Now if you live in the midwest or northeast where it’s still in the depths of winter, don’t get angry at those of us who might just be planning a pool party in the near future! Even if you can’t have your own pool party yet, you can keep these ideas in your back pocket and pull them out for your first pool party of 2020.
As any pool owner knows, you don’t really need to do ANYthing to entertain children when they are in and around the pool, but hey why not add some of these fun party games to the mix to make your pool parties the must-attend events of the summer!
Imagine your friends and family going home wiped out from having so much fun and vowing to try to make their next pool party even half as fun as yours was. It’s a win-win!
Everybody Into The Pool! Fun Party Games
We have fun games that may require a prop or two to truly make them fun. After you read about these games, we also have some tips to help assure you have the safest pool season ever.
Beach Ball Races
- Inflate two small beachballs or balloons
- Divide the players into two teams
- Give each team a ball/balloon
- Give the “ready, set go!”
- Each swimmer on the team will hug the beach ball to his or her chest, swim across the pool then swim back
- Once the swimmer returns, he or she hands the ball/balloon off to the next teammate to do the same
- The first team to have all its swimmers do this is the winner!
A fun twist on this game (depending on the depth of the pool) is to have each player move the beach ball/balloon from one end to another using only his or her head.
This swimming pool game is the water version of the game tug-o-war, with a twist. You will need a kickboard and three flags. Place one flag on the center of the kickboard. Choose a referee for the game and have him or her stand parallel to the flag on the kickboard. The referee will hold the two remaining flags — one in each hand — and hold his or her arms out to form a letter “t.”
- Divide the swimmers into two teams
- Position them on opposite sides of the kickboard
- Give the “ready, set, go!”
- The players will then kick in the water as hard as they can in order to move the kickboard toward the flag
- The team that pushes the kickboard so its middle flag crosses the line of the referee is the winner
Plastic Bottle Boat Race
For this game, you will need a couple of empty plastic bottles, preferably with different colors and a colored rope or ribbon to serve as the finish line. If you have plastic children’s toy boats, you can use those or you can even use different colored rubber duckies!
- Divide the swimmers into two teams
- Give each team a plastic bottle/boat/duck
- At the “ready, set, go!” each team tries to get the bottle/boat to cross the rope or ribbon without touching the item
- The first team whose bottle/boat crosses the finish line wins!
Pool Party Safety Tips
Sunscreen matters. Slather your children in sunscreen, body and face, at least 15 minutes before you release them into the water and again every two hours. The American Academy of Dermatology shares that the water reflects the sun’s rays, increasing exposure to harmful UV rays.
Choose sunscreen based on your child’s age. Choose a waterproof sunscreen and one that has a sun protection factor of at least 30.
Assign an adult. Know how many children are in the pool and “assign” an adult to specific children. Depending on the age of the children, the adult should be in the water with them and always within arms’ length. When the adult is in charge, that is all he or she should be doing. It is important that safety is always front of mind.
Specify the shallow areas. If your pool has a deep end, it needs to be clearly marked and children need to be kept away from it. Also, if you have a deep end, make sure its lights are on so no child gets into the deeper water by accident and gets into danger. Hang a string of festive flags across the pool to denote the deep end. The flags serve as party decorations!
No glass around the pool. Use disposable or washable plastic cups, plates and utensils. Don’t bring bottles around the pool.
Keep alcohol consumption in check. If you’re swimming, don’t drink. It’s a dangerous combination. Also, if it’s a hot day, alcohol is dehydrating and that can lead to illness or heat stroke. Have a lot of bottled water and other bottled (plastic, please) drinks on hand and limit the alcohol you serve.
Have a first aid kit. Expect there will be running around no matter how many times you tell children otherwise — kids will be kids, right? Have a first aid kit equipped with everything you need to treat cuts and scrapes. Not that we expect anything bad to happen to the little ones, but it is still best to be prepared.
Lifesaving equipment. Have additional life vests on hand and insist that the younger children wear them. Have a shepherd’s crook or other extending pole at the ready poolside in case you need to pull someone out. Life rings are also necessary lifesaving pieces of equipment.
Have fun this summer — but always be safe!