Halloween Pool Party Decoration Ideas

How to Decorate Your Swimming Pool For Halloween

Halloween Pool Party Decorations Ideas

The swimming pool can easily be converted into a creepy haunted place with a few bought or DIY props. Check out our best ideas.

Blood Red Swimming Pool Halloween

Another great idea: filling the pool with “blood.”

For an easy, dramatic effect add some pool dye to your swimming pool. Half of an 8 oz bottle turns a 15,000 gallon pool a nice blood red for a Halloween party.

And don’t worry, this stuff won’t stain the pool liner, either fiberglass or vinyl. It does filter out within a few days.

Then add some floating skeletons or body parts and watch your guests admiring the effect.

(PS: Any leftover dye could come in handy for a pink birthday party.)

Floating Halloween Decorations

From floating pumpkins, flickering candle lights to glowing body parts, eerie skeletons and ghosts there are various possibilities to create a gruesomely spooky scene at your pool.

Halloween Pool Party decoration gloves glowsticksGlowing hands

Cheap, easy and effective: Get a box of latex surgical or household gloves, insert glow sticks, inflate and presto you have a good number of glowing dead hands to float in your pool. Works well with clear and dyed pool water.

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Spooky Decorations For A Haunted Pool

Best to bear in mind who the party is for. If there are younger children to hold back on bloody body parts but go for Jack-o-lanterns and party halloween decorations. Less realistic is perfect for this age group. In fact, most young children will enjoy dressing up and party fun more than being scared.

If your party is for teenagers and/or adults the more realistic and creepy the better. Most people think of decorations to drape over trees and arrange in the garden.

But a truly haunted house will have strange lights and emanate eerie sounds and surprising, scary effects. 

Here are some ideas for a haunted feel, especially at night

  • Glowsticks – green or white, put into latex gloves or balloons for ghost lights
  • Flickering lights from real candles in lanterns
  • Real carved pumpkins with tealights inside
  • Flameless LED light candles with moving flames look incredibly realistic and are safe to use
  • Ground fog machine – not as expensive as you might think but so effective, especially when combined with glowsticks or spotlights
  • Large cobwebs
  • Animated decorations like ghosts, skeletons, witches with spooky movements and flashing lights and haunted voices or noises
  • Creepy cloth draped over furniture, trees or doors for a ‘taken over by ghosts and creatures’ feel
  • Sound Tracks of haunted music or even a story (see below for inspiration)

Just make sure to arrange everything with safety in mind, especially around the pool area. Make sure your guests don’t trip or fall into the pool at night.

Halloween Pool Floating Jack O lanterns

Bubbling swimming Pool and Candles

Halloween decorating is all about creativity and anything spooky, creepy and scary goes!

Fake tombstones, giant cobwebs, glowing pathways, bodyparts, strange noises. If it is all cloaked in mysterious fog even better.

Spooky effect of glow in the dark pathways

Low, dimmed light is hugely effective to create a spooky atmosphere.

Jack-o-lanterns shouldn’t be left out. Spread them out around the pool edge or, better still put them in the pool. Even though they are heavy they will float because they are hollow.

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Not a pool decoration but a wonderful FREE way to HAUNT ANY POOL and have great fun doing so: Music and stories: Take the time and listen to these.

You could also let this run on a loop in the background somewhere. Then see how people stop in their tracks mesmerized to follow the haunting voice.

How do I Float on my Back?

How to Teach Little Kids to Float on their Back

Anyone watching how pre-schoolers play will notice how much of it is pretend play. Young children love it. They are not good with drills, ha ha!

The “show me and let me try and let’s have fun” approach works well for them.

Tips to teach young children how to float on their back

TIP 1: Do not start your swimming lesson with floating. Instead, teach them to move through water first.

This could be something fairly simple like kicking their legs with a floatation aid like a pool noodle under their arms. When they have built confidence that way and even more importantly have spent energy they are more than ready for something relaxing.

And floating in the water is all about relaxing, after all!

TIP 2: Throughout your “lesson” give clear, short, and simple instructions.

TIP 3: Use imagination wherever you can think of it. It will make it so much more fun.

TIP 4: Always tell the child before each step what you are going to do, make sure they are comfortable.

Watch the swimming instructor Phillip Toriello teaching Kyle to float. Notice how he stays calm and makes sure the boy knows what to do and feels comfortable.

This video is only 3 min long – that’s all it takes to teach a pre-schooler to float if you follow the tips on this page. 

Step 1: Get into a safe floating position with your head on your shoulder

When your child is calm and ready to relax after some energetic play let him put his head on your shoulder. Usually, his body and legs will follow and float on the water surface. If not, just guide them up with your hands.

Give him some simple instructions to get him to look up and lifts his belly up towards the sky.

For example:  “Look up and see the clouds/ lights up there. Make your belly button look up to the sky, too.”

Step 2: Safe floating position away from your shoulder

Once the child is floating you can slowly move him from your shoulder, supporting his head and lower back with your hands now to help him feel secure. You could also put his legs on a lane line.

Tell him to point his chin up to the sky so he tilts his head back more and his mouth and nose clear of the water.

Step 3: Floating with head close to your chest for up to 5 sec

Ask him if it’s ok to remove your hand from his head/ neck.

Tell the child that you want him to float for 3 (or 4 or 5) seconds. Is this ok with him?

Put a finger on the bridge of his goggles. This helps the child to keep his head in that position when you remove your hand. Staying still very close to him, remove your hand and count aloud to 3 (or 4 or 5.)

Move your hand back under his head to come up.

Step 4: Floating unsupported for up to 5 sec

Move your chest away from his head and repeat as above so your child gets a sense of being supported in the water without you.

Then guide him to come up and tell him how well he did.

Want to learn more? You can find out about floating for grown-ups and children here.

Floating vertically with just your face above the water - can you do it?

How to Float Vertically in the Deep End of the Pool

Being able to float horizontally either on your back or front helps with your swimming.

Floating vertically, on the other hand, is one of those fun things to explore with no particular purpose behind it. Most people just like to see if they can do it.

Understanding the whys and hows of floating

The physics of how floating works doesn’t change, of course, whether you float horizontally or vertically.

What’s different is that in a head-up, feet down position the water doesn’t have as much surface area to push against, which means your body will be submerged more or less completely.

Whether or not you’ll be able to breathe in that position will depend on your buoyancy which in turn comes down to your very personal density as explained further above.

In a nutshell, the more fat you have the more buoyant you are. The following steps will work for most people unless they are very slim or very muscular like a bodybuilder on a no-fat diet.

If you are that kind of person you can still give it a go and will very likely find that your feet don’t sink all the way down to the bottom of the pool but instead stay suspended. However, your head will sink to just under the water surface.  

How to get started floating vertically in water

Here’s how to best go into and stay in the vertical floating position:

  • Allow your legs to relax and sink down. With that relaxation will come a little bend of the knees – that’s fine.
  • Relax and spread your arms wide to each side for maximum surface area.
  • Take a big, deep breath to have maximum buoyancy and tilt your head back so your mouth and nose point upwards.
  • Stay calm and relaxed. Breathe gently in and out if you have enough buoyancy to keep your nose and mouth above the waterline.
  • If you sink too low, you might have to do a few gentle kicks with your legs to get just that bit above the water line to breathe. Don’t kick too hard because that will cause too much bobbing up and down.

Vertical Float Fallout

Here is an interesting step up from just floating. Ever had one of these deep-sea toy divers that could go up and down in water depending on pressure?

Well, the vertical float fallout looks very similar. Only the up and down movement comes from changing the amount of air in your lungs.

Watch the video below to see how to align your whole body and breathe to move along a nice vertical axis.

It’s great fun.

How to Back Float in Water

Watch someone floating almost blissfully on their back and you wonder why it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It’s a wonderful skill to develop even when you already know how to swim.


Anyone can learn to float at least to some degree, adults and kids alike. Some people can truly lie in the water, be completely still, not move at all and just breathe. Others might be just as relaxed but need to keep moving their limbs a little to prevent sinking. Why?

Density, buoyancy, gravity – floating or sinking … physics!

If reading this reminds you too much of school, and not in a good way, just take a deep breath and you’ll find you know all this through experience. 

You already know that you can put an object in water and one of two things can happen: It floats or it sinks. Why?

Buoyancy by Pbroks13 at English Wikipedia
Buoyancy image by Pbroks13 at Wikipedia

When placing things in the water there are always two forces working in opposite directions. Gravity pulls everything down, just like on land and water upthrust pushes everything up.

Objects like inflatables float because they are light for their size. Their buoyancy is high and the water has a huge area to push and support to keep it afloat.

Little buoyancy, however, means sinking like a stone.

This buoyancy, i.e. whether an object or body floats or sinks depends on the difference of its density compared to the density of water. 

Anything denser than water will sink.

Are you more or less dense than water?

Density is measured in weight per volume. Pure water is a handy 1g/ cm33 (gram per cubic centimeter). Any mineral or rock has at least double or even several times the density of water which is why pebbles accumulate at the bottom of the pool. Yep, also true for your iPhone.

Wikipedia assumes a density of 1.01 cm3  for the “average” human body. So, just a little denser than water.  This means that this average body, without air in the lungs, would sink in pure water.

Did you just imagine all those people floating in the swimming pool? Of course not.  

So why can people float? And, more importantly…

Can Everybody Float?

Note that the density values above are for pure water and an “average” body. As mentioned before, relative density is key to floating.

Let’s imagine two people in the pool: A skinny teenager and a stouter middle-aged man. Chances are, the man floats easily whereas the skinny teenager has to keep kicking and moving to prevent sinking.   

In other words, the density of people varies quite considerably: enough to make a difference in how well a person can float.

Muscle and fat make the biggest difference: the more fat a person has the easier it will be for them to float. Skinny or athletic people tend to struggle with floating but put them in a fake-fat wetsuit (neoprene) and they’ll float too.

Most people can float as there is enough fat to keep them afloat. Only a very few can’t – they have “negative buoyancy”.

Ocean water has a higher density of 1.020 to 1.070 g/cm3 which explains why practically everybody can float there.  It’s not surprising then how people who struggle to float normally find it incredibly relaxing when they put on a wetsuit and swim in saltwater, float in a brine spa or swim in the Red Sea.

Having a float, Dead Sea, Jordan
Having a float, Dead Sea, Jordan on flickr

How to test your buoyancy

Here is one way to find out – in a safe way, in the shallow end of a pool – provided you are comfortable to put your face underwater. There’s also more information on the web to help you learn if you like.

Back floating for beginners

Knowing how to float is incredibly useful when learning to swim. As you will see below you don’t even have to go into the deep end but can start where you can still stand comfortably.  

Learning to float on your back is the easiest way to pick up because it allows you to keep breathing safely while getting used to being in the water. You will build up your confidence in floating and the more trust you have the easier it is to feel relaxed and light.

Where to practice? 

You will need the water to be calm. Ocean waves would make it very difficult to lie back without getting waves splashing over your face. A quiet pool is usually the most convenient and safest option.

Method 1 – Starfish

Watch the following video on how to float on your back. Then read on for further instructions.

The first goal is to lie back, keep breathing gently and doing just enough with your legs and arms to keep your balance.

Safety first: start at the shallow end of the pool. You need to be deep enough to have enough room for floating but shallow enough to feel safe and be able to stand up if you want to.

1. Hold on to the side of the pool.

2. Slowly lean back and lie on your back.

3. Make a starfish.  Spread your arms and legs wide to distribute the weight over a wider area, making it easier to float and keep your balance.

4. Tilt your head back.  (Moving your head forward will make your hips sink lower).


  • Relax, Tensing up muscles makes you go “heavy” and sink, relaxing means feeling lighter.
  • Optional: gently move and kick your legs to keep them high in the water if needed.
  • Gently move your arms to keep yourself in balance.

Up and down

When you feel safe floating in the water you can increase your learning and control by playing with these variations:

Variation 1: Play with tensing your muscles on purpose and notice how your body sinks deeper. Relax and notice your body floating up. You could also imagine being light as a feather or something similar.

Variation 2: Move your head forward and notice how your torso and legs move downward.

Variation 3: Take a very deep breath to “inflate your belly” and notice how your body floats further up.

Breathe out completely and notice your torso sinking lower.

Method 2 – Floating with the help of a spotter

Instead of holding onto the side of the pool for safety, in method 2 you will use another person to help you get into the right floating position.

Tips from Mary at Aquatic Adventures in Virginia:

  • As you lean back the spotter places her hand under your upper back.
  • Position of your head: Waterline is at about mid-cheek level. Chin up, but not too much, just enough so it’s level with your nose.
  • Ears are in the water. If you worry about ear infection make especially sure to dry them thoroughly after swimming.
  • Lift your chest and hips.
  • Let the legs float. Depending on how muscular your legs are they may sink or float on the surface easily – either is fine and normal.
  • Stretch your arms out as when you want to make yourself big. Make sure palms facing up to the sky or ceiling.
Troubleshooting: when outstretched arms don’t work for you and you can’t seem to get your chest to float enough: Place your hands under your head and press your elbows down, towards the bottom of the pool. This will lift your chest and the hips and legs will follow, too.

Method 3 – by Miracle Swimming (with or without a spotter)

The safest and most gentle method.

This video demonstrates how calm and relaxed people can learn to float.  

1. Go to the side of the pool where the water is about belly deep.

2. Hold onto the poolside with both hands.

3. Lower your body into the water.

4. While still holding on to the side of the pool, gently lean back. Let your head be carried by the water as if it was a pillow. Relax even more into the water.

If you have a spotter she could gently place her hand under your upper back for support.

5. When you are ready your hands can let go of the poolside, your body drifting ever so slowly on the surface of the water.

Notice how the water is carrying your head, torso, and arms.

Your feet may still touch the bottom of the floor – that’s fine.

How to Float on Your Front

This is actually easier to learn than floating on your back. Provided you are comfortable holding your breath while having your face underwater.

  1. Move to the same pool depth as for floating on your back, so the waterline is somewhere between your belly and chest.
  2. Hold onto the poolside.
  3. Take a deep breath and slowly lie on your front.
  4. Spread out arms and legs into a starfish pose.
  5. When you need to come up to catch your breath, stand up, relax and breathe calmly.

Ever tried to float vertically? Click here to find out how.