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It’s summer again and time to cool off and relax at your favorite local watering hole. Whether you are lucky enough to own your own pool or you have to go to a local public swimming pool or water park, hopefully long days of lounging in and out of the water await you this summer.

Much of the time your family can entertain themselves at the pool. Everyone naturally invents the same sorts of contests for themselves in the water: how long can I hold my breath? How fast can I swim to the other side? How big a splash can I make with my hand?

If I do a cannonball, which sunbathers will get wet and how mad will they get?

But sometimes summer requires a little structure to help the time go by … and to help everyone get along.

Here are some ideas.

[Item] Rescue

Depending on the level of your swimmers, you can choose a floating or a sinking item that is easily seen in the water. Throw it in and have them get it.

You can modify the game by timing them, or using multiple objects. Can they get the sinking item before it hits the bottom of the pool?

Photo by MarcTutorials from Pexels

Marco Polo

This is a simple game of tag with a twist that is more fun to play with fewer people in the pool, but the rules are simple.

One person closes their eyes – no peaking! Everyone else moves away. Whenever the seeker says “Marco” everyone has to answer “Polo.” The seeker must – without opening their eyes – tag one of the other players, who then becomes the seeker in the next round.

You can play variations of this by changing the name, and what players have to say, or sound like, in return. For instance, in “Fish and Seals”, the seeker calls out “fish!” and the other player must all bark like seals.

The goal is to keep it lively and fun!

Sharks and Minnows

All the players except one line up on one side of the pool, as minnows. The chosen player is a “shark” in the middle. When the shark shouts “go!” the other players must attempt to get past them to the other side of the pool. If the “shark” taps one or more minnows, they become additional sharks for the next round.

Play repeats until everyone is a shark.

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