Summer pool parties are just around the corner! Now is a great time to start planning fun activities to keep the kids active and entertained in the pool, all season long.
Don’t worry—you don’t need to buy a bunch of expensive toys. Some of the most fun pool games are also the simplest, and many involve supplies that you probably already have lying around the house. Other supplies can be bought at your local dollar store or department store for just a few bucks.
Ready to play? Let’s dive in…
1) Beach Ball Race
Super simple: this is just a race from one side of the pool to another, but with beach balls! Each child gets a beach ball and pushes it to the other side. No throwing allowed—their hands must continue to touch the ball. For added difficulty, add more laps.
2) Marco Polo 2.0 (Animal noises!)
This one is especially popular with younger kids. It’s just like the Marco Polo game you already love, but with animal noises to make it super silly. One swimmer keeps their eyes closed and says an animal name, i.e. “Monkey.” Then, all other swimmers must respond with a monkey noise to reveal their location. The objective is for the eyes-closed swimmer to tag one of the other swimmers without opening their eyes. The other swimmers can swim away, but can’t leave the pool. The person who is tagged is the next to keep their eyes closed. Use a different animal each round.
3) Race for the Ping Pongs
There’s something about ping pongs in swimming pools that’s super fun! Get a big bag (usually available for only a few bucks) and toss them all in the pool at once. All the kids jump in to collect them. The child who collects the most wins!
4) Noodle Joust
Kids love this game because it would never be allowed inside the house. Two children sit on top of their parents’ (or older kids’) shoulders and use pool noodles to joust with each other. The objective is to knock the other person off the shoulders. It’s okay if the joust starts to look more like a chicken fight—that’s all part of the fun, and you can set the rules however you prefer.
5) Coin Dive
This one is just like the Race for the Ping Pongs, but with coins, which will obviously sink to the bottom of the pool instead of floating on the water. Simply toss a bunch of change in the pool and let your kids have at it! The person who collects the most money wins.
6) What Time is It, Mr. Fox?
This game is fun on land, but even more fun in the water. One child is Mr. Fox and stands in the pool at one end with his back facing the other kids, who stand at the other end. All the kids shout together, “What time is it, Mr. Fox?” Mr. Fox responds with “5 o’clock” (or any other time, where each hour represents one large step toward Mr. Fox. So, for example, “1 o’clock” would be one step forward). The kids continue to ask what time it is, moving closer to Mr. Fox, until he decides to respond with “dinnertime!” He then turns toward the kids and chases them back to the other side. If he tags someone before they reach the other side, that child becomes Mr. Fox for the next round.