Fun Games for the Pool
Think you’re too old for children’s pool games? Think again! While your kids are splashing it up this summer, why not join in the fun? Whether you’re hanging out in your own backyard swimming pool, at your neighborhood recreation pool, or at a vacation resort, get the kids–and adults–together for some fun in the sun with these pool games for all ages and swimming abilities.
When playing with babies and toddlers in the pool, most adults just hold onto them and let them splash and kick. That can be fun, but why not add a little music to the movement? Babies and toddlers remember best when their motions are accompanied with songs. You can sing and prepare your little ones for swimming at the same time!
Here are a few ideas: Sing “If you’re happy and you know it, splash your hands...kick your feet...jump up high...wave goodbye!” and do the motions while you hold your baby. To the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush,” sing, “This is the way we dig our hands, dig our hands, dig our hands...So early in the morning.” While you hold your baby, show him or her how to doggy paddle. You can also sing “kick our feet,” “splash our toes,” and “blow our bubbles” while you do the motions in the water.
Popsicle Freeze Tag
Join your school-aged children and play “tag, you’re it!” When the person who’s “It” tags you, you have to stop moving and hold your hands up above your head, like a frozen popsicle. If you’re swimming underwater, you’re immune from being tagged, and you can “unfreeze” a popsicle.
Ask the kids to stand at the edge with their backs to the pool. While they’re not looking, throw things into the pool and watch them hunt for the treasure. Ping pong balls are small, light and hard to see in the water. You can also fill up empty two-liter bottles with pool water or throw coins at the bottom, and the kids can dive underwater in search for them. Whoever collects the most treasure in a pre-determined amount of time wins the treasure hunt.
Sharks and Minnows
One person is the shark, and the rest are minnows. The shark waits at one end of the pool, while the minnows wait on the other end. When the shark summons the minnows, they must swim to the other end of the pool before the shark tags them. They are allowed to get out of the water for five seconds. If the sharks tags you, or you’re out of the water for more than five seconds, you become the shark in the next round.
Of course, while you’re all out splashing and playing together this summer, make sure everyone follows a few safety rules. There are several resources to help you develop safety guidelines for your pool: Pentair, American Red Cross, and National Water Safety Month.