10 Fun Swimming Pool Games And Activities For Kids And Adults

During the warm summer days, one of the most satisfying things to do is splashing around in the swimming pool. It’s a beloved pastime loved by all ages, but eventually, even the most water-loving kids could get bored of the same thing. This is why we have checked out the most fun games and activities to boost your children’s swimming experience. Whether you have a built-in pool, one that stands above the ground, or even a kiddie pool, these ideas are sure to make their summer that much more memorable. 

A swimming pool is a nice way to keep cool during summer and there are games that kids and adults can both enjoy at pool parties. Here are 10 of the most fun swimming pool games and activities to try the next time you have a braai or pool party; they are guaranteed to be enjoyed by everyone in and around the pool. 

  1. Volleyball or Basketball
  2. Obstacle Course
  3. Floatie Race
  4. Synchronised Swimming
  5. Timed Dives
  6. Pool Noodle Surfing
  7. Catch
  8. Airball
  9. Atomic Whirlpool
  10. Chicken Flight

1. Volleyball Or Basketball

Pool basketball

All you need for either of these two games is a pool volleyball or basketball, and then a volleyball net or basketball hoop that can be added to your swimming pool. Played one-on-one or in teams, these types of games become more fun when they are played in the pool. The best part is that your games can be a mix of strategy and plain old fun. Divide into teams and keep score, or simply just enjoy hitting the ball amongst each other and shooting hoops. It’s best to use a ball and net or hoops that are designed for use in the swimming pool. 

2. Obstacle Course

Pool obstacle course game

This swimming pool game can be an exciting game for all ages, depending on the various obstacles you can add to your swimming pool. You can simply customise the obstacle course to meet the players’ capabilities. You can make the course as tough or simple as you like, depending on the players’ age. Add in pool floats, pool noodles, hula hoops, and any other props you can add to the pool. 

To play, all you have to do is think of how the course should be built. For example, sliding down the slide, then swimming across the pool to touch the other side, then floating on your back for 10 seconds, and finally, doing an underwater handstand. Another idea is to climb up the ladder or steps of the pool, do a cannonball into the deep end and swim backstroke to the shallow end, followed by a jump through a hula hoop in the pool 3 times. 

These are just some ideas of what you can add to your obstacle course. Of course, you can make this as fun and challenging as you’d like, especially if you have more pool floats and obstacles to add. 

3. Floatie Race

Pool floatie race

If you have pool floats or rafts, equip one per player and make sure they are big enough to sit on. Tell the players to get on their floaties and line up at one side of the pool. You can pick anyone to be the “referee”.

The referee shouts “Go!” Then the players have to all race to the other end of the swimming pool. Whoever falls off their floaties is disqualified, and the first player to the other end wins. 

This game works best in a longer pool, and can even be played as a relay race with two teams against each other. 

4. Synchronised Swimming

Synchronised swimming

Kids love to make up routines, practice and perform for their parents. For those little ones who love to perform, this one is perfect. Synchronised swimming can be fun for older kids too. 

To play, everyone has to work together to create and learn a swimming routine. Music can also be added to the routine; you may want to invest in a waterproof portable speaker for the outdoors. Play your kids’ favourite songs while in the pool or simply when spending time outside. Let the kids pick the song, and make up their routine which includes jumping, twirling, swimming, flipping and handstands. 

5. Timed Dives 

Diving game

For pools with a deeper end, your kids can become ‘professional divers’ to gather up diving toys dropped into the bottom. To make it more fun, throw all the dive toys you have into the swimming pool and wait for them to reach the bottom of the pool. Then time how long it takes for your kids to collect them all. If they’re competitive, they will want to beat each other’s times, or they may throw all of the toys into the deep end and work as a team to dive down and collect everything. 

6. Pool Noodle Surfing

Pool noodle games

This game sounds simple, but when you try to stand on a pool noodle and it wants to spring out from underneath you, it makes for quite a fun challenge. 

All you need are pool noodles to play this game. The aim is to try to stand on the pool noodle without falling off. Generally, you’ll try to stand on the noodle using both feet, but if your kids want to try something more challenging, they could try to remain standing on one foot. Whoever can stay standing on the noodle the longest, wins. 

7. Catch

Pool catch

There is something super fun about jumping into the pool while trying to catch something. This game can be fun for pool parties to be played by kids and adults of all ages. All you need is a ball or something that can easily be thrown from across the pool, with enough room for everyone to jump in. One player will throw and the others will take turns catching. The thrower will toss the ball from the other side of the pool, and whoever is catching will have to jump into the pool, but trying to catch the ball before plunging into the water. You can even make the game more interesting by having the catcher do a trick before catching the object. 

8. Airball


This game can be a lot of fun for a large group or a family to play together. Use an inflatable beach ball to keep in the air, without it leaving the pool. You can pass the ball to one another in a circle, you just have to keep it from touching the water. Everyone can count out loud every time the ball is hit. And when the ball touches the water, the round is finished and you can start again. Try to beat your score from the last game. 

9. Atomic Whirlpool

Atomic whirlpool game

This is an exciting way to create a whirlpool in the pool and fight against the current. This can also be done in smaller-sized pools, or just the shallow end of the pool. 

To create a whirlpool, everyone starts in a large circle. Then start walking slowly in the same direction. Begin moving faster and faster until everyone is pretty much running in the water. Keep running until a whirlpool is formed. Your kids will start to notice that their feet are being lifted from the pool floor and they’re being propelled forwards. Once the water turns into a full current, everyone should turn around and try to move in the opposite direction of the whirlpool for a real challenge. 

10. Chicken Fight

Chicken flight

For this game, it’s a good idea to set some ground rules before kicking it off to ensure that no one gets accidentally hurt. Divide into two teams of 2 players. While one person stands in the water, the other sits on that person’s shoulders. The standing player should be able to stand with their head and shoulders above the water. Then the two top players wrestle one another off their teammate’s shoulders, and whoever doesn’t fall into the pool first is the winner. 


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We hope these ideas have inspired you to get in the pool with your kids to enjoy the entertainment they have to offer. The swimming pool is the perfect excuse to create lifelong summer memories with your kids. For smaller children, you should make sure that you follow these swimming pool safety tips, especially if they aren’t strong swimmers yet. 

Also if you haven’t gotten around to cleaning the pool in a while, and it’s looking like it has seen better days, you may want to read about how to clean a pool, to keep it sparkling all summer long. 

If you’re looking for more swimming pool games to try with your children, check out 5 of the best swimming pool games for kids below:

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