There are endless options for swimming games in your backyard pool—and most of them can be modified. Here are 13 of our favorite pool games for kids! Change them up to fit your kids’ ages and skill levels.
The summer pool season will be here before you know it. The kids can’t wait for vacation time and having weeks of fun in the sun. Did you know there are so many benefits of swimming for kids? So why not make it full of FUN pool games!!! Your backyard pool will play a big part in their plans for fun with their friends and family. However, kids can get bored easily even in a pool. There is only so much Marco Polo they can play!
Pool Games for Kids
This year, be prepared with this list of swimming pool games to give them something new to play in the pool. These are games for kids of different ages and skill levels. Some require inexpensive accessories you can purchase now, so you’ll be ready when you need them. This list includes a few ideas that can be played by different age groups at the same time, so your teenager can still play with your 8-year-old. Here are 13 ideas to start you off having a fun-filled summer in the pool.
Basketball. Play a variation of H-O-R-S-E in the pool. Change the name to S-H-A-R-K for fun. There are basketball hoops that attach to the side of your pool or a floating hoop for a bit more of a challenge. Players take turns shooting, and you get a letter each time you miss the basket. The first kid to spell shark wins. This is a really fun kids pool game.
Volleyball. Play volleyball in the pool with a net that attaches to the sides of your pool. If your pool has a deep end, the teens get that side while the younger players have the shallow end.
Treasure hunt. Find doubles of various items that will sink in your pool. Avoid sharp points or edges and don’t use glass, of course. Use toys or kitchen items like soup spoons and matchbox cars. Scatter the items in your pool, and the one who finds one of each item first is the winner.
Make a tunnel. Looking for a fun underwater pool game? Purchase some hula hoops and attach a weighted pool toy with string to keep the hula hoop underwater at a depth appropriate to your child’s skill level. The kids have to swim underwater to go through the hoops. The winner is the one who goes through the most hoops in one breath. Change the pattern to a circle, or an S, or a square, or change the depth of the various hula hoops to keep their interest.
Ring Toss. There is a floating version of this game for use in the pool. The older kids have to play from deeper water while the younger ones are able to stand in the shallow end. If your pool is all one depth, have the older kids toss from a greater distance. This is probably a favorite in our list of pool games for kids!
Ping Pong Toss. Float a hula hoop in the water and have the kids throw ping pong balls into the hoop from different spots in the pool. Color-code the ping pong balls with colored permanent markers prior to the game. The kid with the most ping pong balls in the hoop is the winner. This game is also great for team fun.
Ping Pong Frisbee Toss. Up the difficulty of the ping pong toss into the hula hoop. Exchange the hula hoop for a Frisbee. Float a Frisbee upside down in the water. Now the ping pong ball has to land in a smaller target without bouncing out.
The Lost Bottle. In this game, all you need is a clear plastic bottle. Fill the bottle with pool water and drop it somewhere into the pool. Whoever finds the bottle first is the winner. The bottle will become virtually invisible when you drop it into the pool, making this a much greater challenge than you would think.
Illumination. Want a really fun swimming pool party game? This is it!! If your family likes to swim at night, purchase inexpensive glow sticks and rings. Throw them in the pool, and your pool lights will illuminate them. They look awesome at night, and your kids will love playing with them.
Synchronized Swimming. Have your kids come up with the music they want to swim to, and let them design their own routine. They can even add props or modify their swimsuits to reflect their theme. If they have never seen synchronized swimming, bring up some videos of the Olympics to give them some ideas.
Finders Keepers. Empty your coins from your pocket, wallet, or wherever you throw your loose change, and scatter the coins in your pool. Any money the kids bring up is theirs to keep.
Watermelon Push. The object of this game is to push a watermelon from one end of the pool to the other. Make it harder by adding the rule that your feet can’t touch the bottom. This can also become a great swimming race game if you have a number of kids.
Swimming builds self confidence in children and what better way to encourage this than by playing fun pool games together with friends and family!
Author Bio: Chris Hoffman is the founder of Backyard & Pool Superstore currently based outside of Dallas, TX. Backyard & Pool Superstore is an e-commerce leader in backyard, pool, spa, grill & patio products. Before starting Backyard & Pool Superstore, Chris has had 10 years of retail, construction, manufacturing and distribution experience in the swimming pool & spa industry. When Chris isn’t working, he moonlights as a baseball coach, dance recital standing ovation specialist, husband, and German Shepherd enthusiast.