Ideas for Swimming Pool Games

Girl (8-9) swimming underwater, showing thumbs up, underwater view
Swimming pool games are entertaining and give you an opportunity to get some exercise. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Swimming is an entertaining activity for people of all different ages. Playing games in the swimming pool will encourage you to get some exercise in an enjoyable way. According to Uwe Rheker, author of "Aquafun: Games and Fun For the Advanced," swimming can increase your stamina and endurance while also allowing you have a good time with friends and family members. Learn the rules to a few games so you can show your swimming companions some new ways to enjoy the pool.

You're It

Help Me is game recommended by Rheker as a way to teach cooperation and awareness while in the water. One player becomes "it" and must try to tag the other players. If a player is afraid he is going to be tagged, he can call out, "help me," and another player can come hold his hand. When players are holding hands, they cannot be tagged. Play continues until "it" successfully tags another player, who then becomes the new "it." You can make the game more challenging by having two players acting as "it." Another variation is to have players who are tagged become another "it" so the last person tagged becomes the winner and the new "it" for the next round.


The Toilet Flush is a game that encourages stamina and endurance in the water and is described by Kim Rodomista and Robin Patterson, authors of "101 Cool Pool Games for Children: Fun and Fitness for Swimmers of All Levels." The players form a circle in the pool by joining hands and standing on the bottom of the pool. As the game begins, players begin circling as quickly as they can in order to form a whirlpool in the middle of the circle. At a predetermined signal, everyone lifts their feet and tucks their legs into their stomach. As the whirlpool slows down, it will become more difficult to stay in the tucked position. The winner of the game is the last person to remain floating with his legs tucked.

Octopus Race

Octopus Race is a swimming pool game that can teach cooperation and team work. Separate players into two teams and choose one strong swimmer from each team to become the captain. The captain must float on his back or his stomach as the base for the octopus. The remaining players on each team hold onto the hands or ankles of the captain for form an octopus shape. Once the teams are in formation, line them up on one end of the pool and give them a signal to race to the opposite end of the pool. If one of the players comes apart from the octopus, the team must go back to the beginning and start again. The winning team is the one that reaches the opposite end of the pool first.

Pool Safety

However fun pool games look consider that your safety comes first. If you're not a strong swimmer, wear a life vest. If a pool game includes a lot of people, do a head count before and after the game. Observe in-pool and on-deck etiquette for your own safety and the safety of others.


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