Fun Pool Games for the Family

Fun Pool Games for the FamilyWith summer upon us, we are all eyeing our swimming pools, waiting to start the summer tradition of swimming the day away. BBQ’s and parties will certainly be planned around your pool, and with that comes gameplay.

Finding swimming pool games for kids isn’t always easy. When it comes to water, you always have to be concerned about safety. But, with some considerations toward age and other safety precautions, there are some excellent and fun family swimming pool games.

Treasure Hunt

In terms of interesting swimming pool games, you may not have heard of this one. Treasure Hunt is a fun game for kids who are good swimmers and are a little older. It’s also a great idea for birthday parties. Find some party favors that are colorful and made of materials that will sink, such as a dense plastic. This could be tops, yoyos, fidget spinners, little action figures, magic wands, etc. You could also throw several dollars in quarters. Make sure they are large and heavy enough that they won’t get sucked up into the filter. The more, the better.  

While the kids are not in the pool, maybe before they arrive, throw the objects in, assuring that the distribution is even. If you have younger kids, keep everything in the shallow end. When you are ready, tell the kids to line up at the pools’ edge and wait until you give the words. You could even have a “mega prize,” like a more expensive toy or a sturdy plastic egg filled with water and a $20 bill.


If your pool is pretty small, or even better, if you have a hot tub, get several people moving in a circle in one direction. Pool noodles are helpful here, because once the water starts really flowing in a whirlpool, you can float for awhile on your noodle, enjoying the relaxing motion of the water after all your hard work. If you have small children who also want to participate, make sure they are safe with floatation devices and that you are keeping an eye on them.

Noodle Races

Pick up a few $5 blow up rafts and some pool noodles. Line up your racers on one end of the pool, each with their own rafts and noodles, and tell them they have to use their noodles to propel their raft to the other edge. Use your smartphone to simulate a starting gun, and have someone at the other end to catch that photo finish. Make sure your pool is large enough to make the race fun, and don’t cram it too full of racers. If you need to set up heats, it’s a good idea to set up a tournament tree. This will ramp up the competition and be a memorable day of swimming pool fun, even for adults.

Marco Polo

This oldie but goodie is still played all over the country every summer. Basically, one person is “it” and she must close her eyes and call out “marco.” The other players required to reply with “polo,” making it easier for her to find them. This is a good game for older kids, but only because younger children may get frustrated when they play for a long time and never win. The players should be good swimmers, and there should be a rule that you can’t get out of the pool during play to avoid slipping on the deck.

There are also some different spins on this game. You could require that, once game-play begins, the “polo” players must freeze. The “marco” player must find all of them before his turn is over. The first person to be found is it for the next round. This is a little safer, since there isn’t a lot of blind activity happening.

Another variation is that everyone is on a pool float, and can’t get off, though they can paddle around to avoid being tagged. You can buy a cheap plastic crown for the person who is “marco” in every round, just to make it more fun.

Swimming Pool Ball Games

If you love sports, but it’s too hot to play on a court or field, getting a pickup game going in the pool is a great alternative. The added challenge of the water makes gameplay more fun and keeps you cool at the same time.

Volleyball is really fun in a swimming pool if you have the right kind of pool layout. If your pool is kidney shaped and has a steep dropoff to the deep end halfway through, there won’t be anywhere for one team to stand, so it may not work. If your pool is rectangular and never more than five feet deep, it might be perfect! A pool volleyball net is usually cheap and you can even use a regular volleyball. Some choose to use a beach ball, but plan to be chasing it all over the yard, as beach balls are a lot more bouncy. Older kids can probably participate in the game, but young children shouldn’t be in the pool. When it gets really competitive, it’s easy for a child to get clobbered in the chaos.

Pool basketball is also really fun, though it shouldn’t involve more than four players total. More than that and the game gets too crazy and loses its appeal. Again, you can buy a hoop for your pool for pretty cheap, but springing for that heavier duty hoop might be a better idea. All those adults who normally can’t dunk will suddenly find that their lifelong dunking aspirations are suddenly possible in all that buoyant water. They will dunk, and you will have a hoop in pieces soon if you buy the cheapest one.

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This summer, enjoy the sun and make sure you get the most out of your pool. Call Bright and Clear Pools if you want to make sure your water is very clean and all your chemical levels are right.

published on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018