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Water Games | Pool Party Games

Water Games and Pool Party Games

Water games and water contests in indoor and outdoor pools, at the lake or on the beach are in the truest form of the word always cool. With water games, one should pay attention that the water is not too deep, that fair play occurs and just in case, a youth leader is always nearby. Here are a few ideas for water games…

  1. Water-Man

    One player is the “water-man”. He must tag as many swimmers as possible. Once caught, the player becomes a “water-man” and must tag other swimmers too. The last swimmer starts the next round as the beginning “water-man”. Tagging is done either by simply touching, taking the swimmers bathing cap off, or taking a plastic band out of the swimmers pocket, etc.

  1. See Horse Riding Contest

    This water game is played like a chicken fight, only it is played in shallow water. One player sits on the shoulders of his teammate. He must try to push/pull his opponent off his teammates shoulders, grab his swim cap, or get the plastic band out his pocket. If the game takes place in a pool (inside or outside), please pay attention to the pool ledges so that no one is hurt.

  2. Water Tug-O-War

    Tug-O-War played in the water.

  3. Island Contest

    Each player stands on an air mattress. Goal is to knock down your opponent with a lance ( swim noodle or other soft covered stick like object).

  4. Piranhas

    2 piranhas fight against each other. Each player has 2-3 strips of material or plastic foil stuck in his pocket, but hanging out at least 30cm. The opponent must try to pull the strips off. The loser is the player who no more strips and thus is “naked to the bone”, a skeleton.

  5. Clothing Relay

    Players put on a shirt, pants, hat, and gloves, jump into the water, swim to the other side, take these items off and give them to the next player on his team.

  6. Water Ball Relay

    A ball or a balloon must be transported back and forth. Hands may be used or to make it more difficult, players can only use their heads.

  7. Air Mattress Relay

    The smallest player on a team must be transported back and forth on an air mattress.

  8. Rope Pull Relay

    A rope is strung or held above a stream or across a pool. The first player sits on an air mattress and must pull himself to the other side where the next team mate gets on the mattress and pulls himself back to the other side. This continues until all players on the team have gone. Which team is the fastest?

  9. Transport

    A table tennis ball is carried on a spoon held in the players mouth as he goes back and forth.

  10. Air Mattress Hopping

    Each team must have a couple air mattresses so that players can hop from one to the next. Whoever falls off must go back to the beginning, or the next player takes over. Which team can get the most players across?

  11. Island Mail

    Water-filled balloons are tossed island to island (mattress to mattress). Which team gets the most balloons to the goal?

  12. A Different Kind of Leapfrog

    2 teams (max. 4 players) compete against each other. One team is on each side of the pool, standing in chest-high water with their legs spread apart. The last player must dive and swim through the legs of his teammates, stand and spread his legs. Then the next player goes. The winning team is the team that reaches the other side first.

  13. Long Jump

    Each player jumps as far away fro the pool ledge as possible. A judge holds a water noodle to mark a spot. Each player tries to jump over the noodle. If he can’t or touches the noodle, then he is out. After each round, the noodle is moved farther away from the ledge.

    Water Games and Pool Party Games
  1. Turned to Stone

    One player is the hunter. When he tags another player, that player “turns to stone”. The hunter wins when all players have turned to stone. A player can be brought back to life by another player (who hasn’t been turned to stone) who swims through his legs to awaken him.

  2. Canon Ball Jumping

    Who can make the best canon balls? (Hold knees up to chest so that body is small and rounded like a ball and jump into the water.) Scoring can be difficult. Have 4-5 judges score each jump.

  3. Diving

    Who can swim underwater the farthest distance? The diver sits on the poolside to mark the spot that he came out of the water so it can be seen who went the farthest.

  4. Hunt and Catch

    2 teams stand opposite each other in the pool in a line with a distance of 2-3 meters between them. The leader names the hunter team. The other team tries to flee to the poolside before getting caught. In the next round, the other team can be the hunter, if desired. Members of the team who are fleeing should wear a swim cap or carry a plastic band in their pocket for the hunters to take when they are caught. This makes it easier to see that all members have been caught.

  5. Silent As A Fish

    In the middle of the pool stands one player who is blindfolded. The other players try to swim from one side of the pool to the other without being touched or cut off by the blindfolded player.

  6. Gather It 1

    A specific number of floatable objects (table tennis balls, corks, swim wings, swim noodles, large and small balls, air mattresses, etc.) are thrown into the pool. At the signal, all players gather all the items. How much time is needed, or how many items can be gathered in a certain time?

  7. Gather It 2

    As before, the items are thrown into the middle of the pool. This time, 2 teams (one on each side of the pool) jump into the pool at the signal to gather the items that are brought to their side of the pool. Variation: items are not to be held in the hand or thrown to the sides, but only by splashing and getting the water to move to get them to the side of the pool.

  8. Gather It 3

    10-20 big rings are thrown all over the pool and must be gathered in the shortest amount of time possible.

  9. Water Limbo Dancing

    Like the Limbo dance, players must swim or walk under a pole that is held in the water. Whoever touches the pole or knocks it off it holder, is out. The pole is set lower in each round. As an extra challenge, the best players while on their backs can try to dance under the pole wearing a t-shirt or a pullover.

  10. Through The Ring

    Players must swim through a bicycle tire as many times as possible within 2 minutes. The tire is held by 2 helpers, who may give a little help. Variation: A big plastic tire or hoop may be used in the following way – the player pushes the hoop under the water (not so easy) and steps into the middle of the hoop and pulls it up over his head.

  11. Watermelon ball

    Water polo is played in a swimming pool which is not too deep. However a watermelon is used instead of a ball.

  12. Seals and dolphins

    For this game, you will need a large group and a swimming pool in which the group members can stand up. The players must now make a large circle holding onto the person in front. Each second person is a seal or a dolphin. The circle now moves around in one direction until it has picked up speed. The leader must then shout out “dolphin” or “seal” and the respective group may lift their feet from the bottom and let the current take them!

  13. Egg race swimming

    Each child is given an egg (rubber ball) and a spoon then the race is same as an egg race but the players have to swim.

  14. Balloon throwing

    A balloon is filled with water and air. 2-4 persons stand in the pool and throw the ball back and forth. The person who drops the ball or does not catch it is out of the game.

  15. Treasure hunt

    “Silver” (= spoons) are distributed in the pool. 2 teams collect them and bring them to the “treasure chest” (bucket on the edge of the pool). Which team will find the most treasure?

  16. Blind man’s bluff 1

    One person wears a diving mask which has been painted black and cannot see. He now tries to catch the other players in the pool. Anyone he catches must stand still and becomes the next blind man.

  17. Blind man’s bluff 2

    A child who is in the lake is blindfolded. The others have to make a circle and swim around the blind man until he shouts stop. The blind man then feels the nearest players face and tries to guess who it is. If he guesses correctly, the player becomes the next blind man and if the guess is not correct, the same blind man has another go. (Contribution from Matina H.)

  18. Little shark

    One little shark is selected and there is one person or several persons. Little shark must try to turn over all of the inflatable mattresses. The players who fall off must quickly turn their mattress over and climb back on again. The little shark can try to catch the players in the time in which they need to climb back on to the mattress. Anyone who is caught is the next little shark.

  19. Blind diving

    There are various objects distributed underwater in the pool which a player has to find by feeling his way around without wearing any goggles. He is not allowed to see where the objects have been hidden! The fastest player wins!

  20. Gordian knots in water

    The players stand in water between hip and chest height in a circle. They stretch out their hands and grab the other player’s hands randomly. One person (or the whole group) then tries to undo the knot.

  21. Wonderfully fast diver

    One player stands on the edge of the pool. Another person throws a ball into the middle of the pool (approx. 2 metres away). The ball must now be caught before it touches the surface of the water. However, the judging is not only based on whether to ball is caught but also whether the dive was performed well.

  22. Handstand, forwards roll and back flip

    Each player must display different activities in the water. This may include handstand, forwards or backwards roll, a flying roll, a bomb, synchronised swimming or diving into the water without a splash etc. A jury consisting of three judges awards points.

  23. Shell diving

    4-5 shells are thrown into the pool and two children must collect as many shells as possible. The player who collects the most is the winner.

  24. Water taxi

    You need 2 pool floats for three players. One player is the passenger and the other two must drive/steer the taxi. The passenger lays himself on two pool floats (one to support the head and one under the legs) and the others are welcome to help. The drivers hold the floats on the left and right of the passenger and start to manoeuvre the taxi after receiving instructions from the passenger. This can be done slowly for relaxation but you should make sure that the passenger is flying safely on the float and cannot collide with any objects (driver is responsible); as an alternative, the taxi can also be driven fast for a race or relay race.

  25. Candle relay

    A burning tea light is placed on a float in the pool – one per team. The team must now try to transport the burning candle (as a relay). If the candle is extinguished, the team must return to the edge of the pool to relight it.

  26. Water handball

    You will need a water polo ball. This game is played in shallow water. Two goals are marked out (e.g. with ropes, human posts (may hurt!) or pool buoys etc.) A coin is tossed on the edge of the pool to decide the members of the teams and to decide which team has the first throw. The game lasts for approximately 15 minutes. The team with the most goals at the end wins.

  27. King of the Hill

    Who can hold onto a mat (or similar object) on the water the longest?

  28. Ball catch

    This game is best played with several players. There should be at least four. You take a little ball which fits in the palm of your hand and it is passed around the group. The first player to drop the ball is out of the game. The game carries on until the last person is left. This player is then given the ball as a gift and a new ball is used to carry on with the game. (Buy quite a number of balls at the beginning^^).

  29. Washing machine

    All of the children and leaders hold hands and make a big circle. A direction is then chosen in which the group should run as quickly as possible. The important thing is to keep the circle large and round until a “whirlpool” is created in the middle. One of the leaders then starts to count down from 3 and then shouts LET GO. Everyone lets go and children feel the force of water but they are not scared.

  30. Water headers

    You will need a watermelon or a floating rugby ball. Each player is wearing a safety helmet. Two goalposts are formed on opposite ends of the pool. Two teams play against each other. The melons are passed from head to head into the goal. Each goal is awarded with one point. The team to achieve the most points wins.

    Tip: experience has shown that a number of watermelons fall apart so you should have enough in reserve. A floating rugby ball is also sufficient.

  31. The boat

    As many children as possible must climb onto an inflatable mattress and the leader counts to 10. Can the children stay on the mattress?

  32. Fisherman, fisherman how deep is the water?!

    One player is the fisherman who stands on the opposite side of the pool from the others (the fish). The fish must call out: “fisherman, fisherman how deep is the water?” The fisherman chooses a number and calls out (for example): “100m deep!” the fish say: “how will we get across?” The fisherman then chooses how e.g.: “by hopping on one leg!” All of the fish then HOP over the pool and the fisherman must try to catch as many as possible. The caught fish must catch as well until no more fish are left over.

  33. Santa Claus relay

    The group is split into two equal sized teams. Each team is given a Santa Claus hat, a blue sack with contents (e.g. pool buoy, boards) and a board for swimming. When the players swap over, the next swimmer must put a hat on and take the sack and the board before starting.

  34. Tea light transport

    2 groups are formed. Each group is given a tea light and is swim float. The burning candle must then be placed on the float and the first person in the group swims over to the other side of the pool pushing it in front of him without allowing the candle to go out. If this happens, he must return to the start and allow the leader to relight a candle before starting again. The winning group is the group with all members on the other side of the pool first.

  35. Car wash

    For this game you will need at least six children who were evenly spread out opposite each other. The distance between them may not be more than 1 m. Player at the end of the row starts. He runs through the “car wash” while the other players splash him. Once he has reached the end, he joins the end of the row and the opposite player on the other side goes through the car wash.

  36. Water bombs

    several balloons filled with water; but not too many. There are two groups and each group is given a toothpick. One player from each group places the toothpick in their mouths and tries to burst as many balloons as possible in a certain amount of time.
    Note: this game is not particularly suitable for an indoor swimming pool due to the remains of balloon left in the water. If you do play the game in a pool, you could arrange a „diving competition” at the end to collect all of the bits of balloon.

...more water games

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