Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

Keep Your Kids Entertained at the Pool by Doing Nothing

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

Pool games are an easy way for your kids to stay entertained while you try to relax by the pool. Instead of having your kids asking you to watch their millionth cannonball, have them try these fun games!

1. Races

Whether your kids want to pretend they’re mermaids, dolphins, or submarines, racing in the pool is an underwater experience. The one who can hold their breath the longest and swim the furthest wins!

2. The Disappearing bottle

Use any empty, clear plastic bottle; the smaller the harder to find. The cap should match your pool’s lining or tile to become camouflaged. Blue is a good color for most pools. First, fill the bottle with water to add weight to sink it. Have the players lined up a few feet away from the pool or on the deck with their backs to the pool. Throw the bottle in so the splash signals the GO! for the players to jump in and start searching.

3. Jousting

Use rafts instead of horses to kneel or stand on. The pool noodles will be their tool to knock each other off their rafts and fall into the pool. Last one on their raft wins!

4. Shark!

A variation of tag where the shark is “it.” The shark tries to tag someone else to pass along their responsibility to catch someone. The other players can hop in and out of the pool to avoid being tagged. Only they must jump back in after five seconds to give the shark a chance to tag someone.

5. Ping Pong Hunt

You can set this game up a few ways. By throwing a ton of ping pongs into the pool and have the players gather as many as possible in a certain time frame. You can write initials on the ball and have each player find their own. Or you can mark the balls with numbers, representing point values.

6. Treasure Hunt

Similar to the ping pong hunt, only you use coins that sink. Toss the coins in and have the kids dive to make a little bit of cash. Time them or use the coin value as points to mix it up a bit.

7. Popsicle

The pool version of Freeze tag where when you are tagged, you stand straight with your hands above your head. In this position you’ll resemble a popsicle and wait until someone unfreezes you. To unfreeze someone swim pass them as you are underwater, which also keeps you safe from being tagged.

8. Octopus!

A lot like Red Rover, where “It” tries to tag the other players as they try to make it to the other side of the pool. When tagged, a player joins “It” in the middle of the pool and they join hands. With each turn, players join the tagging line forming an octopus. The game is over when only one remains as the winner.

9. Whirlpool

Everyone moves in the same direction circling the pool, turning the water along with them. With each lap the water moves faster and faster until you can float along with the current.

10. Fish

Where basketball meets water. Fish is the pool version of horse and you’ll need a poolside basketball net with an appropriately sized ball. Take turns making the shots from the same places for each round. Miss a shot and gain a letter of the word fish. The first to spell fish loses. Don’t have a net? You can do pool tricks instead of shots.

11. Scavenger Hunt

Use an assortment of items that you have two of each that will sink. Split the kids up into teams and have each team gather one of each item. The first team to collect all their possessions wins!

12. Belly Flop Contest

We all know this painful way of entering the pool. Spreading your arms out and yelling timber as you gravitate towards the water. The biggest splash takes home the win and the most abdominal pain.

13. Marco Polo

The blind version of tag performed in the pool is a classic. Marco is the tagger who keeps their eyes shut. They’ll yell out “Marco” in search of Polo. Polo is the rest of the players who have their eyes open and must respond with “Polo” when they hear Marco. Everyone is allowed to move around the pool wherever they please. If tagged, you become the new “Marco.”

14. Chicken Fight

A game for older kids that are tall enough to stand and hold someone up as they walk around. Everyone will form pairings where one person will sit on another’s shoulders. The person on top of the pairing is responsible for throwing off their opponents from their “rides.” Last pairing still standing wins!

These games will keep your kids occupied while you enjoy a break from the kids. But do keep an eye on them to make sure they are playing safely!

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.