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Pool Party Games for Kids

Pool party games for kids should be fun, non-competitive and easy to follow. While a swimming pool isn't really required to play these classic choices, when put into context with water, they create fun no kid can resist.

Scavenger Hunt
Looking for hidden treasures is a popular activity for any children's party. To make it work for a swimming pool party, divide kids into two teams.

How to Play: Each team stands on different sides of the pool, while an adult tosses a bunch of small treasures (think pool rings, sticks and other toys) into the pool. After all of the items that float have sunk to the bottom of the pool, let the teams dive in and see which one can gather the most loot.

Adapt This Game: Here are a few ways to up the ante with this pool party game.

1. Have the kids face their backs to the pool as you drop objects in. Then, once all the loot has sunk to the bottom of the pool, call start and they can all turn around and dive.

2. Limit dives to one breath - whatever you can get in one air intake is it!

3. Take it turns and time dives. If your party is smaller have each of the kids look for the loot in turn. Whoever gets their loot fastest, wins! For older kids, consider having a rule where they have to keep their eyes closed and search. Remeber to do this only if the kids are searching in turn - you don't want anyone bumping heads under water!

Simon Says

For this classic childhood game, the rules are the same in or out of the pool. Playing in the swimming pool just gives you a lot more things to ask players to do.

For example, "Simon says jump off the diving board or swim laps or float on your back." Its a good idea for an adult to play the role of Simon so all the kids can participate in the game.

Marco Polo

Pool parties and Marco Polo go together like kids and candy. That means, it's absolutely mandatory to play this pool party game!

If you are Marco, swim around the pool with your eyes closed while calling out, "Marco." When the other players respond, "Polo," follow their voices to find someone to tag. When someone is tagged, he or she becomes Marco and the game starts over.

We like to switch up the "Marco Polo" calling - for instance, one person yells "Spongebob" and the others "Squarepants".


Have all the kids line up on one side of the pool, and pick one to be "it". The person who's "it" then has to choose a category, for instance, Disney movies.

After a category is chosen, the person who is it counts to 10 under water. While he or she is under the water and unable to hear, the kids lined up against the wall have to choose an option within the category, for example - The Little Mermaid or Toy Story.

Once the person who is it resurfaces, he or she calls out options within the chosen category, in this case, Disney movies.

If the person who's it calls out a name that's been chosen by one of the swimmers, he or she races that swimmer to the other side of the pool. If the person who's it beats the other swimmer, that swimmer becomes "it". But, if not, the person who is it returns to the other side of the pool to guess other names.

*If all swimmers beat the person who is it, that person chooses the next player to be it after he or she has raced each swimmer.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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