Fun with Kids: 5 Great Kid-Friendly Pool Games

As summer nears, many people are looking forward to the day when they open their outdoor pools for the season. Others who are finding it difficult to wait are opting to go to local pools for some warm, indoor recreation. Whatever the case, children always love being in the water. Having some fun stand-by games is a perfect way for parents to ensure that children are having fun and are making friends.

When thinking of pool games, it is vital to consider safety, since some games may only be good for older children. For example, the game commonly known as chicken in which one person sits on the shoulders of another may be inappropriate for children under a certain age. Another poor example is having a belly flop contest. While belly flopping can create much laughter for onlookers, it can prove quite painful for participants and should be avoided by younger children. For all of the following games, it is vital to remember that children in a pool should always be supervised by an adult or by a certified lifeguard.


Marco Polo

Marco Polo is one of the most fun classic pool games played by children and adults alike. It is similar to hide and seek with a few fun twists. One person is named “it” while the rest of the individuals try to stay away from him. The person who is “it” keeps his eyes closed while trying to tag someone in the water. To help him find someone, he yells “Marco,” which is followed by everyone else yelling back “Polo.” When he tags someone, that person becomes the new “it.”


Basketball is another classic that is great in the pool since most people already know the rules for the game. A portable hoop can be set up next to the pool. Basketball can be played according to regular rules or can be played as the fun and shorter game of Horse. In Horse, the first person picks a spot from which to make a basket. If he is successful, the second person has to try to make a basket from the same spot. If the second person fails, he is given the first letter of the word “horse.” The first person to get all the letters in the word loses.


In this game, one person is once again “it.” This person picks a spot in the center of the pool. At the signal, everyone else jumps in one side of the pool and attempts to make it to the other side without being tagged by the shark in the center. Whoever is tagged first becomes the shark in the next round.

Holding One’s Breath Contest

This game is as simple as its name implies. The other great feature of this game is that it can be done with as many or few people as are in the water. If there is someone on the sidelines, he could keep time with a stopwatch. However, if no one has a stopwatch, the children watch each other to see who comes up first and who is last. This game is simple because there are virtually no rules to remember.

Diving for Treasure

Diving is another game that can be done with only one person in the water and one on the sidelines, or it can be played with numerous children. In this game, something is thrown in the water, and the child, who may prefer to wear swimming goggles, dives to the bottom of the pool to retrieve it. Diving sticks can be purchased almost anywhere that pool accessories are sold. If multiple children are playing, they can see who can retrieve the most sticks. If only one child is playing, the person on the sidelines can time how long it takes him to retrieve all of the sticks.

These are just five of the best games for children to play in an indoor or outdoor pool. While there are certainly dozens more that can be created, these are some of the easiest games to play. Once again, it is imperative that children be supervised while in the water to keep playtime safe and enjoyable.

Bob Quigly is a landscaping and family fun enthusiast who writes on a variety of blogs for Backyard Ocean’s inflatable pools.

One Response to Fun with Kids: 5 Great Kid-Friendly Pool Games

  1. This article is amazing. Gotta give it a try.

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