50 Swimming Pool Games For Kids
A sweltering sunny day is the best time to flock around the pool. Of course, you can’t just let the kids swim in circles throughout the day. Running some exciting swimming pool games will help ease the boredom.
50 Swimming Pool Games For Kids
To make the most out of your kids’ swimming activity, planning for some ‘game time’ should be taken into consideration. Prepare your child’s most exciting and fun-filled swimming pool activity with these must-try swimming pool games for kids:
1. Marco Polo: This swimming pool game is by far the most classic of all pool games. Named after the 13th century explorer, Marco Polo is played by two people or much better with a small crowd.
- Choose one person to become “Marco”.
- That player will be blindfolded, and try to tag the rest of the participants in the pool.
- To locate other people, he should yell out “Marco!” while the others must respond “Polo!”.
- The first person to be tagged will be the new Marco.
2. Dolphin Race: This game consists of four or more players. It can be done through a race or relay.
- Each team will be given a ball.
- Players must move the ball from the end of the pool to another, using only their noses to push the balls as they swim.
- Using a hand to push the ball is not allowed, and any player to do so must return to the starting point.
- The first team to finish will be declared the winner.
3. Atomic Whirlpool: Have everybody to get in the pool and form a line along the edge with very little space between them. Let the participants walk for the first couple of minutes, then jog for the next few minutes, then run along the edge for another couple of minutes. By doing the game properly, they will be able to create a current that will carry them around the pool. Lastly, tell the kids to go the other way, which will be a fun yet hard time for them to go against the water current.
4. Watermelon Push Relay: This game is packed with fun suitable for one person or for teams. The mechanics is simple as the common relay game; but the twist is, you have to push the “watermelon” from the pool’s end to another without touching bottom of the pool with your feet.
5. Belly Flop Contest: This one seems to be the most entertaining and adorable game for kids to play. The player to have the best belly flop will win the game.
6. London River: If you want your kids to engage into a fun and active swimming pool game, London River is suitable for your activity plans.
- What you need is a water hose, and six or more players.
- One person will get into the pool while holding the water hose under the water.
- The rest of the players will walk around the pool while singing “London river’s flooding up, flooding up, flooding up… my fair lady” in the tune of London Bridge song.
- The player holding the hose will spray water onto the singers whenever “flooding up” is sung.
- When the phrase “Take the key and lock her up” is sung, the hose is handed to another player who in turn, jumps into the swimming pool.
- The game ends when everyone is in the pool.
7. Popsicle: This game is like a tag done in the pool. A person will be assigned to tag the other players. Once tagged, they must stand frozen, with both hands in the air. A player can unfreeze them by swimming between the frozen players’ legs.
8. Shark: This is another version of water tag games. A player will be chosen to be the “shark” or as the “it” player. He/she will have to swim around and tag someone to become the shark. You can make up your own rules or put up some twist to the game to make it even more fun!
9. Wishing Pond: Like treasure hunting under the sea, this game allows the children to dive for treasure. Throw a bunch of coins, beaded necklace, seashells, or any delightful object that will submerge into the pool water, and let the kids dive for these surprises! Just make sure that these items are not sharp, not made of glass and will not stain your pool’s surface.
10. Numbers Crunch: Divide the kids into two sets of teams. Have them form a line on the sides of the pool, and hand them a plastic bucket. Number your ping-pong balls which will represent as the score, then scatter it all over the pool. With your go signal:
- Both teams will jump into the pool and try to collect the balls and place it into their team’s bucket.
- Only one ball will be allowed for each player to retrieve.
- When all balls are collected, the number written on the balls will be added up to determine the team’s score.
- The team to get the highest score wins.
11. Scavenger Hunt: Throw pairs of diving sticks, coins, pool rings, or any item into the pool. Have the teams collect each of the items, and the first to collect one of each wins.
12. Colours: One person will be the “it” and stand with his back to the other players. The rest of the kids will be lined up to the other end of the pool. If the “it” player called out the other player’s colour, he/she must swim silently towards the “it” player, and try to touch the pool wall without being tagged. If he gets tagged, he will be the new “it” of the game.
13. Invisi-Bottles: This swimming pool game for kids is filled with excitement and fun. Prepare some clear water bottles and fill it up with water, cap off its lids, and hide on the bottom of the pool. Let the kids find the bottles through diving.
14. Bobbing Heads: A player will be assigned to be the “it” of the game, and the rest will be the “bobbers”. As the rule of the game, the bobbers must not cross their line while they bob up and down the water. The “it” player on the other hand, will try to hit them with pool noodles.
15. Duck Push: This swimming pool game would also be a good idea for a pool party ice breaker. Hand some rubber duckies for each player (three to four players will be good) and have them lined up to one end of the pool. The objective of the game is to make the rubber duck reach the other end of the pool by just making use of their noses, or blowing the duck forward. The first player to get the duck to the other side wins.
16. F.I.S.H: This swimming pool game is just like the P.I.G in basketball game. The first player will perform the task that other participants must replicate. For example, if the first player does jumping jacks in the water, other players will take turns attempting to do jumping jacks in the water, too.
If a player wasn’t able to perform the task, he/she will earn the first letter of the word FISH. First one to complete the letters in the word FISH loses the game. You can spice up the game through additional rules and mechanics to make the game even more challenging.
17. Follow the Swimmer: This is the game where “followers” must exactly copy everything the “leader” is doing. If a player wasn’t able to follow what their leader is doing, he/she gets picked off. Assign a “watcher” to check the kids that are not able to follow the leader.
18. Splash Dance: This swimming pool game is like having a dance show right in your backyard pool. Play an energetic pop song, and have the players dance to the beat. Invite friends and family to witness the most adorable dance show! They can even get creative with props. You can also have your own reward system for the kids that outstandingly performed for the show.
19. Cardboard Boat Race: Divide the kids into teams, and give them large cardboard boxes, packaging tapes, coloured papers, stickers, and markers. Let the teams get super creative in building their own boat. Each team must race the boat from one end of the pool to another, using only their arms to serve as the oars. If the boats are not sturdy enough, the winner of the contest will be based on which boat stayed floating for the longest time.
20. Simon Says: This swimming pool game requires four or more players. Let them spread out in the pool. The supervising adult will be “Simon” of the game. Simon will call out an action, like “Simon says, float on your back”, everyone should do what is asked. When he calls out an action without saying “Simon says”, the player to do the action will be eliminated from the pool. The winner will be the last standing kid in the water.
21. Mirror Game: This is a fun activity suitable for swimming pool parties and can be played by everyone.
- Get into the pool, find a partner, and stand opposite each other.
- One of you must do some funny and challenging actions. It can be swimming side to side, bubbling like a fish, or dipping underwater.
- Your partner must try to copy your actions; just like looking in the mirror!
- Make turns on who will be the one to copy the action.
22. Underwater Humming: Swimming pool games isn’t just about diving into action and gliding through the water. What’s more exciting is you can add fun of music while enjoying the game!
- Get into small groups and form a circle. Prepare to duck into the water.
- Start humming your favourite tunes. Other members of the group will try to guess the tune you are humming.
- If they failed to guess the tune within three turns, tell them the answer and then swap. You can play this game as long as you like!
23. Starfish Tag: This swimming pool game is another version of a swimming pool tag game. To play:
- One of the kids will be the tagger. He will try to tag the rest of the kids in the pool.
- Once tagged, they will be a starfish–they have to stand still until someone will set them free by tapping them in the shoulder.
- Play this game for a few minutes then choose someone to be the new tagger!
24. What’s the Time, Mr. Shark?: Test the kids’ braveness and agility with this fun-packed swimming pool game!
- Have everyone lined up on the other side of the pool. Choose someone to be the Mr. Shark, and ask him to stand with his back from the other players.
- The players should shout out together, “What’s the time Mr. Shark?”, and Mr. Shark have to shout back the time.
- If Mr. Wolf shout “5 o’clock!” they have to take 5 steps, and so on. After they’ve asked a few times, you can shout “Dinner time!” and try and catch someone to be the next Mr. Shark!
25. Over and Under: In this game, everyone has to work as a team. Prepare your materials for the game; for an instance, a small ball or any other small object.
- Group the kids into six or eight per team. Have them form a line.
- In your signal, both teams will start passing the ball, going over and under all the players.
- Once the ball has dropped, the team will start all over again. The first team to finish wins the game.
26. Swimming Through Legs: Make underwater swimming extra fun with this game. Stand in a star shape with someone else facing you. Then they have to swim underwater through your legs, then have a turn to dive and pass through your partner’s legs. If you find it easy, try getting two or more people standing with their legs open and see if you can do the challenge!
27. Roly-Poly: Get a ball and tuck yourself in. Try to do several rolls without touching the bottom of the pool. You can do this by yourself or by competing with other kids on how many rolls you can do.
28. Stepping Stones: Challenge your friends with this fun swimming pool game! See how many steps it would take for each player to get into the other side of the pool. The one with the lowest number of steps is declared the winner.
29. Ring a Ring o’ Rosies: This is another swimming pool game filled with a fun tune other than the cheery laughter!
- Have the kids form in a circle. In your signal, have them skip around in the same direction while singing the rhyme Ring a Ring o’ Rosies.
- Once the rhyme ends, everyone should duck underwater. You can also change the end of the line with “We all jump up” and get everyone to jump out of the water.
30. Fishy in the Middle: Get everyone jump with excitement with this swimming pool game. What you need is a medium-sized softball for every three players.
- Group into three, with one person standing in the middle as the “fishy in the middle”.
- The “fishy” player will try to catch the balls as others throw it over his head.
- Once the ball gets caught, the person who let you get it then becomes the new fishy in the middle.
31. Kicking Duel: How tough you think your legs are? For this swimming pool game of strength and endurance, you will need a pool noodle between two players.
- Lie on the water, with your tummies facing each other.
- Both players should try to grab the pool noodle in between them.
- In a go signal, both should start kicking very hard to get the other person to go backwards and make them put their feet down.
32. Bike Rider: Every player should have a pool noodle tied like a knot. This game can be played by two’s, but if you have enough space, you can play it with a larger group. Start swimming around the pool with your pool noodle as your bike handlebar. See if the others can follow you!
33. Balancing Game: See how long those kids can balance! What you need is a pool float or pool noodle. Have everyone stand on their own float and see how long they can stay without falling in the water. The one who stays the longest will be declared the winner!
34. Silly Hats: Keep those hats on your heads! This is a fun game that needs only a float for each player.
- Form a line on the sides of the pool. Each player should lie on their back and balance the float or any pool toy on their forehead.
- They should swim up to the other side, while preventing the float from falling in water.
- The player who gets the furthest distance with their float will be the winner.
35. Mermaid Bingo: This game would be very fun if you add your friends and family into the action! But first, you should prepare some floats with numbers and pool toys that float in the water.
- Scatter all the numbered floats or toys in the water.
- Line up the players along the side and start calling out the numbers with a short gap.
- The first player goes and gets the toy with the first number, the second player gets the one with the second number, and so on. The challenge is to make everyone bring back the right number.
36. Ball Toss: Place some frisbees in the water. Write them some numbers that will correspond as the scores. Take turns on throwing balls at frisbees and score the points written on them. The first player to get 100 points is the winner.
37. Swimming Pool Scrabble: Enhance the spelling and vocabulary skills of children with this swimming pool game! You just need some sponges with letters written on it.
- Swim to get a letter and put in the pile of letters on the side of the pool.
- Once all letters are collected, see how many words they can spell. If the kids are too young for the game, they can work on letter recognition or simply alphabetise their letters.
38. Target Practice!: Grab a non-slip matting and simply turn it into a target board. Each players can take turns just like playing the darts game.
39. Underwater Obstacle Course: Create a mini obstacle course right in your pool. Here’s how:
- Place some hula hoops in the water.
- To make the hoops, cut a hula hoop in one section and fill it with water. Connect it using tape, and attach a small section of pool noodle on the top.
- The players will have to swim through them, and get some objects scattered at the bottom of the pool.
40. Seaweed: This swimming pool game starts with one player in the middle of the pool, and the others lined up against one end of the pool. Once the player in the middle shouts “seaweed”, other players should swim to the other side of the pool without getting tagged. If a player have been tagged, he will join the middle player and catch the remaining players. The last person who is not caught in the seaweed will be the winner.
41. Volleyball: This swimming pool game is pretty simple, you just have to set up a pool volleyball net and find some inflatable ball.
42. Water Balloons: Using some water balloons in the pool is a great idea for pool parties and children’s mini pool activities. Instead of using air, fill your balloons with water and let the kids do whatever they want to them! Just make sure to add the “cleaning” into your game mechanics.
43. Dolphins and Sharks: This swimming pool game will be fun for a large group of kids in your pool.
- In this game, the players are divided into two teams, the Dolphins and the Sharks. Each team will have their own safety spot.
- The referee will randomly call out “Dolphins!” or “Sharks!”. Once the team was called, they must swim to their safety spot as the other team will try to tag them and get on their way.
- Any tagged player has to join the other team, and the game ends when all the players in a team are tagged.
44. Pool Basketball: This is as simple as the other games, you just have to grab a pool basketball hoop, and let the kids spend their time on getting an excellent three-point shot!
45. Chicken Fight: This swimming pool game is for the older kids and adults alike. Get a partner and ride him on his shoulder and engage to the other team. The players are allowed to do anything until someone has to fall on their partner’s shoulder and loses the game.
46. Tug of War: This is a fun swimming pool game that will test the kids’ strength and teamwork.
- Form teams at least six kids each.
- Line both teams up on their respective ends of the pool noodle or rope.
- Each team gets on their side of the pool noodle/rope, and tries to pull the other team across the marker.
- The team that gets pulled over the marker loses the game.
47. Pirates!: Just like real pirates, let the kids collect some treasure! Grab an odd number of diving sticks (7, 5, 9) and toss them in the middle. The first pirate to come back with the most number of sticks will be the winner.
48. Keep the Cotton Ball Dry: Each player will be given a cotton ball. They have to swim to the other end of the pool. The players can try to wet each other’s cotton balls while trying to protect their cotton ball from water splashes.
49. Sight Words: Make the kids’ learning even more fun with this exciting swimming pool game:
- Grab some non-slip mat or diving sticks, and write words onto it.
- Scatter the words around the pool.
- Call out a word and let the kids retrieve it. The player who gets the most number of collected word will be the winner.
50. Mermaid Race: Each player should hold their breath, and see who can swim the longest just like a real mermaid!
Safety Tips To Keep Your Kids Safe When Playing in the Pool
Sure, it is delightful to see your kids having fun in the swimming pool, and we can’t deny the fact that children enjoy floating, paddling, diving, kicking, and playing games when in the swimming pool. However, the most important thing for adults to do when spending time in water is to keep close attention to their kids.
An adult needs to fully engage their attention to the young children, especially when swimming. Young children have very little sense of danger, and needs to be within the reach of an adult whenever something happens. To prevent the risks swimming pool might impose to your children, here are some useful tips to keep them safe when playing in the pool:
- Always look after your children whenever they are doing activities in water.
- Ensure that your pool covers are completely removed before doing a pool activity. You should also restrict your child to crawl or walk over your pool covers.
- Enforcing some rules around your pool property can be a very efficient way to keep your children safe. Some of these rules can be: children should not run near the pool; do not push others underwater; and some activities should not be done near the pool.
- Do not fully rely your trust on floatation devices. It is better to stay within the reach of the young, and have them wear Coast Guard-approved lifejackets.
- Engage your children into swimming lessons to increase their comfort level in the water.
Do you have anything to add to our list of fun swimming pool games for kids? Let us know by leaving a comment below!