22 best games for hours of fun in the pool

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  August 16

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Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Looking for new games to try at your next pool party?

You have come to the right place. Check out our list of 24 fun pool games you can try today.

Best games for the pool

One of the funniest things I've come across is this Watermelon BallI've never seen anything like this:

Watermelon ball pool toy

(view more images)

You fill it with water instead of air so that it stays underwater and you can throw it there. You just have to look, very special to see.

Here are the best pool games that you can play without extra toys:

22 best pool games

From volleyball and tag to races and team challenges, there is something for everyone:

Atomic vortex

How To Play:

Tip:: The more children you have, the stronger the vortex. This is a great board game (reviewed some family games here) so everyone at the campsite can participate!

Basketball and Volleyball

What you need:

How To Play:

Whether one-on-one or as a team, games such as basketball and volleyball are even more fun when played in the pool.

The best part is that your games can be as organized (or not) as you want.

Divide kids into two teams (or play as a couple) and keep score, or just let them enjoy hitting the ball and throwing it through the ring.

Either way, these games provide hours of active fun.

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Tip:There are also special pool nets and rings that you can use.

Intex is, for example, a supplier of high-quality swimming pool sports equipment:

En Aquaz Sports has handy basketball rings for the pool:

Match bomb

How To Play:

Each player takes a dip in the pool and shows their biggest, loudest and most clumsy bomb.

The diver who gets the most applause (or laughter) for his bombshell wins!

Tip: Safety first! Always be careful when diving or jumping into the pool.

Balls colliding

What you need:

How To Play:

Cardboard boat race

What you need:

How To Play:

Divide players into teams and give them an hour to use the above supplies together to build their best, most seaworthy cardboard boat.

Encourage teams to get creative and make sure every boat is given a name!

Have the teams put their boats in the pool when the time is up. The boat that floats the longest wins!

Tip:: Again, safety first! If you are playing this game with younger children, make sure there is an adult around to help the cardboard het cut (when can they actually do that themselves?).

Crocodile Hunter

What you need:

How To Play:

Tip: More fun with inflatable crocodiles

Do you want more bang for your inflatable crocodile?

Hold a Croc Wrestling Match: Give each player a minute to show off their best, most impressive croc wrestling moves.

the sturdy crocodile like this one is useful because they have to race or struggle with it:

Duck Push

What you need:

How To Play:

To make the game more challenging, players must “distract” each other by splashing water or wave their ducks off course.

However, the same rules apply: no hands allowed!

The first to get his duck across the pool wins!

With a whole set like this one do you have enough rubber ducks for your kids and every boyfriend or girlfriend who wants to participate, and everyone can choose his own color:

SWIM

How To Play:

To play this game, the first player performs a task that the others have to repeat.

For example, if the first player does a handstand in the water, the other players take turns also attempting handstands.

If someone cannot complete the task, he or she earns the first letter of the word swim.

Whoever plays “swim” first loses.

To keep it fair, you might want to make a rule that players can only select a particular task once so that someone doesn't keep repeating tasks that no one else can do.

You may also need an objective judge to determine whether the stunt earns him or her a letter, and whether the stunt is safe enough to do of course.

Float Race

What you need:

How To Play:

Instruct players to stand on their floats on one side of the pool. Choose someone to be the referee.

When the referee calls 'Go', players race to the other end of the pool.

Players who fall off their swimming rings will be disqualified. The first player wins!

Tip:: This game works best in a longer pool and can also be played as a relay with two teams so that the other has to return for example.

Read here in this article also everything about how to choose good sturdy swimming rings.

follow the leader

How To Play:

Freezer

How To Play:

This modified version of tag is best played in a shallower part of the pool where each player can stand with their heads above water.

Frozen T-Shirt Contest

What you need:

Tip:: T-shirts take a while to freeze, so plan ahead and put them in the freezer for a day or two before playing!

How To Play:

In this game, the first team to unfreeze a frozen T-shirt wins!

Invisi bottle

What you need:

Tip:: For best results, use a bottle with a white or clear cap or one that matches the color of your pool. Empty water bottles work great too!

How To Play:

Marco Polo

How To Play:

Marco Polo is a simple game that can be played with two or more players.

Emergency sign

What you need:

Those things really cost next to nothing, for example here at Decathlon:

How To Play:

Fast counting

What you need:

Tip:: Before you start, use the permanent marker and number each ball from 1 to 25 (or 30).

How To Play:

To make it more interesting, consider awarding extra points for collecting sets of consecutive numbers.

Now team members really have to communicate with each other about which ball is going back and which one has to stay there for a while.

Or, instead of marking the ping pong balls with numbers, use colored marker pens to draw a dot on each ball.

Place a small colored dot in different colors on each ball. Teams may only collect the balls of their color.

Octopus

How To Play:

Treasure hunt

What you need:

A variety of small items such as coins, diving poles or anything else that will sink (make sure not to avoid anything sharp or glass).

You need two of each item.

How To Play:

Sharks and fish

How To Play:

So you think you can dance. . . pool edition

What you need:

How To Play:

It's like your own reality TV show! In this game, individual participants or teams choreograph synchronized water dances to their favorite pop songs.

The great thing about this game is that it can be adapted in a variety of synchronized water dances to their favorite pop songs.

The more creative the better: use waterproof props and costumes to make the show even more elaborate!

You can even use your pool lighting to add a little spice or with glow in the dark ducks or sticks put together an evening program.

Invite family, friends and neighbors to watch the performances and vote for a winner.

You can even come up with different reward categories like funniest, most original, and so on (just let them know in advance so they can respond to this).

Watermelon race

What you need:

How To Play:

It's pretty simple: players have to push a watermelon on the bottom of the pool from one end of the pool to the other. The first on the other side wins.

Put your own spin on the game by adding custom rules such as:

The best thing about this game? When the race is over, you have a healthy snack. Just rinse and cut into pieces!

Wet T-shirt relay

What you need:

How To Play:

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.