One big problem we've had is all the "stuff" that kids bring over. Usually we end up with a basket full of other people's towels, shirts, socks, flip flops, goggles, etc. I used to try to find the proper owners, but now I just wash the towels and add them to my collection. I figure that the poor kid who lost his towel will recognize his towel one of the next times he comes to swim and when he say, "Hey, I used to have a towel like that," then I'll give him his towel back.
Well, in order to prevent that situation from happening, I created this lovely basket system. I went to the dollar store and bought these baskets. I used some colorful coordinating 1-inch ribbon that I had on-hand and tied the baskets to our pool fence (one ribbon at the top and one further down to make sure the baskets didn't blow all over the place or fall down. I awarded myself a GENIUS AWARD for this invention!
Now all the kids and teens can pick their own basket and keep all their "stuff" in it and it won't be on all over the chairs, picnic table, ground, etc.
I grew up at the beach so I miss it. We joke that living in the desert is "all beach, no ocean" which is a lot less fun. So we decided to make our pool a little beachy. My surfer brothers and friends donate their old surfboards to us and we use them to decorate.
My handy husband thought of making these fun signs to go around the walls near our pool. We were inspired by similar signs at Bahama Buck's shaved ice stores. They have beach city names and the distance from our house on them. He used the router to put the names on and then painted the words and stained the wood.
Even though I grew up at the beach, I really don't like being directly out in the sun. So during the hot part of the year, we put up these shades that we bought at Costco (online). They weren't very expensive themselves, but buy the metal posts and putting in the cement to hold the poles up was more costly (but well worth it). The posts are put in sleeves that were set in cement so we can take the shades and posts down in the cooler weather. You can't really tell, but one end of the pool is shaded a lot which is great when we have little ones over to visit too.
I decided to invest in a decent chair for me to sit in during my countless hours of life guarding. I bought this one at Lowe's for under $50.00. It is a "zero gravity" type chair so when I lean back, it reclines and lifts my feet up. It also folds up to transport easily. I picked the bright apple green color because it makes me happy. The rest of our chairs are boring and neutral. If you notice behind my chair, there is a big half basketball court. We decided with three boys that we would have a practical and fun backyard rather than "pretty." It was a great decision for our family and we use our yard more than most people I know.
Thanks for reading and I hope our ideas will help you enjoy your pool parties this summer.