We have spoken in the pat about the best ways to get your kids in the pool. In that post, we referenced pool games as one of the best ways to entice kids to swim, and this week want to share our personal favorites. No need to go buy anything – all the games below can be played with household items.
First, take a clear bottle, preferably with a white cap or a cap the same color as your pool plaster, remove the wrapper and fill it with pool water. Next, divide the kids into two teams and line them up in the water on opposite ends of the pool. Finally, toss the bottle into the pool and when they hear the splash, the players turn around and try to find the bottle. Once the bottle is found, simply line the players up again and repeat. It sounds like an easy task, but you will be surprised at how hard it is to find the bottle.
Sharks & Minnows
Sharks and Minnows is essentially pool tag. One player starts as the “Shark” at one end of the pool. The other players, “Minnows”, must jump in the pool and try to swim to the other edge without being tagged by the shark. Every player the shark tags then becomes a shark as well and tries to tag other minnows. The last minnow to be tagged becomes the first shark in the next round. The game is great for big groups of children but can also be played with as few as 4. The shark begins the game by saying “sharks under, minnows go!”
Pirates can be played with any number of players, but it is perfect for 2 players. Grab any odd number of sticks, which can be any item from around the house. Then, line the players up on opposite ends of the pool and toss the sticks in the middle. When someone says go, the players race to find the sticks, and the player with the majority of sticks wins. Kids love the competitive nature of this game and will likely want to keep playing for many rounds.
F-I-S-H can be played in two ways. The first way is if you have a poolside basketball hoop (which kids love), then F-I-S-H is essentially H-O-R-S-E. The first player gets to do anything they want before shooting, such as shooting while jumping in the pool. If they hit their shot, the other players have to do the exact same thing. But if they miss, the next player gets to make up their own wacky shot for others to try. Any player that cannot make the first person’s shot gets the letter F. Everyone keeps playing the game and making up crazy shots until someone misses enough times to spell out the word F-I-S-H. Once a player spells F-I-S-H, then they are out and the last player in wins. If you do not have a poolside basketball hoop, you can still play F-I-S-H, but instead of basketball shots players can do creative jumps or dives into the pool, with other players trying to replicate them. Either way, F-I-S-H is a fun interpretation of H-O-R-S-E and will get kids thinking creatively.
Marco Polo is probably the most famous pool game there is. But for those of you that are unaware of the rules, Marco Polo starts with one player as “it”. This player starts with their eyes closed, and the other players disperse throughout the pool. The player who is it keeps his or her eyes closed and tries to find and tag the other players in the pool. The other players are avoiding this person, but the one who is it can find the other players by saying “Marco” which they must then respond to with “Polo”. When the person succeeds in tagging another player that player then becomes it in the next round. Geico recently did a hilarious ad referencing the game.
What are your kids favorite pool games? Email us and let us know if we missed any.