If you read last week’s post, or happened to leave your house at all in the last few days, you won’t need me to tell you how hot it is outside! Luckily we learned last Wednesday that putting a shade sail over your pool is the best way to shade it and enjoy the time spent relaxing and cooling off in the water. Now that you can survive leaving your house to go swimming, you need something fun to do in the pool! Growing up in Arizona, I’ve had plenty of experience with pool games and water activities, so I’ve compiled some of my favorite ideas here for you. The last idea, installing a pool rope swing, is my favorite, because it is super fun by itself but also makes all the rest of the games you play in the pool that much better!
This has got to be one of the simplest games to play in the pool. It gets its name from the early European explorer who some believe had no idea where he was going on his travels east.
- The swimmer who is “it” closes his/her eyes and shouts “Marco”.
- The others playing reply “Polo”.
- The “Marco Polo” pattern repeats as the swimmer follows the sound of the others’ voices to try to tag someone. When a person is tagged, they are “it” for the next round.
Tip: If you aren’t “it”, when you shout “Polo”, take off! Never stay in one spot for too long!
Sharks and Minnows
Sharks and Minnows is another classic pool game that every kid has played.
- At the beginning of the game, one person is the shark. They begin in the middle of the pool.
- All other swimmers are minnows. They start at one end of the pool, either on the deck, or in the water.
- At a call from the shark (“Minnows Away!”, “Swim!”, etc.), the minnows then attempt to swim across the pool without getting tagged by the shark.
- If a minnow is tagged by the shark, they, too, become sharks. The remaining minnows prepare to swim back at a call from the shark.
- This process is repeated until a lone minnow rises victorious! They become the shark the next round.
Tip: If you are playing in a deeper pool, use that to your advantage. Three dimensions to swim are better than two!
Similar to “Sharks and Minnows”, “Categories" begins with one person “it” and all the others trying to avoid getting tagged, only this time the person who is “it” stands on the diving board and the others line up along an adjacent side of the pool in the water.
- Pick a category such as colors, fruits, etc.
- Each person in the water picks something from that category (i.e. blue, green, red, or apples, oranges, bananas, etc.)
- The person on the diving board turns his/her back to the pool and calls out items from the chosen category, and when a swimmer’s item is called, they must swim to the other side without being tagged.
- If the diver thinks someone is crossing, he turns around and jumps in, trying to tag them before they reach the other side. If the swimmer is tagged, they are “it” and a new category is chosen.
- Penalty: If the diver turns around to look when no one has gone, they take 3 steps further away from the pool. This only resets when they turn around and jump in when someone is crossing.
Tip: Stealth is the name of the game. If the diver can here you splash when you swim, it’s over.
This is a pretty simple concept that involves two steps.
- Split into two teams (or free for all, if you’re feeling adventurous!) and gather as many pool toys/“weapons” as you can. Some of the classic weapons include pool noodle “swords”, water guns, and spongy pool balls.
- After the signal, battle the other team, throwing balls, swinging noodles, shooting water until one team gives up, or everyone is too exhausted to continue.
Tip: As a general rule of thumb, don’t hit people with hard things. It hurts. Nobody wants that. Remember you’re playing this game to have fun, not to injure anyone!
Dive and Splash Competitions
A little more relaxing than the previous game, dive and splash competitions are pretty self-explanatory.
- Determine the competition for each round. Some of my favorites are “best trick”, “tallest dive”, “furthest dive”, “smallest splash”, and of course “biggest splash!”
- Find someone who is not participating to judge each dive/trick and name a winner for each round.
Tip: Biggest splash? Think heavy thoughts.
When it comes to fun in the pool, nothing beats a rope swing! Kids and adults alike find their inner Tarzan as they fly through the air and splash into the water! Pool swings give your pool an edge that sets it aside from other standard and custom pools. They are especially exciting in pools with rocks or raised platforms by the side that allow for extra swing time and more speed. Any of the previous games becomes that much more thrilling when a rope swing is thrown in the mix!
I hope you get to try out a few of these simple games to play in the pool! Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite pool game (I’m not talking about billiards!) or a variation of one of the games I listed. Pool swings can be found online or you can call us to ask about it over the phone. Enjoy!