Want to throw an amazingly easy party? Find a pool, and invite some kids over. Don’t even worry about decorations, games, or goody bags.
Because seriously, kids + pool = nothing-else-matters-at-the-party. Except maybe the cupcakes.
As I mentioned in this post about the rainbow party I threw the girls two years ago, I’m constantly told that I’m lucky that their birthdays are so close together. But really, it makes June a bit overwhelming. Between that and the ridiculous amount of toys these girls have (the attic is full of playthings that Emily has outgrown but Julia hasn’t grown into yet), I had no desire to throw her a party.
So I decided to NOT throw a party – instead I threw a Pool Play Date!
I actually really enjoy putting together a fun themed birthday party, but since I hadn’t planned to do one for Julia this year I wasn’t prepared when Party-Throwing Withdrawal set in. I’d only given myself a week to put something together, and I needed to work fast.
I set up an event on Facebook and invited some of Julia’s closest friends. Super easy, and it only took a few minutes before I received a few “yes” responses. Yay!
I decided to call it a “play date” because it simplified a few things immensely:
- No need for formal or fancy invitations
- No need to provide tons of food
- No need for party favors
- No need to plan games or activities
- No need for decorations
- No need for guests to bring gifts
Granted, you can throw a birthday party without doing all of those things – but not if you’re me. So calling it a play date instead of a party took a huge mental load off of my shoulders, even if it was just semantics.
Just in case the kids forgot to bring pool toys I purchased a few pool noodles and some floating animal pool toys I found in the Dollar Spot at Target. I also bought a bag of cheese puffs (which was gone in about 30 minutes) and a bag of Doritos, some un-themed plates, and a ton of juice boxes (blue, of course). No balloons, no favors, not even a Happy Birthday sign. Boo-ya.
I did cave in and make some cute pool-themed cupcakes I found on Pinterest using Teddy Grahams and gummy Lifesavers candy. I couldn’t help myself – they were just too perfect and too adorable. That and the fact that making a themed cake is probably my favorite thing about throwing a party… or a play date.
The moms arrived with their kids, the kids took a look at the pool, and for the next two hours we all just sat around talking and soaking up the sun. And I don’t mean in chaise lounges – not these moms! We were all in the pool with the kids, catching them when they jumped in, swimming, throwing them in the air, tossing a ball back and forth. It was awesome, and I love how it ended up feeling like a play date for the mommas too. And, miraculously, it didn’t rain. It has monsooned every year on Birthday Party Day for the last 8 years. I was so happy I almost cried.
We sang “Happy Birthday” to Julia and ate cupcakes, and then everyone got together so I could get a group shot to put in Julia’s baby book to prove that she had a “party.” I didn’t want drama in 10 years when she realizes Emily had a 3rd birthday party and she didn’t.
So please don’t tell her it wasn’t a party, okay? 😉
Happy 3rd, Julia! ❤