Are you ready to dive into the season of sun-drenched poolside adventures as the temperatures soar and the school days fade away? Whether you have access to a private backyard pool, the pool of club membership, or are hosting a pool party for a big group, fret not – we’ve got you covered with the best ideas on the 35 Best Pool Activities for Kids in 2023.

Say goodbye to boredom and hello to a plethora of fun and excitement! With these fantastic pool activities, you can effortlessly turn any normal swimming session into a swimming day filled with unforgettable memories. From exciting pool games to creative and imaginative crafting activities, we’ve got something for every age group and preference.

So, gear up for a summer like never before, where laughter, joy, and the refreshing water combine to create lasting memories for your kids.

1. Secret Messages

Pool Version

This game is inclusive and perfect for players of all swimming abilities. It’s a fantastic option even if you have a non-swimmer or someone who prefers to stay near the stairs. They can join in on the fun too! First, pick one person to deliver the message (usually just a word or two) and another person to be the guesser. Both players go underwater simultaneously. The messenger then speaks the word loudly while submerged. Once back above water, the guesser tries to guess the word that was said. To add an extra layer of fun, you can opt for a specific theme, such as animals or fruits, which can make guessing the word a bit easier and more enjoyable.

2. Marco Polo

Marco Polo

In this timeless and beloved game, one participant becomes the “Marco” and closes their eyes, while the remaining players, known as the “Polos,” disperse throughout the pool. The designated Marco confidently calls out “Marco,” prompting an enthusiastic chorus of “Polo” from the others. Guided solely by their acute sense of hearing, Marco embarks on a thrilling quest to tag some team player in a Polo. Once successful, the tagged Polo assumes the role of Marco, ready to embrace the challenge and excitement of the game. It’s a continuous cycle of fun and laughter that keeps everyone engaged and entertained in the water-filled playground.

3. Obstacle Course: Pool Version

Pool Version

This versatile pool game is an ideal choice for players of all ages since you have the freedom to tailor the obstacle course according to everyone’s abilities. Whether you’re playing with kids or adults, you can easily adjust the course’s complexity to suit the participants. The beauty of this game lies in its flexibility, so don’t hesitate to incorporate pool floats, pool noodles, hula hoops, or any other props to make the experience even more enjoyable. With endless possibilities for creativity, this pool game promises hours of laughter and excitement for everyone involved.

4. Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader

The joy of playing “Follow the Leader” is universally cherished, especially when it’s your turn to take charge! A timeless favorite, this game is an absolute hit for poolside enjoyment. Much like the obstacle course game mentioned above, this variation involves the leader performing a sequence of actions without verbal instructions. Players then mimic the leader’s moves in the exact order. And don’t forget to let the kids take charge and create their own courses for you to navigate.

5. Pool Noodle Races

Pool Noodle Races .jpg

Get ready for a thrilling race with a fun twist! Picture this: every player uses a pool noodle and transforms it into their very own racehorse. The excitement begins as they kick their legs in the water, moving themselves from one edge of the pool to the other. The goal is simple – be the first to reach the finish line and claim victory! This exciting pool activity is particularly beloved by little kids as they giggle and cheer their way to the end. So, gather your pool noodles and get set for an unforgettable race that will make a splash with joy and laughter!

6. Water Volleyball

Water Volleyball

Bring the excitement of the court to the pool with this fantastic game! Create a net right in the pool, dividing the players into two teams. The aim is to keep the beach ball in the air, volleying it back and forth over the net without allowing it to touch the water. Each time a team fails to return the ball, they lose a point. This thrilling pool volleyball game is not only a blast but also a perfect way to get everyone at the pool engaged and having a great time. So, rally your friends and family for some water-based competition and make a splash with the joy of this exciting pool game!

7. Water Basketball

Water Basketball

For a splash of basketball excitement, dive into the world of pool basketball! All you need is a floating basketball hoop in the pool or a stationary one positioned on one or both sides of the pool. Players go head-to-head, aiming to sink the ball into the hoop. The ultimate goal is to score the most successful shots within a set time frame. Whether you’re shooting solo or in teams, this game guarantees fun and competition. Get ready to show off your shooting skills and make a big splash as you compete for victory.

8. Underwater Treasure Hunt

Underwater Treasure Hunt

Get ready for an exciting underwater treasure hunt game that will have you diving into a world of fun! Gather a collection of waterproof objects like coins, toys, or colorful stones and toss them into the pool. Players then search them beneath the surface, searching the pool’s bottom to retrieve as many treasures as possible within the allotted time. It’s a race against time and fellow treasure seekers. Once the time is up, the player with the most treasures becomes the victorious treasure hunter. So, put on your goggles, take a deep breath, and get ready to embark on an aquatic adventure.

9. Mermaids

Mermaids .jpeg

To play, start by creating a captivating scenario like, “Let’s pretend we’re mermaids on a quest to save the treasure chest from a sinking ship in the depths of the ocean.” The beauty of the game lies in how you run with your imagination. The only rule is to swim with your feet together, just like a real mermaid. Of course, if you do have a mermaid tail, that’s fantastic- feel free to use it! But, even without one, vivid imaginations are all you need to immerse yourself in this underwater adventure.

10. Water Balloon Toss

Water Balloon Toss

Water balloons never fail to bring joy. In this engaging activity, players team up in pairs and skillfully pass a water balloon between them. With each skillful catch, they gracefully take a step backward, gradually expanding the challenge. The ultimate champions are the resilient pair left holding an unburst water balloon at the end. And if you’re eager for additional watery amusement, you’re in luck – there’s a whole array of exciting water balloon games awaiting your discovery!

11. Dance Poolside Party

Dance Poolside Party

Get ready to groove and make a splash with a poolside dance party! Set up a Bluetooth portable speaker or music system near the pool, pumping out lively and upbeat tunes that perfectly match the atmosphere. Play some kids’ dance songs for maximum fun! Motivate everyone to let loose and dance to their heart’s content, whether in or around the pool. Create a vibrant and energetic ambiance by hosting dance challenges, games, and group dances that will have everyone laughing and moving to the beat.

12. Cannonball Splash Contest

Cannonball Splash Contest

Be ready for a splash-tastic competition! Dive into the excitement as each participant takes a turn showcasing their ultimate cannonball jumps into the pool, all in pursuit of making a splash. A panel of judges can award scores to these impressive splashes on the basis of factors like height, spread, and the awe-inspiring impact they create. It’s a thrilling contest that combines the art of cannonball with a splash of friendly competition, promising tons of laughter, cheers, and unforgettable aquatic feats!

13. Swim Relay Races

Children (6-13) swimming underwater in pool, smiling

Are you ready for a thrilling team competition in the pool? Well, participants will be divided into teams, and exciting relay races will be organized. Each team member will swim a specific distance before tagging the next teammate to take over. The objective is to work together seamlessly and complete the relay race in the shortest time possible. Teamwork, speed, and strategy will be key to securing victory in this action-packed water relay event. So, grab your goggles and get ready to race your way to the top in this exciting pool relay challenge!

14. Freestyle Swimming Race

Freestyle Swimming Race .jpg

Dive into the excitement with a classic freestyle swimming race! Participants will showcase their swimming skills as they compete to cover a specific distance in the pool. Each swimmer’s time will be carefully measured, and the one with the fastest time will be the winner of this thrilling race. It’s a test of speed, skill, and determination as participants strive to compete with each other and claim the title. So, get ready to make a splash with this traditional freestyle race!

15. Collecting The Floating Objects

Collecting The Floating Objects

Get ready for a poolside challenge that’s both fun and competitive! Scatter an assortment of floating items, like rings or foam toys, into the center of the pool. Players will then go head-to-head, aiming to retrieve the objects in record time. The one who collects the highest number of items within the set time frame will be the winner of this contest. So, grab your swimsuits and prepare for an entertaining race to gather floating treasures in the pool- may the fastest swimmer win!

16. Handstand Contest

Handstand Contest

Children of all ages will delight in the excitement of a handstand contest. Each participant will showcase their underwater skills, competing to see who can hold a handstand position the longest while being underwater in the pool. Judges or viewers can keenly observe and assess the competitors based on their balance, form, and how long they maintain the handstand. It’s a mesmerizing display of underwater skills that will leave everyone in awe. So, gather your little gymnasts and let the handstand games begin – who will emerge as the ultimate underwater champion? Let’s find out!

17. Human Raft

Human Raft .png

A minimum of four participants is required for the execution of this activity. Here’s how it works: One individual assumes the role of holding the feet of the “raft.” Another person provides support by gripping the “raft” beneath both armpits. The third participant becomes the “raft” itself, lying on their back while being upheld by the first two individuals. The fourth member takes on the role of the passenger, typically the smallest person among them. The passenger comfortably positions themselves on the abdominal area of the “raft.” Once all limbs are properly positioned, the two individuals supporting the “raft” move in a synchronized fashion, effectively transporting the passenger across the pool.

18. Synchronized Swimming

Synchronized Swimming

In this fun and engaging kids’ game, young participants team up to create and perform synchronized swimming routines. With the help of a waterproof portable speaker playing their chosen music, the children jump, dance, swim, and twirl together in a grand finale move. It’s a delightful activity that encourages teamwork, creativity, and water skills, making it a perfect addition to any poolside playtime or party. They also learn to develop their social and team bonding skills as they play together with their peers.

19. Diving Game

Diving Game

Indulge into a world of fun with this kid-friendly swimming pool game! Perfect for young adventurers, the game revolves around safe and supervised diving in a suitable pool. Start by teaching basic diving techniques, and then let the excitement unfold. After some practice, add a playful twist by becoming judges, rating each dive’s splash and style. Whether it’s a group affair or a solo act, this game guarantees smiles, laughter, and a splashingly good time for all.

20. Swim Float Race


Get ready for an exciting Swim Float Race, a delightful game for kids in the swimming pool! The participants will showcase their swimming skills by covering a certain distance in the water. Upon reaching a specific point, they will float on their backs for a set duration, adding an element of fun and relaxation to the race. Once the time is up, they’ll dive back into action, swimming the remaining distance with enthusiasm. The first one to complete the entire course emerges as the champion of this thrilling aquatic challenge.

21. Chicken Fight

Chicken Fight

A classic and beloved pool game, Chicken Fight, brings fun and laughter as two teams of two participants each enter a playful battle atop their partners’ shoulders in the shallow end of the pool. To organize a thrilling Chicken Fight, follow these simple steps. When there’s a mix of ages among the participants, designate the older kids as the sturdy “bases” and let the younger ones ride upon their shoulders. This ensures a fair and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. It’s a fantastic addition to any pool party, fostering teamwork and creating cherished memories for all the enthusiastic players.

22. Pool Tag Game

Pool Tag Game

In the pool, a game of tag combines swimming and tagging. Choose one player to be the person who tries to tag the others. They get the dine to start swimming and tag others, who must swim and move around to avoid being chosen. They can use various techniques, choose to dive underwater or use obstacles in the pool. A simple touch on the shoulder or body counts as a successful tag. The tagged player becomes the new person who gets the dining, and the game continues with the new person trying to tag the others.

23. Duck Duck Splash

Duck Duck Splash

This game is ideal for a kid’s pool on a scorching summer day. Seated in a circle within the kiddie pool, players take turns strolling around, gently tapping heads, and uttering “duck.” However, here’s the twist: the tapper replaces “goose” with “splash,” playfully pouring water over the chosen player’s head. The splashed player joyfully pursues the tapper around the circle, aiming to tag them before they occupy the vacant spot. This delightful activity promises a fantastic time, particularly for the little ones!

24. Hula Hoop Relay Race

Children (6-13) swimming underwater in pool, smiling

Gather the participants into teams, each with a designated hula hoop positioned at one end of the pool. As soon as the signal is given, the first player from each team dives in, skillfully swimming through the hula hoop, and promptly returns to tag the next teammate in line. This exciting relay continues until every player on each team has completed their turn. The ultimate winner title goes to the team that efficiently completes the relay, reaching the finish line first. It’s an exciting and competitive water activity that encourages teamwork and determination, making it an excellent addition to any pool party or summer gathering.

25. Hula Hoop Target Toss Game

Hula Hoop Target Toss Game

Arrange floating objects like pool noodles or rings as targets within the pool. In a turn-based manner, participants aim to land hula hoops around these targets. Assign varying point values to each target, reflecting their level of difficulty. After a predetermined number of rounds or throws, tally up the scores, and the player with the highest total score emerges as the winner. This entertaining pool game combines skill and precision, offering a delightful challenge for all participants. It’s an ideal addition to any poolside gathering, encouraging friendly competition and tons of fun in the water.

26. Mr. Shark

Mr. Shark

This pool game draws inspiration from the classic land game known as “Mr. Fox.” To start, one child assumes the role of “Mr. Shark,” positioned at one end of the pool, while the remaining kids stand at the opposite side. The group collectively calls out, “What time is it, Mr. Shark?” Mr. Shark responds by selecting a time, and the other kids proceed forward by a corresponding number of steps. For example, one o’clock signifies one step. At any point, Mr. Shark can surprise the group by shouting, “Playtime!” The other kids must rapidly return to the starting end of the pool while Mr. Shark attempts to tag someone. The tagged child then becomes the new Mr. Shark, continuing the exciting cycle of the game.

27. Tug Of War

Tug Of War

Try a splashy version of Tug of War, the ultimate kids’ swimming pool game! Divide the participants into two teams, and place a floating rope or pool noodle in the water. Each team grabs one end of the rope, and on the signal, the teams pull with all their strength, trying to tug the rope towards their side. The team that successfully pulls the rope over to their side wins the game. It’s a fantastic way to build teamwork, strength, and friendly competition in the pool, ensuring a day filled with laughter and water-filled fun for all the young swimmers.

28. Water Polo

Water Polo

To start a thrilling game of Water Polo, divide players into two teams and place goalposts at each end of the pool. Two swimmers, one from each team, position themselves at the center of the pool. When the whistle blows, they rush to get possession of the ball. Passing is key as players move the ball amongst teammates by throwing or swimming with it. The ultimate objective is to score by launching the ball into the opposing team’s goalpost. While holding the ball, players must refrain from touching the pool floor, except for the designated goalkeeper, who can stand in their designated area.

29. Poolside Chalk Art

Poolside Chalk Art .jpeg

Empower the kids with an array of lively chalks, and unleash their artistic talents on the pool deck. Encourage them to unleash their creativity by crafting vivid underwater scenes, captivating aquatic creatures, or any other imaginative wonders. The pool deck becomes their canvas, offering a unique opportunity to blend the joy of swimming with the fun of artistic expression. Let their imagination come to life in a burst of colors as they splash and create, forming a delightful masterpiece by the water’s edge.

30. Pool Boat Floating Race

 Pool Boat Floating Race

Players get creative as they design and construct their own mini boats using a range of materials like foam, leaves, or recycled items. Once the boats are ready, they are gently placed in the pool’s water. Players begin to blow on their boats with their breath, trying to move them forward in a thrilling race to the other side of the pool. The first boat to conquer the distance becomes the winner, creating an atmosphere of excitement and friendly competition. This imaginative and interactive activity introduces a playful twist to pool time, promising endless laughter and joy for all involved.

31. Dive-In Movie Time

Dive-In Movie Time

Dive into a delightful movie experience by the pool! Set up a movie night with an outdoor projector and screen near the water. Kids can enjoy their favorite films while floating on pool noodles or lounging on comfy pool floats. Treat them to popcorn and snacks, creating a unique and exciting movie time right by the poolside. It’s a fantastic way to combine swimming fun with the magic of movies, offering a memorable and enchanting evening for all the young movie buffs.

32. Poolside Photo Booth

Poolside Photo Booth .jpg

Elevate the poolside fun with a captivating photo booth designed just for kids! Set up a colorful and themed backdrop near the pool area, adorned with playful props and accessories like funky sunglasses, inflatable toys, and tropical hats. Kids can strike their most creative poses, capturing memorable moments against the backdrop of sun and water. Provide a camera or smartphone with a timer for easy snapshots. This poolside photo booth promises endless laughter and cherished memories, making it an ideal addition to any pool party or sunny day by the water.

33. Frisbee Pool Game for Kids

Frisbee Pool Game for Kids

Grab a soft, water-friendly frisbee and gather the young players for this exciting game. One player tosses the frisbee into the pool, and the others take turns trying to catch it. To make it more exciting, players can only catch the frisbee while they’re in the water. Whoever catches the frisbee gets a chance to throw it next. It’s a fantastic way to combine frisbee fun with pool play, ensuring laughter, friendly competition, and a refreshing aquatic experience for all the enthusiastic participants.

34. Pool Tennis

Pool Tennis

Elevate poolside play with a thrilling game of pool tennis, perfect for kids! Set up a net across the pool’s width, creating a miniature tennis court. Players use soft, water-resistant balls and paddles to volley the ball back and forth over the net. The objective is to keep the ball in play and prevent it from landing in the water. Make it even more exciting by setting up teams or arranging a friendly tournament. This game combines the joy of tennis with the refreshing pool environment, offering endless entertainment and active fun for kids to enjoy a day by the water.

35. GoPro Camera Kids Photo Shoot

GoPro Camera Kids Photo Shoot

Create an unforgettable underwater photo shoot for kids using a GoPro camera! Equip the young adventurers with underwater-friendly GoPro cameras and let them dive into the pool to capture fascinating underwater moments. Encourage them to explore and play around, striking their best underwater poses while the camera captures all the magic beneath the surface. This exciting activity allows kids to unleash their creativity, resulting in a collection of amazing and unique underwater snapshots.

36. Dolphin Race

Child in swimming pool. Kid on inflatable float

To play, gather your friends by the pool’s edge. Ready, set, go! When someone shouts, ‘Race like dolphins!’ everyone dips into the water and starts swimming using their best dolphin moves. Stretch out your arms in front, kick your legs just like a dolphin’s tail, and see who can glide across the pool like the fastest, happiest dolphin. It’s a game of laughter and speed as you playfully race against each other, giggling all the way. Remember, the real dolphins might be cheering for you from the deep blue sea as you splash and race!

37. Floating Tic-Tac-Toe

Floating Tic-Tac-Toe

This game takes the classic pencil-and-paper game and gives it a super cool poolside twist. Here’s how it goes: First, you’ll need some big floating X and O shapes, the kind that floats happily on the water. Lay out your tic-tac-toe grid right on the pool’s surface using these floating friends. Now, choose who’s going to be X and who’s going to be O. Once you’re all set, it’s time to start the game. Take turns calling out your moves, and gently place your floating piece in the square of your choice. This game guarantees a splashing good time while the kids beat the heat!

38. Floating Alphabet Game

Floating Alphabet Game

It’s like a treasure hunt in the pool, but instead of gold, you’re searching for letters to spell out words. Grab a bunch of colorful foam letters and toss them into the pool. These float on the water’s surface, making it a cool challenge. Now, gather a group of kids ready for an adventure. One by one, they take turns diving in to search for those letters and bring them back. As the letters are collected, the excitement builds. Because the ultimate goal is to spell out words! The kids can work together to make words, or they can compete to see who can create the best word. It’s a fantastic way to boost language skills while having a blast. It’s a watery wordplay wonderland that guarantees fun and learning all in one.

Summing It Up

All in all, these 35 best pool games and activities for kids in 2023 promise to make this summer a splashing success! From classic favorites like Marco Polo and pool noodle races to creative underwater photo shoots with GoPro cameras, there’s something for every little water enthusiast. Encourage friendly competition with water polo, frisbee games, and exciting relay races.

Enjoy a dive-in movie night by the poolside, creating unforgettable memories. Whether your kids love imaginative play, teamwork, or simply splashing around, these pool games offer endless entertainment and joy for the whole family.

So, grab your sunscreen, towels, and swimsuits, and get ready for an unforgettable season of poolside adventures and laughter!

Angela Johnson

Angela Johnson, is a child entertainment and activities coordinator with a decade of experience creating educational activities for children. Angela has worked extensively in various settings, including schools, community centers, and private events. Her approach towards children's entertainment is informed by her extensive research in child psychology and her previous role as a primary school teacher. Her passion for work is paralleled by her love for storytelling and writing children's books, alongside activities that inspire her creativity to connect deeper with the young audience.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Dear admin, Thanks for the well-presented post!

Write A Comment