pool games

15 Old-School Pool Games For Kids

Angela Active Living Leave a Comment

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Make the most of pool side summer fun with these pool games for kids. You may even want to get in on the fun! Either way, some times you just need to have some tricks up your sleeve to keep a day at the pool going smoothly.

Looking for a new hot spot, check out this complete list of outdoor pools around Metro Vancouver!  And as always keep water safety front and centre anytime you are at the pool or lake. You can also check out our Pinterest board for more summer fun activities.


The crazier the floatie the better, kids build floating contraptions from a blow up floatie and whatever else they find to add onto it and when their creation is finished, they race them across the pool.


Like TAG but the person who is IT keeps their eyes closed calls out “MARCO“ and all others must answer “POLO” if you are Tagged and the person who is IT can guess who you are without opening their eyes, then you become IT.  this game is best played in the shallow end with a fairly small boundary that people can’t leave.


Marco Polo with the addition that the swimmers can get out of the water for 3 seconds. If the person who is IT calls”fish out of water” while you are on land, you are instantly IT.


Played just like it is on dry land  but with a twist. Players start a few steps away from and easy entry into the water. They do the classic 1, 2,3, shoot and show either the ROCK SCISSORS or PAPER hand signal. The loser takes on step towards the water. The game continues one step at a time until one of the players is all wet. Works just as well at a lake or beach!

pool games

A kids classic played in the water. “Mr. Wolf” stands at one edge of the pool facing away from the swimmers with their eyes closed. The swimmers call out “WHAT TIME IS IT MR WOLF?”  and they get an answer of a number ex. “3 o’clock”. The swimmers take that many steps towards the wall where “Mr. Wolf” is standing. The goal is to touch that wall before Mr. Wolf says “LUNCHTIME!!!” when Mr Wolf can turn around, open their eyes and try and catch a swimmer before they get back to their start line. If you are caught you become Mr. Wolf.


The Shark is IT and waits in the middle of the deep end. The minnows are on the side of the pool. When the shark shouts GO, the minnows try and jump in and swim to the opposite wall without being Tagged. If you are Tagged you become a shark as well. The game is played until there’s one minnow left.


Using an inflatable ball count how many touches ( or time how long) you can keep it in the air.


Basically catch. Throw a ball back and forth or around a circle counting how many catches you can make in a row without the ball touching the water.

pool games

The participant line up a few steps back from the pool edge. When the Quizmaster calls their name, they take a few steps and jump into the air. The Quizmaster shouts a simple question for them to answer before they hit the water. “what is you name” or  “who is your sister”. We love this one as a parent can be the Quizmaster from a lounge chair.


This one can be played from the side of the pool or on a diving board. Each player takes a turn jumping and the CALLER will shout out a style of jump when they are in the air. The jumper has to try and execute the jump before hitting the water.Examples of jumps are: pencil / straight jump, superman jump (arms in superman pose) spider-man jump (shooting web), star jump, cannon ball, can opener (one leg straight & pull the other knee to chest), jumping jack etc. Encourage kids to make up their own jumps and teach them to the other players.


This is a great game to encourage underwater swimming but should be played in water where everyone can tough the bottom.! One player is IT and Tags other players who must then stand like Popsicles with their hands pointing up above their heads. Players can only be Tagged when they are above water and can free other players by swimming through their legs.

pool games

Have the kids create swimming choreography to their favourite music. If they really take to it. Look into choreographed swimming programs in your area.

12. F – I – S – H

Like Horse but played with a poolside basketball net.


Like WHAT TIME IS IT MR WOLF without the questions! One player stands at the far side of the pool facing away with eyes closed and call out a category. It could be a bathing suit colour,  hair colour, gender, etc. if you match that category you try and slip quietly to the far side of the pool. If the person who is IT hears a splash or sound (giggle) they can turn around and try and catch you. 


Even though this is an underwater game it is good to play in the shallow end. Kids see how far they can swim underwater with their arms down by their sides like seal flippers


Kids take turns counting out how long they can each hold a handstand. Variations are: one handed, deeper water, shallower water, walking on hands, eyes closed, holding something in their feet.

We would love to hear about pool games that your kids love or that you loved as a kid!

pool games

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