In the summer when the temperatures are high and you feel like you have started to melt, a poll will feel like a life saver. You can cool your body down and have a relaxing time along with your family. If you want to make this time even more exciting for your kids there are tons of games you can play with them in or around the water that will make them laugh and have tons of fun all day long.
Just a few words of precaution before you start:
- keep an eye on the children at all times, especially if they are small, you never know what they might try and you need to make sure they are safe
- if you’re going to be under the sun the whole day remember to use sunscreen for your kids to protect them from radiation and sun burns.
- if you’re playing under water or in deep water use life jackets for anyone that you think might need one.
Here is a selection of 10 fun games you can play at the swimming pool or near water in general. You also have have the general guidelines, though you can change them at will and depending on the situations at hand.
1. Filling the buckets
This is a competitive game and you will need a few props before starting. It will also require the presence of at least two children, or more ideally an even number. Each child or team will have access to a bucket of water, an empty bucket and one plastic cup that had a little hole made in it in advance. The purpose of the game is to fill the empty bucket transporting water from the full bucket with the cup that is leaking water. The first team that manages to fill their empty bucket wins.
Depending on how small of big the kids are you can put the two buckets at further points or not, you can also establish other rules: for example, children must carry their cups on their heads, or if there are several kids in each team you can tie them two by two, and so on. The imagination is your only limit in this and you can change the rules as you see fit so your kids have a blast.
2. Play Limbo under running water
A garden hose will be ideal great help for this game: turn on the water and make a strong jet with it. The little ones will have to go under the stream of water without touching it. As all children pass under the water, slowly you lower the hose, then again and again. The winner will be the one who will be able to go on with running without touching the water and getting wet, even at the lowest level. Those who lost will be easy to spot: they will be very wet! This can provide crazy fun for the kids and they will surely want to play it again and again.
3. Throwing the wet sponge
All you need for this is a wet sponge, well actually a sponge, you can make it wet at any time. This is play a little like tag, only that you use a wet sponge instead of your hands. The idea of the game is that one kid has the sponge and he has to pass it along to someone else. The other person needs to keep away. If the kid manages to hit anybody with the wet sponge that kid now has to pick up the sponge and run after the others and try to hit them. Again the hit usually is quite clear as the person that was hit is a little wet. If the sponge looses all the water the kid that has it should submerge it in water again.
This may sound a little silly but you will soon see how much fun it can be and besides the wet sponge cannot hurt anybody, even little kids can play this safely.
4.Play ducks and hunters
This is almost like the one above, but it’s usually played with a ball instead of a wet sponge. However if the kids are smaller a sponge could be better to use as it doesn’t hit as hard as a ball. For this game two children sit on opposite sides ( they are hunters ) and throw the sponge/ball at each other trying to hit other children that are in between them ( who are the ducks ). The first and last ducks hit in this current game will be the hunters in the next one.
This game can be played with many children and it’s quite easy and fun to play again and again. To make it a little harder it can be played in the pool, so the kids move a lot slower, however they can also duck under water and the ball/sponge won’t hit them. They will be a little more vulnerable when they get out though as it usually takes a second to get a bearing of things.
5. Marco Polo
A kind of hide and seek in the water. One of the children will be Marco. He will have to close his eyes and count to 10, while the other children will scatter in the pool. After he finished counting, Marco will have to keep his eyes closed trying to touch other child. In order to have an idea where to go after them, he will yell “Marco” and the other children must respond with “Polo”. When another child is touched and he becomes Marco, and so the game starts again. Here’s a great representation of how to play it in images.
6. Treasure Hunt
Spread some coins at the bottom of a swimming pool for children and give them the start at collecting treasures. You start counting to 10 ( or more, depending of the size of the pool and distance to it an back) and before you finish they must return to you with as many coins as they could find on the bottom of the pool. He who has the greatest treasure (most coins gathered) wins. You can make this game harder or easier by spreading more coins to be found, or just a few, by increasing the distance to the pool and back.
Be careful though, use a small kids pool and make sure no obstacles are in the way that might hurt the kids.
7. The relay race
This game is for children that already know how to swim, teaching baton is another version of a water game. It’s also more fun if there are at least 6-8 children to play it. The two teams line up at the side of the pool and when given the start one child from each team jumps into the water with a little ball in his hand (or something else that was set as the relay ) and swims to the other side of the pool. Then you give the start again and two more kids go into the water and start racing. Repeat this until all the kids have done a length of the pool. The team the has the most races won is the winner of the game.
You can also put half of each team on a side of the pool and the other half on the other side, this way, when a kid reaches the other side, another child from his team gets the ball and swims back to the other side of the pool where he passes the ball again. The winner is the team that finishes it’s kids first.
8.The relay race with a twist
Another way to play relay is to place the children within the pool at equal distanced. This works best for smaller kids or ones that aren’t good enough to swim a whole length of the pool. Each team will practically form a column in the water. Whoever is first in the pool with a little ball in hand begins to swim to the next one in the pool, when he reaches him he passes the ball to him and so on until the last child is reach. He then needs to swim to the edge of the pool and put the ball on the side of the pool. The team that puts the ball there first wins the game.
This can also be played without swimming if the pool is not so deep and the kids can just walk from one to the other through the water as fast as they can.
9. Water basketball
Find or improvise a ring to float on water. You can make one from a long sponge, for example. Make sure that the size is a little larger than the ball you choose for this game. Children will be divided into teams and the team who manages to throw the ball in the ring more times wins. The fun part here is that the ring moves over water. If the pool is too big you can play this on it’s width instead of it’s length.
10. Hold the water
This is a fun game that can be played fast. You will need a cup, some water obviously and jump rope. Two kids twirl the jump rope, while another kid, with a full cup of water enters and need to make 5 consecutive jumps. All the players will do the same after that. In the end, the kid with the most water in his cup is considered the winner.
Ok, hope these fun games gave you some great new ideas to try out with you kids, you can modify them, change them or add to them what you want and make them suitable for your exact needs. Enjoy your summertime and remember to have fun with your kids while they’re small, they grow up so fast 🙂
Also in case you are interested, I suggest trying some water slides for more poolside fun, you can read more on the top 5 cheap inflatable water slides or the top 5 inflatable water slides for pools or just browse our site and see the ones you like.
Also, if you have any other fun games that you usually play and want to share them with the rest of us don’t hesitate to put them in the comments below for all to read and try.