Swimming is fun on its own, but it’s even more fun when you have games to play at the pool. From classics like Marco Polo to more modern games, there are plenty of opportunities for you to have a great time with your little one. Listed below are our top 5 favorite swimming pool games for kids, along with instructions for how to play each of them.
Shark is an alternative to traditional tag, where the person who is “it” pretends to be a shark. The other people in the pool must swim around to avoid being tagged. If they get touched by the shark, they are “it,” and the process repeats from there. Players are allowed to jump out of the water for up to 5 seconds to get away from the shark, but they must immediately jump back in. Otherwise, they become the shark by default. Some people enhance this game by giving the shark a special fin or snorkel to wear. Others simply hold up one hand like a shark fin as they swim around. There is a lot of versatility with this game, so you can make it your own.
The Invisible Bottle
This is a fun game to play with older kids because it requires a lot of underwater swimming (not just at the surface with arm floaties). For the invisible bottle, you will need an empty clear two liter bottle, ideally with a cap close to the color of your pool tile. Fill the bottle completely with pool water and seal it with the cap. Line the players up on the side of the pool with their backs turned to the water. Throw the bottle into the water. When they hear the splash, they can turn around and dive in for the bottle. The first one to pull the bottle out of the water wins. This is harder than you may think, especially when there are a lot of people moving around in the water.
If your bottle is not sinking properly, it’s probably because there is air trapped inside. Make sure you tilt it while it’s under water so the air bubbles are released, and then screw on the cap while the bottle is still under water. For an even bigger challenge, you can use a one liter bottle or smaller.
Deep Sea Treasure Hunt
This is another game that requires a lot of diving, so it may not be ideal for younger children who cannot hold their breath under water. In this game, one person (usually the adult supervisor) will throw coins from the pool deck into the pool. Then the players must dive in to get the coins. You can choose any coins you like, as long as they sink under the water. The player with the most coins at the end wins.
Octopus is similar to the classic game Red Rover. It’s great for pool parties that have a lot of people. Players must try to swim or run from one side of pool to the other without being tagged by “it” (a person in the middle of the pool, between both sides). When a person is tagged, he or she must join the person in the middle. They link arms and try to tag the other players swimming by. Eventually the line in the middle will get pretty long, making it difficult for people to swim by. The last person to be tagged is the winner.
This is easiest pool game on our list, but it’s also one of the most exciting. Everyone travels around the perimeter of the pool in the same direction to get the water to swirl. As the movement increases, so will the pull of the whirlpool. Eventually you can all stop and enjoy the ride on the water. If you want some extra exercise, swim or walk against the current when you’re finished so you push against the resistance!
Try these fun swimming pool games for kids, and your family is sure to have a great time.