One of the best places for summer fun on a hot day is in the pool. Swimming is a physical activity with numerous health benefits, but with the use of some simple pool toys and accessories you can play a number of swimming pool games that make pool time so much fun that kids won’t even notice they’re getting exercise. The following swimming pool games are just a few suggestions and you can change them or adapt them to work in any size pool.
Marco Polo is a classic swimming pool game. All that’s required is a pair of blacked out swim goggles and a group of willing friends or family. One person, ideally one who swims well, dons the blacked out goggles while everyone else spreads out in the pool. The “blinded” player calls out “Marco!” and all the other players must answer “Polo!” Marco follows the sound of the other players’ voices until he tags one of them. The tagged player then becomes Marco and play continues. In smaller pools, tagging is easy. In large pools, especially if playing with beginning swimmers, you can use a squirt gun for shooting and “tagging” at longer distances.
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Diving games are also popular games for the pool. You can purchase sets of plastic, weighted rings or sticks with point values on them. Toss them into the pool and once they have sunk, have each player dive for one stick or ring at a time. The player who collects the highest point value wins. There are other diving games that involve swimming through an obstacle course of hoops for points or freeing objects tied to the hoops, but these are best played in larger swimming pools.
There are several sports-related swimming pool games as well. You can purchase floating basketball hoops and volleyball nets, for example. Volleyball can also be played in large pools by using the rope that divides the deep and shallow ends as the “net.” This is a great game for children and adults alike to play as strong swimmers can play in the deep end while those less sure of themselves can play from the shallow end.
Races and relays can also be turned into swimming pool games by having players pull one another down the length of the pool or around the perimeter using swim noodles, rafts, or rings. After one lap, players switch places and race back to start. Other adaptations of races or relays can be thought of as you go.
Nearly any game that kids enjoy playing outdoors can be adapted to play in the pool. Pool stores offer a good selection of swimming pool games, but encourage your kids to use their imagination as well. Always remember to enforce pool safety rules when playing games and never allow children to swim unattended.