Fabulous pool party games and outdoor splashing fun for kids!

Beach Ball Balance Race

Each player will need one beach ball or you could play this pool game as teams with each team given a beach ball. All players will be in the water at one end of the pool. They are to balance their bodies on top of the beach ball by hugging the beach ball. On go ,they are to race to the other side of the pool and then back while in this position. They cannot loose their balance or unlock their arms. The first player back to the starting point is the winner.

This pool game takes great balance and leg strength and is wonderful exercise for a hot summer day. Make sure that all players know how to swim to play this pool party game. To be played as a team relay, the next player in line will be waiting in the water to take the beach ball once it touches the wall. All the other players will be outside of the pool in a line. The first team done is the winner.

Crocodile Crossing

This pool party will be the hit of your next pool party! The best swimmers are rewarded in this cool-off pool game of tag. All players but one huddle together. Each picks a type of fish (goldfish, beta fish, shark etc, younger kids may want to pick colors instead), then lines up along a wall of the pool. The remaining player, the crocodile, stands in the middle of the pool with her back to the others and begins to call out fish in quick succession. When players hear their fish, they begin to swim -- underwater or above, but as quietly as possible -- to the other side. If the croc hears or feels someone moving (no turning around to look), she tries to catch him before he reaches the safety of the other side. If he's caught, he becomes the next hungry crocodile.

Dolphin Relay

Divide into teams. The first player from each team will race down and back the length of the pool while pushing the ball with their noses and forehead. If they touch the ball with their hands or any other part of their body they must go back to where that took place and start again. The next player will do the same until one team is the winner. With good swimmers, this can be done by swimming in the deep end of the pool. For a pool party game with non swimmers, play in the shallow end.

Don’t Get Me Wet

Set up number of teams possibly by number of people willing to get wet. On each team, one person lays on ground while holding a 20-oz plastic pop bottle on their forehead. Teammates run to bucket to fill up their 4-oz cup then they attempt to pour it into teammates pop bottle while standing over head. Then the next teammate will do the same until 20-oz bottle is filled. Once the 20-oz bottle is filled, the bottle person should run to the finish line without spilling.

Egg Thief

Divide your guests into teams, preferably so that you end up with an odd number of teams. Prepare 10 water balloons for each team, and then set each team’s balloons in their designated “egg crate” (e.g. a cardboard box, within the bounds of a hula hoop, etc.). Give the teams 2 – 5 minutes to snatch as many balloon “eggs” as possible from the other teams. Each team member can only take one egg at a time, and any player who pops an egg is out of the game. Count each team’s eggs at the end of the time limit; the team with the most eggs wins the game. If two teams are tied, determine the winner based on which team ended the game with the most players.

Marco Polo

Its not a pool party without this classic pool party game!To play this classic pool game at your next pool party, choose one person to be Marco Polo. That player closes her eyes and counts to 10, while the rest of the players scatter in the pool. After the count, Marco swims around with her eyes closed trying to tag another player. To help discover where the other players are, Marco Polo calls out "Marco!" to which the other players must respond "Polo!" Once she tags another player, that player is Marco. Or, try this variation, get all of the players, instead of just Marco, to close their eyes so they never know who is calling Marco Polo. This has always been one of my girls favorite pool games.

Piranha Ball

The ball is "It" in this pool party game that keeps everyone off balance. Players hold hands and form a circle with a ball, the piranha, floating in the middle. Do not get bit by the piranha. When a player is bumped by the ball, she's out. Those remaining rejoin hands and play again. Blowing the ball or pulling another player toward the biting fish is fair game, but lowering arms or ducking underwater to let the ball out of the circle isn't.This pool party games can be played anytime when you have a bored group of kids.

One person is chosen to be the shark and the others are mermaids. The Shark starts on the side of the pool close to the middle (the ladder) while the mermaids start at one end of the pool. When the shark says go, the mermaids must try to make it across the pool and back. Meanwhile the shark jumps in and starts to try and tag the mermaids. If a mermaid is tagged they are frozen and it is up to another mermaid to unfreeze them. The mermaids win if they each make it across the pool and back and are all touching the end of the pool. The Shark wins if everyone is tagged and frozen.

Splash Jump Rope

For this pool party or water game,give each child a plastic or paper cup full of water. While two players twirl a large jump-rope, jumpers one by one are to attempt three consecutive jumps. They are to do this while holding onto their cup of water and trying to do let any water spill. The child that has the most water left is the winner of this pool party game. You can keep playing until only one person has water left in their cup.

Treasure Hunt

Kids love this pool party game!Toss coins into a pool and instruct the kids to dive in and collect as many as they can. The winner is the child who brings up the most "treasures" in one round. This party game also works in a kiddie pool . Use any object that sinks, such as rocks, shells, matchbox cars. Toss them into the kiddie pool and let the kids fish them out.

Ultimate Ball

Use a ball instead of a flying disk in this wet version of the fast-paced game. As in the flying disk game known as Ultimate, the goal here is to move an object across a playing field (in this case, a pool) to score a point. Players can't swim or run with the ball. The only way to advance it, is to throw the ball to a teammate within 10 seconds of catching it. If it's intercepted, falls into the water, or is held too long, the opposing team takes possession. A point is scored when the player with the ball touches the opposing team's end of the pool.

Water basketball

Water basketball is one of those pool party games that is great anytime. Throw any round thing into the pool, such as an inner tube or foam ring,floating basketball hoop, which will be the basket. Then try to sink a plastic ball or beach ball in the hoop. The fact that the "basket" keeps moving around makes this pool party game hoops of fun.

Water Balloon Toss

For this pool party game, you’ll need to pair off the boys. Have the members of each pair stand across from each other, forming 2 lines with 2’ – 3’ in between them. Give a water balloon to each player in one of the two rows. When you say, “Go!” the players on each team must begin tossing their water balloon back and forth to each other. Each time a player successfully catches a balloon, he must take a step backwards. The space between the two rows will grow with each toss, making it harder for the players to catch the balloons. When a player misses a toss and a team’s balloon breaks, that team is eliminated from the competition. The last team with an unbroken water balloon is declared the winner.


One player (usually the birthday boy) throws a water balloon into the air and calls out a point value (for example, “300!”). The other players must try to catch the balloon without breaking it. If one of the players successfully catches the balloon, award the number of called points to that player. If the balloon breaks, deduct the number of called points from the score of any player who touched the balloon. The first person to earn 500 points gets to switch places with the thrower. Play as many rounds as desired.

References for some Pool Party Games on this page: Fun-Attic, Inc., Family Fun, and games my kids play with their friends at the pool!

More Swimming Pool Games to Play

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