by Rob Cox December 14, 2010
Fun swimming pool games to play
For the ultimate in pool enjoyment, organize some pool games! Great for pool parties or for keeping the kids occupied and making the most out of your backyard oasis, swimming pool games are easy to learn, easy to modify and fun for everyone.
Pool games such as these really bring the family together, and make for great memories. We had our favorites when I was a kid, but I never knew that so many pool games existed! Print out this list for your kids and they can try a new swimming pool game or race every day!
If you have other favorite swimming games not listed here, let us know by commenting below! We'd love to publish your favorite races, relays and games here!
Belly Flop Contest
This one really needs no explanation, and this pool game doesn't even need a diving board. One at a time please, with a judge to rate the flops according to splash height, smacking sound, style or creativity.
Boogie Board Relay
You will need two boogie boards or kick boards and two ski ropes or just regular rope. Two relay teams will race against each other from one end of the pool to the other. While one swimmer kneels or lays on the board, another swimmer on the side of the pool pulls them across the pool. The swimmer that was on the board, being pulled across the pool first, then trades positions with the puller, and race back to the other end of the pool. If more players are involved in the team, they switch after reaching the end.
This one also needs no explanation, and this pool game doesn't even need a diving board. One at a time please, with a judge to rate the cannonballs according to splash height, Splash width, style or creativity.
Similar to Steal The Bacon, this pool game requires a CLEAR plastic 2 liter bottle with the label removed. Fill the 2 litre bottle full of pool water, and put the cap on tightly. Divide your swimmers into two teams. Each team will take opposite ends of the pool as their endzone. Place a pool chair on the edge of the pool at each end as the goal. Line up the players on either end of the pool, facing the outside - with eyes closed. Throw the bottle into the pool, (which will sink) and yell "Go!" The players launch off the wall and dive for the bottle.
The object of this pool game is to get the bottle to the other teams chair (goal). 1 point is awarded for each "goal" - when the bottle is placed in the opposing team's chair. Line up again on opposite sides after each goal is scored.
Each player mounts an inflated pool tube, and when "Go!" is announced, they push, splash, paddle their way into each other. Using feet and hands is allowed, but no touching the other contestants - only touch the tube, or you get expelled for 30 seconds. The object of this pool game is to knock others off of their tube, into the water.
A real classic pool game, kids of equal size mount the shoulders of their team mate, two players to a team. The bottom person holds on to the top person, while the top players battle each other, trying to know the other team over. Last team standing wins this pool game. Be careful with the pool edge, and keep a referee in the water to make sure everyone is safe and away from the edge. Oh, and no eye-gouging allowed!
Collect coins from the parents, as much as you can,and throw the coins into the pool. Yell "GO!" and all contestant jump in the water and try to collect as much as possible.
Diving Board H.O.R.S.E.
Players line up behind the diving board. Similar to the basketball game "HORSE", the first diver states the dive or jump they will do. If they complete it, then the next diver has to duplicate the same dive (jump, flip, cannonball, whatever, but always different). If they also do it correctly - then the next diver also attempts the same dive. If a diver does it incorrectly, (and you may need a referee) they get a "letter", beinning with H. The next person in line then gets to call the next dive. Once you mess up 5 times, (and spell HORSE) you are eliminated. Continue until all have been eliminated except one - the winner.
You'll need enough rubber duckies for each player. Swimmers line up on one side of the pool, and swim across to the other side, blowing or bumping the duck with their face only. You many not touch the duck with hands, or bite the duck and carry it in their mouth. Splashing other players ducks is allowed, however, no touching off the other player is permitted. First swimmer to get their duck safely to the other side is the winner.
Jump or Dive
In this game, line up the participants behind the diving board, and designate one person to be the caller. The diver runs and jumps off the board, and while in mid-air (not too late) the caller yells out either "jump" or "dive". The contestant reacts in mid-air, trying to correct themselves into either a jump or a dive, but usually ending up in a belly flop!
Jump the Noodle
With one person in the deep end, treading water, hold a pool noodle laying flat on the water at a perpendicular angle to the diving board. Start easy, say 3-4 feet from the board, and after each round, move the pool noodle a foot further away, eliminating those whose dives don't clear the noodle. This pool game is easy and fun for all ages.
King of the Tube
Much like King of the Hill, this pool game involves everyone trying to knock off the king of the tube. One swimmer sits in the pool tube while others try to knock her out, without touching her! only touching the pool tube. The winner is the person who can stay in the tube the longest, without being pushed off or flipped over.
Inflate a pool raft and time each contestant to see how long they can stand on the raft while singing "Surfing USAAAAA..." Be careful to do this in the middle of the pool, away from the edge. For extra help for smaller kids, hold one end of the pool raft as they stand up. The one who can last the longest without falling in wins this pool game.
Sharks & Minnows
Make two teams of swimmers and choose a home base on opposite sides of the pool. When the game starts, the minnows push off the wall or dives into the pool. The sharks push off when ready, and while swimming underwater, try to touch/tag the minnows before they reach the other side. If the minnow reaches the other side without being tagged, one of the sharks comes over to the minnows team. When a minnow gets tagged, however, he/she becomes a shark. The point of this pool game is to try and get everyone on your team.
This pool game only requires a toothpick and several swimmers. Line up your swimmers on one edge, and when ready, a non-contestant dives into the deep end and releases a toothpick. Quickly swimming out of the way, and yelling "toothpick" when he surfaces. All players dive in the pool and try to find this needle in a haystack. Use a un-colored wooden toothpick for ths pool game.
Give each player a small bottle of water. Standing in the shallow end, they remove the cap and place the bottle in their mouths. On "Go!" they submerge under water and drink the entire bottle of water. The first person to rise to the top with an empty bottle is the winner of this pool game.
Wet Shirt Relay
Give two teams a large or extra large shirt. Half of each team will go to the opposite end of the pool. At the whistle the first person of each team puts on the shirt (over their bathing suit of course) and swims to the other side where their teammates are. They are pulled out of the water and then must remove the wet shirt and give it to the next person. Team players can help! The first team to get all players across the pool in the wet shirt wins!