw all of the sticks in the water and have swimmers search for 2, then 3, then 4 sticks of any color (sticks were red, green, blue, and purple); 2 of each color; 3 colors, then one of each color. We planned on girls getting two colors and boys getting the other two colors, and finally we wanted kids to each grab 3 of any color to take home.
- Jumping Games–We planned to do silly jumps, pencil jumps, and canon ball jumps (Owen’s personal fave). After some head-bumps and tears with the Dive Stick games, my husband gave each swimmer a number, he called the number, and that person did a silly jump. So smart. No tears.
- Races–We thought it would be fun to do noodle races. Three kids at a time across the pool and back. Teams, maybe? We weren’t sure how it would go because of the levels of swimmers.
- Obstacle Course–We had a few hoola-hoops, so we thought it would be fun to have swimmers go through the hoops, under water and dive through them above water (dolphin dives).
And really, between free time to swim and be silly, pizza, and cupcakes, that’s all we put together. And Owen and his buddies had a blast (or seemed to!–and so did we!).
As with any children’s party, we certainly couldn’t pull this off ourselves. Thanks to the moms and dads and aunts and grandparents who helped make Owen’s birthday a perfectly perfect pool par-tay!
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