17 Swimming Pool Games That Will Make a Splash this 2020

... Credit :
Jane Taylor in Sport

Last updated: 10 January 2020, 03:44 GMT

There's no better way to beat the hot summer heat than with a dip in the swimming pool. When the sun's blazing and the days are long, the best way to stay cool is to hit the water.

However, if you're a swimming enthusiast, it can get boring doing the same thing every time you take a swim with your pals. If you have kids, wouldn't it be great to introduce them to a new way to play when they're floating around in the pool? 

Why Spend Time In the Pool?

That's like asking why you'd want to go to heaven, right? Of course, spending time in the pool is just really super fun. However, the fun factor isn't the only reason for playing swimming pool games that can be of value to you and your family. There are lots of ways that being in the water can bring benefits to your life, and some of these benefits may even last a lifetime.


Research shows that those who exercise typically live longer, healthier lives. Playing swimming pool games with family and friends can be an awesome way of getting into your daily workout. Sure, you're not benching 250 lbs, but even light exercise, when done enough, can benefit your overall health. Plus, if it's hot out there's no better way to get in those daily steps than in a cool pool. Why waste your time frying on the streets when you can do your workout someplace comfortable? By taking to the water, you're doing both your mind and body a massive favor.


It's summer, and that means the kids are home. You're finally going to have weeklong, all-day access to your children again. But what are you going to do with them? Why waste a beautiful day sitting around and watching movies when you can get out there and have a blast playing swimming pool games? Spending your time in the pool with your family and friends is a great way to bond with them and encourage togetherness. Kids typically love getting wet, and after you've given them the great gift of teaching them how to swim, you can supplement it by showing them all types of fun and exciting games they can play in the pool.


Being an adult often means taking a beating by life. With bills, work, taking care of the kids, and a hundred other necessary tasks to perform throughout the day, it's important to find a time to relax and recharge. Getting in the pool with the whole family is a great way to do so; if you're in there long enough, your body might tire out, but it may very well refresh your mind so that you can get back to work with renewed energy and vigor. Self-care is imperative, so put some of your work aside and do something fun. And don't feel guilty about it! It'll probably only make you more productive in the long run.

The Need for Something New

For some people, swimming never gets old. They can do it day-in and day-out with a smile on their face; boredom hasn't even crossed their minds. For others, however, heading to the pool and doing the same old thing every single time gets dull. Whether you're the type that can't get enough of the water or those who need something innovative to renew their enthusiasm, learning to play new swimming pool games can add an element of fun to your time at the pool that was hitherto undiscovered.

Likewise, you don't want to be the crotchety old man who always wants everything to stay the same; be open-minded and give something new a shot. You might found out that you're like the person who doesn't want to try sushi only to find it's their favorite food! In the end, your family and friends will thank you if you can make their time in the water exciting and enjoyable.

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17 Swimming Pool Games That Will Make a Splash

After seeing why spending time in the pool is a great idea and thinking about why trying something new is a great idea, the only thing left to do is get in mind some games that you can try the next time you and your family and friends take to the pool. Some of these may be affected by how deep the pool is, and others may require a bit of spending in order to get the supplies. Still, many are all-time classics, and most require nothing but ready minds and willing bodies to play.

Here are 17 swimming pool games that will make a splash this summer.

Marco Polo

Who doesn't know this game named after the famed 13th-century explorer? Have old Marco close his eyes and say his name; let the Polos ring out in response.

That's all you need until Marco finally closes the gap and wins the game. Most have already given this one a try, though, so if that sounds like you, you might opt for something else on the list,

Monkey In the Middle

Monkey In the Middle takes on a whole new aspect when played in the pool. The resistance of the water makes things interesting, as people are often just a little more awkward with their movements when they're half submerged.

It opens up more opportunities for goof-ups, and if you've got a pool long enough, you could find yourself scrambling against the monkey to reach the ball in time.

Dive Competition

While this game is very simplistic, it can still be a fun game to try. Have everyone in the pool try their most impressive dives and then let everyone vote for the best at the end. If you want to make it more competitive and exciting, take the person with the least votes out of the game after every round. You might have to worry about sore losers with this one, especially if you've got kids!

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Blind Shark

Think of this as an almost silent Marco Polo or a modified hide and seek for the water. Pick one person to be the shark and have them close their eyes and keep them closed for the length of the game. Everybody else in the pool must pick a spot and wait for the shark to eventually find them.

This game usually ends up in some pretty fun races to the ladder. Likewise, the shark can try to make people laugh or otherwise provoke the other players to speak up and give away their location.

Water Dragon

This one involves having a pool "noodle" and some bubble rafts. Let the dragon hook their noodle to the pool's pump and watch the water shoot from the end. The goal is to hit everyone in the pool with the water and get them out.

Players can avoid the dragon by going underwater, moving, or defending themselves with a bubble raft as a shield. Make sure to only put a select few rafts in the water, though; having the players fight for cover makes things really interesting.


Basketball is yet another classic to play in the pool. If you have a short hoop to put by the side of your pool, you can have a full five-on-five game.

Of course, you'll have to adjust the rules a bit, considering it's impossible to dribble. Come up with your own rule book, and show your friends and family who's boss on the court (or in this case, the pool).


Dodgeball is another great game to play, and just like Monkey In the Middle, the resistance the water adds can make it really interesting. Also, being able to go underwater gives you an extra way to dodge oncoming throws. Look out, though; a smart player may wait for the top of your head to show and then let you have it!


This one will require a basketball hoop as well. The game works just like it does on a court: wherever you make your basket from, the other players have to do the same. Fail to do so, and you get an H, then an O, and so on.


Think of copycat like Horse but with jumps and dives. If someone fails to follow the leader flawlessly, they get a C. Next time, they get an O. And on it goes until someone becomes the copycat.

Hold Your Breath

This is definitely one of the most basic swimming pool games out there, but kids especially seem to have fun with it. Simply have everyone try to hold their breath as long as they can underwater; whoever stays there the longest is the winner.

You may have to be careful and watch for younger players who may try to stay longer than they should; while it would be a freak thing to happen, they could theoretically pass out.

Captain's Orders

Captain's Orders is like Simon Says, except everyone has to close their eyes and three people speak the orders. However, only one of them is the captain.

If someone follows an order that doesn't come from the captain, they're out. This one's particularly fun because it allows the speakers to try to disguise their voices to trick the other players.


Oddly enough, they actually make floating poker tables to put in your pool. If you don't mind potentially ruining your cards and are willing to risk another player getting angry and flipping the thing, you might fork over the dough to give this one a try.

Diving Rings

This one's quite well known, but there are ways you can spice it up. Throw out some diving rings and see how many each diver is able to collect before coming up for air. The diver that gets the most rings without needing a breather wins.


There are a number of volleyball nets you can buy for your pool. Should you purchase one, you can put together a full-on volleyball game. Limited mobility and hindered jumping make this one both frustrating and exciting.

Aqua Golf

Probably the weirdest on our list of swimming pool games is aqua golf. It's actually possible to buy a miniature green to try to hit your ball onto from the side of the pool. Of course, there's no way to get another stroke in afterward, so you're basically out of luck should you fail to get a hole in one.

Popsicle Tag

This version of freeze tag has players putting their hands straight up when getting tagged; other players can only unfreeze them if they're underwater!


Chicken's best for older crowds. Have two teams, each of which using two players at a time. One sits on the other's shoulders and then they must combat the other team's players until one of them falls; it's an absolute riot.

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There's no better way to enjoy a nice summer day than taking a swim in the pool with your family and friends. If you make a regular thing of it, then they'll all love you if you come prepared with some new and exciting games to play. With these 17 swimming pool games, you're sure to make a big splash at your next pool party. So go do a cannonball and get ready to have some fun!

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