Entertaining at home

Tired of Marco Polo? – Try these really fun pool games

Are you ready for some Summer fun? Time to enjoy that pool! Are you tired of Marco polo? Here are some really fun toys, games and tips to make pool time even more fun!

Disclaimer: Always have a swimming buddy or parent supervision when playing in or around water. This post may contain affiliate links. I earn commission at no additional cost to you.

Sharks and Minnows

Equipment required: none

How to play: Choose a player to be the shark. All other players are minnows. The minnows start at one end of the pool. The minnows must swim to the other side of the pool, without being tagged by the shark, to win. The shark must close his or her eyes and attempt to catch the minnows as they swim across the pool. If a minnow is tagged (caught by the shark) they are out. The minnows can climb out of the pool and walk to the other end, but they too can be caught by the shark. If the shark yells “fish out of water” when a minnow is out of the water, that minnow is out.

Variations: For younger kids, you can choose to have the shark keep his/her eyes open. You can also choose caught minnows to become additional sharks – last minnow wins.

Mermaid Races

Fin Fun Mermaid Tail

Equipment needed: One mermaid tail per player.

How to play: This game is best for strong swimmers. Each player will don a mermaid tail and line up at one end of the pool. Then the players use the mermaid tails to propel them to the other end of the pool. First player to the other end wins.

Noodle Races

Big Joe Zzoodles
Big Joe Zzoodles

Equipment needed: One pool noodle per player. I suggest the Big Joe Pool Noodle or Zzoodle for kids. Our Big Joe Zzoodles have lasted 4 seasons already and they are still in good shape.

How to Play: Each player starts on one end of the pool with their noodle. Players must mount their noodle like a horse. They must keep the noodle between their legs while racing to the other side of the pool. First player to the other side of the pool wins!

The Category Game

Equipment needed: none

How to play: One player is “it.” All other players line up on deep end of the pool. The player who is “it” stands on the side of the deep end of the pool, with their back to the pool. The player who is “it” chooses a category. For example: Who is your favorite super hero? Each player chooses their favorite super hero, but keeps that information secret. The player who is “it”, starts listing super heroes. If they say Superman, and that was your hero, you must begin swimming to the other end of the pool. It’s difficult to swim quickly and quietly. If the player who is “it” hears someone swimming they can turn around and jump in to catch the other player before they reach the other end of the pool. The winner of this fun pool game is the first person to reach the other end of the pool without being caught.

Other Category Suggestions: Favorite color, favorite pizza topping, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Taylor Swift song etc…

Underwater Football

pool torpedo toy

Equipment needed: A pool Torpedo

How to play: This fun pool game is best played while wearing goggles. Players go underwater and toss the torpedo back and forth underwater. The torpedo glides through the water up to 30 feet!

Air Ball

Equipment needed: A ball, I suggest a soft pool volleyball.

How to play: Two or more players toss the ball around without letting it touch the water. Count how many passes you can make before the ball hits the water. Try to improve your score each time you play.

Variations: To play with an odd number of people, throw the ball in a triangle, or one person can be the monkey in the middle. If the ball is dropped, the monkey takes the place of the person at fault.

Ball Tag in the Pool

Equipment needed: A soft splash ball or beach ball. If you choose a beach ball, you can get one for whatever you party theme is. For example choose a patriotic beach ball for an Independence Day party.

How to play: Ball tag is similar to regular tag, but you must tag the other players with the ball. This is why it is important to choose a soft ball. Choose a player to be “it”. They must tag another player with the ball. Players can choose to swim away or duck underwater to avoid being hit. If a player is hit, then they are “it”. The game keeps going!

Find the “invisible” water bottle game

invisible water bottle pool game

Equipment needed: An empty clear plastic 2 Liter bottle or water bottle

How to play: Remove the label, cap, and plastic ring from the empty clear plastic bottle. Fill the bottle with pool water and allow it to sink to the bottom of the pool. The bottle will be nearly “invisible” to swimmers in the pool. Try hiding the bottle before your friends arrive. Once everyone is in the water, ask them to find it. You can play this fun pool game play too since the bottle will move around, you will not know where it is either.

Note: If the pool water is still and you are looking down into the water from outside the pool, you can see the bottle. Make sure players are inside the pool before they start hunting for the bottle.

Dive for Treasure

Pool dive toys

Equipment needed: A variety of Dive Toys

How to play: Toss the dive toys into the pool. Wait for them to sink. All players jump in and collect dive toys. The player with the most dive toys recovered wins!

Toss and Clap Pool Game

Equipment needed: A ball, I suggest a soft pool volleyball.

How to play: All players stand in a circle in the shallow end. The first player tosses the ball straight up in the air claps once then catches the ball. If successful, they pass the ball to the player to their left. This player tosses the ball straight up in the air claps twice and catches the ball. If successful, they pass the ball to the player to their left. Continue passing and increasing the clap requirement until someone fails. That player is out. The next player starts over at one clap. The game continues until only one player remains. The winner!

Pool Lacrosse Game

pool lacrosse

Equipment needed: A pool lacrosse set

How to play: Practice you lacrosse passing and catching skills in the water with this really fun lacrosse set.

Around the world: pool version

Pool basketball hoop

Equipment needed: A pool basketball hoop and basket balls

How to play: Similar to the regular game of around the world. You choose 3 locations for players to shoot from. There is not a good way to mark the locations in a pool, instead use locations near the edge of the pool. Place a toy maker at each location. Dive sticks work well for this. Players line up and one by one they attempt to shoot a hoop from each location. If successful they move to the next location. If they fail, they go to the back of the line. The goal is to successfully make a basket form all three locations.

Rubber Ducky Race

Rubber ducky in a pool

Equipment needed: One rubber ducky per player. A random assortment is best so each player knows which duck is theirs. If they are all the same, use a sharpie to number them. This way there will be no fights.

How to play: All players and ducks start at one end of the pool. Players may not touch the ducks. They can only splash their duck to move it across the pool. Players may also choose to splash, but not touch other players ducks backwards. The winner is the first duck to reach the other end of the pool. Pure chaos and tons of fun!

Note: You can purchase rubber duckies to match the theme of your party. For example, graduation party rubber duckies.

Make your own obstacle course

Equipment needed: Various pool toys: Floats, Dive Toys, underwater rings, noodles and balls.

How to play: This is a really fun pool game that boosts creativity. Use the pool toys you have available to make your own obstacle course. For example: Start by jumping in the deep end and retrieve a dive toy from the bottom of the pool. Next swim up though a ring and kick to a noodle. Climb out of the ring and ride the noodle like a horse to the end of the pool. First player to the end wins!

Note: You can add plenty of other steps to your obstacle course. Another fun one is adding rings to swim though.

Remember adult supervision is recommended when children are playing in the water.

Other Fun Games

If you have a rainy day and are in need of an indoor game, check out this post for fun family games for all ages.

As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualified purchases.

By Kristin

I am a part-time pediatric pharmacist, full time wife and mother of three teens. I’m also a home chef, gamer, and love to entertain in my home. I know how to relax and enjoy my home life and would love to share my ideas with you.

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