It's summertime – And for swim families, that means pool games! Here are 10 family-friendly pool games that are sure to please kids and parents alike. Best part about these games is that they are practically FREE! Grab those goggles, a pool float or two, towels, and sunscreen and head out to the neighborhood pool for some inexpensive fun and laughs with your family!
10 Fun Family Water Games!
#1. Marco Polo
Marco Polo is like hide and seek but in the pool. One person is designated as the “seeker” and the other are the “hiders”. The seeker must keep his or her eyes closed while hunting and tagging the hiders.
This may sound impossible, but the seeker has a secret weapon. When he or she says "Marco," all the other players have to reply "Polo," so he or she will know where they are. Skilled seekers keep up a steady stream of "Marco" as they make their way around the pool. The first Polo caught becomes Marco in the next round.
#2. Cannonball Contest
The Cannonball Contest is a great impromptu game, especially if you have a group of kids (or grown-ups) who love BIG SPLASHES! You'll need a judge and a set of parameters for determining the winner. Criteria can include form, height or length of jump, and how much SPLASH they generate. Biggest SPLASH wins.
#3. Water Basketball
If you want to play a little one-on-one in water, all you need is an inner tube and a ball. Regular basketball rules apply, even if you're playing H-O-R-S-E. One point for each time the ball goes into the tube. The challenge is getting the ball inside the floating tube!
#4. Pool Volleyball
A net stretched across the pool can quickly turn into a volleyball court. Divide into two teams and sub a beach ball for a volleyball. If you have the shallow end advantage, be sure to make use of the spike potential. Switch back and forth so one team isn't treading water for the entire game.
Chicken is a classic game that calls for at least four people, but more is always better. Pair up in teams of two and elect a person from each team to sit on the shoulders of their teammate. When the buzzer sounds, the chickens try to knock their opponent down and into the water. Be sure the pool is big enough, that you are a safe distance away from other swimmers and that you are in deep enough water that everyone can avoid injury.
#6. Water Relays
If you have a pool full of strong swimmers, water relays are great for a little friendly competition. Pair up in teams of two or four and pick a stroke -- freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke or butterfly. You can even do a mixed medley if you have enough players. Sound the whistle, and they're off down the lane. Teammates dive in the water once their predecessor touches the wall, and the first team to finish, wins!
#7. Sharks and Minnows
In Sharks and Minnows, one person is the shark and the rest of the players are minnows. The shark camps out in the middle of the pool, and when cued, the minnows dive in and try to make it past the shark. The game's over when all the minnows have been tagged, and the first person caught becomes the shark in the next round.
#8. Diving for Treasure
Diving for Treasure has always been an enjoyable pool activity. Anything that sinks can be a treasure (Coins are best!), and it doesn't even have to be a competition if you have enough treasure for everyone who's playing.
#9. Noodle Balance Beam
All you need is a noodle and a few willing participants. Each participant must walk the noodle without letting it float up to the surface. The winner is the one that can walk the noodle without letting it float to the surface!
#10. Underwater Tea Party
Our daughters favorite pool game. You don't actually need tea to have an underwater tea party, but gravity sure helps. The goal of said party is to sit on the bottom of the pool, holding your make-believe teacup. Stay underwater for as long as you can and be sure to save your giggles until after you surface.
I hope you will enjoy these activities as much as our family does! Happy Splashing!
Robert and his wife Dulcie own, operate, and teach at SafeSplash locations in the San Antonio, TX area.