Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fun in the Sun Pool Party Games

Pool Game Fun - Handstand Contest!
I grew up in a pool! I spent many hours just bobbing up and down with my sister completely content. We also played endless amount of pool games. Here are a few of my all-time favorites, perfect for your Pool Party.

The Tried and True: Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows
These 2 games are king and queen of the pool! Here is a quick overview of each game.

Marco Polo
Depending on the size of the pool and number of swimmers, you can either designate a small or large area to have the game. Once decided it's time to pick who is Marco. He/She must go under water, close his/her eyes and count to 10. When up, with eyes still closed, he yells, "Marco." All the other players (scattered in the designated area) yell "Polo."

The object of the game is for Marco to tag one of the other players. When tagged, he becomes the new Marco, and the game starts over. My favorite part of this game is "fish out of water." Players can get out of the pool if they like, but if Marco calls, "fish out of water," any player who is not in the water (not even a toe), becomes the new Marco.

Sharks and Minnows
One person is picked as the shark. She stays on one side of the pool, and all the rest of the kids go to the other side (if the pool is large, you can use just the width of the pool not length.) The shark then yells, "minnows go." The minnows must then swim to the opposite end and not be tagged by the shark. The shark swims across and tries to tag as many minnows as possible. As soon as a minnow has been tagged, he/she becomes a shark. The game continues until there is one remaining minnow. He becomes the new shark.

Crazy Relays
Relays are a great way to entertain kids at a party. Since some guests may not be the best swimmers or have the most elegant stroke, it's fun to come up with some "crazy" relays for all to have fun. Here are some suggestions:

Kickboard Relay
Split the party into 2 teams. Line them up on one side of the pool. One member kicks across the pool, then hands the board to his team mate.

Kickboard/Surfer Relay
The same as the kickboard relay, but kids need to either sit or stand on the board and use their arms to get across the pool.

Feet First Relay
This is lots of fun. Basically, the kids "sit" in the water (like on a lounge chair) and use their arms to paddle forward, keeping their feet first at all times. The first toes to touch at the end, win!

T-Shirt Relay
For the first swimmer, this is relatively easy. He/She starts the relay by swimming across the pool with a t-shirt on. When done, he needs to get out of the pool, take the t-shirt off and pass it to the next person, who must put it on. (The trick to this relay is to lock arms, and have someone help "pull" the t-shirt between people.)

Water Ballon Relay
Kids must push a water ballon across the pool to their team member and continue until the last person pushes it to the end.

Underwater Relay
Just like the name says, kids must swim underwater the whole way across the pool. Of course they can come up to breathe, but no strokes.

Corkscrew Relay
Kids must swim in a corkscrew (twirling around and around) as the head down the pool. This is a dizzy, but very funny game, since it's very hard to swim in a straight line!

Inner Tube Relay
Each team gets an inner tube. One at a time the person must get in the inner tube and paddle (however they like, whether it's kicking or using arms or both) across the pool and pass the inner tube to his team mate.

More Pool Game Ideas
Handstand Contest
Handstands are the best in the pool since they are so easy. Have the kids perform their best handstands and give them ratings.

Gymnastics Routine Contest
Just like handstands, performing a gymnastics routine is fun, and much simpler in a pool than on land! Give the participants a set of "moves" they must accomplish in their routine (for instance, a hand stand, a flip, a cart wheel, a bend over, etc.) Now have them show their stuff!

Underwater Tea Party
One of my first swim coaches when I was a very little girl threw the best underwater tea parties around. This is a great game for little ones where just dunking in the pool is a big deal. The host of the party says, "OK, time to set up for the party. First let's put out the place mats." Then everyone dunks and sets up their pretend placemat. Next, the plates, cups, tea, cookies, etc... all pretend of course. Once the table is set, all get to go under and "have a party".

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fun in the Sun Pool Party: Decoration Ideas, Menu Ideas and More

Fun in the Sun Pool Party Invitation and Inspiration Board
Nothing says summer like a good old fashioned pool party! Having a summer birthday, I had many pool birthday parties growing up-- filled with friends, food and lots and lots of pool time! So whether your heading to your backyard pool or a public pool to host some fun, here are some decorating and menu ideas for your pool party.

Decoration Ideas
Fortunately, the pool takes center stage at this affair, so all you need are a few other accessories to add to the look and your ready to go!

Lots and Lots of Beach Balls
Nothing is more inviting than a pool full of blow up beach balls. They're colorful, fun to play with and great for kids to take home. You can pick up loads of different color beach balls at Oriental Trading.

Pool Inner Tubes
Another simple and colorful accessory for the pool are inner tubes... they also will be hours of fun for the kids!

Beach Towels on a Laundry Line
Colorful beach towels strung on a laundry line are a practical yet decorative addition to the poolside. You could even pick up some inexpensive beach towels and hand them out as "goodie bag" gifts at the end of the party. Customizing the towels with the kids name will also be a hit. You could do this simply with some iron on letters from your local sewing store, or have them professionally done.

Poolside Table Decor
Use a large beach towel or terry cloth fabric to cover the food table. Set out colorful plastic bowls filled with sinker toys, goggles, squirt toys and more. The table will look good and kids will love the goodies as well.

Menu Ideas
When thinking through a good menu for a pool party, think easy, fast finger food. In my experience, kids do not typically sit long for food when a tempting pool is by their side!

Small, bite size burgers are perfect by the pool Depending on the age of the crowd,  condiments can be kept to a minimum.

Bag of Chips
A small bag of chips will please almost all. You can very the flavors or keep it simple and just offer plain potato chips to reduce the risk of running out of some kid's favorite brand.

Fruit Kabobs
Small, cut up fruit pieces on a skewer add great nourishing food to the menu and taste good too.

Blue Punch and Flavored Waters
Don't forget the liquid refreshments. Fill up a large punch bowl with a blue drink (could be a drink like gatorade or your own home made concoction. If possible, use a small bunting cake pans to pre-make some inner tube ice floats. They'll look great floating in your mini-pool.

The treats served at a Fun in the Sun Pool party can be the best (and easiest) part! Here's a list of pre-made treat ideas:
  • Ice Cream Cone/Drumsticks
  • Eskimo Pies
  • Creamsicles
  • Astro Pops
  • Popsicles
  • It's It's
  • Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches (like Nestles)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Scream, You Scream, New Ice Cream Invitation!

Ice Cream Party Invitation (Cone or Ice Cream Truck) by B.Nute productions on Etsy
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Admittedly, ice cream is my favorite dessert-- so I can't imagine a better party than an Ice Cream Party.

I created these new invites for a customer who wanted an ice cream truck invitation... I loved the idea, but also thought it may be nice for those that just love a large cone to give that option as well! Head on over to my shop, and I'll scoop one of these invites up for you, whichever flavor you like!

Looking for some Ice Cream Party ideas? It must be the time of year for ice cream, because in the party blog land, there's been several wonderful posts for Ice Cream Party ideas. Here's a few of those links I thought I'd pass on:


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Free Printable Vive La France Bastille Day Goodies

Free Printable Vive La France Cake Bunting and Drink Flags
Vive La France!

Today is Bastille Day, or  La Fete Nationale, France's National Day. I have so many fond memories of this day-- with 3 spent in France. For 2 of them, I was at the Vieux Port in Marseille enjoying some of the most incredible fireworks I've ever seen! 

In honor of this day, I've created some free printables just for the occasion! Here are some Vive La France drink flags, and a festive Vive La France cake bunting. Just print, cut out, and enjoy!

Free Printable Vive La France Flags by B.Nute productions

Instructions for Printing Your VIve La France Cake Bunting and Drink Flags
1. Select link above and print out from your browser (print in landscape mode). Use card stock to give the flags some weight.
2. Cut each pennant and flag out.
3. Punch 2 holes in the top of each pennant and string together with ribbon. Attache to skewers and put in a cake! For the flags, cut out, fold in half, and attach to a skewer with double stick tape in the center.
4. Have a great Bastille Day!

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gilligan's Island Party: Decoration, Food and Drink Ideas

Sit right back to hear a tale,
a tale of a great party... 
It started with some tropic drinks 
and lots of friends and family!

Who didn't watch hours of Gilligan's Island while growing up? The Skipper and his little buddy Gilligan, Mary Ann and Ginger, the Millionaires, and of course the Professor... always trying to get off their little deserted island, and never quite succeeding.

A Gilligan's Island Theme Party is the perfect twist to a Hawaiian or Tiki themed party. The same great tropical drinks and poo-poos (Hawaiian for appetizers), but definitely lots of silliness and slapstick comedy Gilligan's Island-style. Below are some ideas to throw your own Gilligan's Island Party. Perhaps you will even be successful on getting off the island at the end!

Decoration Ideas
Hawaiian fare is perfect for this party... then just add a couple different cast-a-way items for accents and memories of the show:
  • Tropical Flowers
  • Palm eaves
  • Coconuts
  • Fishing Net
  • Grass Hut Decorations
  • Life Preservers (write SS Minnow on side)
  • A Dingy (the more beat up the better!)
  • Professor-Like Gadgets
  • A Trunk of Hollywood Movie Star Clothes
  • A Hammock or 2 (Gilligan and Skipper had bunk bed hammocks)
  • An Anchor
  • A Kiddie Pool (your own "lagoon")

Food Ideas
My favorite spot for island style food is Trader Joes. If you have one near by, this can be a one-stop shop... if not, no worries... many of these items can be made or found at most grocery stores:
  • Coconut Shrimp
  • Tropical Salsa and Chips
  • BBQ Veggie and Meat Skewers (be sure to add pineapple to the skewer)
  • Hawaiian Teriyaki Beef Skirt Steak
  • Tropical Fruit Salad
  • Coconut Ice Cream Bars
  • Tropical Fruit Popsicles

This party just isn't complete without some tasty tropical drinks... there's even a drink named after Gillian! Also, if you've ever watched the show, you know that Thurston Howell is never without a drink, appropriately in a bamboo with an tropical flower decoration. Below is a list of plenty of drink options to keep your cast-a-ways thirst quenched!

  • Ginger Ale
  • Tropical Juice
  • Mai Tai
  • Pina Colada
  • The Gilligan - There are varied Gilligan Drink recipes on the internet, pick your favorite!

Well, that's all for today's show (post)...
STAY TUNED tomorrow
More Gilligan's Island Party Ideas to come!

Post Show Notes:
Ironically, today (July 12, 2011), I just read that Sherwood Schwartz died at age 94. He was the creator of Gilligan's Island and Brady Bunch... two TV shows that I watched endlessly in my youth! Here are a couple articles about him that may be of interest. Thank you Sherwood for your wonderful party inspiration, and may you rest in peace!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Free Printable Vintage Summer Fun Note Cards

Vintage Summer Fun Cards by B.Nute productions
I love vintage Trading Cards! What a great advertising mechanism these used to be. Nostalgic scenes with your product name strategically placed in the image! I saw this image and knew right away it would be the perfect summer note card... Print these out, and pack them in your bag as you head to the beach or lake this summer... a great way to keep in touch with friends and family.

Vintage Summer Fun Note Cards by B.Nute productions

Instructions for Printing Your Vintage Summer Fun Note Cards
1. Select link above and print out from your browser (print in landscape mode). Use card stock to give the note cards some weight.
2. Cut each card out.
3. Write your note, and pop into a standard A2 sized envelopes to send to family or friends.

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Patriotic Fun at the Lake
Happy [belated] Fourth of July! We've just returned from a long weekend at Lake Tahoe... Tahoe in the summer is definitely one of my favorite places in the world. Warm days filled with swimming, crawdad fishing and long walks... pleasant nights with lots and lots of stars and the sounds of the lake. It was hard to leave, but I'll be back in August for another fix...