Holy crow, it’s summer. And when you have kids that love the water, that means finding a pool and figuring out fun things to do in it. Sometimes all kids need to be entertained is the pool itself, but every kid loves a good pool game.
If you’re tired of playing, “Mommy, try to get away while I chase you,” (which really means, “Mommy, do your best to haul yourself around this pool without getting any of this community bath water in your mouth, while I kick strangers in the stomach, splash old ladies in the face and run into babies who are in the pool for the first time.”) then these alternatives should float your boat.
1. Marco Polo
Marco Polo is such a classic pool game for anyone growing up in Australia that, whatever your age, if someone says “Marco” to you, you automatically reply “Polo”, amiright? Suitable for confident swimmers who love the thrill of the chase.
2. Dolphins in the water
This is a simple but fun game to help develop children’s swimming skills while encouraging them to work as a team. Make sure you supervise at all times.
3. Humpty Dumpty
A fun way to encourage your tiny tot to develop confidence – it involves them sitting on the edge of the pool while you sing Humpty Dumpty. No prizes for guessing at which point they drop into the water.
4. Scavenger hunt
Improve your children’s diving skills and keep them amused for hours at the same time. All you have to do is chuck a few things in the bottom of the pool!
5. Cannonball pool jump
What could be more fun that doing bombs to see who can make the biggest splash? Nuttin, dat’s what.
6. White whale game
Another fun chasing game, one player in the middle is the whale floating on their back, while the others surround them in a circle. Suddenly the whale cries “hungry whale” and starts chasing the others.
7. Floating starfish
Another one for the little bubs, this encourages that crucial skill of being able to float confidently on your back – and is a lovely bonding game for parents and babies to play together.
8. Name that tune
This was a favourite of my brother and I for many years growing up. You both have to go underwater and one of you has to sing a few lines of a song and the other has to guess which song it is. Easy, hilarious and fun!
9. Add on
Most suited to older kids and strong swimmers, this strengthens their ability to hold their breath underwater as well as improve memory, as each time one of the kids goes under the water, another task is added.
10. Noodle jousting
Instead of riding horses for this battle, the players line up on inflatable rafts, or pool ponies. Then, just like medieval gladiators, they try to knock each other from their mount with pool noodles.
Bonus Game: 11. Sharks and minnows
Another pool play classic, this one is perfect for a pool party as the more players, the funner it gets! A little like bull rush in the pool, it’s guaranteed to elicit plenty of squeals of joy.