Simple Swimming Pool Games

10 Simple Swimming Pool Games for Kids


The heat is on and these simple swimming pool games are cool and fun. They are perfect for any summer day or a pool party. Our local pool limits the number of pool toys and inflatables; and these ideas require very few props and toys.  As always, supervision around water is an absolute must. You know your children and their swimming capabilities.  The difficulty of some of the games can adjusted by changing the depth of the water. Some can be played in the wading pool, the shallow, or deep end.


Pennies in the Pool

Items needed: pennies

Throw pennies into the pool and have the kids dive for them.


Duck Races

Items needed: Rubber ducks or other small floating toys

Each child gets a duck/toy. It is placed in the water. The swimmer uses their hands, their nose, or whatever agreed means, to make waves to ‘push’ the duck across the pool. The person who gets their duck across the pool first wins.


Target Jump

Items needed: Soft floatable objects that acts as a target (such as a large sponge)

Kids jump from the side of the pool or off of the diving board and try to hit the target.

Name that Underwater Name That Tune

Items needed: two or more people

One person is ‘it’. Everyone ducks under the water. The person that is  “it” hums a tune. The others pop up and name the tune.

Pool-Side Basketball

Items needed: 1 or 2 containers such as laundry baskets, boxes, clean trash cans; a beach ball or a basketball size ball. The cheap balls you find in a bin a Walmart work well

Place the containers on opposite ends of the pool. Divide the group into two teams. Play basketball by throwing the ball into the basket. To make it a ‘half court’ game use just one container.

Water World Simon Says

Items needed: a group of children and one who is Simon

Play Simon Says in the water. Think of unique actions that can be completed in water. Give directions beginning with “Simon Says: bob up and down three times”. The group follows the directions and listen carefully for the “Simon says”. If instructions are given without the phrase “Simon says” and a player follows those instructions they are out because “Simon” didn’t say. :)


Target Practice

Items needed: a hula hoop; a ball,  frisbee, sponge, or other safe, soft floatable object

Place the hola hoop in the middle of the pool. Throw the ball or frisbee at the hula hoop. Challenges can be: who can throw the farthest; who can throw the farthest in deep water


Egg Relay Races

Items Needed: plastic eggs, large spoons;  two containers to hold the eggs, two or more players

Players carry the eggs one at at time, on the spoon, from one of end of the pool to the other and drop them into the container. If you have more than than two kids they can have a relay race by taking turns walking or swimming to the other side. If they drop they egg, they have to start over…or not. You decide. :)

Variation for a larger group of kids:

Have the children line up across the pool. Each child needs a spoon. The children pass the eggs from person to person. The person on the end drops them into the container. The race can be timed. The winner is the group that gets the most eggs into the container in 4 minutes or whatever the predetermined time is.


Links to more pool fun from other early childhood bloggers:

Swimming Pool Scrabble from Toddler Approved

Sight Word Dive from I Can Teach My Child

Marco Polo from Coffee Cups and Crayons


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