These 12 Pool Games for Kids will make a huge splash when you and your family are at the pool this summer!
Starting last summer, our time at the pool really changed. My daughter was suddenly a swimming fish and I no longer felt the need to be within an arms reach. And with this new swimming freedom came the ability to play a ton of fun water games for summer in the pool. I thought I’d share some of our favorite pool game for kids. I saved the best for last. It’s so simple and so hilarious to watch!
1. Water Gun Tag. One player is “It” and gets the water gun. “It” tries to tag the other players by hitting them with a cold blast of water. Once a player is tagged, they’re out. The first player that was tagged is “It” for the next round of play.
2. Sharks and Minnows. One player is the “Shark” and the rest of the players are “Minnows”. All players start in the water on opposite sides of the pool but the Shark needs to stand with their back to the other players. To start the game, the Shark will shout “Cross my Ocean!” – hearing this cue the Minnows must begin swimming to the opposing wall. If the Shark is able to catch a Minnow, the tagged Minnow joins the Shark’s team during the next round of play. Also, if your whole body is under water, you cannot be tagged. But players need to pay attention – a lot of people think that their whole body is under the water, but really their head is only halfway under the water. After all the Minnows have been either caught or made it safely to the other side of the pool, the Sharks(s) swim to the middle of the pool and the round starts again. The game is played until all the Minnows have been caught. The last caught Minnow becomes the Shark that starts the next game.
3. Dolphin Race. Players line up at the edge of the pool. At the word GO, players hold their breath and see who can swim the longest underwater race.
4. Invisible Bottle. You’ll need a 2 liter bottle with a white cap and the label removed. Fill the bottle with pool water. Line the players lined up at the edge of the pool with backs to the water. Throw the bottle into the pool. When players hear the splash they can turn around and start searching for the bottle. It’s amazing how camouflaged the bottle is in the water…it’s hard than you may think!
5. Treasure Hunt. A favorite of kids of any age! Toss a variety of coins into the pool. Ready – Set – GO! and the kids start their underwater treasure hunt. Player with the most money wins.
6. F-I-S-H. For this game you’ll need a ball and a large floating inner tube. Just like the basketball game HORSE, players will throw the ball into the center of the inner tube while performing stunts for the others to imitate. Miss a shot and you get a letter. First to spell FISH loses.
7. Windmill. This is freeze tag in the water. When someone is tagged, they stand straight with their arms above their head making a “V” and their legs spread. Here’s the twist — when a player swims under water they cannot be tagged by “It” but they can swim through the legs of a “windmill” and unfreeze them. The game is over then everyone is a windmill. The first to be tagged will be “It” in the new round of play.
8. Octopus. One player is chosen as “It” and stands in the middle of the pool. All at once, the other player swim across the pool to the other side trying to avoid being tagged. If you are tagged, you have to hold hands with “It” in the center of the pool. In this next round of play, all the players holding hands try and tag the swimmers as they swim back across the pool. Players keep going back and forth until every player has been tagged. Then the game starts over with a new player as “It”,
9. Balloon Challenge. Throw about 12+ inflated balloons into the shallow end of the pool. At the word “GO”, players will race to collect as many balloons are they can hold under their body for 30 seconds. If a balloon pops out – the players clock starts all over again!
10. Piranha Ball. You need a floating ball for this game – something the size of a beach ball works best. To start, all players hold hands forming a circle. The ball is placed in the center of the circle. The goal of this game is to try and avoid having the ball touch you. Think of the ball as a piranha wanting to take a bite. If the ball touches any part of a player, then he or she is out of the game. The game is repeated until only one player remains and is declared the winner. Players can try a variety of moves to avoid coming in contact with the ball such as blowing the ball, kicking water towards the ball to push it away or even pulling another player in front of you to shield you from touching the ball. The ball must remain in the circle at all times and players are not allowed to go under water.
11. Steal The Bacon. This game plays best with at least 6 players. The more the merrier! Divide into two teams of an equal amount of players. Team team numbers off. Teams sit at opposite sides of the pool. A non-player throws a ball to the middle of the pools and shouts a number that was assigned to a player of each team. Those players race to the center of the pool to get the ball and take it back to their home base (their side of the pool) without being tagged by the other player. If a player is successful in getting the ball back to their side receives 2 points. A player successful in catching the player with the ball will receive 1 point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. If you don’t have a lot of players you can cycle through each number twice so that the game lasts a bit longer. Otherwise the game end when every assigned number has been called to race for the ball.
12. Color Dunk. I have to say that my daughter introduced us to this game and it is by far one of our favorites. The game is simple to play and hilarious to watch. My husband (the Dunkee) got the biggest kick out of this game. There are two players: the Dunker and the Dunkee. The Dunker thinks of a color – we stick to the more common colors of the rainbow plus white, black, silver and gold. The Dunkee has to guess what the color might be. If their guess is incorrect, they get dunked by the Dunker. When we play, the Dunker holds the Dunkee in their arms like a baby. When it’s time to dunk, the Dunkee raises the arm that is holding under the Dunkee’s knees and tilts the Dunkee’s head backward under the water. I smile just thinking about it.
Do you have a favorite game to play in the pool? We are always looking for new adventures so if you do…please comment below and let us know!
*Please note the some of these game do require a more advanced swimming level. All games should be monitored closely to make sure that they are safe.
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