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Longer days and climbing temperatures make summer a time to get creative with entertainment.
Without a few tricks up your sleeve it’s tempting to default to indoor screen time, or feel pressured to spend a ton of money just to keep your family happy.
The good news is if you are smart with how you use your pool you don’t have to do either. Whether you are throwing a kid’s party, hosting an event, or just trying to relieve boredom, this list of easy pool games will have your crew entertained throughout the summer.
- Easy Pool Games for Kids
- Fun and Easy Pool Games for the Entire Family
- Basketball or Volleyball
- Belly Flop/Cannon Ball Contest
- Cardboard Boat Races
- Shoulder Wars
- Floating Frisbees
- Dive-in Movie
- More Easy Pool Games for Your Pool Party
- Final Thoughts on Pool Games
The good thing is, most of these pool games need few to no materials to play. The best thing is, if a game calls for materials, you can always reuse them. So, read on to find fun and easy pool games for the whole family!
Easy Pool Games for Kids
If you are looking for an exciting game for both players and spectators, Duck Push will do the trick. Participants line up at one end of the pool with a rubber duckie. The first person to sail his or her duck to the other side wins.
Of course, there’s a catch!
No one is allowed to use their hands!
You’ll enjoy seeing what they come up with to get across. Some might use their nose, forehead, breath, or any number of ways to sail their rubber duckie. Since the ducks’ sailing paths can be unpredictable, I recommend using a variety of styles so players don’t confuse their ducks if they cross paths.
As a bonus, these can double as a gift for guests to take home if you are throwing a party!
These Fun Central Assorted Rubber Duckies are a perfect choice. These are a fantastic value for the money and make a fun gift.
The simplicity of this activity makes it a winner!
This is another easy pool game that your kids can play.
All you need is two empty and cleaned disposable plastic bottles. Fill the bottles with pool water and toss them in. Participants then swim to the bottom, searching for the “invisible” bottles.
The first to emerge wins!
A great feature of this game is that since it requires little preparation, kids can play it over and over.
A little advice—use a clear, untinted bottle and light-colored cap.
Pool Noodle Joust
Pool noodles are one of the most versatile pool toys you will find.
Add a pool float or raft and you have the perfect set-up for Pool Noodle Jousting.
The premise is straightforward. Two players steady themselves on some sort of floatation device with a pool noodle in hand. At the start, they whack each other with the pool noodles until someone falls in.
This game is always entertaining and gets big laughs!
Underwater Scavenger Hunt
This game is a perfect pool game if you are throwing a party.
There is some versatility here in how to play. Find sets of unique objects that sink to the bottom of the pool, such as spoons, rocks, or coins for the first option. Call out each item for kids to search for at the bottom of the pool.
This is great for keeping kids occupied during summer break without having to spend extra money.
The second option is to toss in a set of diving toys for players to retrieve. These toys can double as party favors at your next pool party. Each party-goer is told what to retrieve until all guests have an assortment of items to take home.
Ping Pong Scramble
If you are looking for a game to burn time and energy, look no further than Ping Pong Scramble.
The simplicity of this activity is perfect, so it will take minimal planning. You’ll need a large quantity of ping pong balls and a permanent marker. Give the balls a numeric value starting with 1 up to 20. Having multiples of the same number is ok. Divide your players into teams and toss the balls into the pool. The teams will compete to retrieve the balls into their buckets.
Competitors are limited to removing one ball from the pool at a time, but sequential order is not important. After they have retrieved all ping pong balls, add up the numbers on the balls to total the score.
Fun and Easy Pool Games for the Entire Family
Basketball or Volleyball
For those who enjoy entertaining, investing in a basketball hoop is an excellent idea.
This versatile 2-in-1 set is fun for swimmers of all ages! Whether you are playing a competitive scorekeeping game of volleyball or showing off your slam-dunking skills, this set easily transforms to allow you to do both.
- FUN IN ONE: Easily switch between your favorite pool games. The SwimWays basketball hoop easily transform into volleyball posts, and back again.
- DURABLE: Water filled base and plastic material provides strong stability during play
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE: No tools are required for setup.
- COMBO SET INCLUDES: 24" volleyball net, 1 volleyball, 2 basketball hoops/base, and 1 basketball.
- HEAVY DUTY CONSTRUCTION: This product is made of plastic. You will not have to worry about rust!
Fill the bases with water for stability, attach the proper net for your game, and start playing! The kit is weatherproof, so you can leave it assembled for as long as you will get frequent use out of it.
At the end of the season, empty the bases and store away until next year.
Belly Flop/Cannon Ball Contest
If you’re looking for a good laugh, you’ll find it in a belly flop contest! Kids and goofballs alike will love taking part in this classic pool game.
The premise is simple.
Before playing, make sure you allow plenty of space to prevent injury. Competitors gather poolside while each person, one-by-one, shows off his or her best belly flop. The person with the best reaction, whether it be laughter, applause, or cringe, wins!
Are your friends and family not loving the idea of doing a belly flop? Try cannonballs as a variation. Players will experience less sting, but still make a big splash.
Cardboard Boat Races
Not only is this pool game fun for the entire family, but it is a wonderful lesson in physics!
Divide participants into groups. For this activity, groups of about 2-4 is ideal. All you need is cardboard boxes (moving box quality), scissors, and packing tape. These items are used to construct a boat big enough to hold a person or two. Use as much cardboard and tape as you wish.
The only catch is you may only use tape at the seams! After you have constructed your cardboard boats you will get inside and race them across the pool!
For an extra challenge, groups can paddle their boats with cardboard constructed oars, or players can paddle with their hands.
This easy pool game is both fun and terrifying since no one believes the boats reliably float. The sailors with the fastest race time win!
Regardless of the outcome of the race, this activity is sure to delight the entire family.
This pool game has been a favorite for decades.
You don’t need any props, so if you are looking for a spontaneous way to amuse everyone this will be a hit! Competitors pair up in teams of two. One person sits on the other person’s shoulders and the opposing teams square up in the pool. The objective is for each top player to wrestle each other until one team topples over.
The last team standing wins!
Another choice for casual or competitive play is Floating Frisbees.
Just grab some frisbees and toss them in a pool rim side up. Assign each frisbee a point value with a permanent marker if you are planning a competitive game. Give the players a beach ball, ping pong balls, or other lightweight balls to toss into the frisbees from a reasonable distance. The object is to catch the ball on the frisbee.
This game becomes even more fun since the frisbees become moving targets as swimmers move around in the water.
Ok, so watching a movie isn’t playing a game, but who doesn’t love an outdoor movie night?
If you can get your hands on a movie projector, the rest is easy! Hang a sheet taught and fill the pool with floats to create a night to remember.
More Easy Pool Games for Your Pool Party
Final Thoughts on Pool Games
Don’t let lack of inspiration rob you of precious time with your family. With a variety of easy pool games to choose from, parties will run smoothly and kids will stay occupied all summer.
No one wants to make memories of fighting over screen time, or fretting over finances. Instead, use these ideas to remember a summer spent laughing and having fun with your whole family.
Photo by Joe Shlabotnik