20 Fun Pool Games For Summer

Swimming Attractions Family Pools

Sun's out, fun's about! Summer is the perfect time to hit the pool.

Bring your little ones to the water and keep them entertained with this great list of pool games. 

4 Finding Games

Scavenger Hunt – Find pairs of objects that will sink to the bottom of the pool. Challenge the pair of kids to be the first to find one of each of the objects. Whoever gets their items first is the winner.

Buccaneers – The kids are divided into two teams. Throw an odd number of pool toys into the water. Whichever team collects the most number of objects wins.

The Invisible Bottle – Fill a clear plastic bottle with water and put it in the pool. It’s much trickier to find than a regular pool toy, as it camouflages into the water. Just make sure you keep a rough eye on where it ends up!

Marco Polo – One player closes their eyes in the pool and when they call out “Marco,” the rest of the players must call back “Polo!” Whoever is “it” must find someone to tag. When they tag them, that new person becomes ‘it’. Make sure the person who is ‘it’ keeps their eyes closed, but also be safe – don’t let them walk into any walls or too far into the deep end.


4 Skill Games 

Belly Flop Competition – An old fun classic! Just make sure the water is deep enough, and that you stop before it hurts.

Handstands – All the players try to do an underwater handstand. Bonus points if you can do it with one hand. 

Cannonball Competition – This is lots of fun, just like the belly flops. Make sure the water is deep enough, and that you aren’t splashing other people.

Jump/Twist/Dive – This should only be played in deep water. One player goes to the edge and when they are just about to jump, friends shout either “jump,” “twist”, or “dive,”. The player must react quickly to be able to complete the correct action.


4 Chasing Games

Sharks and Minnows – One player starts off as the “shark”, and the rest of the players line up at one end of the pool. When the shark says “go,” the “minnows” try to swim past them to the other side of the pool. If a minnow is tagged, they become a shark until there are no minnows left.

Categories – One player stands outside of the pool, right at the edge, and names a category such as countries, colours, fruits etc. The rest of the players are in the water, lined up at the end of the pool. These players each think of a words in that category. The person out of the water turns around and names words in that category. When there is a match, the swimmer who match must try to sneakily swim to the other side of the pool. If the person ‘it’ hears them, they turn around, jump in, and chase them. If they catch them before they reach the other side, that person is now ‘it’

Dolphins and Sharks – Half the players are dolphins, half are sharks. One end of the of pool is safe for dolphins, the other, for sharks. You can then call ‘shark attack’ or ‘dolphin attack’. Whoever is the attacker must tag as many players as possible from the other team. You cannot be tagged in your safe zone. Game ends when all the dolphins or all the sharks are tagged.

Traffic Light – A player stands at the edge of the water, with their back to the group, and can call red light or green light. When they call green light, the other players sneak towards the caller. When red light is called, the caller turns around, and the others must freeze. First player to tag the caller without getting caught is the winner.


4 Games With Pool Toys

Noodle Jousting – Choose your noodle horse (for floating) and noodle lance (for jousting). The players charge at each other. The first person to knock the other person off their floaty is the winner.

Whack A Mole – One player takes a pool noodle, and tries to tap other players on the head when they come up for air. This game is more fun the more you come up to the surface. Just make sure no one stays under too long.

Piranha Ball – Players hold hands to make a circle around a floating beach ball. The goal is to NOT touch the ball. You can blow the ball or pull others towards it, but don’t touch it yourself! For bigger groups, use more balls. This is fun for little kids too – as long as they stay where they can touch the bottom.

Rubber Duck Race – Each player has a rubber duck and must push it from one side of the pool to the other with their nose.


4 Action-Packed Games

Stuck In The Mud – One person is ‘it’ and must try and tag the other players. When a player is tagged, they must freeze. They can only be unfrozen if someone swims between their legs. 

Octopus – Players split into two teams and stand on opposite ends of the pool. One team holds hands and invite a player from the other team to try to get past them. If they do, they take a player from the chain back to their own team. If not, they join their opposing team. Each team takes it in turns to make the chain.

Capture The Flag – Have a pool toy at each end of the pool, and split into teams. The first team to get the pool toy from their opponent’s end is the winner. For an added challenge, every player can tag. If you are tagged, you must return to your end before going out again. You can also play where only one side is invading, and only the defenders can tag to send them back to their end. Just make sure you keep an eye on the toys so they don’t get lost.

Whirlpool – While in the water, run, swim or walk quickly around the outer edge of the pool. This will create a current that will gently carry everyone like a whirlpool. The more people you have, the better this works.


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