Swimming Pool Games

swimming pool games

Fun Games to Play in Your Backyard Pool This Summer

Who doesn’t love playing fun swimming pool games on a hot day? We certainly do! In the heat of a scorching summer, having good old-fashioned pool fun is just the ticket to cool off and bring family and friends together. Inflatable floaties and pool toys are fun, but how do you entertain a bunch of people? Bring on the games! 


Whether you’re hosting a child’s pool party or you want to get some friends together, we’ve got the swimming pool games for you.


Pool Games for Kids

These swimming pool games can be adapted to suit kids of any age. So even if your littlest tyke needs a bit of help floating around, they can get in on the fun too. 

Ping Pong Ball Roundup

You Will Need:

  • 4-5 dozen ping pong balls
  • A black permanent marker
  • A prize

How to Prepare:

  • Before the game, use your permanent marker to write a random number on each ping pong ball

How to Play:

  • Separate the players into two teams
  • Get each group to choose a home base outside of the pool
  • Throw all the ping pong balls into the pool
  • The players must collect as many ping pong balls as possible before taking them back to their home base
  • Add up the numbers – the team with the highest number wins the prize

Sponge Tag

You Will Need:

  • A large sponge, such as a car-washing sponge
  • A bucket

How to Prepare:

  • Fill the bucket with water. 
  • Then, soak the sponge in the bucket.

How to Play:

  • Choose a player to stand outside the pool and be the tagger. 
  • The tagger throws the wet sponge and tries to hit another player.
  • The player that gets hit becomes the tagger and steps out of the pool to throw the sponge again.

Pool Noodle Boat Race

You Will Need:

  • A pool noodle
  • A few coloured foam craft sheets
  • Some plastic straws
  • A pair of scissors
  • A hole-punch
  • A sharp knife
  • A prize 

How to Prepare:

What we’re doing here is creating mini boats with a cut up pool noodle.

  • With your knife, cut the pool noodle into slices at least 2 inches thick.
  • Use your scissors to cut some triangles out of the craft foam sheets. They should measure about 3 inches on each side.
  • Punch one hole close to the top and one at the center close to the bottom of each triangle. 
  • With your knife, carefully cut one small slit into the top of each pool noodle slice at one end.
  • Thread a straw through each triangle to act as a sail.
  • Insert the bottom of each straw into the slit in each piece.

How to Play:

  • The players should stand side-by-side in the shallow end.
  • Place one boat in front of each player.
  • The object is to move the ships to the other end of the pool without touching them.
  • The first boat to reach the other side wins the prize!

Swimming Pool Games for Teens and Adults

Teens and adults are usually more comfortable in the water, so they’re able to go under it or move around with greater agility. These swimming pool games are better suited for confident swimmers.


Finders Keepers

You Will Need:

  • A bunch of items that will float
  • A bunch of things that will sink
  • A timer

How to Play:

  • Divide players into two teams
  • Throw half of the things into the pool (half of the floating things and half of the sinking things), making sure they spread out
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes
  • Have half the players stand at the edge of the pool
  • When the timer starts, the players jump into the water
  • The object of the game is for each player to catch as many items as they can, keeping whatever they find

Hungry Hippos

hungry hippos pool gameYou Will Need:

  • 4 inflatable pool floaties
  • A pack of plastic ball pit balls
  • 4 plastic baskets

How to Play:

  • Give 4 players a basket each and have them lie face down on the pool floaties
  • Once everyone is on their floatie, release the balls
  • The object is for each player to grab as many balls as possible until all of them are claimed

Marco Polo

How to Play:

  • Pick 1 player to be “it”
  • Position that player in the pool at one end, blindfolded, while the rest of the players spread out in the water
  • The player who is “it” counts to 10 and shouts “Marco!”
  • All other players then call “Polo!” and move around to avoid being tagged
  • The player who is “it” tries to find and catch all the players who shout “Polo!” while blindfolded
  • The “it” player can call “Marco” as often as needed

Pool Games for the Whole Family

Pool fun doesn’t have to be exclusionary. With a bit of help, everyone from the youngest child to the oldest grandparent can take part in these swimming pool games.


How to Play:

  • When all the players are in the pool, get them to join hands in a chain
  • The player at the snake’s “head” starts moving around the pool while the other guests try to hold on and follow
  • If anyone lets go, they are out of the game
  • The remaining players link up again and keep playing
  • When you get down to 2 players, have them play a game of tug-of-war to determine the winner

Pass the Water

You Will Need:

  • A plastic cup for every player

How to Play:

  • Divide the players into 2 teams, and have the teams line up back-to-front in the pool 
  • The player at the front fills their cup with water, then raises it over their head and pours the water into the next player’s cup, and so on
  • When the water reaches the final person, the last player swims to the front and starts all over again.
  • The game ends when the person who started at the front ends up at the back.

Some of the most memorable summers are spent playing fun pool games in your backyard. With an in-ground pool, you’ve got a ready source of entertainment, not to mention exercise and stress relief. Have you been thinking about having a pool installed? Give us a call. We can help!



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