Idea No.

9090

Splash Party -4yr- Array of Different Sprinkler Toys

Award

Date

July 2004

From

Susan in Baytown, TX 

Honorable Mention

Backyard Splash Party

Splash Party -- Swimming Pool Party Substitute  For those who don't have a swimming pool, but want a wet way for cool hot-weather entertainment, this party was an overwhelming success for our 3 and 4 year olds.  One has a May birthday and the other has a July birthday, so for the "kid party" we had a big Splash Birthday Party Bash in June. 

We got some wading pools and inflatable pools of different sizes to accommodate different ages.  I got 4-way connectors from a gardening catalog to attach to my outside faucets on the house (I have 2) so I could hook up 8 different hoses or sprinkler-style toys.  One was a water rocket that the boys couldn't get enough of.  Another had 4 different attachments on it so 4 children could play with it and spray the other children at the same time.  Another was a water/sprinkler version of the Twister game.  Another was a gopher who popped out of his hole to spray unsuspecting bystanders after his water pressure had built up inside. 

There was an array of different sprinker toys for the different ages.  At this age, since the mothers stay at the party, many siblings are also present, so we were prepared to handle different ages and interests.  My husband and father-in-law also built a giant "slip-n-slide" by tying a lawn sprinkler up each in two different trees, and securing visquene with stakes (very inexpensive from any hardware store) on the lawn between the two selected trees.  The trees were about 15 feet apart.  We squirted a bit of baby shampoo on it for better "slipping" and "sliding".  I bought inexpensive "water bombs" (soft sponge balls that soak up water) from a party catalog and had them scattered all over the yard and in the pools so the children could throw them at each other. 

There were two tables on the driveway area.  The mothers sat there until we had to break up the water hedonism for the cake and gift-opening time.  I did have two pinatas, one for each birthday child and his respective group of friends, but the children did not want to leave the free-for-all unconstructed water play.  They were disappointed we broke it up, they were having such a great time.  

For snacks, everyone had blue jello in clear cups to look like ocean water in a fishbowl with jelly-, or swedish fish in the blue jello.  I also had coolers of water and juice available for both the children and the parents.  We served punch that had lime sherbet in it, which was foamy and gave a sea-foam look. 

The cake was also an ocean theme I ordered from my local grocery store.  They can use the blue-gel icing on top to make it look like an ocean and I bought a bag of plastic ocean creature toys and just stuck them on top.  The best place, I have found to find these types of figurine toys (in the past, I had to find some similar farm animals as well) is on the toy aisle at the grocery store.  We used tropical fish for the theme. 

The invitations had a ocean fish theme, and favors were that way.  I found a catalog that has inexpensive tropical fish items that went perfectly with this party.  The favors came in tropical-fish decorated bags.  And for example, children received fans with tropical fish on them and even fish-shaped sunglasses!  Each child got to take home one of the water bombs as well.  Parents really appreciated the party because they got to sit, visit and relax as their children wore themselves out hard at play. 

After all the cake, ice cream, punch, and gifts were opened, kids wanted to go back at it again.  No one wanted to leave.  Many parents told me it was the best birthday party they had ever been to --they had never seen their child have as much fun at a birthday party.  The great thing about this party is that you don't have to put a lot of expense into it.  I borrowed many of the items I used from family, friends and neighbors, such as the pools, sprinkler toys and hoses.  The only work was done that morning before the party, not weeks in advance building or crafting things.  It truly was a worry-free party and the kids had a non-stop kid-nirvana time.

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