Summer Pool Party Ideas

Inventive ideas to make your summer pool party a splash.

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Berrylicious Cookie Cup Sundaes Recipe

What are you planning for this July 4th? You can bet that my kids will be marching in the neighborhood parade, munching on hamburgers, hot dogs, and clams. But, they will also enjoy one of these fabulous Berrylicious Cookie Cup Sundaes. They're easy to make and they taste heavenly. So, forget the traditional recipes and go for something bigger and better like this … your guests (and your kids!) are sure to be impressed!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package pre-made sugar cookie dough (should yield 24 cookies)
  • 2 quarts strawberries, washed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla bean ice cream
  • muffin tin

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. You will need a 24-slot nonstick mini muffin tin. Divide the cookie dough into 24 pieces and place one piece into each mini-muffin cup.
3. Once the oven is preheated, bake the dough for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden on the edges and cooked through. The center will indent slightly.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, remove the cookie cups from the pan and set aside until ready to use.
5. Hull and quarter the strawberries. If desired, you can chop them as well.
6. Place the berries into a small bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and mix well. Let the berries sit for at least 10 minutes.
7. Prepare 12 plates.
8. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out 12 vanilla ice cream balls, and place one on each of the 12 plates. Flank the ice cream with 2 cookie cups. Then, scoop 1 - 2 heaping tablespoons of strawberries over the ice cream.
9. Serve immediately.
 

Tips:

  • Make ice cream cuppies instead! Use a mini cookie/ice cream scoop to dish out 1-2 tablespoon balls of vanilla ice cream and top each cookie with one. Serve with strawberries on the side or just top with a cherry.
  • Want it to be red, white and blue? Toss some blueberries onto the dessert too.
  • You can cook the cookies up to a day in advance. Be sure to store them in an airtight container.
 

 

Easy to make, and they taste heavenly.

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Easy Taco Salad Dinner Recipe

Flexible recipes can be so fun, which is why your family will love this Easy Taco Salad Dinner. You offer a base and then little bowls of toppings to create a personalized dish, letting each family member make a version to his or her specific tastes. Easy, simple, and totally delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup water
  • 6 cups lettuce, rinsed and dried
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 ounce tortilla chips
  • 1 lime
  • salsa to taste
  • sour cream to taste

Instructions:

1. Heat a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and cook until thoroughly browned—no pink should remain.
 
2. Stir together the chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and salt in a small bowl to create a mix of seasonings.
 
3. Add your mixed seasonings to the pan with the ground turkey and stir well. Pour in the water and stir well.
 
4. Cook the ground turkey mixture for 8 - 10 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir it often to prevent burning and to ensure that the seasoning evenly coats the meat.
 
5. Transfer the ground turkey to a serving bowl.
 
6. Tear or chop your clean, dry lettuce into bite-sized pieces.
 
7. Evenly divide the lettuce between four shallow salad bowls. Dice the tomatoes and transfer to a small serving bowl. Dice the avocado and transfer to its own serving bowl, as well. Place the cheese in another serving bowl.
 
8. Lightly crush the tortilla chips so that they are fork-sized pieces. Place in a small serving bowl.
 
9. Cut the lime into wedges. Put one on the edge of each salad bowl.
 
10. Serve! Allow each family member to select from the toppings and add to their lettuce pile. Drizzle with lime juice and top with a dollop of salsa and/or sour cream. Devour.

 

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Flip-Flop Fun Craft

Decorating flip-flops can be a fun craft for a slumber party or a pool party. This is a great summery project that yields a comfortable and inexpensive pair of flip flops that kids will have fun wearing every day and showing off to their friends. You can even serve a flip-flop cake to complete the party theme! This project involves using a needle, so it's not for little kids; try this with a group of tweens or teens.

Materials:

  • 1 pair of flip-flops per person
  • fishing line or thread
  • beads and other decorations to adorn the flip flops
  • 6 - 8 yards fat yarn or ribbon per pair of flip flops
  • large-eye needles

Instructions:

1. Give each child 3 - 4 yards of yarn per shoe to start. The amount of yarn used for each shoe will depend on the size of the shoe and the width of the yarn; you can always tie more on later if the yarn runs out before the entire shoe strap has been wrapped.
 
2. Start by wrapping the yard one time around the strap, and knot it at the base where the strap meets the shoe at the side (not in the center of the thong). Tuck the knot under the strap, and work the end of the string into your weave once you get started.
 
3. Start your weave: once you've secured one end of the yarn to the shoe, begin to wrap the flip-flop straps with yarn.
 
4. Ball the yarn in one hand, and make a loop by taking the yarn under the strap and then feeding the yarn ball around the strap and through the loop to make a knot. Pull the string tight.
 
5. Wrap the yarn snugly around the strap, and make another loop and feed the yarn through. Repeat the process over and over to cover the strap with this weave.
6. If you want to add beads or other embellishments, you can add them by stringing them onto the yarn while you're wrapping.
 
7. If the beads have a hole that is too small to add them directly to the yarn, you can string one or more beads onto the fish line. Use the fish line and a needle to attach them to the shoe and tie off each one with a knot as you go.
 
8. When you're done wrapping the strap, knot it again at the end.

 

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Guacamole Recipe

In the real world, cookies aren't always the best choice for an after-school snack; something a little more substantial and nutritious is what's needed. Enter the healthy-fats-filled avocado, and its famous derivative: Guacamole. The recipe can be made in under 10 minutes with just a few ingredients, so it's easy enough to make fresh on a whim.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 lime or lemon, juiced (2-3 tablespoons)
  • 3-4 dashes hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot or Tobasco)
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Instructions:

1. Cut the avocados in half. Remove the peel and the pit. The best way to remove the pit is to hit it with the knife (it will get stuck) and gently rock the knife back and forth to loosen and remove it.
 
2. Dice the avocados. You don't need a perfect dice, as you will soon be mashing it up.
 
3. Combine the diced avocado, lime or lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir the mixture well to combine.
 
4. Mash the mixture using the tins of a fork. Press the avocado against the sides of the bowl, stirring and mixing as you go. Continue this step until you reach desired consistency (slightly chunky is preferred).
 
5. Taste the guacamole, and add more salt, pepper, lemon and/or hot sauce, as desired. Then, transfer the guacamole to a serving bowl. Serve immediately.

Tips:

  • This guacamole can be served with tortilla chips. But if you want to try something different and delicious, try serving it with mini pretzel twists instead.
  • Want something a little more substantial? Use a flour tortilla, some cheddar cheese and a touch of butter to make a fabulous and fast quesadilla.
  • Looking for a spicier guacamole? Add more hot sauce! Or, dice a jalapeño and add it during step # 2.
 

Easy enough to make fresh on a whim.

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Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Recipe

Do you remember your first slumber party? I was in the fourth grade when I convinced my mom to let me have one for my birthday. We stayed up late, talking, munching, and playing. So. Much. Fun.

When it comes to birthday party sweets, these Ice Cream Sandwiches are perfect. Compact and perfectly portioned, kids can enjoy the ice cream without worries of a big mess from all the fixin's.

Ingredients:

  • 16 chocolate chip cookies
  • ice cream
  • mini-chocolate chips
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • nuts (optional)

Instructions:

1. Line the cookies up in 2 rows of 8 cookies on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, with the flat sides up.
 
2. Soften the ice cream on the counter for 5 minutes, until just pliable. Spread ice cream on one row of cookies. It should be between ½-inch and 1-inch thick.
 
3. Top the ice cream-topped cookies with the opposing cookies.
 
4. If desired, lay the chocolate chips, sprinkles or chopped nuts in a plate, and roll the edge of the ice cream sandwiches in them.
 
5.
Place the ice cream sandwiches on the cookie sheet (on top of the waxed paper) and freeze for about 50 minutes to set.

 

Ooey-gooey ice cream deliciousness.

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More Recipes

Try these fun and inventive recipes to add a sweet splash to your summer pool party.

Ladybug Cupcakes

Oreo Ice Cream Cake

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