Pool games make the water more fun for kids! Kids love to play games in the pool like sharks & minnows and marco polo – easy to learn and free.
Remember – water can be dangerous so always put safety first and always obey the pool rules!
Marco Polo is probably the most popular pool game and it can be played with as few as two people. Game play begins when one is either blindfolded or closes one’s eyes then ducks into the water and comes out shouting “Marco.” The other players, who have scattered around the pool, reply “Polo.” Game play continues until Marco tags one of the other players. The tagged player becomes the new Marco.
To play treasure hunt in the pool, you require numerous objects that will sink and are not sharp. Homemade treasures can be made from plastic Easter eggs filled with rocks or coins. Have the players close their eyes then scatter the objects around the pool. Count to three, have them open their eyes and start diving for treasure. Whoever gets the most treasure wins the game.
Beach Ball Race
The object of this game is for players to push a beach ball with their nose while swimming to the other end of the pool. The first player whose beach ball reaches the end of the pool wins. This game can also be played as a relay race. In this version, when the player reaches the end of the pool they must turn around and continue to push the beach ball with their nose until their beach ball reaches the starting position. Then the next team member takes over.
London Bridge, a Swimming Game
This game can be played at the shallow end of the pool or in deeper water - depending on the swimming abilities of players. Two players hold each other’s hands high, while each of the other players walks under the bridge. After each player walks under the bridge, the bridge is lowered. Eventually players will have to swim under the bridge. However, the bridge can be raised to accommodate younger players.
Enjoy the classical made for summer activity that is the water balloon toss! Divide children into pairs and give each pair a towel. Children should grab each end of the towel and pull it reasonably tight. Place a water balloon in the middle of each towel. On a command to go have pairs throw water balloons at each other by launching them with their towels. Teams are subsequently required to catch the water balloons using only their towels. Keep the mayhem going and don’t stop tossing until all balloons have been thrown. On a hot summer day, water balloons are always a hit with children.
Easy to learn and they will play for hours. Appoint 1 child as the swimming “arms” and the other as the “legs”. The arms lead the effort across the pool using their arms only (select a stroke or let them choose) while the legs hang on to arm’s waist and does the kicking. Make sure that arms know their legs should lie dormant to avoid injury. If you have several pairs of children you can create races, relays and more.
One person is chosen to be the leader and goes to the opposite side of the pool to the other players. The leader then chooses a category (eg cars, colours, food, ice cream, drinks, etc) and tells the other players, who have to choose their answer/s to that category. The leader can either get out the pool or put their head under water in order not to hear what answers the other players are choosing. When the players have chosen their answer the leader has to try and guess the other players’ choices. If they get it right the player (or players if several have the same answer) have to race to the opposite side of the pool while the leader races to the players’ side of the pool. If the leader wins - they remain the leader. Otherwise, the person who won the race becomes the new leader. All players must be touching the side of the pool before racing. This game can be played in a yard or garden using trees as the base if it’s too cold or a pool is not available.
Sharks & Minnows
Generally Sharks and Minnows is played in the deep end of a large pool. The game starts out with one person selected as the shark and the rest as the minnows. The shark starts in the water on one side of the pool and the minnows usually start on the deck of the other side (if they are playing in water deep enough to dive into). The game starts by the shark calling out “Sharks and Minnows, one two three, fishies, fishies swim to me!” at which point the minnows may begin to dive in to swim to the other wall. If the shark manages to tag a minnow while before he touches the wall, then that minnow becomes a shark in the next round. After all the minnows have either reached the wall or been tagged the shark(s) swim to the other wall and the cycle starts again. If the some of the minnows refuse to enter the pool, the shark may swim to the other wall and tag it; whoever was still out of the pool when the shark tags the wall becomes a shark. The game is played until all of the minnows have been tagged, then the first person tagged becomes the shark who starts the next round.
Soaked Shirt Relay
Fun relay for all ages. Teams line up on one side of the pool. They must put on a large t-shirt and swim to the other side of the pool and back. Then take off the wet shirt and the next player must put it on and swim to the other side of the pool and back. Keep going until all players have completed the task - first team done wins. The shirt is very hard to get on and off while it is wet. Variation: Add other items that the players must put on such as a diving mask, flippers, shorts, bathing cap, nose plugs, pool ring ... etc.
Ping Pong Scramble
Players form a large circle in the pool and scramble to collect ping pong balls and place them in their container. Dump a large container of ping pong balls in the middle of the players circle. Whoever collects the most balls wins! Have them collect them in different coloured laundry baskets or buckets that are placed on the edge of the pool (great for individual or team play). Variation: Before the party - use a permanent marker to give each ping pong ball a point value. The team with the highest score wins. Or place a small coloured dot on each ball in different colours. Teams must only collect the balls with their colour.