Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Easy Pool Party Cupcakes & Pool Party Ideas

You may have noticed we've been a little quiet on our posts this month. The school year wrapped up in such a whirlwind it took just about all my energy to keep us moving through it. And while we've been quiet here online, we've actually still been pretty busy as a family. End of school year events, barbecues, a friends' wedding, Father's Day . . .

Despite the busyness, one thing we really wanted to do to kick off summer was to have a small "pool" party in the backyard. While our pool is not officially large (we purchased an Intex Pool 12ft by 30in this spring) the boys are pretty excited about it none the less.

So as promised, on the first Friday of our summer vacation we invited several friends and their parents over, set out snacks and cupcakes, put some other fun toys out in the yard, and kicked off summer in full pool party style. 

These cupcakes turned out so fun, I couldn't help but share them! And make sure you check out our other fun tips for a fun and successful backyard pool party. 

Easy Pool Party Cupcakes

• Two dozen white cupcakes (You can use a mix, although we doubled this Simple White Cupcake recipe and loved it.
• Buttercream frosting (See our easy recipe below or use a pre-made white frosting.)
• Blue food coloring 
• Teddy Graham Crackers 
• Gummy Rings (We found ours at TJMaxx in their seasonal candy section. The rings were either red/white or blue/white - just in time for 4th of July. But regular gummy rings would work too.
• Cocktail Umbrellas

Buttercream Frosting
1 stick softened unsalted butter
2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons light cream 
Directions: Add all ingredients to a stand mixer bowl and beat until creamy. If needed add either additional powdered sugar or cream until it reaches the desired consistency. The frosting should be thick and smooth, while still easily spreadable.

Cupcake Directions
1. Bake/Prepare the cupcakes as per the recipe or the directions.
2. While the cupcakes cool prepare the Buttercream Frosting. Add a few small drops of blue food coloring to create a light, pastel blue colored frosting. 
3. Working with 3 to 4 cupcakes at a time, frost the top of each cupcake with a small amount of the blue frosting. 
4. On top of each cupcake center one gummy ring and place one gummy bear into each ring. 
5. Add a cocktail umbrella behind each bear. 
6. Repeat until all the cupcakes are finished. 

What a tasty and festive addition to our party!

Other Fun Pool Party Tips
1. Keep snacks simple and kid friendly. We put out veggies and dip, watermelon slices, pretzels, crackers & cheese, and small bags of Pirates Booty. Kids were able to help themselves as they became hungry. 

2. Offer out drinks & water. We kept a cooler nearby filled with Honest Kids juice pouches, a pitcher of water, and several jugs of iced coffee (for the parents, of course.) 

3. Have a few other things planned besides swimming. We bought several beach balls for 99¢ at the party store to have both in the pool and in the yard. Kids used them for a variety of games. We also bought a dozen pairs of fun, sparkly sunglasses. Bubbles and chalk were on hand too for kiddos to use. Finally, we put out a big basket of make your own obstacle course items for kids to play with. (Kids also just had a lot of fun enjoying the other parts of our yard and playing a big game of tag in the grass.) 

4. And of course, encourage kids to swim! Keep everyone safe by having a grown up nearby the pool at all times and setting some ground rules for kids ahead of time.

5. Keep timing flexible. The fun of this not being a birthday party (with no time framed activities) was the party was a little open ended. Families came and went as it worked for their schedule, which kept it a little more like an open house. 

For us, it really was the perfect afternoon to celebrate the end of the school year and kick off summer. We had so much fun, don't be surprised if we do it again to celebrate the end of summer and the kick off to the school year! 

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