The perfect pool party doesn’t come together automatically! As any experienced parent or older child knows, a really great pool party is shaped by three things: the food, the pool toys, and the games everyone plays together.

Whether you’re planning a birthday party or just an excuse to go swimming with friends, here are 5 fantastic games for pool parties.

Marco Polo is the most well-known pool game in the world. In part, because it’s appeared on TV and movies so many times. You can play it with as little as two people with one blindfold. One person stands in the middle of the pool (or shallow end) wearing a blindfold while others are spread out around them in the water. Growing up it wasn’t uncommon for kids to have a pair of “blacked out” goggles specifically for Marco Polo to help keep anyone from being tempted to sneak a peek.

The blindfolded person in the center calls “Marco” and others must answer “Polo.” Marco finds the Polos by sound, while the Polos try to dodge away quietly.

Treasure Hunts are also a time-honored pool tradition called by many different names and played with many different props. The basic idea is the host throws a handful or bucket-full of items into the pool and everyone dives for them. This can be played with pool toys, diving sticks, pocket change, garden rocks, or fresh fruit. And it can also be played with floating items and nets to practice cleaning the pool, for savvy parenting or days when it’s not safe to swim.

Whirlpool is a fun game with only one version because it’s actually a neat physics trick. The key is to have 3 – 8 people walk and swim in a circle as fast as they can, creating an artificial whirlpool in the middle of your shallow end. Get the whirlpool swirling fast enough and you can actually float and spin in it for a few seconds each.

Jump quiz is another great one-off pool game any group of people can play and you only need two or more people to play it. The trick is to answer questions in mid-air.

To play jump quiz, have one person act as the quiz-master, possibly with cards or making up questions on the fly. You can also have a team take turns asking questions. Then, taking turns, each party-goer stands at the edge of the pool. They are asked a question and then immediately have to jump off the edge. Anyone who gets their answer out before hitting the water gets a point.

If you have hula hoops, then another great pool game suggests itself. Swimming through hoops is a great way to practice one’s swimming skills and compare relative agility. You can make the hoops stand up straight at various levels underwater using string and weighted toys. Then make your obstacle course and go!

Pool party games come in all shapes and sizes. Some require toys, some don’t. Some are great for little kids, some are more appealing to teenagers and kids at heart. But you never really grow out of the joy of splashing, sneaking, diving, and tagging each other at a pool party. If you know some fun pool games we haven’t listed, share them in the comments so everyone can play! Happy Swimming!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top