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Swimming Fun Games

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

It’s finally summer! That means beach days and vacations and of course lots and lots of time in the pool. Just hanging out on a float or splashing around is great, but if you’re looking for some great swimming fun games to play in the pool, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are my top ten ideas for turning pool time into play time. And along the way, you might just improve the kids’ swimming skills, too!

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10. Ready, set, relay!

springy inflatable pool raft

Let the kids work off some of that summer vacation energy by setting up a relay race down the pool. Then make it more interesting by adding in obstacles like this incredibly twisty inflatable raft.

On second thought, why let the kids have all the fun? Get the adults involved in the race too, and listen to the laughter as they try to crawl in and through the spiral on their way to the other end.

9. Diving down deep

swimming pool diving toys

Grab a set of diving rings or other pool diving toys, toss them into the pool and watch the fun start. Start with simple “go get it” games in the shallow end, then add additional details like a color or size order for the rings collected. Move to deeper water, as the kids get better at diving deep. Reward the kids with praise and popsicles, and you’ll be building better swimmers while they enjoy the game. (Note: most home swimming pools aren’t deep enough for safe diving, so have the kids jump in or climb in, then wait until you say “Go!” to go for the rings.)

8. Marco! Polo!

marco polo pool game

Sometimes the old classics are the best pool games, and Marco Polo is one of them. Designate one person as “It”, and have them close their eyes. When “It” says “Marco”everyone else has to answer “Polo”. The object of the game is to find and tag someone without ever opening your eyes. During the game, people can dive under water and swim or walk away, but no one is allowed to get out of the pool.

Do make sure someone is watching the game from outside of the pool to keep everyone safe. That way, the person who’s “It” won’t run into walls or trip on steps.

7. Floating basketball

pool basketball

Another simple, but popular pool game is floating basketball. You can get a premade pool basketball set, or you can put a plastic basket on a pool float or ring. Use soft foam balls, and decide on the rules based on the number of players and their skill levels.

6. Ready, set, KICK!

pool race

All you need for this game is a pool float or ring for each child, and room to splash! Have the kids race from one end of the pool to the other using only their feet!

This is a great game for little ones who don’t have the swimming skills or strength to do regular pool races. And I promise they will love the splashing as much as winning!

5. Butterfinger Ball

beach ball in pool

If you have a slippery sunscreen or suntan lotion and an inflatable beach ball, you have everything you need for Butterfingers Ball. Just grease up the kids’ hands, put them into the shallow end, and have them try to catch, hold and throw the slippery ball. There’s no winner, no loser with this game. Just lots of giggles and lots of fun!

4. Water polo

water polo balls and net

If you’re not familiar with water polo, let me tell you it is a workout! But it’s also a whole lot of fun, and because it’s played in the pool, you won’t get all sweaty even on the hottest summer days.

Best of all, the only equipment you need is a net and a waterproof ball. You won’t need a visit to the gym after this game!

3. Mermaid time

mermaid swim fins

When I was a kid, my next door neighbor and I loved to pretend we were mermaids whenever we were in the pool. We would cross our feet at the ankles and “swim” down the pool to our make-believe houses and pretend tea parties. It was a lot of fun, but I know that having Mermaid Swim Fins would have made it even better!

Let your kids pretend to be mermaids, serve imaginary mermaid suppers and watch their creative play blossom. (P.S. These fins fit most moms, too!)

2. Under-Over Relay

boy with beach ball

You’ll need two balls and at least 8 or 10 people for this game. Form two lines of people. When the game starts, the person at the front of each line passes a ball over their head to the player behind them. The next person passes the ball between their legs to the next person in line, who passes it over their head, and so on alternating over and under. The last person who gets it in line swims it to the front of the line, and the passing starts over again.

The first team to get everyone through the line wins. (For a bigger challenge, if all players are good swimmers play the game in the deep end so everyone has to tread water through the whole game!)

1. To the races

swimming race

The very best of the swimming fun games is exactly what it sounds like…swimming! Having a swimming race is not only fun, it’s also wonderful exercise for kids and adults alike. Races can be in a certain style, or can be whatever each person does best. Add some excitement by calling out a different stroke for each lap.

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No matter what you play in the pool, just remember to have fun and stay safe. Happy summer!!!


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