5 Fun Family Games for the Pool

If your family is anything like mine, you spend as much time as possible in the pool during the summer. By the time August rolls around, I’m surprised my kids don’t have gills and webbed feet! And while it’s great to practice swimming technique and pool safety, my favorite times in the pool are when we can relax and play fun water games together. Here are five of our favorites:

Child playing in swimming pool. Summer outdoor.
Sharks and Minnows—It’s a classic, but definitely fun for everyone. Start with one swimmer in the middle of the pool and everyone else on one short end. When the shark in the middle says “go,” everyone else must swim to the other side of the pool. Anyone who gets tagged becomes a shark until you are down to one surviving minnow.

FISH. This game is the pool equivalent of basketball PIG. One player performs an action in the pool, such as a flip, stroke, or jump, and everyone else must copy it. Anyone who can’t perform the trick gets a letter, starting with F, until it spells FISH. Rotate which player starts so it is fair. We’ve found this game works best with people who are around the same age or skill level.

Capture the Change. We empty our change jars and let the coins sink to the bottom of the pool. On the count of three, everyone dives to the bottom to collect as much money as they can. This game can be played in the shallow or deep end depending on your kids’ ages and swim levels.

Musical Beach Ball. This is a favorite of little kids, but even our older kids like it as well. Play some music while the swimmers toss a beach ball around. Whoever is holding the ball when the music turns off is out.

Find the Bottle. Fill a clear plastic bottle with water so it sinks. We start with everyone in the water with their backs turned and one person throws the bottle into the pool. Once the swimmers hear a splash, they dive in and try to find the camouflaged bottle on the bottom of the pool. It’s harder than you think!

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