Idea No.

4213

Backyard Water Park -7yr- Squirt Gun Fun

Award

Date

June 2002

From

Jeannie in Flower Mound, TX     USA

Special Mention

Backyard Splash Party

BACKYARD WATERPARK BIRTHDAY PARTY a splashing success!! 

Our idea was to set up the backyard with lots of water activities and summer related crafts for our daughter who was turning 7 the end of July last year.  Invitations were sent out that hinted at the theme with instructions to wear a swim suit and to sunscreen before they arrived. 

Each activity and craft was given a name just like you see at the waterparks. We made signs for each, using freezer paper. With a black magic marker, I traced the letters of the words onto the paper using a large "open" font I had previously printed off the computer. My two girls colored the open face letters with magic markers making it very festive. Poster putty worked great to attach each sign to something close by the activity. A fence, house siding, swingset structure, patio umbrella, etc.  

We made a h-u-g-e entry sign (using the freezer paper) that we then taped to a piece of particle board we had laying around that said "Leah's Backyard Water Park" and placed it at the end of the driveway.  At the gate to the backyard, we had an "entrance" sign on the one side and an "exit" sign on the other, decorated with balloons. We were trying to get the feeling of truly entering a waterpark. 

Here's a list of our water "rides" and activities: 

"Ride the Wave" waterslide. Under the slippery slide from our swingset, which happens to be wavy, we filled a large blow-up pool with water that they splashed into as they went down the slide. They loved this!! 

"Water Tunnel Slide". We set up a couple of the slip and slides (purchased from the discount stores) where the kids run and glide on there belly that ends to an attached pool of water. This got lots of action. 

"Wacky Giant Sea Creature". A tall blowup monster of sorts (I found at Target) with antennas all around that squirts out water every direction, when hooked up to a hose, that they could run through. A lot of giggles on this one! 

"Fishy Tattoo's" booth. We have a playhouse we used for this booth. On entering the playhouse, our oldest daughter let the girls pick out what tattoo's they wanted (all being fish characters) and she applied them where they wanted.  A huge hit! 

"Build a Castle" booth. Under the slippery slide is our sandbox where we had all the molds, pails, shovels, etc. needed to build a sand castle. 

"Waterhose Tug of War". Using a soaker hose, the kids were divided into two teams, getting soaked as they played the game. Really funny to watch! 

"Batter Up" Splash Ball. Using a wiffle ball bat and those sponge like pool splash balls you find at discount stores, they played a version of softball (my husband pitched) and the bases were small blow-up pools filled with water. You got wet if you hit the ball, caught the ball or ran to base! 

"Squirt Gun Fun". With paint filled water guns in several colors, the girls each spray painted their own T-shirts however they wanted. I stretched out a clothesline between two trees and hung them with clothespins for this. I also previously lined each with a paperbag so that one side would not bleed onto the other side. They really loved this activity! 

"Fun in the Sun Sunglasses" booth. Each chose how they wanted to decorate their plastic sunglasses using sequins, foam shapes, rhinestones and whatever else you might come up with. The best and fastest drying glue to use for this is "Aleene's Jewel-It". Also, instructing them to apply the glue to the sunglasses first using toothpicks dipped in glue, then putting the decoration on the glasses, really helps in keeping the glue smudges down to a minimum on their project and fingers less gummy. 

"Thirst Quenchers" booth. Using a picnic bench, we served lemonade as well as had a variety of juice boxes and freeze pops that we kept in a large plastic tub filled with water and ice to keep things chilled. The girls could come as they pleased. 

"Cake and Ice Cream Parlor". In a dry corner of the yard, we set up a tent-like gazebo all decorated with streamers and balloons. This is where we ended the party, serving the birthday cake (decorated to look like a fish) and ice cream, followed by opening presents. 

"The Gift Shop". Before leaving, the girls stopped by this area to pick up all of the things they made and used during the party. T-shirts, squirt guns, sunglasses, a splash ball and the plastic ice cream dish and spoon they used eating birthday cake (rinsed off, of course). I had placed each of the girls things in a small plastic beach bag with a laminated name tag attached. They had to "shop" for the bag with their name. 

The only thing we had to organize as a group were the two games. Otherwise, the girls could go to whatever activity they wanted to. We ran the party from 3-5:30. The time flew and nobody got bored!  Take these ideas or check out what is new at the discount stores as far as backyard water play items. And when the girls come up to you and tell you that this was one of the best birthday parties they have ever been to, it makes it all worth your while!!!

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