Swimming Pool Games — Fun at Any Age

Spending time by the pool is fun in itself, but playing games in the pool can add even more fun to pool time! Aside from the usual Marco Polo, there are tons of games to play in the pool. Here are some games that are easy to learn and fun for everyone to play!

Hot Potato
Needed to Play: Music, one beach ball (add more beach balls if there is a large group playing)

Number of Players: 3+

If you don’t have a way to play music by the pool, you can rotate having players hum songs or yell out when to start and stop the game (make sure this player is facing away from the pool). This game can be played in the shallow end or, to increase difficulty, in the deep end. When the music starts, players toss the beach ball(s) around. When the music stops, they player(s) with a beach ball in their hands are out! Play until there is only one player left – they are the winner!


Kids diving in poolWatermelon Relay
Needed to Play: One whole watermelon per team

Number of Players: 4+

Divide players up into even teams. Players line up in the pool behind their respective watermelons. When the relay starts, the first player of each team must swim their watermelon to the other end of the pool and back without touching the bottom of the pool. If any player touches the bottom, they must restart their turn. Once the first player completes their lap, they pass the watermelon on to the next player in line and it becomes that player’s turn. The team that finishes their laps first is the winner!


Ping-Pong Hunt
Needed to Play: 10+ Ping-Pong balls

Number of Players: 2+

Many pool games involve diving in to collect objects off the bottom. With this fun game, players get to do the opposite by floating Ping-Pong balls on the surface of the pool! There are several ways to play this game. One suggestion is marking Ping-Pong balls with numbers – indicating points – before playing. After collecting all of the Ping-Pong balls, players add up how many points they have. The player with the highest number of points wins. To make the game more challenging, color code the Ping-Pong balls or mark them with players' initials before playing. Whichever player collects all Ping-Pong balls designated to them wins!


Needed to Play: Basketball and poolside basketball net (both optional)

Number of Players 2+

This is the pool version of the basketball game H-O-R-S-E. There are two ways to play in the pool! Players can play the traditional way by playing basketball with a poolside net. Alternatively, players can play the game by using creative dives, jumps and splashes into the pool, instead of shooting baskets.


Treasure Hunt
Needed to Play: Plastic coins, toys or other items you might find in a treasure chest – such as plastic teacups, pitchers or fake costume jewelry

Number of Players: 3+

Toss plastic coins and other plastic treasure chest items into the bottom of the pool. Choose one player to be the Sea Monster. Players try to collect all of the coins without being tagged by the Sea Monster. When the Sea Monster tags a player, that player must drop their coins – and other treasures back to the bottom and wait 10 seconds before rejoining the game. After all of the coins and treasures have been collected, the player with the most coins and treasures is the winner! Mix the game up by adding higher point values to different types of treasure!

Have fun playing! Share your own favorite pool games by posting them in the comments section below!