Looking for ways to maximize fun in the pool? These Swimming Pool Games for Kids are sure to keep your kids busy and happy for hours this summer!
Whether you have a backyard pool, are heading on a vacation with a pool, or going to a community pool, your kids and their friends will love these fun swimming pool game ideas.
This swimming pool games include fun ideas that can be enjoyed by just a few kids, or by a large group of kids! You’ll find plenty of pool party game ideas in this list of pool games too!
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Swimming Pool Games for Kids
This swimming pool game is always a favorite! One child closes his eyes and tries to tag the other players. To help him find the other players, he can shout “Marco!” whenever he wants and the other children must shout back “Polo!” The first person tagged becomes “it” for the next round.
One child is chosen to be “it” and stands on the edge of the pool while everyone else lines up in the water against the same wall. The child who is “it” chooses a category (such as ice-cream flavors), and the rest of the players secretly choose something in that category. With his back turned to the water, the “it” begins calling out items in the chosen category (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, etc.). If someone in the water hears his chosen item, that player begins swimming for the opposite end of the pool. When the “it” hears someone swimming, he can jump in the water and try to tag someone. The first person tagged becomes the new “it.”
Jump or Dive
This swimming pool game is fun to play and even more entertaining to watch! One person is chosen to be the caller and everyone else lines up behind the diving board. When each child jumps off the diving board, the caller yells “jump” or “dive” while the jumper is in mid-air. The jumper must quickly react and try to perform the appropriate trick—which often results in hilarious mid-air antics. To take this game to the next level, you can add the commands “twist” and “tuck.”
One child is the alligator and stands on the edge of the pool with his back turned towards the water. The rest of the children line up in the water against the opposite wall of the pool. The object of the game is to sneakily swim across the pool and tag the wall where the alligator is standing—without being caught. If the alligator hears splashes, he can turn around and jump in the water after the other players. Whoever is tagged first becomes the next alligator.
This two-player game is a perfect swimming pool game for siblings. One player stands in the shallow end of the pool and holds the other player in his arms like a baby. The standing player secretly chooses a color, which the other child tries to guess. Each time an incorrect guess is made, the standing player dunks the guessing player into the water.
Another perfect two person pool game for siblings is paddleball. Invest in a set of waterfriendly paddles and balls and see how long you can keep the ball going back and forth without missing.
Kids can get out of the pool and try to use their paddles to send the ball over the pool without it hitting the water, or they can play paddleball while standing or floating in the pool.
Buy several sets and you can easily play paddleball with more than two players as well!
Sharks and Minnows
One child is the shark and swims in the water at one end of the pool. The rest of the players are the minnows and stand on the pool’s opposite wall. When the shark yells, “Fishies, fishies, swim to me!” the minnows jump in the water and start swimming for the opposite wall of the pool. The shark tries to tag as many minnows as he can before they reach the other side. Anyone who is tagged joins the shark’s team in the next round. Once all the minnows are either tagged or safely to the wall, the sharks line up at the other end of the pool and another round begins. The last minnow standing is the winner!
This simple swimming pool game never fails to entertain. One child is “it” and tries to tag one of the other players swimming in the pool. When someone is tagged, that person becomes the new “it” and another round begins.
Water Freeze Tag
Your kids will love this version of water tag! This game is best played in the shallow end of the pool where all of the players can touch. Just like regular tag, one child is “it” and tries to tag the other players. When a child is tagged, he must freeze in one spot with his legs spread open. The other players can unfreeze frozen players by swimming underneath them between their legs. When the child who is “it” freezes all the other players, he wins!
Have two kids line up at one end of the pool and give each one a beach ball. The object of the game is to be the first player to get their beach ball to the other end of the pool—without touching it with their hands. Turn this game into a relay race for an awesome swimming pool game at your next summer party.
For this classic swimming pool game, four players divide into teams of two and each team chooses one person to sit on the other person’s shoulders. When the game begins, each team tries to knock the other team down. The last team standing wins! (Be sure to play this game in the center of the pool away from the pool walls.)
Basketball and Volleyball
Basketball and Volleyball are even more fun when played in the swimming pool! Check out this awesome inflatable swimming pool game that comes with both a basketball hoop and a volleyball net. Your kids will enjoy hours of fun with each other and their friends playing these favorite sports in the pool.
Swimming Pool Contest
This game works best when you have an adult who is willing to be the judge. Have all the children line up outside of the pool. The judge decides on a contest (such as biggest splash, best dive, etc.). Each child takes turns attempting the chosen trick, and the judge decides who wins each round.
This game is similar to the popular basketball game H-O-R-S-E. One child begins the game by doing a trick (like an underwater flip or a cannonball). The rest of the children take turns attempting to copy the trick. If anyone cannot do the trick, that child receives one letter in the word F-I-S-H. When someone receives all the letters in the word F-I-S-H, that player is out. Last player left is the winner!
Have all the children line up at one end of the pool. When someone shouts “Go!” all the players race to be the first to reach the opposite end of the pool. You can entertain your kids in the pool for hours with endless variations of this game. For example, specify how the contestants must swim (underwater, backstroke, etc.) or make everyone stand on the edge of the pool and jump into the water at the start of the race.
Water Relay Race
This is the perfect swimming pool game for summer pool parties. Divide the kids into two teams and have each team line up at one end of the pool. When the race begins, the first child in line for each team jumps in the water, swims across the pool and back, and tags the next teammate in line. That teammate jumps in the water, and the race continues until everyone in each team has had a turn. Whichever team finishes first is the winner!
Each child grabs a float and jumps in the pool. The object of the game is to knock everyone in the water. Players can bump into each other with their floats or push each others’ floats with their hands and feet. The only rule is that players are not allowed to touch other players.
This is an awesome swimming pool game for summer parties. Each child grabs a float and lines up at one end of the pool. When someone shouts “Go!” the children race on their floats to get to the other end of the pool the fastest.
Find the Invisible Bottle
Remove the wrapper and cap from a two-liter bottle and sink it to the bottom of the pool. The clear bottle will practically become invisible. Challenge your kids to see who can be the first to find the invisible bottle.
Octopus is an awesome tag game for summer pool parties. One child is the octopus and tries to tag the other players swimming in the pool. Whenever someone is tagged, that player joins the octopus’ team by holding hands with the person who tagged him. The octopus will grow bigger and bigger as more players are tagged. The last person left is the winner and becomes the new octopus in the next round.
Did you know watermelons make awesome pool toys? Toss a watermelon into the pool and watch your kids have a blast! For a fun game, see who can push the watermelon from one end of the pool to the other the fastest. As an added bonus, you’ll have a yummy poolside snack to slice and serve when they’re finished playing. Or buy this watermelon ball that mimics playing with a real watermelon in the pool.
Sponge Bomb Frisbee Game
This is an awesome pool game for summer parties. First, make your own sponge bombs. Then, float three different colored frisbees upside down on the surface of the pool and assign each color a point value. See who can score the most points by throwing sponge bombs at the frisbee targets.
Ping Pong Balls
Grab this pack of multi-colored ping pong balls and toss them in the pool. Divide the kids into teams and assign each team one of the colors. Have the teams race to collect their ping pong balls and throw them in a bucket on the edge of the pool. The first team to collect all their ping pong balls wins! For sibling play or smaller groups of children, give each child their own bucket and challenge them to see who can collect the most ping pong balls.
Pool Noodle Jousting
Have two kids grab a float and a pool noodle and jump in the pool for an epic jousting battle. Whoever knocks the other player off their float first is the winner! For a large group of kids, you can make this a jousting tournament. Simply have the winner of each joust go against the next child in line until there is an ultimate winner. Check out this awesome pool jousting set to take this game to the next level of fun!
Toss a bunch of dive toys all around the pool and give each kid a pair of goggles. Let the kids hunt for the sunken treasures.
This adorable treasure hunt pool toy set has a floating treasure chest and sinking treasure pieces your kids can hunt for in the pool.
Throwing objects around the pool for friends to catch is a great way to enjoy pool time! Kids can make toss a real game by seeing which team can catch their object the most times in a row.
You can use any type of water friendly ball, such as a beach ball, or sponge ball. This is another great time to use homemade sponge bombs! Frisbees can also be a good choice for tossing pool games.
Hydro mitts and balls are really fun for pool toss as well.
Here are a even more fun pool games you can buy for your children to enjoy in the pool:
Yes, this game is traditionally played by filling cups with beer and tossing balls into the cups, but you can easily make this game kid friendly. Simply get a floating pool pong board, fill the cups with pool water, and see who can bounce in the most ping pong balls.
Here is another floating toss game, very similar to pong that is made for kids.
Kids will have a blast all summer long with these 25+ swimming pool game ideas!