A summer pool party is a blast for a birthday party or any special occasion. Keeping kids entertained is easier when you can guide them in some fun pool games.
Choose a person to be “it”. They stand in the middle of the pool. Players line up on one side of the pool and try and swim to the other side without being tagged. The players who are tagged hold hands with “it” and for the next round all the players holding hands try and tag the swimmers as they try and make it to the other end of the pool. Keep going until all players have been tagged – then choose another “it” and start again. Lots of fun!
Select two players to sit on a blow up raft in the middle of the pool. Give each one a pool noodle and have them joust with the noodles and try and get each other off the raft. The winner takes on the next player.
Use a splash ball or large sponge for “it” to tag other players. Throw the ball or sponge and whoever “it” hits becomes the new “it”.
Ping Pong Scramble
Players form a large circle in the pool and scramble to collect ping pong balls and place them in their container. Dump a large container of ping pong balls in the middle of the players circle. Whoever collects the most balls wins! Have them collect them in different colored laundry baskets or buckets that are placed on the edge of the pool. Great for individual or team play. Variation: Before the party use a permanent marker to give each ping pong ball a point value. The team with the highest score wins. Or place a small colored dot on each ball in different colors. Teams must only collect the balls with their color.
Frozen T-Shirt Contest
Dunk two shirts in water and freeze for 2-3 days. During your birthday party take the shirts out and divide your friends into two groups. Each group is racing to thaw and put on the shirt. You can use anything in the yard to thaw it: hose, pool, slam it on the pavement, use your hands, breath on it, etc. Every 15 seconds you switch the person thawing the shirt. Have someone shout out “switch” ever 15 seconds. The first one team to thaw it and put it one one of their teammates wins. *This would be a great game to play while it is hot outside and before you play the Soaked Shirt Relay below.
Soaked Shirt Relay
Fun relay for all ages. Teams line up on one side of the pool. They must put on a large t-shirt and swim to the other side of the pool and back. Then take off the wet shirt and the next player must put it on and swim to the other side of the pool and back. Keep going until all players have completed the task – first team done wins. The shirt is very hard to get on and off while it is wet. Variation: Add other items that the players must put on such as a diving mask, flippers, shorts, bathing cap, nose plugs, pool ring, etc.
Watermelon Push Relay
Funny relay race for individuals or teams. Players must push a watermelon from one end of the pool to the other without touching the bottom of the pool with their feet.
Water Freeze Tag
Choose a person to be “it”. “It” tags players and once tagged the player must freeze where they are. Other players can unfreeze them by swimming under their legs. When all players are tagged then “it” chooses a player to be the new “it”.
Water Balloon Toss
Water balloon tosses are even more fun in the pool. Separate players into teams and have them toss water balloons back and forth. Start with players close to each other and after each round have each player step back. If the balloon pops then that team is out. (Be safe — pick up broken balloon pieces right away and keep away from small children and your pool filter.)
Line players up in a single file line. Have an adult stand at the side of the pool (or in the water) and throw a beach ball up so that the players must jump to catch it. Variation: Have the adult call out an animal and the kids must act out that animal while they try and catch the ball.
Played just like the basketball game H O R S E only using a water basketball hoop.
Make up fun relay races for two teams of players to complete. Players take turns going from one side of the pool to the other doing crazy requests such as:
Riding a pool noodle
Walking on their hands
Doing summer saults in the water
Crawling on the bottom of the pool