For these pool party games, you'll need a... pool. If you don't have one, you can try renting the community center's pool or taking the party to a nearby lake (if you're lucky enough to live near one.).
But don't worry. If there's no large body of water in your vicinity, you can opt to choose these excellent water games that don't require a pool ;-).
Word of caution: Before the kids jump in, there are several things to take in account when preparing pool party games. Safety is the most important thing to consider. Always maintain a high adult-to-child ratio, while not forgetting that the younger the kids are, the more adult supervisors you need. Try to minimize diving and jumping into the pool; simply keep the games in the water. And have everyone drinking like camels and using sun block.
Crossing the River
String two ropes the length of the pool and divide the group of kids into two teams. You will need two "rafts" (anything that the kids can float on, preferably keeping somewhat dry, but not that stable…). Then split each team in two and put each sub-group facing each other on opposite sides of the pool (standing next to the rope).
The first kid in line from each team must climb onto the raft, pull the raft to the other side using the rope, climb off and let one of the team members on the other side do the same. Continue with the others. The first team to finish OR the team with the least wet team members win.
Yes, you can even incorporate the classic Pinata into your pool party games. Make your own pinata full of little water gifts such as sunglasses, squirt guns, swimming goggles, etc. (Here are directions for making a pinata). Hang the pinata over the pool and have the kids hit it as they jump in.
Have all the kids line up behind the diving board. Be the judge yourself or assign someone to be the judge (the judge should be in the water so they can have a clear look of what is happening). The judge puts a small floatie (should be something fairly soft) about a foot away from the diving board, and each player has to jump over it. After everyone has had one turn, the judge moves the floatie out another foot. You're out if you touch the floatie while trying to jump over it. The furthest jumper wins.
This race is for youngsters that can swim the dog paddle (just like a dog). Line all the kids up on the edge of the pool and whistle when everyone is ready. The kids jump in and begin to dog paddle to the other side, get out, and bark three times. First one to finish wins.
For this pool party game, have all the kids stand at the edge of the deep end and choose someone to be "IT". IT then tries to make the players laugh, and each time they laugh IT gets to push them into the water. The last person who doesn't laugh can either be IT or choose someone else to be IT.
Divide the kids into two teams and have each team stand on a different side of the pool. Then go to the middle of the pool and toss in a bunch of treasures (it can be things that float and also things that sink). See which team can bring back the most.
In this game, the kids compete to see who can make the biggest splash. Divide the kids into two groups - one for the cannonballs and the other group as a team of judges. The cannonball group line up behind a diving board and have to make the biggest splash to get the highest vote. The judges are the voters and give each person a vote out of ten. (An adult is needed to decide what the majority of the judges want to give each person). Tip: don't forget to have your cameras ready!! This is an amazing opportunity to take a picture of each kid right when they are about to splash. You can send each kid their picture when sending out the thank-you cards.
Just put a rope across the pool and whichever team loses falls in like dominoes.
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Pool Party Games Contributed by Other Visitors
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Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 01
one person is "it" and the other people are on the other side of the pool. The person who is "it" shouts out a category (ex. fruit). Then they start saying …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 15
You put a couple of apples in the pool and then two people have to take the apples out of the pool with out any hands just there mouth!
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 14
Someone stands on one side of the pool facing backwords and the rest of the players go to the other side of the pool in the water. The people in the …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 13
"It" rides a sea horse (a noodle) and tries to tag the other people as they swim around like mermaids. The the last person in becomes "It" or chooses …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 12
This game is for little ones: place a bunch of identical duckies all around in the pool. On the bottom of one, or two, place a sticker (or color it with …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 11
Throw in a few apples in the pool, and each contestant can only use their teeth to grab an apple (while their hands are tied behind their back). The one …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 10
Pick one place in the pool to be the cave. Then have one or two people (depending on how many people is at the party) be the sharks and everyone …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 09
Two players both sit on a small raft. They each hold a noodle and try to get each other off the raft using only the noodle. The winner plays the next player. …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 08
First you figure out who is it. Then that person who is it stands in the center of the pool. The others playing go to one end of the pool. The person who …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 07
There are 2 teams. Each team is split in half (one half will be on a big floatable mat and the other half of the team will be in the water surrounding …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 06
Kids push rubber ducks (or floating balls) across the pool using only their noses. Another version is that they use their breath by blowing on the rubber …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 05
It really doesn't matter how many people you have, just more than 3. One person is the judge, he/she is in or out of the water (doesn't matter). Then the …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 04
This game is a lot of fun if you like bets! You will need at least 3 people. First you have to race to the end of the pool and back. The loser has to do …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 03
I just wanted to say I had no idea what to do for my party until I came to this web site so thanks soooo much. This really helped. You have nooo idea!! …
Coolest Pool Party Games - Collection 02
Divide into two teams. You have to move a large water-filled balloon (almost ready to burst) through a course with obstacles, like around pylons, under …