Banish summer boredom and get your kids outside more with these pool games kids will love. Keep kiddos entertained all season long! From 2 player pool games to team games, there is something for everyone here.
This post was originally posted on May 4, 2016 and has since been updated.
Pool Games for Kids – the classic summer activity
Is there a better way to spend a lazy summer afternoon than in the pool?
My childhood summers consisted of so much pool time my brother and I shriveled up into raisins while my mom tanned incessantly. Ahh, the 90’s.
Our pool was actually a product of my dad’s job. You see, my parents actually met at a ski and swim shop and my dad still works there to this day.
Because of this, he knew all the fun game. At some point, my dad compiled all of these pool games into a book.
It never really went anywhere, but if you dig through his piles of life memorabilia you’ll find one or two copies of his
I was talking to my dad about it recently and mentioned I’d like to go through
5 Pool Games Kids will Love
These pool games are fun and different than your normal, run of the mill games everyone has played a million times already. Bonus: they’re super simple so explain them to your kiddos and then enjoy a few minutes of peace!
Number of players: 3 or more
How to play this pool game for kids:
One player is chosen to be IT. He or she must stand at least 5 feet from a spot designated as home. ‘IT’ decides on a category of any kind. (It can be cereal, colors, TV shows, your favorite member of N*SYNC
All of the other players are gathered on the other side of the pool. They quietly decide amongst themselves which thing in the category they will “be”. So Joey might be red, Junie might be yellow, and John might be Blue
Then, IT begins to call out items he thinks of in the category with his back to the players. If IT calls out one of the player’s chosen ‘thing’s, the player must swim towards home. If IT tags the player before the player reaches home, the player is then IT. So if IT calls out “Red”, Joey has to swim to the other side before IT tags him.
Number of Players: 3 or more
How to play this game:
Choose one person to be the walrus. The walrus must float on his back with his eyes closed. The other players swim around the walrus. As they are swimming, they must sneak up on the walrus without waking him up.
If the walrus ‘wakes up’, the walrus will try to grab the person who is the closest. The person who is caught by the walrus will then become the walrus.
Balloon Relay Race
Number of Players: 2 even teams with at least 2 players each
Items Needed: 2 blown up balloons
How to play this pool game:
Divide the teams so that half of each team is on one side of the pool and the other is on the other side.
For example, 4 players = 1 member of each team on side A and 1 member of each team on side B. Players should be facing their teammates on the other side.
Choose one person to call out, “GO!” When the word ‘GO’ is shouted, the first person on each team takes their balloon and pushes it without using their hands to the other side of the pool.
When they reach the other side of the pool, the next teammate goes. This is repeated until all teammates have switched sides. The team whose members reach the other side first wins.
Number of Players: 2 or more
Items needed: Ice cubes
How to play:
Choose one person to throw ice cubes into the pool. The thrower says GO and everyone jumps into the pool. The players must bring the ice cubes to the edge of the pool one at a time before they melt. The person who gets the most ice cubes wins.
This works best with a ‘referee’. That way no one can claim that their ice cubes aka the poof melted.
Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone?
Number of Players: 3 or more
Items Needed: a small rubber ball (or other small floating toy)
How to play this pool game for kids:
One player is chosen to be doggy and stands on one side of the pool with his back to the other players. A ball floats in the water behind the doggy as the other players try to sneak up behind the doggy and steal the ball.
When doggy thinks someone is stealing his bone, he quickly turns around and tries to catch that person. If the doggy turns around and nobody has the bone, the doggy has to start over.
When a player successfully steals the bone, all of the players sing out, “Doggy, doggy, where’s your bone?” The doggy them has 2 guesses to find his bone. If he guesses right, the player with the bone is now the doggy.
Pool Safety Tips for Kids Pool Games
- Never let the kids out of your sight. If you have to run inside to use the bathroom, make a call, or grab a drink, everyone has to get out of the pool and come in as well. A pain? Yes. Worth it? Totally.
- Everyone has to be good swimmers. If you have a pool,chances are your kids are solid swimmers, but make sure to confirm this status with the parents of any kids who come over.
- Make sure everyone knows the pool rules. No running, no food in the pool, no diving, no rough housing. Your pool, your rules and anyone who cannot follow the rules must be removed.
- For more pool safety tips, the Red Cross has this great resource that every home pool owner should check out.
So tell me – what were your favorite kids pool games as a kid? Have you ever played any of these games? Would you be interested in an e-book version of my dad’s book? Let me know in the comments!
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These are so much fun! I’m saving this for when my kids are a bit older. I’m sure they’re going to love these!
Belle | One Awesome Momma
I love this! My son is a fish and it’s nice to have some new ideas for this summers water fun!
I haven’t heard most of these. They all sound so fun and with a little modification for my kids I definitely want to try them out!
Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries says
My daughter and I can’t wait to go to the pool this summer! We will have to play iceberg together 🙂
We played Marco Polo and Iceberg. I will have to try some of the ones you listed this summer with my kiddos:)
Angela @ Setting My Intention says
I’ve never heard of any of these games! We used to play Marco Polo and do relays…and of course lounge!
Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms says
I totally forgot about the game Toothpaste!! We used to play that all the time! Thank you for the reminder!
Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories says
Our neighborhood pool is opening soon and we are there nearly every day. The kids will love these new ideas!
Sharon Chen says
Kids would surely love these fun games! Maybe adults can, too 😀
Thank you for all these fun pool game ideas! My kids are finally reaching the age where they can really start to play in the pool. I’ll be busting some of these out for sure this summer.
How fun! I’ve never heard any of these before!