Last Updated: June 30, 2022

The best swimming pool games

Written By: Pool Care Guide

Floating in a pool on a hot summer day is a pleasant way to relax. But that isn’t good enough if you’re feeling energetic or have some kids to entertain. In those times, a pool game is a perfect way to burn off some of that excess energy. 

To help you find the best game for a group of any size and age group, we’ve categorized our list of swimming pool games. Hopefully, this will make the games that interest you easier to identify. The categories we’ve used are:

  • Active Games
  • Children-Focused
  • Jumping into Water Games
  • Races and Relays
  • Scavenger Dives
  • Sports Games
  • Tag Games
  • Other Games

Number Crunch

Game Type: Races and Relays, Scavenger Dives

Brief Description: A mad dash to collect ping pong balls worth varying amounts of points. The highest score wins the game.

How to Play

  • Divide into 2 teams
  • Separate the two teams. Each team should start from each end of the pool.
  • Give each team a plastic bucket that is set at each of their own ends of the pool.
  • Toss 30 ping pong balls into the water.
  • When both teams are ready, they are released to collect as many ping pong balls as they can get.
  • When all of the ping pong balls are collected, each team must add the numbers that are written on the ping pong balls they have collected. The team with the highest total wins the game.

Equipment Needed

  • 2x Plastic buckets
  • 30x ping pong balls that are numbered 1 to 30
  • Permanent marker

Hydro Lacrosse

Game Type: Sports Game

Brief Description: Hydro Lacrosse is great fun and super intense. This field game has been brought to the pool, and it is a natural fit. The reduced maneuverability of the pool isn’t a problem when you're propelling the ball from one lacrosse stick to the next.

If you have a group, this is a must-buy because lacrosse was designed to be played with 20 players. For most residential pools, there will be some obvious size limitations. That said, even a medium-sized pool should be large enough for a decent-sized group. 

How to Play

As with any sport, there are lots of rules and regulations. Since this is a simple home game, we aren’t going to go over all the technicalities. Instead, we will give enough information to play a fun home version of this game.

  • The objective of the game is to toss the lacrosse ball into your opposing team’s goal.
  • Split the group into 2 teams. Each team should have one goalie and split the remaining players between defensive and offensive positions.
  • The goalies are the only players allowed to grab the lacrosse ball with their hands. The rest of the players are required to use their lacrosse sticks’ nets.
  • Goalies have a few feet of space around the goal they are guarding where other players are not allowed to enter.
  • Unless the players are near the ball, the players should not directly physically engage each other.
  • To start the game, have an outside party toss a ball into the pool. If there isn’t an outside party, Two opponents can stand off in the middle of the pool. The opposing players should place the back of their lacrosse sticks’ nets against each other with the lacrosse ball between those two nets. When the game starts, the players should attempt to toss the ball into the air.

Equipment Needed

  • Hydro lacrosse sticks
  • Hydro lacrosse balls
  • Hydro lacrosse floating goals

Bobbers

Game Type: Other Games

Brief Description: Bobbers is a bit like dodgeball that’s mixed with a carnival fishbowl game.

How to Play

  • One person is “it” and is located on one side of the pool. The “it” player throws foam balls to hit the bobbers.
  • The other players, the “bobbers,” pick positions at the opposite end of the pool.
    1. The bobbers are not allowed to move side-to-side, but they can move up and down. Using the up-and-down motion, bobbers try to dodge shots. 
    2. Weak swimmers should wear arm floaties or innertubes to prevent any danger due to exhaustion.

Equipment Needed

  • Arm floaties, innertubes, or pool noodles (For weak swimmers and young children)
  • Foam balls

Bumper Balls

Game Type: Active Games

Brief Description: Bumper Balls is a free-for-all game of the last man standing. Each player tries to push the other players outside of the designated arena.

How to Play

  • Mark off or verbally section off part of the pool and designate it as the Bumper Ball play area.
  • Give each participant a beach ball.
  • Players can only directly interact with each other by using their beach balls to shove the other players outside the arena.
  • If a player touches the border, they are out and must leave the game
  • If there are too many players or not enough beach balls, we recommend playing this in tournament style

Equipment Needed

  • Beach ball for each participant
  • Rope

Cardboard Boat Race

Game Type: Races and Relays

Brief Description: Teams of players have one hour to construct cardboard boats for a race across the pool.

How to Play

  • Divide everyone into teams
  • Everyone has one hour to design and build their cardboard boats
  • Creativity, wacky designs, and unique boat names should be encouraged
  • When the time is up, all times gather at one end of the pool.
  • Each team should stand outside the pool with their boats out of the water.
  • When the race starts, the players should put their boats into the water and make their way to the other side.
  • The first team to successfully float their boat to the other side wins.

Equipment Needed

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Scissors
  • Packing tape
  • Colored paper
  • Makers and stickers

Chicken Fight

Game Type: Active Game

Brief Description: Most of us have taken part in a piggyback fight at some point. Chicken Fights are the same thing, but they are in the water. The last team standing wins.

How to Play

  • Break the group down into teams of two. 
    1. In each team, one teammate will need to carry the other on their shoulders.
    2. The goal of each team is to knock, push, or pull the opposing teams so the piggy-backed members fall into the water.
    3. If a carried teammate falls into the water, that team is out of that round of the game. 

Colors

Game Type: Active Game

Brief Description: Colors has both stealth and chase elements that will get your heart racing. Players must cross from one side of the pool to the other side.

How to Play

  • Choose the “it” player and have them go to the center of the pool. This player must face away from the rest of the group.
  • The rest of the group will be the swimmers. The swimmers should mentally choose a primary or secondary color: red, yellow, blue, purple, orange, or green.
  • The “it” player must continue to look away from the group when the game begins. “It” should call out a color. 
  • If a swimmer has chosen the same color as the "it" player, that swimmer must quietly sneak up to and past the “it” player and race to the end of the pool.
  • The “it” player should attempt to chase and tag the swimmer before the swimmer reaches the end of the pool.
  • If the “it” player catches the swimmer, the swimmer becomes “it” and “it” becomes the swimmer.
  • If the swimmer escapes, the “it” player calls out another primary or secondary color.

Crocodile Hunter

Game Type: Children-Focused, Other Games, Races, and Relays

Brief Description: Crocodile Hunter plays like the goldfish carnival game. However, instead of tossing a ball into a fish tank, you are trying to capture and retrieve a crocodile and players are racing to finish first.

How to Play

  • Release the inflated crocodiles at the deep end of the pool
  • Give each player a hula hoop.
  • Gather the players at the shallow side of the pool.
  • Players must toss their hula hoops to capture a crocodile. 
  • If a player misses, they must quickly swim to retrieve their hula hoop.
  • When a player rings a crocodile, they have to swim to the crocodile, climb aboard, and race back to the shallow end.
  • Whoever retrieves a crocodile first will win

Equipment Needed

  • Hula hoops (One per person)
  • Inflatable crocodiles

Duck Push

Game Type: Active Games, Races, and Relays

Brief Description: A race between players to move their own duck from one side of the pool to the other. The catch is they can’t use their hands to grab or their mouths to bite the ducks.

How to Play

  • Players can use whatever methods to move the ducks as long as they aren’t carrying the duck.
  • If you want to make the game more interesting, the players can disrupt the opposing players with any method that doesn’t require their hands.
  • The first person that successfully moves their duck from one side to the other wins the race.

Equipment Needed

  • Rubber ducks (One per person)

Earn Your Allowance

Game Type: Scavenger Dive

Brief Description: This treasure hunt combines money with games to create engaging fun. Competing players simultaneously dive to find and collect as many coins as possible.

Some younger kids might have trouble opening their eyes underwater, so a selection of swimming goggles is recommended to make the hunt easier.

How to Play

  • Have all the participants line up at one end of the pool, and have the participants face the edge of the pool with their eyes closed.
  • Toss the coins into the pool
    1. Alternatively, if you want to make the “treasures” easier to spot, you can use diving sticks or torpedoes and make the diving toys tradeable for prizes

Equipment Needed

  • Swimming goggles (Recommended for kids)
  • Coins, Diving sticks, or Torpedoes

F-I-S-H

Game Type: Active Games

Brief Description: Plays similar to H-O-R-S-E. However, instead of shooting hoops, you are performing stunts. Try an underwater handstand, a dive with a flip, collect the most items at the bottom of the pool, or whatever else you can think of to do.

How to Play

  • Player 1: Must state what stunt they are attempting to perform. If they fail to complete their chosen stunt, it becomes player 2’s turn to choose and attempt a stunt.
  • Player 2: If player 1 successfully completes their chosen stunt, player 2 must attempt to duplicate the stunt
  • If player 2 successfully copies the stunt, it becomes player 2’s turn to perform a stunt of their choice. Player 1 will then need to attempt to replicate player 2’s stunt.
  • If player 2 fails to copy the stunt, player 2 acquires one of the letters of the word “fish.” Player 1 then gets to choose another stunt to perform 
  • The rounds of stunts continue until one of the players has acquired all the letters to the word “fish”. When this happens, the player that has spelled the word “fish” loses the game.

Equipment Needed

  • No equipment is required, but any equipment may be used.

Fishy in the Middle

Game Type: Active Games

Brief Description: Fishy in the middle is a renamed game of “monkey in the middle.” To play this game, you need at least three people. Whatever the group size happens to be, the game is always everyone vs the fishy. 

How to Play

  • Whoever plays the role of the fishy, should move to the center of the play area
  • Everyone else should make a circle around the fishy. 
  • For the group, the goal is to keep tossing a ball back and forth amongst themselves and keeping the ball away from the fishy.
  • The fishy’s job is to intercept the ball.
  • If the fishy gets the ball, the last member of the group to touch the ball trades places with the fishy.

Equipment Needed

  • A large ball (Basketball, volleyball, beach ball, etc.)

Floatie Race

Game Type: Children-Focused, Races and Relays

Brief Description: Everyone sits on their own floaty and races across the length of the pool.

How to Play

  • Before the race can begin, all the players must line up at one end of the pool.
  • When the race starts, everyone must paddle their way from one end of the pool to the other.
  • If a player falls off their floaty, they are out of the race.
  • Players are allowed to push and pull other floaties and players to flip them over or slow them down.
  • The last player floating or the first player to reach the other side of the pool wins the game.

Equipment Needed

  • Pool floaties

Follow the Leader

Game Type: Children-Focused, Active Games

Brief Description: One player, the leader moves around the pool and does whatever whacky thing they want to do. The other players have to follow that leader and copy them. If a follower can’t copy, by choice or ability, that follower is out of the game. The last remaining follower becomes the leader in the next game.

It is recommended that one player is appointed to be a watcher. The watcher will initiate the game, and call out players if they fail to copy the leader.


Freeze tag

Game Type: Tag Games

Brief Description: A typical game of freeze tag with a couple of modifiers for the pool.

How to Play

It can be tiring to continuously swim to keep yourself afloat while frozen. To increase the fun and limit the danger, we recommend restricting the game of freeze tag to the shallow side of the pool. 

  • If you haven’t played freeze tag before, this is how it goes.
  • One player is “it.” That player chases after the other players. When “it” tags another player, that player is frozen.
  • When frozen, the player stands still and puts their hands straight into the air.
  • Another player can unfreeze the frozen player by swimming through the frozen player’s legs. This “thaws out” the player.
  • Players can temporarily evade being frozen by diving beneath the water. As long as they are completely under the water, they cannot be tagged and frozen. 

Floating Golf Games

Game Type: Other Games, Sports Games

Brief Description: Golf enthusiasts might get a kick out of floating golf games. These chipping islands offer a fun challenge for golfers to practice their short game aside from the pool. They usually come with floating golf balls that you can chip onto the green from the patio, so scooping them back up is fairly easy.

Equipment Needed

  • Floating Golf Games
  • Golf 

H-O-R-S-E

Game Type: Sports Game

Brief Description: If you’ve ever played with a basketball and hoop, you’ve probably played a game of H-O-R-S-E. It’s the same game with the same rules, just brought to the pool. The goal of this game is to make shots that your opponent cannot copy. 

How to Play

  • Choose who will make the first shot. The first player has an advantage, so we recommend a coin toss or a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to make the decision. If you are going to play multiple games, you can just alternate who goes first for each game.
  • The first player will take a shot from a location of their choice. If it’s a trick shot, the specifics of the shot will need to be called out ahead of time. If not called out, the copying player only needs to take a shot from the same location.
  • If the player choosing the shot calls a trick shot, the shot must be made in the way described. If the shot is made in a way that wasn’t described, the shot is counted as a miss.
  • Whenever a copying player fails a shot, they acquire a letter of the word “horse.” The player that chose the shot can take another shot.
  • If the copying player successfully copies the shot, they can choose the next shot.
  • The first player to acquire enough letters to spell the word “horse” loses the game.

Equipment Needed

  • Basketball

Inflatable Tic-Tac-Toe

Game Type: Children-Focused, Other Games

Brief Description: If you are playing with younger kids, it will be a bit too early to play some of the rougher sports games. For the right kids, an inflatable game of tic-tac-toe game can be a fun distraction. The goal of this two-player game is to place 3 game pieces in a straight line on a 3x3 grid.

How to Play

  • One player places Xs and the other player places Os.
  • Decide who will place their letter first.
  • The first player places a piece on one of the squares of the 3x3 grid.
  • Next, the second player places their piece.
  • Repeat this turn-taking until one of the three conditions
    • One player has successfully created a 3-piece line on the grid
    • The grid is filled
    • The grid is filled in a way that it isn’t possible to create a 3-piece line.

Equipment Needed

  • Inflatable Tic-Tac-Toe game

Invisi-Bottle (Invisible Bottle)

Game Type: Scavenger Dive, Races, and Relays

Brief Description: Two teams compete to be the first to find a near-invisible bottle at the bottom of the pool.

How to Play

  • The bottle should be clear, filled with water, and the label should be removed. If possible, choose a bottle with a clear, white, or interior-matching cap. This will help the bottle to blend into its surroundings.
  • Divide the group into two teams
  • Place the teams at separate ends of the pool.
  • Each team should face the edge of the pool. This way they won’t see any of the water in their visions. They need to look away from the pool so they don’t see where the bottle lands.
  • Someone that is not on either team should toss the bottle into the water.
  • After a countdown, the teams should turn around and look for the bottle.
  • Whichever team finds the bottle first wins the game.

Equipment Needed

  • 2-liter bottle filled with water
    1. Cap included (clear, white, or interior color-matching cap works best)
    2. Label completely removed.

Marco Polo

Game Type: Active Games, Tag Games

Brief Description: Marco Polo is a game of tag, but the person who is “it” must close their eyes. The “it” player seeks out the other players by sound.

How to Play

  • One player is “it.” That player is not allowed to use their eyes, so they must be shut tight.
  • After a short countdown to give the other players a chance to get away, the “it” player chases the other players.
  • To find those other players, the “it” player can call out, “Marco!” The other players must immediately respond with, “Polo!” 
  • When the “it” player successfully tags another player, that player becomes “it.” The new “it” player closes their eyes, the countdown begins, and a new round starts.

Pool Noddle Fights

Game Type: Active Games, Children-Focused

Brief Description: Pool noodle fights are a fun activity that just seems to happen spontaneously whenever two or more people have pool noodles in the shallow end of the pool. If you don’t know what we are talking about, just think of pool noodle fights as a floating foam noodle sword fight.

Equipment Needed

  • Pool Noodles

Obstacle Course

Game Type: Active Games, Races, and Relays

Brief Description: Obstacle courses are a blast, but they can also be dangerous in certain situations. Keep that in mind when setting up the course. Owners of larger pools might want to consider adding an inflatable obstacle course. 

There are lots of obstacle course obstacles on Amazon. There are also DIY obstacle course guides that you can find online.

Equipment Needed

  • Swim hoops (floating pool rings)
  • Innertubes
  • Inflatable obstacle courses
  • Rope 
  • Diving rings

Octopus Tag

Game Type: Tag Games

Brief Description: This one is a modified game of tag. This time, the player that is “it” stays in the center of the pool while the other players swim back and forth across the pool. The swimmers join the "it" player once they're tagged.

How to Play

  • The “it” player stands in the center of the pool. This player can move side-to-side (width-to-width), but cannot chase the swimmers across the length of the pool.
  • The other players swim from one end of the pool to the other (length-to-length).
  • The swimming players do not have to go at the same time or at different times.
  • If the “it” player successfully tags a swimmer, the swimmer joins the “it” player. 
  • There are two versions of Octopus that people choose to play and they differ in what the tagged players do when tagged.
    1. Version 1: The “it” player and the tagged swimmer lock one set of hands. They can use their free hands to reach out to the swimming players.
    2. Version 2: When the swimmer is tagged, they become “seaweed.” The “it” player that tagged the swimmer chooses where the seaweed stands. The seaweed can reach out from their spot, but they cannot take a step.

Ring Toss

Game Type: Children-Focused, Other Games

Brief Description: The same well-known ring toss game that you’ll find at a picnic has now made its way to the pool. The goal of this game is to reach a pre-selected target value. To do this, in each round, the players take turns tossing each of the rings onto vertical posts.

You can find these inflatable ring toss games on Amazon for about $10 which will likely be a good value for the fun provided.

How to Play

  • Ring toss games are very simple. You just need rings and goalposts.
  • The posts are labeled with different values. Whenever a player throws a ring onto them, the post's value is awarded to that player.
  • Iterating rounds of alternating turns continue until one of the players has reached the predetermined goal.

Equipment Needed

  • Goal Post
  • Rings

Secret Message

Game Type: Other Games

Brief Description: Secret message, at a basic level, is a simple but fun activity rather than a game. Two kids dive underwater. One shouts, and the other listens. After that, both of them rise above the water. The listener repeats what they heard.

How to Play

Secret Message is a lot more enjoyable when played as a game of telephone. The Telephone version is played by several people.

  • The first person shouts underwater while the second person listens. 
  • The second person then dives underwater with a third person and shouts what they think they heard. 
  • This repeats until the final person hears the message. 
  • When the final person has heard the message, they return to the surface, and relay to the group what they heard.

Sharks and Minnows

Game Type: Active Games

Brief Description: Sharks and Minnows is a modified game of tag. The game starts with one person as the shark. “Shark” is a pseudonym for the role of “it.” When the shark eats (tags) the minnows, more sharks are created. 

How to Play

  • Choose who will be the shark.
  • Everyone else will start as minnows.
  • The game starts with the shark at the center of the pool and the minnows have picked their starting locations throughout the pool.
  • When everyone is ready, the shark yells, “Go!” and the game begins.
  • The shark swims after the minnows.
  • When a shark tags a minnow, the minnow becomes a shark.
  • When all of the minnows have turned into sharks, the game ends.
  • The final minnow to be tagged will become the new shark.

Simon Says

Game Type: Kid Friendly

Brief Description: Simon Says is about listening carefully and following instructions accurately. As people fail to follow instructions at the appropriate moments, they are eliminated from the game.

How to Play

  • There are two roles in this game
    1. Simon: The issuer of instructions
    2. Followers: The rest of the players attempt to follow the instructions that begin with the phrase, “Simon says”. If they perform instructions that do not begin with “Simon says,” they lose and are removed from the game.

So You Think You Can Dance…in the Pool

Game Type: Active Games, Other Games

Brief Description: A pool dancing competition. With the right group, the hilarious attempts to perform moves turn into a chaotic mess of fun.

How to Play

  • Individuals may perform in groups or individually. 
    1. If you have shy participants, group performances can take away some of the stress 
  • These dances can be spontaneous, or performers can break away, choreograph, and practice their dances.
  • Additionally, performers may incorporate costumes, lights, and props to further enhance their performances.
  • It’s up to the crowd whether they want this to be an elaborate competition in an effort to achieve some level of quality or something quick and funny.

Equipment Needed

  • Music
  • Costumes (optional)
  • Pool lights (optional)
  • Props (optional)

Timed Dives

Game Type: Scavenger Dives 

Brief Description: If you want to add a twist to these diving games, you could add a timer to the dives. You can work on lung capacity and swimming capabilities by giving time limits to these treasure hunting games. Test each other out and see how many coins or trinkets you can collect. 

This modifier turns these competitive treasure hunting games into a game that someone could play by themselves. That makes it a unique game on this list.

Equipment Needed

  • Treasure hunting items (coins, diving rings, diving sticks, diving torpedoes, etc.)

Underwater Charades

Game Type: Other Games

Brief Description: It’s almost always better to play Charades with larger groups. Charades first appeared in the 18th century, and it has been popular ever since that time. Now we’re bringing it to the pool. This time there is an added level of challenge. Performing becomes a whole lot more difficult when movements are hindered and you have to hold your breath during your entire performance. The chaos this creates can be highly entertaining.

How to Play

  • There are three roles in Underwater Charades: the referee, the actor, and the audience.
  • The referee shows the charade card to the actor, watches the game, and enforces the rules.
  • The actor, as you might know, acts out the charade card. 
    1. Swims to the center of the pool and waits for the audience to gather.
    2. When the audience is ready and the actor is ready, the actor and the audience descend into the water.
  • The audience should watch the actor’s performance. Once the actor is done, everyone raises themselves back out of the water and takes turns guessing what word the actor was performing
  • If anyone needs to surface before the end of the performance, they become the next round’s actor.
  • The actor picks the first person to take a guess. If nobody prematurely surfaced, the first person to guess incorrectly becomes the actor.

Equipment Needed

  • A game of Charades

Water Volleyball

Game Type: Sports Games

Brief Description: Water Volleyball is a competitive group sport designed to be played by 2 to 8 players. A tall rectangular net is strung across the center of the pool. This net separates the two teams that are located on each side of the pool. The goal for each team is to hit a volleyball over the net and land in the water on the enemy team’s side.

How to Play

For detailed volleyball instructions, we recommend watching this video.

Equipment Needed

  • Volleyball
  • Pool Volleyball Net

Watermelon Push Relay (Watermelon Ball)

Game Type: Races and Relays

Brief Description: Aside from two twists, this is just your average relay race. One, participants must not let their feet touch the ground. Two, participants must push a watermelon from the start of the race to the finish line.

Equipment Needed

  • Watermelons - enough for each participant to have one

Water Polo

Game Type: Sports Games

Brief Description: Water polo plays a lot like any of the other ball and net games. Two teams of players are spread across the pool in defensive and offensive positions. The objective, as with most sports, is to throw the water polo ball into the opposing team’s net. 

How to Play

Water Polo is a legitimate sport with lots of rules and regulations. Rather than list them here, we feel a link to a WikiHow video will serve you best.

Equipment Needed

  • Water polo nets
  • Water polo ball
  • Goggles

Wet T-shirt Relay

Game Type: Races and Relays

Brief Description: A relay race where team members take turns wearing a large wet t-shirt and swimming across the pool.

How to Play

  • Divide the players into two teams, and divide those teams into two groups.
  • Each of the teams’ groups should position themselves at opposing ends of the pool.
  • The XX large t-shirts should be soaked and handed to the first member of each team that’s going to race.
  • When the relay race starts, the members of each team with the shirt must put on the oversized t-shirt as quickly as possible, jump into the water, swim to the opposing side, climb out, take off the t-shirt, and give it to the next members of their teams. Those members do the same thing and deliver the shirt to the next members of their teams.
  • This repeats until every team member has had a turn.
  • The first team to complete the race wins

Frozen T-shirt Race (Modified Wet T-shirt Relay)

Game Type: Races and Relays

Brief Description: This one takes a bit of preparation. Two teams are each given a frozen t-shirt. The first team to have a player wear the frozen t-shirt wins

How to Play

  • To prepare the t-shirts
    1. Soak them in water
    2. Wrap each one into a ball
    3. Place each t-shirt into a plastic bag
    4. Place that bag into your freezer,
    5. Wait long enough for the shirts to freeze solid
  • Once both teams are ready, remove the t-shirts from the bags and give them to the teams.
  • Start the game
  • Each team can do anything they can think of to thaw out the shirts.
  • When the T-shirts are thawed, the wet t-shirt race is performed as described in the “Wet T-shirt Relay” section.

Equipment Needed

  • Two XX-large T-shirts

What Time Is It, Mr. Fox (What Time Is It, Mr. Shark)

Game Type: Active Games, Children-Focused

Brief Description: A game of tag, but it’s pretty different from the original game. Mr. Fox (AKA “It”) stands in the center of the pool. Mr. Fox directs the players closer and closer to the center of the pool. When  

How to Play

  • Aside from Mr. Fox, all of the players must gather at the shallow end of the pool.
  • Mr. Fox stands in the center of the pool and faces away from the group.
  • When everyone is ready, Mr. Fox calls out the time. Each time he does, the players must take the amount of steps closer that matches the time. If Mr. Fox calls out 3 o’clock, the players must take 3 steps closer to Mr. Fox. If Mr. Fox calls out 10 o’clock, they take 10 steps.
  • This repeats over and over as many times as Mr. Fox wants to call out the time.
  • When Mr. Fox yells out, “lunchtime!” the chase begins. Mr. Fox chases the rest of the players as they try to run back to the edge of the pool.
  • Whoever Mr. Fox catches first becomes the new Mr. Fox during the next round.

Atomic Whirlpool

Game Type: Active Games, Other Games

Brief Description: Everyone works together to create a whirlpool.

How to Play

  • Separate everyone by evenly spacing them around the edges of the pool.
  • Start with a walk, and give the water a bit of time to speed up.
  • Encourage the group to walk faster when the movement of the water makes walking easier.
  • Once again, when the water moves faster, the group should try to move faster too.
  • If the water is moving fast enough, it should create a whirlpool. For a bit of extra fun, everyone should turn on their heels and move in the opposite direction. Most probably won’t be able to move. Stopping in the current will collapse the whirlpool and the water will move chaotically and toss everyone around. It’s a lot of fun.

Beach Ball Race (with Squirt Guns)

Game Type: Races and Relays

Brief Description: Competitors race from one end of the pool to the other. The catch is that each competitor is equipped with squirt guns and must use those squirt guns to push beach balls across the length of the pool.

Equipment Needed

  • Beach balls (each participant gets one)
  • Squirt guns

Air Ball

Game Types: Active Games, Children-Focused

Brief Description: Keep the beach ball in constant motion, never hold onto it, and don’t let it touch the water.

How to Play

  • Rule 1: Do not rely on small hits to make the beach ball easy to handle. At a minimum, every third hit must send the beach ball at least one arm's length away from the person hitting the beach ball.
  • Rule 2: The beach ball should never stop moving. That means don’t lodge the ball onto some bit of the surroundings or grab onto the beach ball.
  • Rule 3: The beach ball must never touch the water.

Equipment Needed

  • Beach Ball

Basketball Swimming Pool Game

Game Type: Sports Games

Brief Description: Basketball in the pool. It’s a very active game that never fails to generate some fun and excitement. It also works in small and large groups. Whether you want to play a game with rules and regulations or a laidback toss and shot of basketball, basketball can fit the mood.

How to Play

Brief Description: This is just regular basketball in the pool. We’re just going to assume you know the basics. If you want to watch a guide, here is a link to a video guide to playing regular basketball.

Equipment Needed

  • Basketball
  • Pool hoop

Belly Flop Contest

Game Types: Jumping into Water Games

Brief Description: Belly flop contests can hurt, but they can be fun for a slightly masochistic group of friends. There’s not a lot to explain here. Take turns belly-flopping into the pool. If you don’t know what a belly flop is, just picture jumping over the pool and face planting the water. Whoever makes the biggest splash wins.


Cannonball Contest

Game Types: Children-Focused, Jumping into Water Games

Brief Description: A cannonball contest is a less painful alternative to a belly flop contest. Instead of belly-flopping, a cannonball contest has you tuck yourself into a ball and create the biggest splash possible. Once again, the goal is to create the biggest splash.


Air Ninja

Game Types: Children-Focused, Jumping into Water Games

Brief Description: This one is a bit silly, and it will probably only entertain the younger kids. Air Ninja players line up at the edge of the pool. One by one, they jump into the water while doing their most impressive ninja pose. They can kick, punch, and splash to create the best effect. The winner can be determined by a watchful judge.

This can be a great time for group pictures if you want to create some memories.

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