Even though school is back in session, there’s still plenty of summer left, and that means there’s still plenty of pool time to enjoy. Playing water games with the kids is a fun way to while away these final warm weekends, but what are some pool games you might not have tried yet?
We checked into that for you. But first . . .
Fun is good, safety is even better
Some of the simplest pool games remain the most entertaining. Seeing who can do the splashiest cannonball, for instance. But as parents, we always worry our kids will slip and fall on wet coping. That hurts! Worse, injuries can happen. No one wants that. That’s why concerned parents have replaced hardscape pool surrounds with artificial grass.
Faux grass may look pretty and feel soft, but it’s one tough asset when it comes to pool safety. Unlike hard surfaces (and natural grass, by the way) artificial grass doesn’t get slippery no matter how much water you splash on it. It drains that water away super-fast, ready for the next cannonball. When pool fun is finally over, fake grass dries quickly, too.
Meanwhile, artificial grass is softer under tender young bare feet. (Parental feet, too.) No more hot-hot feet like you get on concrete or brick. No more early end to your pool fun thanks to stubbed toes or skinned knees.
You can switch to fake grass any time during the year. This fall, for instance. If you did that, you’d be ready for safer, more comfortable pool fun as soon as the weather warms again. Think about that. But for now, let’s check on those end-of-summer pool games.
This generations-old favorite is tag in the water. It’s fun, but better for older players who are more confident in the water, since whoever is “it” is blindfolded.
Shark in the Pool
Like Marco Polo, this is essentially water tag, but with a twist. The person who is “it” is the shark, so beware everyone else in the pool. The shark is not blindfolded but can tag others only when they’re in the water. Potential victims can escape by getting out of the pool and jumping in somewhere else. (Only 5 seconds out of the pool.) Add to the fun by letting the shark wear fins, mask and a snorkel for faster pursuit.
Another old favorite? Piggyback wrestling
Smaller kids ride atop the shoulders of an adult (or big-enough older sibling). Who can stay in position the longest?
No big shoulders to ride on? No sweat. In noodle jousting, each contestant sits astride an inflatable steed and tries to unseat their opponent with their spear. No worries, mom, these weapons are actually pool noodles.
Play the traditional game with a beach ball, or buy an inexpensive net and play pool volleyball.
Easter egg hunt, without Easter
Throw a bunch of ping pong balls into the pool and see who can gather the most first. Change it up with different ways to collect them (carrying a plastic shopping bag, taking them to the side one at a time, etc.)
Practice deep diving skills by throwing coins or other small objects that will sink and then race to gather them up. The kid with the most stuff or most money wins.
Off to the races
Practice swimming by racing, or ride inflatables and see who can paddle their way to the most laps first.