Do you have little ones who are excited to hop in the pool this summer? Make their daily swim even more with our 10 unique swimming pool games. Don’t worry! Our games are fun for adults as well.


1. Red Rover

Try out this classic playground game in your pool!

Number of Players: 4 or more

Materials: none

How to Play: Have two even teams stand six feet apart while facing each other. Teammates should line up shoulder-to-shoulder, hold hands and keep their legs close together. The start team chants, “Red rover, red rover, send (insert child’s name) over!” The chosen player must try and break through the legs of the opposing team. If they fail, they join the other team. Repeat until only one person is left on a team.

2. Underwater Bucket Race

Who can fill the bucket up with toys first? Try this game to find out!

Number of Players: 4 or more

Materials: 2 buckets, weighted toys/balls or fruits/veggies that sink (i.e. potatoes, avocados or mangoes) and a timer 

How to Play: Each team dives underwater and tries to collect as many objects as possible. Once time is up, the team that collects the most wins within the time limit. You can also play above water using toys/balls or fruits like apples, lemons or oranges that float.

Tip: Fruits and veggies should not stay in the pool longer than 15-20 minutes to remain edible. Rinse them with safe drinking water afterwards! The Oklahoma State University food safety fact sheet discusses chlorine being used as a raw fruit/vegetable sanitizer. Swimming pools contain 1ppm chlorine and they are safe as long as they do not exceed 200 ppm.

3. Balloon Boat Race

swimming pool games
Who knew a balloon could fly as fast as a motorboat!?

Number of Players: 2 or more

Materials: balloons, wooden boats (found on like the image)

How to Play:  Players position their boats at the end of the pool. On “go,” players launch their balloon boats by unpinching the neck of the balloon letting the air out. For team play, players must wait until their teammate’s boat stops or makes it to the other side of the pool. The team whose boat goes the farthest wins or makes it to the opposite end of the pool first wins!

4. Whirl Pool

swimming pool games

Like this image from this video, you can make a whirlpool in your backyard! The kids will learn about the concept of physics by jumping and throwing a ball around!

Number of Players: 2 or more

Materials: a ball or floatie (optional)

How to Play: Have all players run around the pool in a clockwise direction. This gets the current going. Once the water is flowing, all you have to do is enjoy the ride!

 5. Underwater Hoops

Have your kids tackle an underwater obstacle course!

Number of Players: 2 or more

Materials: hula hoops, weights (i.e. dumbbells) and some string

How to Play: Attach the hula hoops to the weights using the strings. Make them vary in height to add an extra challenge. Have some near the pool floor, some in the middle and others near the surface. Add as little or more hula hoops as you want depending on your little one’s swimming abilities. Then watch them through your course!

6. Whack a Mole

Here’s a version of the classic carnival game without the mallets! 

Number of Players: 4 or more

Materials: a soft beach ball

How to Play: The whacker must throw the ball at the “moles.” This will act as the game’s “hammer.” The moles must swim around to avoid being hit. When a player is hit, they must sit out for that round. The last player standing becomes the new whacker.

7. Treasure Hunt

swimming pool games


What kids doesn’t love a treasure hunt? This one’s twist is that it takes place in the pool!

Number of Players: 2 or more 

Materials: 30 or more types of coins (use some spare change) and a timer

How to Play: Toss the coins into the pool fro your little pirates to find and collect! On “go,” players dive and collect as many coins as they can within the time limit. Set a time limit that you feel is appropriate for your child’s age and skill level. The one who collects the highest amount of money wins! 

Tip: Math-based pool games make learning fun. This game gives children the chance to practice counting money!

8. Watermelon Push Relay

swimming pool games

A healthy and delicious snack after this race is a great reward!

Number of Players: an even number 

Materials: a watermelon for each team

How to Play: The goal of this game is to push the watermelon from one end of the pool to the other. Space teams out so each member has an equal amount of time pushing the watermelon. You can rub vaseline on the watermelon to make it slippery too. Now that’s a challenge!

9. Cardboard Boat Race

swimming pool games

Let your kids get crafty and hands-on for this boat race!

Number of Players: 2 or more

Materials: a cardboard box, boxcutter, scissors, duct, paint, art supplies (to decorate)

How to Play: You and your children can work together to make their boats. Depending on how old they are, two might fit in one boat. Once a few boats have been made, race. Then see who can paddle across or do the fastest laps around the pool!

10. Number crunch

swimming pool games

Trick your kids into practicing their math skills with this other treasure hunt!

Number of Players: 2 or more

Materials: 20-30 ping pong balls with numbers written on them (varying in range depending on your child’s math skills) and a basket

How to Play: Divide players into two teams. On “go,” players dive into the pool and race to collect ping pong balls for their team. Players carry one ball at a time and place it in their team’s basket. Once all of the ping pong balls have been collected, tally up the scores. The team with the highest score wins!


Bonus Idea: Build a Backyard Waterpark 

child sliding down a wat

Who wants to stand in long lines at the waterpark, when you can build one in your own backyard! 

Not sure how to get started? Roberto Lopez over at Porch has written the perfect step-by-step guide to building the perfect kid’s backyard waterpark. Check it out here

Which one of our games was your favourite? Let us know in the comments or use the hashtags #AquaMobile #MyAquaJourney to let us know on Twitter or Instagram!

If you liked these, check out our 5 pool games for the family!