Pool games for children

Swimming is a fun activity that keeps children busy during their free time. However, it can get pretty monotonous when all they do is swim laps and throw their toys about in the water. How about making their positive swimming experiences more enjoyable by bringing in a few games the next time they hit the pool? Check out some of the great games you can get them to play. These games are fun-filled, and you will be itching to join them in the water in no time.

Little girl swimming

Mermaid racing

This game is also known as dolphin racing or submarine racing. The concept of this game is that the contestants get to hold their breath and swim underwater. Whoever can hold their breath longest and float further than the others gets to win the race. The good thing about this game is that it teaches your child to hold their breath for more extended periods and it is very competitive. In no time, they will have built on their swimming skills while having fun at the same time.

Invisible bottle

Look around the house and look for a two-liter bottle made of clear plastic. If it has any contents, be sure to empty them and clean it up well. You can use a container with a white cap, or you can opt to use a top that matches the color of your pool. Go ahead and fill the bottle with pool water. It is vital that you use pool water as opposed to tap-water for the visual tricks to be effective. Have your child stand on the pool deck, facing away from the pool then throw the bottle into the water. Once the bottle hits the water and your kid hears the splash, they can jump into the water and try their hardest to locate the container. Though it may seem like an easy game to master, it is very hard. The thing is that the bottle camouflages with the colors in the pool, making it an almost impossible task to find it. You might think that your child will locate the bottle based on the ripples, but the ripples work to your advantage. By the time your child finds the bottle, it is likely that they will have searched at least fifty percent of the pool, even moving from one end to another. It should be fun to watch them struggle. Of course safety comes first!

Noodle jousting

The usual joust involves fighting while on top of horses. In this game, your child gets to replace a horse with a raft. Get another child involved in the activity, and when they are both settled on the floats, they can try to knock each other down using pool noodles. This game will take your mind back to the medieval times, and you can have fun watching your child fight for stability in the water.

Shark in the pool

This game should be fun where a lot of kids are involved so have your kid invite some friends over to make the experience great. The game requires a shark who acts as ‘it.' The shark tries to tag someone else in the group and whoever gets tagged becomes ‘it.' A variation in this game is that the players are allowed to jump out of the pool when the shark gets too close to them. However, this allowance lasts only five seconds to enable the shark to have more chances at tagging someone. You can add in variations to the game to give an edge to the shark. The use of fins can help the shark swim at a faster rate, allowing more players to be ‘it’ in the game.

Ping pong

It is fun to collect things on the bottom of the pool, and the case should be the same when it comes to finding stuff on the surface. Use ping pong balls for this activity. The great thing about these items is that they are light and will remain on the surface even in the presence of ripples and they are hard to see. Your child will have to work hard to locate the balls, and this will make the game entertaining. You can make the game more exciting by awarding points to the ping pong balls such that the more a child collects, the higher their points. Marking the balls with initials so that each child has to locate their ball will make the game even more fun.

Treasure hunt

Back in the day, all you had to do to keep a child busy in the swimming pool was to toss a few coins into the water, and the child would spend hours on end trying to locate them. Grab a few coins and do the same thing. Your child will learn a few things about the refraction of light before they finally figure out the best way to go about finding items under water. It is education and fun wrapped into one!


This game is a variation to ‘Shark in the Water.' When you get tagged in the water, you do not become ‘it.' Instead, you get frozen, and you have to stand straight with your hands above your head. This posture is where the game derives its name. If your child wants to avoid getting tagged, they can swim underwater where the tagger cannot get to them. Your child can also free popsicles by floating past them, allowing the game to continue for hours.


In this game, once the shark tags a person, that person heads to the middle of the pool and stands there. There are no options to jump out of the water, and every player can be tagged. Once a person gets labeled, they also join the ‘it’ team. The more the sharks, the longer the link becomes as they spread towards the four corners of the pool, making an octopus-like shape. The concept of the game is for ‘it’ to catch all the players but one and the process starts again. With these games at hand, your child will be able to have lots of fun. Have other children around to make the activities more enjoyable as you bring education and joy together. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the children as they play and educate them on pool guidelines before they begin their games.