5 Fun-filled Pool Games for Kids
Marco….. Polo…. These words were heard every summer in my parent’s back yard as we played in the pool for hours on end. Pool games are a great way to spend time in the summer heat and to get the family to have some fun together. Now that I’m a mother, I love playing with my Little one in the pool and can’t wait to teach her some of my favorite childhood pool games. If your family is looking to have some new pool fun, or to add a twist to that pool party, check out these games:
Marco-Polo As mentioned above this was my childhood favorite pool game. The concept of this game is basically a game of tag in the water. The person who is “it” starts in the center of the pool, closes their eyes and counts to 10. While they count the other participants swim around anywhere in the pool. After the count, the tagger keeps their eyes shut and yells out “Marco!” In response, the other participants must say back “Polo!” The tagger can yell out “Marco” as much as needed, but once someone is tagged they then become “it.” No one can get out of the water unless they have been tagged!
Collect the Treasure My nephew (age 4) loves this pool game. The best part
about this game is that you can sit on the sidelines and not even have to get in while your little plays. You can use any item to be the treasure, such as diving rings or torpedoes. They also make diving jewels, which seems to be a hit with my nephew. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but what if my kid is too young to dive and swim underwater? Don’t worry, they can collect treasure too. I have found that ping-pong balls make a great treasure that floats, so little ones can still participate. This game can be played as who collects the most or can be timed for who collect the objects the fastest. An added tip: if having trouble making it fair, give each child a specific color to retrieve. Their little imaginations with fire!
What Time is it Mr. Fox? This is a fun game that should be played in the shallow end of the pool. One kid is selected to be Mr. Fox while the others start in the pool against the wall. The participants then yell to Mr. Fox, “What time is it, Mr. Fox?”. Mr. Fox then responds with a number of time (like 6 o’clock). This signals the participants to step that many steps towards the fox. This is continued until the Fox answers with “Lunch Time”. The participants then race back to the wall they started at without getting tagged. The first person to be tagged becomes the new Mr. Fox. Prepare for some serious laughing!
Relay Race A simple idea, but a great way to wear the Little ones out and, well, maybe you too! Races can be done in many ways to make them more interesting and fun. Adding in floaties or pool noodles also helps first time swimmers to feel like they can participate. One of my favorites for a good family laugh is a horse race where the pool noodle is the horse and must be ridden during the race; be sure to have the cameras ready!
Sky High This game is focused on keeping the ball from hitting the water by hitting it in the air to a partner or a different participant. For an added twist, have kids count and try to beat their high score. I suggest a beach ball as it floats it the air longer allowing for more hitting opportunity - especially for the smaller of the Littles. Be sure to remind kids to be careful of the edge of the pool as no one wants an injury when enjoying the pool. Tip: Kids need a challenge? Try doing this with a football instead!
There are many ways to have fun in the pool, but adding a game brings the family together. I hope that these favorite pool games become some of your family’s favorites. Who knows… maybe Marco Polo will become one of your child’s favorite childhood memories!
Author: Karissa Sargent Photo Credits: Karissa Sargent, Jeri Harris