Every kid wants to spend their summer in the water, and pool parties are always a big hit! Of course, the kids will have a great time just splashing around in the water but throwing in some pool games for kids will take the fun to a whole new level. Check out our list of fun things to do in the pool!
Swimming Pool Games (for Boys, Girls, & Teens)
#1 – Marco Polo
Marco Polo is just like playing tag in the swimming pool, but the person who’s “it” has to keep their eyes closed to make things more challenging.
This game is really simple… the “it” player calls out “Marco,” and everyone else answers back with “Polo.” Whoever is “It” listens carefully and tries to tag one of the other players. Once he or she successfully tags a player, the tagged player then becomes “it” for the next round.
#2 – Submarine Race
Here’s a fun pool game for the younger kids who are just learning how to swim under water. Have the boys and girls line up against the wall on the edge of the pool. Someone yells “Go,” and the kids race underwater to see who can go the furthest without coming up for air.
#3 – Wishing Well
This one is a favorite with both younger kids and teens because they get to dive underwater and collect treasure.
The players should stand with their backs to the pool while someone throws a handful of loose coins into the water. Then, the players dive into the pool and collect them. Let the players keep their coins as a prize or collect them all and toss them again.
#4 – Swimming Pool Scavenger Hunt
Your swimmers should divide up into two teams for this game. You’ll need several pairs of items that sink or float, such as two coins, two diving sticks, two pool noodles, etc.
Someone tosses the items in the pool, scattering them all around to keep things challenging. Each team has to collect one of each item, and the first team to complete the task wins.
#5 – Splash Dance
This is a fun pool game for girls, and you could base an entire party around it. The girls can work on their own, or they can break up into teams. Each girl or team choreographs their own water ballet to go with one of their favorite songs.
You could even provide a variety of fun props, like crazy sunglasses, hats, swimming rings, or pool noodles. Have the girls put on a show for their friends and the grownups. The adults can pick a winning dancer or team and award prizes at the end.
#6 – Bobbers
Bobbers is a bit like “Whack a Mole” and the boys in your group will love it! One player is chosen to be “it” and is given a pool noodle. Everyone else is a bobber.
The bobbers start at one end of the pool and work their way across, bobbing up and down as they go. The player who is it tries to whack them with the pool noodle as they bob past him at the center of the pool.
Anyone who makes it past without being whacked is safe. The first person to get hit becomes “it” for the next round of the game. Here are some more pool noodle ideas.
#7 – Invisible Bottles
This one is a lot more challenging than you would expect, especially if you can put some of the bottles in the deep end. All you need are a few empty water bottles with the labels and lids off so that they become nearly invisible in the swimming pool.
The adults fill the bottles with water and hide them around the bottom of the pool. The players have to find the bottles, and whoever finds the most wins the game.
#8 – Shark and Minnows
This is another version of water tag. The player who is “it” is the shark and the rest of the players are minnows.
The minnows stand at one side of the pool, and when someone says go, they try to get to the other side without being tagged by the shark. The first player to get tagged becomes “it” for the next time.
#9 – Underwater Obstacle Course
To make your obstacle course, punch some holes in a few hula hoops and fill them with water. Then, put a small section of a pool noodle on one end of the hula hoop so that that end will float while the other end sits on the bottom.
Or simply have another person hold the hoop underwater. Have the players swim through the hoops and gather objects off the bottom of the pool as they go.
#10 – Noodle Jousting
Noodle jousting is fun for swimmers of all ages, even teens and adults. You’ll need a pool raft and a pool noodle for each player.
Each player sits on their raft and the pool noodles are used to “joust” with the other players. The object is to knock the other players off their raft and into the water. The last player to remain on his raft wins.
#11 – Dolphin Race
Dolphin race can be played by individual players, or you can divide the swimmers up into teams and have a relay.
Each player or team gets their own beach ball. The object is to push the ball from one side of the pool to the other, using only their nose… no hands allowed! Any player who uses their hands has to go back to the starting line. The first player or team to finish wins!
#12 – Ring Around the Rosie
This is a fun-filled game for little boys and girls and popular during swimming lessons. Have the kids form a circle in the shallow end of the pool. Have them sing the song “Ring Around the Rosie” as they skip around the pool.
On the final line, they should all duck under the water. If you want to change things up, have the kids change the final line to “We all jump up!” and have them up all jump up on the wall.
See Also: 12 Fun Beach Activities for Toddlers
#13 – Fishy in the Middle
This swimming game is ideally suited for three players, and all you need is a beach ball. One person is the fishy. He stands in the middle and tries to catch the ball as the other two players bat it back and forth over his head.
When the fishy catches the ball, the person who last tossed it becomes the new fishy and gets stuck in the middle.
#14 – Volleyball
Teens and adults will have a blast playing volleyball in the pool. All you need is a net and a ball. For extra fun, use a big beach ball in place of a traditional volleyball. Can be played with a good amount of players.
#15 – Sharks and Dolphins
Sharks and Dolphins is the perfect swimming game for a large group of decent swimmers. Divide the players up into two teams, and delegate a safe spot for each team. Appoint another person as the referee.
When the referee calls out either “Sharks” or “Dolphins,” the corresponding team must swim to their safe spot without being tagged by the other team.
Anyone who gets tagged has to join the other team, and the game ends when all players from one team have been tagged.
These swimming pool games for kids will be a hit at any get-together. Just make sure there are plenty of adults around to supervise the fun! Nothing can spoil a good time faster than an accident in the water.
Following good pool safety rules should always be priority. With younger swimmers, have them wear a swim vest such as the Puddle Jumper or even a life jacket.
Don’t forget to apply a good waterproof sunscreen and reapply as needed. Time flies when having fun and if you’re not careful, a bad sunburn is just around the corner.