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Don't be a fool at the next pool party - start planning now!

Throwing a birthday pool party is a cool way for kids to celebrate in the hot summer sun and is easy for any family that owns or has easy access to a backyard oasis. Still, it's important to take the time to plan ahead to make sure everything runs smoothly. Here are some of the top details to consider.

Invitations. Because of the nature of the event, pool parties are generally smaller than the average birthday bash - so sending out personalized and unique invitations is a manageable task. Try filling a beach bucket with water-friendly items like laminated invitations, cupcake towel favors and inexpensive inflatable beach balls and place it in front of each potential party-goer's door in order to get them excited about attending the event.

Decorations. Even though the party will be held at a swimming pool, it's wise to invest in some birthday decorations to help make the day feel less casual and more like a celebration. Scattering the swimming area with inflatable toys, displaying a birthday banner on the deck and decorating changing areas with baby ducky candle favors will add to the party fun. Sectioning off a "dry area" with streamers and signs will give parents a safe spot to watch kids throughout the day.

Dry Activities. When the swimming begins, all adults will need to be available for lifeguard duty, so it's a good idea to have some dry activities planned at the start of the party when guests are still arriving. For some messy outdoor fun, ask each child to bring a white t-shirt to be tie-dyed upon arrival - most cotton attire will dry quickly in the hot summer sun and can be worn as cover-ups after the swimming fun is over. For younger children, games like Duck, Duck, Goose! and freeze tag can easily be orchestrated and are still popular today.

Food. Sending a handful of sugar-hyper children into a pool of water is probably not the best idea and sugary treats should be left to the end of the shindig. Serving fresh fruits and vegetables, crackers and cheeses and chips and dips throughout the party and a mid-party meal off the grill (think hamburgers, hot-dogs and grilled cheese) will help keep energy levels up and temper tantrums down. For dessert, cupcakes baked inside ice cream cones and decorated in beach themes make for an attractive and portable treat.

Favors. Send guests home with fond memories and pool themed favor bags that contain the tie-dyed t-shirt, a squirt gun to continue the water fun at home and mini woven picnic baskets filled with candy.