Hanging out in the pool is a fantastic way to spend a hot summer day. When you're bored with swimming laps, swimming pool games and activities offer an opportunity to have even more fun. Use these swimming pool games to encourage the whole family to enjoy splashing around in the water.
Swimming Pool Games for Kids
These fun swimming pool games can help keep kids entertained this summer. Before you start playing, remind kids of a few basic safety rules, such as no holding each other underwater and no running on the slippery pool surface.
Marco Polo is a classic swimming pool game and is a good opportunity to teach your kids about the 13th-century explorer who traveled the world. It works best when you have a large group of kids. Choose one child to tread water in the middle of the pool with eyes closed while the others spread themselves around in the water. The child in the center shouts "Marco," to which the other children answer "Polo." The child with closed eyes chases after the other kids, using their shouts of "Polo" to locate them. The first child to be caught becomes the new Marco.
Sharks and Minnows
There's only one thing kids love more than playing tag, and that's playing tag in the pool. Choose one child to be the shark. This child stands in the middle of the pool and yells "Minnows in!" On this cue, the other kids enter the water and try to get to the other side of the pool without being caught by the shark. Minnows can't be tagged while they're underwater, so the shark must wait for them to surface for air. Every minnow that the shark catches becomes another shark, making it even tougher for the remaining minnows to avoid being caught.
Diving for Treasure
Kids who own goggles can take part in swimming pool diving games like diving for treasure. This game is simple; toss a handful of coins into the water and challenge kids to race to pick them up. The child who gathers the most treasure from the bottom of the pool is the winner. Alternatively, you can replace coins with dive sticks.
Play Popsicle in the shallow end of the pool to keep kids entertained this summer. One player is "it" and tries to tag the other children in the water. When a child is caught, she must stand with her hands above her head and her legs apart. A child who has not yet been caught can unfreeze the frozen Popsicle by swimming through her legs. When everyone is frozen, choose a new player to be "it."
Swimming Pool Games for Adults
It's not just kids who enjoy fooling around in the water on a hot day. These swimming pool games for adults provide a way to exercise in the pool that is much more fun than swimming laps.
Water polo is the official Olympic water ball sport. All you need is a ball, two goals (one on either end of the pool) and 14 determined players. If you don't have 13 adults willing to play with you, divide the group you have into two equal-sized teams. Each team must throw, pass or swim with the ball to get it into the opposing team's goal, while their opponents try to stop them.
This game can get quite rough, so it might be a good idea to keep it between adults only. You need two or more teams of two people. One person in each pair sits on the other's shoulders. The goal is to knock the other riders off the shoulders of their mounts, without falling off yourself.
Erect a basketball net on the side of your pool and use it to practice your trick shots. Turn this fun pool activity into a game by taking shots in turn. Every time players miss a shot, they earn a letter: first F, then I, then S and then H. The first player to spell FISH loses.
Swimming Pool Games for 2 People
Some swimming pool games require you to work in teams, but others can be played with only two people. Try these activities to have fun when it's just the two of you.
For this game, you need two inflatable rafts, two pool noodles, and two valiant jousters. Each person mounts a raft, grips a pool noodle and tries to knock the other player into the water. If you have a lot of pool noodles, you can quickly and easily make a raft out of noodle loops.
When you're bored with jousting, line your rafts up at one end of the pool. Count down from five, and then race to the other end of the pool as fast as you can. The first person to get there wins.
Staying Safe and Having Fun
Swimming pool games and activities can be a blast. Keep everyone safe by only using soft toys in the pool, such as pool noodles, inflatable toys, and balls. Don't forget to apply sunscreen regularly and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Once you've met these basic safety guidelines, dive in and prepare to have fun!