23 Fun Swimming Games And Activities For Kids


Soak the kids in the water and euphoria too. Have oodles of fun while getting fit, because playing in the swimming pool is like a combo pack, providing multiple benefits. Whether it is swimming games or activities in the pool, when it comes to water, everything gets uber exciting for children.

So, are you geared up to jump into the pool with the kids? In this post, MomJunction shares some of the best swimming pool games for kids to have a splash on a hot day.

Fun Swimming Pool Games For Kids

Happiness is spending a day in the pool. Splashing water all around and playing in the pool can de-stress children. Here are some fun swimming pool games for children:

1. Sharks and minnows

Sharks and minnows

Image: iStock

Sure to cause a lot of chaos in the pool, this tag game is an absolute favorite.

How to play:

  • Pick one player to be a shark, who has to stand in the center of the pool.
  • Remaining players are minnows and have to stand at one side of the pool.
  • The challenge here is for the minnows to cross the pool without getting caught by the shark.
  • If a minnow gets caught, they become a shark.
  • The minnow who crosses without getting caught wins the game.

2. Whirlpool


Image: iStock

A whirlpool does not require conflicting currents all the time. Play this amusing game and cause your very own whirlpools to occur. Remember, bigger the team, the better it is.

How to play:

  • Let everyone get into the pool and stand on one edge in a straight line.
  • Start walking in one direction, and then begin jogging.
  • Then start running around the edge. Continue this for a couple of minutes.
  • Repeat the steps in the opposite direction.
  • You will notice that the water now looks like a whirlpool.

3. Ball game

Ball game

Image: Shutterstock

This simple game can be enjoyed by kids of all ages but it requires at least two players.

How to play:

  • Players stand at a distance in the swimming pool.
  • One player throws the ball and the other has to catch it.
  • If the ball falls in the pool, the player loses a point.
  • The player with maximum catches wins.

4. Pool volleyball

Pool volleyball

Image: Shutterstock

This game is a lot of fun and might turn intense if you keep a track of the scores.

How to play:

  • Divide the players into two teams.
  • Fix a net in the center of the pool.
  • Start serving the ball and feel free to jump and dive around, so you don’t miss the ball.

5. Tummy flop competition

Tummy flop competition

Image: iStock

Sounds funny? Hold your abs tight and jump on.

How to play:

  • Stand outside the pool, lining up on an edge.
  • Jump into the pool and see who makes the biggest splash while landing on the belly.
  • However, make sure the children are not pushing each other or jumping all at once.

6. Push the floatie

Push the floatie

Image: Shutterstock

Pool floaties come in vibrant colors, different shapes, and sizes. Pick your favorite and gear up to play.

How to play:

  • Let the children get into the pool and sit on top of the floatie.
  • The challenge is to move the floatie from one end of the pool to another without getting down into the water.
  • If the child falls into the pool, they should start from the beginning.
  • Let them use the legs or hands and row the floatie like a boat, and get creative in their approach.

7. Wobble heads

Wobble heads

Image: Shutterstock

You will require a pool noodle and a team of enthusiastic kids to play wobble heads.

How to play:

  • Choose one player to be the keeper.
  • All other players hide inside the water and can come out to breathe.
  • When any player pops their head out, the keeper has to pluck them with the pool noodle.
  • The player who remains unplucked until the end of the game, wins.

8. Cannon ball

Cannon ball

Image: iStock

Splash splash! See who makes the biggest splash.

How to play:

  • Let the child stand either on the diving board or one side of the pool.
  • Bring their knees closer to the chest, hold the knees and tuck the chin inside.
  • Like a cannonball, plunge into the pool making the biggest splash.
  • Note that this can be played only if the children are trained in swimming and diving.

9. Water gun fight

Water gun fight

Image: iStock

Perfect for those hot days when you want to play with cool, refreshing water. It gets a lot more interesting when the source of filling up the water gun is available in abundance.

How to play:

  • Divide the players into two teams. Each player gets one water gun.
  • The challenge is for each player to soak their opponents completely while escaping the opponent’s onslaught.

10. Slide and splash

Slide and splash

Image: iStock

This game is suitable for very young kids and begins their elementary learning with water. You will need a backyard inflatable water pool, which has a slide too.

How to play:

  • Set up the inflatable water pool.
  • Introduce the kids slowly to the inflatable pool.
  • They can slide or splash in the mini pool.

11. Dolphin race

Dolphin race

Image: iStock

To play this game, you will require swimming goggles and nose plugs to ensure protection.

How to play:

  • All the players have to line up at one edge of the pool.
  • Begin the race and start swimming under the water.
  • The first person to reach the other end of the pool, while swimming under the water, wins.

12. Marcopolo


Image: Shutterstock

This is a fun hide-and-seek game in the swimming pool.

How to play:

  • One player is blindfolded and tagged as “It” and their aim is to find the other players.
  • When “it” shouts “Marco” the other players must respond by saying ‘’Polo’’.
  • If any player gets tagged by “It”, then such player will become “It” in the next round.

13. Windmill


Image: iStock

Similar to Freeze, this game, too, is sure a lot of fun. You will require more than three participants to play this game and the larger the group, the better it is.

How to play:

  • Tag one player to be the windmill.
  • When the windmill says move, all other players start moving around the pool.
  • When it says stop, everyone should stop and freeze in their places.
  • No matter what their position is, they cannot move.
  • If any player moves, they become the windmill and the game continues.

14. Tug of war in the water

Tug of war in the water

Image: iStock

An intense but very entertaining game to play in the pool is the tug of war. Get the strong ones in, and start the pull and push.

How to play:

  • Divide the players into two equal teams.
  • Use either a rope or a pool noodle to play the tug of war. Assign opposite sides to each team and all the players must have a tight grip of the rope.
  • Players on either side must pull with all their effort and bring the opponent team to their own side, to win the game. The team which does this wins.

15. Octopus


Image: iStock

Are you all ready to turn into an octopus? Play on.

How to play:

  • One player has to stand in the middle of the pool and tagged as an octopus.
  • Other players have to move from one side of the pool to another without getting caught.
  • When any player gets tagged they have to join their hands with the octopus and try to catch the other players. All of them look and move like an octopus in the pool.
  • Continue playing until just one player is left and the rest are entangled or caught by the octopus.

16. Who jumps the farthest

Who jumps the farthest

Image: iStock

Long-legged kids have an advantage in this one. You will require more than one player to play this game.

How to play:

  • Stand at one side of the pool
  • Every player has to jump at once and see who goes the farthest.
  • The player who jumps the farthest wins the contest.

Swimming Pool Activities For Kids

Let’s have a look at some swimming activities for children. They are beneficial for the physical and mental growth of the kids.

17. Retrieving coins from the pool

Retrieving coins from the pool

Image: iStock

This is a simple but challenging game, which you can play in teams to make it a lot more fun.

How to play:

  • Throw some coins in the swimming pool and set the timer for 1 minute.
  • The kids have to get into the pool and start retrieving the coins.
  • At the end of one minute, the kid who retrieves the maximum number of coins wins.

18. Ping pong race

Ping pong race

Image: iStock

This game is not just fun but also teaches kids about colors, counting, and competitive spirit.

How to play:

  • Divide the players into two or three teams each.
  • Throw around 30 to 50 ping pong balls into the pool.
  • Each team has to pick a color of the ball to play.
  • Place buckets outside the pool, depending on the number of teams.
  • Each team has to collect balls of their respective colors and put them into the bucket. Set a timer.
  • The team with most balls at the end of the time limit wins.

19. Swim through the hula-hoop

 Swim through the hula-hoop

Image: iStock

Can you do it? It looks easy but requires a little extra effort.

How to play:

  • Place a few hula-hoops in the swimming pool.
  • The player has to swim through each of them without disturbing the position of the hula-hoops.
  • Set the timer to make it challenging.

20. Water scrabble

Water scrabble

Image: iStock

Test your vocabulary by playing a word hunt while swimming in the pool. Parents can maintain a scoreboard to make it more competitive.

How to play:

  • Cut a few sponge packs into small cubes.
  • Write all the 26 letters on each of them with a permanent marker.
  • Throw the letters into the pool and get the kids in, too.
  • Assign one word for each player and set a timer.
  • Kids have to collect the letters and form the word.
  • Repeat assigning the word for as long as you want to play.

21. Treasure hunt

 Treasure hunt

Image: iStock

An underwater treasure hunt is all you would want to play on a bright sunny day. Ready-set-go.

How to play:

  • Throw some random things into the pool and scatter them around.
  • Place some clues to find each item.
  • The players have to read the clue and hunt the item.
  • Players with the most items, win the treasure hunt.

22. Target the tube

Target the tube

Image: iStock

This swimming pool game can be played from the inside or even the outside of the pool. You will need a tube and a ball to play. This game will improve your focus and concentration power.

How to play:

  • Place the tube in the swimming pool.
  • From a distance of at least three feet, throw the ball such that it falls into the tube.

23. Pool kayak

Pool kayak

Image: iStock

Here’s an adventurous game to play in the swimming pool. All you need is a kayak and you are set to go.

How to play:

  • Set the kayak into the pool.
  • Kids have to be seated securely on the kayak and start rowing around the pool.

All these swimming pool activities and games are safe for children of all ages, but it is advisable to follow certain safety rules while playing in the pool.

Safety tips to follow while playing in the pool

Let’s have a look at some safety tips to be followed while playing swimming pool games.

  1. Before entering the pool, children must take a quick shower to adjust their bodies to the water temperature.
  1. Always have an adult around to supervise and monitor the movements of the child.
  1. Check the depth of the pool. Do not allow children to enter the deeper side of the pool, keep them restricted to the shallow waters.
  1. Sunscreen is a must. Apply it at least 30 minutes before entering the pool and reapply every couple of hours.
  1. Regardless of your child’s expertise in swimming, make them wear pool floaties or a swimming tube while playing the games.
  1. Children must wear swimming goggles to keep their eyes protected from the chlorine water.
  1. To avoid any accidents, advise them not to run around the edges of the pool, as the surface might be slippery. Also, they should not be pushing each other on the edge or inside the pool.
  1. On hot summer days, keep their bodies hydrated while playing in the pool.

Floaties, balls and attractive swimming costumes are a few things that will get kids excited to jump into the pool because water games are exciting. But take every safety precaution to make sure there is no unpleasantness amidst the fun.

So, are you all set to try these swimming pool games with the family? Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Harshita Makvana

Harshita is a graduate in commerce and holds a PG Diploma in Patent and Copyrights Law from NALSAR University. She has also pursued CA and has more than three years of internship experience in auditing.Her love for travelling has taken her to various parts of the world, and writing the travelogues has what brought out her love for content writing.Harshita has experience in writing blogs and is passionate about presenting complex subjects in an easy-to-comprehend manner.In her spare time, she works on vegan activism, rescuing animals in need, and trying vegan delicacies.

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