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10 Fun Pool Games for Kids

Looking for some new games to ramp up the fun in your swimming pool? Need a refresh on the classics like Marco Polo? You’ve come to the right place. Check out our list of 10 fun swimming pool games* that you can try today. (*from swimmingpool.com)

1. Atomic Whirlpool

HOW TO PLAY:

  • Tell players to get in the pool and line up in a single-file line along the edge of the pool.
  • First, tell the players to walk around the edge of the pool.
  • After about 30 seconds of walking, tell them to jog around the edge of the pool.
  • After about 30 seconds of jogging, tell them to start running (safely). By this point, there should be a strong current pulling them along.
  • Tell the players to stop and walk in the other direction. It’ll be almost impossible to move against the current!

Tip:  The more players you’ve got, the stronger the whirlpool. This is a great party game!

2. Basketball and Volleyball

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • A volleyball or a basketball
  • A net or a hoop

HOW TO PLAY:

Whether it’s one-on-one or team play, games like basketball and volleyball are even more fun when played in the pool. The best part is that your games can be as organized (or not) as you want. Divide into teams and keep score, or just have fun hitting the ball and shooting hoops. Either way, these games provide hours of active fun.

3. Cardboard Boat Race

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Scissors
  • Packing tape
  • Colored paper
  • Markers and stickers

HOW TO PLAY:

Divide players into teams and give them one hour to use the supplies above to build their best, most seaworthy cardboard boat. Encourage teams to get creative, and make sure each boat gets a name! When the time is up, have the teams put their boats in the pool. The boat that stays afloat longest wins!

Tip:  Safety first! If you’re playing this game with younger kids, make sure an adult is around to help cut the cardboard.
 

4. Duck Push

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Rubber ducks (one per player)

HOW TO PLAY:

  • Give each player a rubber duck and send them one end or side of the pool.
  • When you say, “Go,” players must push their duck to the other end of the pool . . . without using their hands! They can push the ducks with their noses, blow on them, or bump them with their foreheads – whatever it takes to get the duck moving.
  • To make the game more challenging, allow players to “distract” each other by splashing water or trying to knock their ducks off course. The same rules apply, though: No hands allowed!
  • The first one to get their duck to the other end of the pool wins!

5. Freeze Tag

HOW TO PLAY:

This modified version of freeze tag is best played in an above ground  or at the shallow end of a pool where every player can stand with their heads above water.

  • Choose one player to be “it.” That person tries to tag the other players. Players who are tagged must stand frozen like a popsicle (with hands straight in the air) until another player thaws him or her by swimming between his or her legs.
  • A player cannot be tagged while underwater. After a minute or two, have someone else be “it” and continue the game until everyone has had a chance to chase.

6. Marco Polo

HOW TO PLAY:

Marco Polo is a simple game that can be played with two or more players. To play, choose one player to be “it”. That person closes his or her eyes, or is blindfolded, and counts to a certain number (you pick!). While the “it” person counts, the other players scatter around in the pool. When the count is over, the “it” player tries to tag the other players, using only the sound of their voices to find them. The “it” player calls out “Marco”, and the other players call out “Polo”. When the “it” player tags another, that player becomes the “it” person and the game starts over again.

7. Noodle Joust

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Two pool noodles
  • One pool floatie/rafts (must be large enough for two swimmers)

HOW TO PLAY:

Pick two players, put them on a pool floatie or raft, and push them to the middle of the pool. Give each player a pool noodle and let the joust begin! Players joust with the noodles until one player is knocked off of the floatie. The remaining player is the winner.

8. Numbers Crunch

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Ping pong balls (at 25 to 30 balls)
  • A permanent marker
  • Two plastic buckets

Tip:

Before you start, use the permanent marker and number each ball from 1 to 25 (or 30).

HOW TO PLAY:

  • Divide the players into two teams. Give each team a plastic bucket and have them move to opposite sides of the pool.
  • Throw the numbered ping pong balls in the pool, when you say “Go,” team members race to collect the ping pong balls and place them in their team’s bucket.
  • Here’s the catch: Players or teams can only retrieve one ball at a time. When all of the balls have been collected, each team adds up the numbers on their balls. The team with the highest score wins.
  • To make things more interesting, consider awarding extra points for collecting sets of consecutive numbers.

Mix it up!

The great thing about this game is that it can be customized in a variety of ways. Here are a few variations to try:

  • Consider awarding extra points when teams collect sets of consecutive numbers.
  • Instead of marking the ping pong balls with numbers, use colored markers to draw a dot on each ball. Or place a small colored dot on each ball in different colors. Teams must only collect the balls with their color.

9. Pool Tag Survivor

HOW TO PLAY:

Choose one player to be “it.” The “it” player calls out either “dolphin,” “froggy,” or “submarine”:

  • Dolphin has to swim on top of the water.
  • Froggy has to swim in the middle.
  • Submarine has to swim at the bottom of the pool.

“It” has to close their eyes and try to tag the others. When a player gets to the other end, they yell, “Survived!” Players who get tagged become “it.”

10. Watermelon Push Relay

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • A watermelon (one per team or player)

HOW TO PLAY:

It’s pretty simple: Players must push a watermelon from one end of the pool to the other. The first one to the other side wins. Put your own spin on the game by adding custom rules, such as:

  • Players can’t touch the bottom of the pool with their feet.
  • Players can’t touch the watermelon with their hands.
  • Players must hand off the watermelon, relay-style.

The best part? When the race is over, you’ve got a healthy snack.

We hope you play all these games and let us know what you think! Pools Rule!