May 30, 2023


Poolside birthday parties are a staple summer celebration. Cookouts, cold drinks, watermelon, and pool toys abound. A kids pool party isn’t just for summertime, either. When the cold winter months come bearing down on many parts of the country, checkout indoor water parks or hotels that are glad to host your child’s birthday party at their facility. No matter how you plan to party, it’s a good idea to brush up on the top pool party ideas for kids before planning your epic birthday bash. We’ve checked the latest trends and put together a complete list of the best pool toys for kids, plus other gifts that your friends and family will love.   

Inflatable Toys

Keep kids happily playing in the water for hours with a lovable cadre of inflatable toys. These toys are also fun for adults that want to spend a little time laying out on the water without working too hard. As a brief word of caution, make sure that children are always closely supervised by an adult when playing with inflatable pool toys. Enclosed pool toys can flip over fairly easily. Many of the toys that we’ve recommended below are not enclosed and make for a fun and safe kids pool party.   

  • Pool Ring

    • The Zebra-inspired luxe pool ring from Sunnylife is a stylish and social media-worthy pool party toy for any age. Kick back and relax in this floating leisure ring. If you’re worried at all about constant usage causing any leaks, the non-toxic PVC material can be easily fixed with a patch kit that’s included with every inflatable toy.
    • If you want to bring the most talked about toy to the next kids pool party for your family, look at Sunnylife’s shell pool ring. Enjoy kicking around the pool or sitting in the comfy, cushioned ring and simply soaking up the summer sun. Kids will love the bright colors, fun design, and quirky llama personality of this inflatable pool toy.  
  • Neck floatie

    • No one should be left out of a kids pool party, right? With the innovative neck floatie from Water Baby, even first-time swimmers will be able to safely get in on aquatic playtime. So, if you’re worried about pool party ideas for kids being too exclusive, the neck floatie might be just right for getting everyone involved and cooled off! Plus, the stability and support provided by the neck floatie make it much easier for your little one to learn how to perform basic swimming maneuvers, which gets them comfortable with the water and ready for more advanced swimming lessons. The floaties easily pack down for quick on-the-go usage.  
  • Animals

    • Are you brainstorming animal-themed pool party ideas for kids? Jet Creations makes some of the best and most lifelike pool toys for kids that love animals. The dalmatian dog toy takes any kids pool party to the next level of inflatable fun. Kids will love swimming with and riding on the realistic dalmatian dog made from heavy duty, phthalate-free vinyl that’s specifically designed for hours of play. 
    • Bring some of the ocean to your next kids pool party with the inflatable toy shark from Jet Creations. This 84-inch shark takes beach-themed pool party ideas for kids to the next level! Great for the beach or a backyard pool, the inflatable shark makes it simple to bring life-sized fun anywhere.
    • This inflatable toy zebra brings the zoo to you! Don’t limit yourself to the same old pool party ideas for kids. Get creative with African safari themes and go all out with one of the best pool toys for kids. 

Poolside Sports

Games and toys that incorporate any sports themes are some of the best pool party ideas for kids. Poolside basketball hoops or volleyball nets can get the whole family together for some friendly competition. These activities can make any kids pool party more fun for children and adults!

Pool Party Toys

Pool Toys

Every kids pool party should have lots of other toys that can be enjoyed individually or with friends. Here are a few suggestions for what to stock up on to add some variety to the next kids pool party.

  • Rainmaker

    • The plui rainball toy from Kid O is perfect for younger kids that like hands-on activities. Simply scoop up water in the toy’s shell, then snap it back together and tip to let the water start “raining.” The flow of the water can be easily controlled by covering or uncovering the flow nozzle with a finger. This interactivity allows children to experiment and play independently. 
  • Water Toys

    • No matter what your pool party ideas for kids might entail, no kids pool party is complete without classic rubber toys that let you squirt friends with water when they’re not looking. This set of bath squirt toys from Elegant Baby actually floats in the water while still allowing you squirt water. This means that you won’t lose them in a pool drain or at the beach.
  • Toy boats

    • Kid O also makes a fun-sized mini sailing boat that can be sailed around the tub or pool. While this toy is geared more toward younger kids, children of all ages will love racing their friends around the pool to see who comes in first!

Clothes and Other Gear

Toys, games, and party themes are all key for a successful kids pool party. However, parents also need basic clothing and gear to ensure that time spent at the pool is comfortable, safe, and enjoyable for all. From swimsuits to sunscreen, double check our list below to make sure you’re ready for warmer weather and pool parties.

  • Wet Shirt

    • A proper swimsuit for your child will make all the difference with how comfortable they are and how well they are protected from the sun while outside. This tropical themed rash guard set from Shade Critters is an adorable addition to any little girl’s wardrobe. The long sleeve shirt provides UPF 50 protection from the sun, meaning that you don’t need to apply as much sunscreen. 
    • For boys, the rashguard from Snapper Rock is an irresistibly cute top that works with any bathing suit. The lightweight material also provides UPF 50+ protection for that sensitive little skin. Zoochini take special care to use high-quality fabrics that are free of harmful chemicals and dyes. Combine the rashguard with this swim diaper and hat combo for a complete set!
  • Hat

    • Young kids have very sensitive skin that doesn’t react well to prolonged sun exposure. Keep your children cool and protected during the next kids pool party with this UPF 50+ swim flap hat from Flap Happy. Available in a variety of colors, this swim hat provides ample protection from the sun by covering your child’s head and the back of their neck from harmful rays. The interior elastic band helps the hat fit any head snugly, even during windy days at the pool or beach. 
  • Towel

    • What about when your kids are ready to get out of the water? They’ll love snuggling up and drying off in this large dinosaur towel from Applique Creative. This hooded towel is excellent for kids of all ages, and makes a great birthday present. The soft, plush towel is made in the USA and specifically oversized to work for kids up to 6 years old and beyond.
  • Sunscreen

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to pack lots of sunscreen. Contrary to what you might think, all sunscreen is not created equal. Many sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that are potentially toxic, and certainly not suitable for use on young children. The Thinksport kids sunscreen combo pack from Think Baby uses a safe, mineral-based formula that’s water resistant and provides broad-spectrum protection. Don’t settle for less than the best when it comes to your family’s health and safety.
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