Tired of the same old “Marco-Polo” pool games, year after year? If you are planning a pool party, or if you just wnat some inexpensive and novel ways to cool off and enjoy your pool this year, consider a few of these fun pool games and activities. You can play games by dividing your group into teams, or let individuals play against one another. If you are breaking a group into teams, try to split your strongest swimmers up evenly, and mix the not-so-great swimmers in as well.
5 Fun Family Pool Games
Pool Float Relay Race: Split the group into teams and give each team a floatation toy–a big tube, giant whale or some other inflatable pool toy. Teams must relay race on the float from one side of the pool to the other. A game like this is equally fair for all players, since swimming ability is not required. Tip: The stranger the inflatable, the more fun this will be.
Pass the Trash: Most pool games require participants to collect, catch or dive for something — this game puts a new twist on a classic idea. To play, divide your pool in half with a pool noodle or divider. Split the group into two teams, and dump about 30 plastic toys and random, waterproof items into the pool. Make sure you scatter the items all over the entire pool floor. Give the teams 5 minutes to clear their own side of the pool by removing the “trash” from their own side–and placing it on the opposing team’s side of the pool instead. The team with the most toys on their side of the pool after 5 minutes loses.
Penny treasure hunt: Break out the pennies for this game, which can be played with teams or individuals. Toss handfuls of pennies into the pool and allow them to sink, then blow the whistle to start. Players can jump in and dive for the coins until they have been collected; the person who collects the most coins wins. Little kids will likely jump in for pennies, and the bright copper color will make them easy to spot. Give big kids more of a reason to dive by using dimes to increase the difficulty of this game.
Water Balloon Volleyball: Replace the vinyl or beach ball volleyball that comes with your pool volleyball set with a water balloon instead. You’ll need to create several water balloons in advance and replace them as the ball breaks.
Watermelon Relay Race: Ever bobbed for apples? Try bobbing for watermelons, instead! Despite their hefty size, watermelons float, so you can use a pair for this game and then slice them up and serve them for snack after you play. Divide the group into two teams and give each a watermelon. Each team member needs to push the melon across the pool and back as quickly as possible–but watch out, melons are very slippery. The challenge level of this activity goes way up if your pool has a deep end, so make sure everyone who plays is a decent swimmer.
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