Water-themed birthday parties can encompass anything from water balloons to an all out pool, lake or beach party. They are all a lot of fun for the party-goers, but require extra chaperones, because they are slightly more dangerous than a regular backyard birthday party. Another consideration when planning an outdoor water party is the weather. Always have a back-up plan just in case a storm comes up.
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An outdoor water party is the perfect time to barbecue. It can also be inexpensive by having hot dogs and chips. Platters of fresh fruit always go well at a party, and if it's a child's party, you can make the pieces of fruit into designs on the platter to add some interest. Frozen yogurt pops or ice pops will be a welcomed cooler on a hot day too.
Cakes for water parties are easy to make. A couple of ideas are to make the cake look like a water balloon or a pool. Round cake pans can be used to create a balloon, and either round or square for a pool. To create a balloon look for a cake, place some extra icing in the center of the first layer, or use mousse to fill between the layers with extra in the center so the second layer is higher in the middle than around the edges. Then ice the cake with bright-colored icing and draw a tick, tack, toe marking off to one side with a decorating icing tube. Place a long string of ribbon, coming off the bottom of the cake with a bow at the top.
Pool cakes just take a couple drops of blue food color in part of the icing. Ice the outside and just around the edge of the top of the cake with white icing, then fill in the center of the top with blue icing. You can use lifesaver candies or candles that look like beach balls. This gives you a nice canvas to write the Happy Birthday on too.
If your party is not a swimming party, make sure your guests know ahead of time that they will be getting wet so they come prepared. You will also want to fill your water balloons in advance of the party as they take a while to prepare. Make sure you have lots of towels and sunscreen in case someone forgets to bring theirs. You may also want to light up some citronella candles around your yard so the party is not invaded by pests. If your party is for young children, keep the barbecue grill away from the play area where they may accidentally run into it.
There are many water-park type inflatables that you can purchase or rent on the market today. They keep kids cooled off and entertained for hours. In pools and lakes, it's easy to set up a pool volleyball set, play Marco Polo and have swimming relay races. But there are a lot of water games you can play that don't need a large pool of water. Using water balloons, you can play water toss, where the children toss the water balloon to each other at a short distance. Then each time it is caught, they back up a little. When they miss the balloon they are out and the last person left in the group wins. You can also make a target using a large piece of cardboard. Cut holes and paint different colors around them with each color being a certain amount of points. Stand the cardboard up against a tree or fence and have two teams of kids. They get a turn to throw the water balloons into the target and the team with the highest points wins. You can make a water limbo game with a garden hose shooting water across an area that gets lowered every time they go through, or place a sprinkler shooting straight up and have a tug of war.