hwtm icons row

Creative Pool Party {or Playdate} Ideas for Little Swimmers

Quick Jump To » Vendor Credits | Comments

pool party tablescape

Last month, I had the opportunity to style a fun Pool Party Playdate event hosted by Huggies® Little Swimmers. As awesome as it was to hang out at a super cool beach house venue for a day and be treated to professional catering (I still think this is the cutest watermelon shark fruit salad ever!) – those probably aren’t the same circumstances that most of the pool parties and swim playdates will be held under, right? ;)

SO… I was very happy when they also asked me to “bring the party home” so to speak – and to share some creative pool party or playdate inspiration with you guys in a home setting, and with more of a DIY perspective.

Pool Birthday Party Printables

My Swim Party printables are available in our store! Use them to add instant style and personalized details to your party. 🙌 You can edit the custom text yourself – right on the website – whenever (and as often as) you need to! Click here to buy this collection.

Swim Party Printables

Pool Party Playdate at Home

All of the images shown here feature the same general look & feel as the event, but the set up is in my own backyard. Sonny (my husband) took the pics, and of course our kids were more than happy to jump into them as well, including our 2 year old, who was downright ecstatic to see Ariel prominently featured on her Little Swimmers diaper. Ah… the little things!

And speaking of little things, the color-blocked party favor bags filled with mini Swedish fish made me equally ecstatic, especially given how easy they were to make!

toddler pool party swim centerpieces

I’m not sure if it’s the bright primary colors, the happy “snorkeling” whales, or a combo of both, but as far as my own projects go, this has quickly become a personal favorite… I hope you enjoy it too!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • DIY styrofoam beach ball garland + beach towel table runners
  • Whale & submarine bath toy caddies-turned party decor with a little spray-paint + fun fillers!
  • Beach pails filled with “little swimmer” snacks + no-spill mini milk bottles for drinks
  • Bubbly “POOL” centerpiece made from wooden letters + blue tissue confetti & glue dots
  • Submarine sandwiches embellished with bendy straws + rainbow licorice “pool noodles”

swimming pool party food ideas

pool party licorice candy noodles

beach party decorations and party favors

beachy pool party drinks table

beachy pool party straws and party flags

DIY cute painted whale party centerpiece

DIY beach ball party decorations

little swimmer party snack pails

beach party submarine sandwiches and other food

DIY decorated beach party plates

pool party kid's tablescape ideas

beach pool party dessert table

swim party dessert ideas

happy kid swimmer at a pool party

pool party centerpieces

beach party favors and drinks


Theme Design & Inspiration
My goal for this theme was to keep it playful and fun, with a healthy dose of childlike whimsy. What I found in the process is that It’s surprisingly hard (if not impossible) to keep a backyard pool party from feeling very specifically “beach”… and there are definitely a lot of crossover beach party elements here – like the DIY beach balls (inspired by this adorable tutorial), sand toy snack pails, and of course the fish and whale graphics. (Hopefully neither of those are swimming in your pools!) I tried to get a good amount of “pool” specific elements in here too though, from pool-tile inspired patterns to the decorated wooden “POOL” letters and licorice “Pool Noodles”. Hopefully the result is a generous amount of inspiration that works for both types of parties and playdates. :)

Kid’s Table

  • DIY swim party plates (plastic square plates customized with printable plate liners spray-mounted underneath)
Wooden forks embellished with patterned paper
  • Mini milk bottles with colored lids + blue polka dot straws
Striped napkins folded to look like beach towels
  • Beach towel table runner + DIY styrofoam beach ball garland
  • Centerpiece: Giant balloon + $1 pail from Ikea + tissue fringe filler
  • Kids chairs embellished with blue tissue fringe & hand-cut paper silhouettes

Drink Station

  • Printable “I’m Thirsty” Drink Sign
  • “Blue Ocean” punch + drink dispenser embellished with whale silhouettes
Polka dotted & striped straws with party flags + translucent blue cups
  • Accent Decor: DIY styrofoam beach balls, beach towel runner, & upside-down basket riser

Food Table

  • Beach towel table runner + DIY styrofoam beach ball accents
  • “Little Swimmer Snack Pails” decorated with party circles & filled with fish crackers, applesauce, & fruit cups
  • Submarine shaped bath toy caddy spray painted yellow & filled with flowers + a printable “PARTY” flag
  • Printable “Let’s Eat” sign suspended from an open frame with natural twine
  • Blue cellophane used as “wave” filler for the red tub sign holder (actually a garden planter from Ikea)
  • Sliced Submarine Sandwiches decorated with straws + Goldfish shaped mac-n-cheese
  • DIY giant sun made from styrofoam & wooden dowels

Dessert Station

  • Printable Treats Sign + beach towel runner
  • Colorful “Pool Noodles” (aka Rainbow Twizzlers)
  • “Make your own” Candy Cups with color-coordinating candies
  • Grocery store cupcakes displayed in striped baking cups (so easy!)
  • Party Flags used as cupcake toppers
  • Embellished whale bath toy caddy filled with polka dot balloons

Accent Decors & Favors

  • Wooden POOL letters, painted and embellished with blue tissue circles for a “bubbly” look
  • Wooden SWIM letters, painted white & embellished with patterned paper
  • Tissue fringe strung around the yard in “wave” form
  • Color-blocked muslin favor bags filled with Swedish Fish

If you have questions on where to find or how to make anything else, feel free to ask away in the comments section below. :)

Pool Birthday Party Printables

Printables are my favorite *secret weapon* for adding unique style to any celebration! Click here to customize my Swim Party collection for your own party – instantly, online. 🤗

Swim Party Printables

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Huggies® via Glam Media. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that enable us keep the creative content coming!



Vendor Credit


  1. @caramelgrl02 May 15, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Creative Pool Party {or Playdate} Ideas for Little Swimmers https://www.hwtm.com/2014/05/little-swimmers-pool-party/ via @hwtm_jenn

  2. Liz May 15, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Love this party thanks for all the great ideas!!!

  3. […] up all your favorite little swimmers for a fun pool playdate. Check out these Creative Pool Party ideas for beach and pool themed parties. You’ll learn how to turn a beach towel into a table […]

  4. […] you are looking for more party ideas make sure you check out Hostess with the Mostess for more […]

  5. […] see more pool party inspiration, visit the Hostess With the Mostess! Her pool party is […]

  6. […] some other ideas about throwing the ultimate pool party? Then check out the Hostess with the Mostress exclusive Huggies Pool Party post for inspiration. Make sure you keep your pool bag stocked this […]

  7. […] with shovels), individual servings of carrots taking a “dip” in ranch dressing, Twizzlers (pool noodles), fresh fruit, Life Saver candies, etc. And my favorite treat to serve poolside, […]

  8. Pool Party Must Haves #Little Swimmers | soggy puffs May 22, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    […] you love to entertain, which I do, you must check out the Hostess with the Mostess’ take on a Pool Party. Fun images, imaginative take homes for the kids and awesome food ideas. I […]

  9. […] to stretch our budget a little more, I tried to think of fun ways to use some inspiration from the Hostess with the Mostess blog to make our party fun and themed but without breaking the bank!  See how fun and easy hosting a […]

  10. Molly Dorsey June 20, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Where can I find the “party” printable flag??

  11. Alicia Amarel June 16, 2015 at 4:39 am

    I'm ready to dive right in!! Summer time–where the living is active at the Amarel house hold. Between the grandkids, nieces and nephews I am always looking for fresh and creative ways to entertain them. Why not a fun pool party? Love the bold red, yellow, and blue accent colors. Using a beach towel as a table runner was smart and inexpensive! The playful fish and whale graphics would be easy to incorporate into any pool party. I love to have the kids help out (it's fun for them too!). The submarine sandwiches ( cute using the straws as the periscope) could be an activity for the little ones to showcase their culinary skills. I will definitely take advantage of the free printables. Were going to have so much fun!!

  12. Kara Griffin July 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Where did you get the sand castle buckets for the snack pails? Thanks :)

Comments are closed.

Browse Party Ideas:

Vendor Credit