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Published On: February 18, 2014
 By: Karen Williams, Delaware




swimming pools games

Want something to do in the pool besides swim? Try these games with your friends!
Atomic Whirlpool

Have everyone get in the pool and line up single file along the edge with very little space between them. Have everyone walk for a couple of minutes, then jog another couple of minutes, then "run" around the edge another couple of minutes. If done right the water will "carry" them around the pool. Finally, tell them to turn around and go the other way. It is almost impossible to go against the current!

Belly Flop Contest

Nothing brings everyone together quite like a belly flop contest. Get your contestants, find a prize for the winner, and have the audience judge by applause.

Bumper Balls

Using a rope, section off a small area of the pool. Have all the players hop into that section, each holding onto a beach ball. On the count of three, the players all use their beach balls as a means to bump the other players into the rope, as if they`re playing bumper cars. Anyone who touches the rope has to leave the pool. Keep playing until only one bumper remains in the pool, thereby winning the game.


Choose a person to be "it". "It" stands on the side of the pool with their back to the other swimmers who are lined up in the water on the same side of the pool as "it". Players choose a color and keep it to themselves. "It" begins to call out colors one at a time. If a players color is called out they must try and make it to the other side of the pool as quietly as they can. If "it" hears them swimming then they can dive into the pool and try and tag a player. If "it" turns around and the players still have a hand on the side of the pool then "it" must take a step away from the edge and start again. If "it" catches a swimmer then the swimmer becomes the new "it".

Croc Wrestling

Get a big inflatable croc and choose 3 volunteers who will each have 60 seconds, by themselves to do the best show of croc wrestling in the pool. Give points for creativity, death rolls, etc.

Duck Push

If you have a swimming pool (swimming pools) and lots of people together, throw in a couple of rubber ducks, and you can play Duck Push. Heres how it works:

Put 3-4 players at one end of the pool and give them one rubber duck apiece. When you say go, they must use their nose to push the duck to the other end of the pool. They can also blow the duck forward; they just cant bite the duck and swim to the other end with it in their mouths. Nor can they touch their duck with their hands or feet.

Further, the players can distract the other players by splashing water in their faces or splashing water toward their ducks to knock them backward. They just cant actually TOUCH the other players or the other players ducks.

The first one to get his duck to touch the other end of the pool (obeying the rules) is the winner.

Dolphins and Sharks

Start the game by gathering everyone into the middle of the pool. Divide half the players into dolphins and the other half into sharks, leaving one player to be the leader. Designate one end of the pool as the dolphins` safe point and the other end as the sharks` safe point. When ready, the leader calls out either "dolphins" or "sharks." Whichever group you called has to quickly swim away to their safety point while their opponents chase them, trying to tag as many as possible. Throughout the game, randomly call out either team. Any player tagged has to join the enemy team. The game ends when all players have become part of one team.
Floatie Race

For this game, youll need two or more people, and two floaties of any kind as long as theyre big enough to sit on. Two players line up on their floaties at one end of the pool and, on go, race to the other end. First one there wins. This game works best in a longer pool, and can also be played as a relay race with two teams.

Follow the Swimmer

This game works best with younger kids. Start by picking one player to be the leader and another player to be the watcher. All the players hop into the pool and line up with the leader in front. The leader then swims in whatever fashion she likes; anything from swimming under water to doing a back-stroke. All the other players have to mimic exactly what she does. The watcher, who stands looking from outside the pool, eliminates any players she sees who are not mimicking. Keep playing until only one player remains. He becomes the new leader.

Frozen T-Shirt Contest

Dunk 2 shirts in water and freeze for 2-3 days. During your event, take the shirts out and divide your friends into 2 groups. Each group is racing to thaw and put on the shirt. You can use anything in the yard to thaw it: hose, pool, slam it on the pavement, use your hands, breath on it, etc. Every 15 seconds you switch the person thawing the shirt. Have someone shout out "switch" ever 15 seconds. The first one team to thaw it and puts it on one of their teammates wins.


Take a clear, 2-liter bottle, remove the wrapper and fill it with pool water. Try to use a bottle with a white cap, or a cap of the same color as the floor tiles of the pool. Divide everyone into two teams and line them up, in the water, on opposite ends of the pool facing away from the water. An adult, or one of the players, stands outside the pool and tosses the bottle in the water. When they hear the splash, the players turn around and try to find the bottle. Sounds easy, right? Think again! The clear bottle blends in and becomes almost invisible on the bottom of the pool. Its a fun, challenging game for everyone!

Marco Polo

Marco Polo is a simple game that can be played with two or more players. To play, choose one player to be it. That person closes his or her eyes, or is blindfolded, and counts to a certain number (you pick!). While the it person counts, the other players scatter around in the pool. When the count is over, the it player tries to tag the other players, using only the sound of their voices to find them. The it player calls out Marco, and the other players call out Polo. When the it player tags another, that player becomes the it person and the game starts over again.

Noodle Joust

Select 2 players to sit on a blow up raft in the middle of the pool. Give each one a pool noodle and have them joust with the noodles and try and get each other off the raft. The winner takes on the next player.


Choose a person to be "it". They stand in the middle of the pool. Players line up on one side of the pool and try and swim to the other side without being tagged. The players who are tagged hold hands with "it" and for the next round all the players holding hands try and tag the swimmers as they try and make it to the other end of the
pool. Keep going until all players have been tagged - then choose another "it" and start again.

Ping Pong Scramble

Players form a large circle in the pool and scramble to collect ping pong balls and place them in their container. Dump a large container of ping pong balls in the middle of the players circle. Whoever collects the most balls wins! Have them collect them in different colored laundry baskets or buckets that are placed on the edge of the pool. Variation: Before the party use permanent markers to give each ping pong ball a point value. The team with the highest score wins. Or place a small colored dot on each ball in different colors. Teams must only collect the balls with their color.

Pool Tag Survivor

One person is "it." They call out either "dolphin," "froggy," or "submarine."

Dolphin has to swim on top of the water.
Froggy has to swim in the middle.
Submarine has to swim at the bottom of the pool.

"It" has to close their eyes and try to tag the others. When a player gets to the other end, they yell, "Survived!" If they get tagged they are it. The more people the better.

Scavenger Hunt

Pick a variety of items, and throw two of each into the pool make sure theyll sink and that theyre not sharp or made of glass. Divide everyone into two teams and shout, go. Each team has to collect one of each item from the bottom of the pool. The first team to collect them all wins.

Watermelon Push Relay

Funny relay race for individuals or teams. Players must push a watermelon from one end of the pool to the other without touching the bottom of the pool with their feet.
Wet T-Shirt Relay

This game starts out like any other relay race. Two teams are created, and half of each team lines up on opposite ends of the pool. So what makes this relay race different? The wet T-shirt! The starting player for each team is given a soaking wet T-shirt. The players put the T-shirt on, completely then jump in, swim across the pool, climb out, take off the shirt and hand it to the next player on the team. The first team to get everyone across the pool in the T-shirt wins.

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