Swimming Pool Games for the Whole Family

Summer is nearly upon us and swim season will be in full swing before you know it. Jumping in the water to play swimming pool games is a great way to spend your days with family, but sometimes even the most water-loving among us can start to get bored.

Well, we’re not going to let that happen. We’ve scoured the web (and our own backyards) for ideas to keep you and yours having fun all season long!

We’ve organized these games into 3 categories: Games you can play right now for FREE, games you can play with stuff you already have around the house, and super-fun pool games you can buy. Some of the swimming pool games are more fun with a larger group, but we’ve made sure to include plenty of games for smaller households, too.

Let’s start with swimming pool games that require no extra planning, so you can jump right in and start playing:

Classic swimming pool games you can play right now

Games to play in the swimming pool

Freeze Tag

One person is “it” and everyone else tries to avoid being touched by the “it” guy or gal. Whoever does get touched has to freeze in place until another player tags them to unfreeze them. If you want to make it more challenging, make it so the frozen player can’t unfreeze until someone tags them on the foot or swims between their legs (that variation is called Popsicle Freeze Tag).

Marco Polo

The same as freeze tag above, except the “it” player has to keep their eyes closed, and each tagged player is out. The “it” player calls “Marco!” and the players all respond “Polo!” (This gives the “it” player a fair chance at finding their targets.)

Sharks and Minnows

Best played with a larger group, one player (the shark) has to tag all the other players (the minnows) before they touch the opposite wall of the pool. Get more details at How Stuff Works.

Water Relay Races

This one’s for team-sport-lovers. Best with at least 4 people, swimmers one and two start at the far end of the pool, swim to the opposite end to tag their relays who jump in and repeat the process. The first relay racer to make it back to start wins!

If you have more than four racers, simply keep the hand-off going until the last pair swims. The first team to get all their swimmers across the pool is the winner.

Swimming pool games you can play with stuff you already have around the house (some assembly required)

Squirt Gun Races

Squirt Gun Races

The squirt gun race is a brilliant game by This Grandma is Fun that can be as large or as small as you want it to be. You can play this one anywhere in the yard—so it’s great for non-pool owners, too—but it’s most fun when you use the WHOLE yard, including the pool (heck, you can even use your neighbor’s yard, if they’re up for it).

What you’ll need:

Red Solo Cups (quantity depends on the size of your course)

Heavy string (braided cord works nicely)

Squirt gun (at least one, but two or more is better)

Someone handy and creative (for setup)

The object of this game is to use your squirt gun to move the Solo Cups across the pool or around an obstacle course faster than your opponent does. If you only have one gun but still want to play, you can simply count the number of squirts it takes each player to get their cup from one point to another. The player with the fewest squirts wins.

This game takes a fair amount of setup, so rather than try to explain the details, we’ll simply point you to the fun grandmas’ website where you’ll learn this and SO many more fun things to do while you’re home with your family: https://www.thisgrandmaisfun.com/squirt-gun-races/.

The Lost Bottle

This one’s easy: instead of throwing away your next bottle of water, fill it with pool water and toss it in. Tell the kids we said good luck finding it again!

Frisbee Flip

Did you ever play card flip when you were a kid? No, probably not, but you may have seen your grandpa play a hand or two. The object of this game is similar. Simply place a plastic laundry basket outside the pool, then see who can fling the frisbee into the basket from inside the water (it’s harder than it sounds). You’ll want to station someone outside the pool to retrieve the many, many tosses you miss.

If you’re feeling a little more energetic, you can set up baskets on either end of the pool and try to block each other, basketball style.

Wet T-Shirt Relay

Best played with at least four people, this one’s just like the relay race, but with a sopping wet t-shirt. Swimmers one and two start at the far end of the pool, each with a wet t-shirt in hand. When it’s time to “go,” the players race to put on their cold, wet shirts, jump in the pool, swim to the far end and get out. They quickly remove the shirts, handing them off to their relays who put on the shirts and repeat the process. The first relay racer to make it back to start and successfully get their wet shirt off wins!

If you have more than four racers, simply keep the hand-off going until the last pair swims. The first team to get all their swimmers across the pool is the winner.

Swimming pool games you can play with stuff you need to buy

Kickboards make fiberglass pools even more fun!

Kickboard Hunt (and other fun math games you can play in the pool)

Here’s a brilliant game by the minds at ToddlerApproved.com. This one requires a kickboard or two, plus a set of spongy numbers or letters.

Simply sprinkle the letters or numbers around the water, then turn your little swimmers loose to kickboard around the pool, collecting the characters in numerical or alphabetical order. No cheating! The characters must be collected in sequence (otherwise, where’s the fun?)

Be sure to visit toddlerapproved.com for a whole series of math games your little ones can play in the pool.


Remember tossing pennies into little fishbowls at the fair, hoping to bring home your very own pet goldfish? Well, this game is like that…and just about as hard!

What you’ll need:

Several frisbees (you decide how many)

Vinyl house numbers (waterproof)

Round dish sponges (at least one for each player)

Use your vinyl house numbers to mark the underside of each frisbee, then toss them underside-up in the pool. Each number represents a point value, and the goal is to toss your dish sponge into each frisbee, earning the point value indicated inside. Jump in to retrieve your sponge, then toss again for more points. The player with the highest number of points when they get tired, or the first player to reach a predetermined point value, wins.

The great thing about this game is that your kids will sleep like hibernating bears all night!

If you’d like to make a sponge ball of your own, Everydaydishes.com can show you how.

Pool Noodle Races

Grab your pool noodle and mount it like a horse. Can you ride it all the way across the pool? Better yet, can you get to the other side before your friends do?

Ring Toss

Tired of racing your noodle? We get it, it’s a lot of work! Time to grab the duct tape and turn your pool noodle into a pool hoop. Grab an extra noodle, cut it in half and stake it in the ground with some plastic ground stakes*. You’ve just made a ring toss game!

*Note: the size of the stakes depends on the inside diameter of your pool noodle.

So there you have it: a short list of pool games you can play with your family in your very own fiberglass swimming pool.

If you’re ready to buy a pool of your own, be sure to visit us online to see the newest innovations for your backyard, like the world’s first fiberglass beach entry pool (Patent US 10,358,837 and 10,472,839), and Cortona, the world’s first sunken living area for fiberglass pools (it comes in styles to fit every personality).



About Thursday Pools

Thursday Pools designs and manufactures fiberglass pool shells that are handcrafted with high standards and craftsmanship. Our one-piece, inground fiberglass swimming pool manufacturing facility is based out of Fortville, Indiana. At Thursday Pools, we aspire to be the world’s most respected fiberglass pool manufacturer. Our innovations, commitment to quality and beautiful designs set us apart. Thursday Pools is the creator of the beach entry (or zero entry) fiberglass pool (Patent US 10,358,837 and 10,472,839), as well as the fiberglass sunken living room pool. Get inspired about a backyard swimming pool oasis of your own and get a free estimate on the fiberglass pool of your dreams today. Making that dream a reality is easier than you might think. Thursday Pools: your weekend starts early with us!