Here in Phoenix, the summer is all about finding ways to stay cool.
And what could be more fun to accomplish that than a snow cone themed pool party? Paula from Frog Prince Paperie and I decided to challenge each other to come up with a fun, creative summer party--but the catch was that it all had to cost less than $100. For the food, favors, activities, decor, everything. Throwing a fabulous, creative, memorable, fun party doesn't have to involve spending a lot of money! (In fact, I do most of the things for my own parties because I just don't have the budget to spend a lot of money.)
There's no better summer treat than an icy cold snow cone, but rather than buying commercially prepared snow cone syrups, or even making my own super sugary blends, I decided that I wanted to use all natural and organic fruit juices. I'll have all the details in an upcoming blog post.
But let me just say that the snow cones were a HUGE hit with all of the kids. Nobody missed the artificial flavors, lurid colors, or excessive sugar for one second.
I found fun color changing spoons and polka dot snow cone cups at Michaels, in the seasonal aisle. It's amazing how something as simple as a disposable, color changing, temperature sensative plastic spoon can make kids so happy. I wasn't expecting those to be taken home, but the kids all wanted to keep their special spoons.
An easy "stay cool" cardstock invitation invited our friends to our snow cone pool party. I love how those paper snow cones turned out!
Favors included colorful water bottles (just 50 cents each at Michaels) and homemade snow cone ball-catcher games.
More paper snow cone decorations were used through the entire party.
I had cup-and-ball type games like this when I was a kid, but evidently I've never exposed my children to them, because they thought it was pretty much the coolest, most unique thing ever. I did admit that the concept has been around for centuries, but my kids still thought I was awfully cool for coming up with the idea. I'll take the praise where I can get it; they'll be teenagers soon enough.
It's really pretty amazing how much time the spent playing with the snow cone catch toys, when there was a glorious pool right behind them.
I love that look of pride and accomplishment on Maelie's face. Get the tutorial to make your own snow cone catcher toys here!
More snow cone decorations! Garlands decorating the tables.
And for a special treat, something distinctly sugary and not healthy. Cupcakes made to resemble snow cones, with polka dot cupcake wrappers that matched the snow cone cones.
We had kiwi strawberry, lime, cherry, orange peach mango, orange, and raspberry flavored real fruit snow cone syrups.
I absolutely love the Rival snow cone ice shaver that we have and used for this party. It's really amazingly fast and powerful. About a million steps up from the Snoopy Snow Cone grinder I had as a kid. I'm sorry I put you through that, mom.
The colors aren't as bright as those artificial syrups, but the flavor is actually much brighter and vibrant and fabulous.
For an activity and take-home favor, we tie dyed shirts. I loved how the tie dye bottles looked so much like my snow cone syrups!
The shirts were placed in a Ziplock bag and sent home with the kids, where they could be rinsed out and washed to finish setting the stain later.
Is it hot where you are? How are you staying cool?