8 Pool Games for Kids and Toddlers

What would summer vacation be without the pool?  When I think back on my childhood and the summers between each new school year my mind is full of memories spent in the pool. Kids love playing in the water and love being in the pool.  Our kids can play in the pool every day and here are some fun pool games that our kids enjoy playing.  For other outdoor activities for kids read this here.

Swimming is the perfect way to encourage kids to explore outside and to put down the ipod and TV remote.  Getting in the pool is fun for the child and promotes healthy activity with the child even knowing they are working out.  Added bonus for parents . . . it’s a great way to work on your tan and stay cool in the hot summer months!

  1. Marco Polo – obviously a list of summer swimming pool games for kids would be incomplete without including the classic game of Marco Polo.  If haven’t ever played . . . it’s simple.  One person is chosen to be “it”.  They must close their eyes and count to 10.  They then keep their eyes closed and start moving around the pool searching for the other players saying “Marco” to which the other players must respond with “Polo”.  If a player is underwater when Marco is said than they do not have to respond.  “It” must find the other players with their hands and when another player is found they become “it”.   Other variation include allowing players to step out of the pool.  “IT” can say “fish out of water” and if a player is out of they pool they become “it”.
  2. Torpedo – I love this game!  Again a player is chosen to be “it” they stand on the other side of the pool with their back to the other players.  Each player picks a number from 1 – 5 and IT says “Torpedo 1″ or 2,3,4, or 5.  If they call a number that a player has selected that player tries to swim across the pool without the “IT” hearing them.  If IT turns around and sees a player moving they try to catch them before they get to the other side of the pool and become IT.
  3. Colors – this game is very similar to Torpedo except that IT stands on the same side of the pool with their back to the other players.  IT calls out colors.  If they call a color that a player has selected that player begins to swim quietly across the pool trying not to be detected by IT.  If IT turns around and notices the player swimming, they try to catch the player. If IT turns around and no players are swimming they must take a step away from the pool.
  4. Animal Jumping Game –  this is a really fun game tat I haven’t really ever seen anyone else play. It is very simple. Players line up outside the pool and jump in one at a time.  Once they jump another player in the pool calls out an animal.  The player who is jumping must try to mimic that animal prior to landing in the water using their best acting skills. It is a pretty hilarious pool game that kids of all ages can enjoy from about 3 or 4 years old up to adults.20140613_101718-e1402688212406
  5. How Long Can You Hold Your Breath? – this swimming pool game is best for kids about 5 years old and up.  You simply get in the pool and have everyone go under the water and try to hold their breath longer than everyone else.  The last player to come up out of the water is the winner.  Make sure that kids who play are not afraid of water and wise enough to come up before they get too out of breath.
  6. Diving For Treasure – this summer pool activity is pretty easy to play you just need swimming pool or diving rings for kids to jump in a gather.  Anything will really work for this, but you can buy them HERE. You just toss the rings in the pool and kids go after them.  The child who gets the most rings is the winner.
  7. Whirl Pool – Wave Pool – kids love this game – they simply move around in the pool or jump up and down to create waves after a couple minutes especially if they use pool noodles or other floaties. I used to love playing this every summer in my parents pool as a child growing up in California.
  8. Noodle Joust – just buy a couple pool noodles for a couple bucks HERE toss them to the kids and let them wack each other. Obviously this game is best for older kids who are used to playing a bit rough.

Other fun pool games include races across the pool, hand stand contests under water, basketball or water volleyball, and playing tag or chase.  We used to play freeze tag in the water and to get unfrozen you had to swim under the frozen persons legs. Another fun games for older kids is belly flop contest. . . not for the faint of heart but a LOT of fun!

What pool games did you used to play or what games do your kids love playing?


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