Updated: Aug 12, 2019
When the weather is hot, there is nothing better than hanging out with family and friends at the pool. While swimming is usually fun enough, we have put together some of our most favorite games that you can play with your family and friends in the pool. These games are perfect for helping you make your summer filled with great entertainment and wonderful memories.
I remember as a teen having a blast playing basketball in the pool with my friends. It was great exercise and super intense, it was awesome. There are so many variation of basketball games you could play like knockout, horse or 3 on 3. Pool basketball is a great way to make positive memories with family and friends.
2. Sharks and Minnows
This is a very popular game that my cousins and I use to play at Grandma’s pool. One player is the shark while the others are minnows. The goal of the game is for the minnows to make it to the other side of the pool without getting tagged by the player who is “it”/the shark who stands or swims in the middle. In our version, whoever gets tagged by the shark is out and last minnow swimming is the winner.
3. Red Light Green Light Mr. Shark
This game is a combination of the classic red light green light game and the outdoor tag game What Time is it Mr. Fox. During this tag game, one person is designated it/the shark and they will stand or stay at one end of the pool with their back towards the other players who are at the opposite side. With their back towards the others, the shark will shout out either green light or red light. When the shark shouts out green light, the other players must swim towards him or her. When the shark shouts of red light, the other players must stop. At any time, the player who is the shark can shout out “lunch time” and swim after the other players in hopes of tagging one of them. Whoever gets tag then becomes the new shark.
4. Volley ball
If you enjoy playing volley ball in the sand then you are going love playing it in the pool. Splash around as you dive and try to hit the ball over the net. It is a perfect way to stay cool whiling having a fabulous time. Pool volleyball is great a partners game or if you have a small group.
5. Lost Treasure
For this game I recommend goggles. It is very simple to play, toss a hand full of change, pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters into the pool and see which players
can collect the most money. Kids will love diving in the water in hopes of coming out the richest.
6. Chicken Fights
I am sure you remember this classic pool game. Two people square off while on someone’s shoulder and battle to knock the other one off. It is certainly one of our more aggressive games but is one they always has people laughing and smiling.
BulziBucket is perfect for those who enjoy playing the game cornhole. BulziBucket involves tossing a hacky sack at a target in hopes of scoring points based on where it lands. While the concept is very similar to cornhole there are unique rules that make it a blast to play with family and friends. While fairly new, it is growing very quickly in popularity.
8. Marco Polo
Marco Polo is another classic pool game which you see being played often. For this game, one player starts off as “it” and has to close their eyes. The goal for the player who is “it” is to tag someone else in the pool. In order to learn where people are the person “it” shouts “Marco” and the other players must yell back “polo”. Whoever gets tagged first then becomes the new “it”.
9. No Crossing
This is another one of my favorites as a kid. For this game, the player who is it, must stand outside edge of the pool, facing away from the other players in the pool. While the person who is it is looking away other players must secretly try to cross over the other side of the pool. For each time a player successfully crosses they get a point , however if the person who is it catches or tags them before they make it, they are out. If the person who is it looks to see if anyone is swimming but no one has moved then they must take one step further from the pool.
10. Dolphin Race
This race will challenge your ability to swim while controlling a beach ball with your nose and head. In this game, players will see who is the fastest to move a beach ball across the pool by simply moving it with their nose or head. This game is always a boat to play and watch.
11. Popsicle Tag
In this game, one person will be designated it and thief goal is to freeze as many other players as possible in a given amount of time. If a player is tagged/frozen they must hold their arms straight up in the air with their legs spread. In order for them to be unfrozen another player must swim between their legs. A player underwater can it be tagged. This is a great game to keep the small and large group of kids active and entertained.
12. Red Light Green Light Mr. Shark
This game is a combination of the classic red light green light game and the outdoor tag game What Time is it Mr. Fox. DUring this tag game, one person is designated it/the shark and they will stand or stay at one end of the pool with their back towards the other players who are at the opposite side. With their back towards the others, the shark will shout out either green light or red light. When the shark shouts out green light, the other players must swim towards him or her. When the shark shouts of red light, the other players must stop. At any time, the player who is the shark can shout out “lunch time” and swim after the other players in hopes of tagging one of them. Whoever gets tag then becomes the new shark.
13. Air Ball
This is a very enjoyable game and all you need is a beach ball. Gather some people around in a circle and see how many times you can hit the beach ball in the air before it lands in the water or out of the pool.
14. Cannonball Contest
I never realized how much fun a cannonball contest could be until I signed up for one. It was amazing to see how high some people could get the water to shoot up into the sky. Next time you are feeling bored around the pool, challenge your friends and family to a cannon ball competition. Hop in the pool, grab those knees and splash in the water.
15. Floating Golf Green
If you know some people who are into golf and have a set of cubs, this is a great game to play with them. Place the floating golf green in the water and see who can score the most points by either landing/hitting the green or getting it in the whole. This is a perfect game for those who love golf.
16. Water Polo
Water Polo is a fabulous game to play for those who like to be active and moving. Place two nets on opposite sides of the pool and work together with your team to try to score a goal. This is a great game to help with teamwork and communication.
17. Hot Dog Battle Pool Float
If you enjoy chicken fights but struggle to get someone to hoist you up on their shoulders, the Hot Dog Battle Pool Float is a great alternative. This will absolutely be a blast as you and your competition wack each other with inflatable sticks in hopes of knocking the other one down in the water.
18. The Invisible Water Bottle
This is an awesome search and find game perfect for kids. To start you must remove the wrapping of a water bottle such as poland springs. Next you ask that all the players face away from the pool. Then you explain that their goal is to race to find and retrieve the water bottle as fast as they can once they hear it splash in the water. Once they get good at that, you can ask wait to until the water bottle sinks to the bottom of the pool and then on your “go”, players turn around and try to find it as quickly as possible.
19. Swimming Races
There are so many different racing challenges you can organize with your group. You can different common swimming strokes or you can be creative and do inflatable races. You could also do noodle races. The ideas are endless but either way, challenging family and friends to a friendly race is always fun.
20. Belly flop contest
I remember going camping one weekend with my family and the campground held a belly flop contest and it was hilarious. Some participants simply jumped really high and laid it all on the line while some participants got creative and did flips and torpedos into a belly flop. Nonetheless, the participants had a ton of fun and the crowd loved every minute of it.
21. Toss N Splash
Toss N Splash is another great game for those who like to show off their throwing accuracy. For this game, players try to toss a ball into floating device that has 9 holes on it. The fun part of Toss N Splash is that each hole is worth different points and the float moves around making it a more tricky then say corn hole. Nonetheless, you take out this game and throw it in the pool and you will have everyone trying to score as many points as they can.
22. Squirt Gun Water Hockey
This is one of my favorite games to play. Split the group into two seperate teams and give each player some sort of squirt gun, then place a beach ball in the middle of the pool. The goal of the game is for your team to score points by shooting the beach ball with the squire gun to the opposite side. If it hits the other teams wall or side, then your team scores a point. This game is a blast to play at pool parties.
That concludes our list of our favorite swimming pool games. If you have no played one of the list give it a try next time you make your way to the pool with family and friends. These games will be perfect for creating meaningful and lasting memories. When the weather is hot, take a dip in the pool and give one of these games a try.