Oh, what to do when you go to the pool... Here are a few games to try out the next time you go! All of us played them throughout our childhoods because these are the pool day classics.

Sharks and Minnows

There is one shark, and the rest of the players are minnows. The shark is in the center of the pool, ready to catch their fishies. The minnows are lined up on the edge of the pool, ready to jump in. When the shark yells, “All minnows in!” they all must jump in and begin their journey across the pool. If the shark tags a minnow, they become a shark as well. If there are still players who did not get tagged, then there is another round; however, the challenge with this is that there is now more than one shark. The winner is whoever is the last minnow surviving.

Marco Polo

Best when played in a small area (the kiddie pool) where Polo will not run into anyone who is not playing. This game is simple yet hilarious. Polo swims around with their eyes closed and arms out, searching for Marco by yelling “MARCO!” and Polo must respond with “POLO!” Marco can swim away from Polo, making it harder for Polo to capture them. However, once Polo tags Marco, the game is over and Polo can open their eyes.

Handstand Contests

A classic that all children feel obligated to do at least once when they get in the pool. Whoever holds the handstand the longest or has the best form wins.

Torpedo Diving

Torpedos, or diving sticks were used for this game. If you forgot those pool toys at home, coins were perfect (and easy to find on the ground!). Scatter the items you are diving for around the pool, and the person who either collects the most or the quickest wins.

Color Dunk

One person holds the other. The person in the arms has to guess the color the holder is thinking of. Each guess that is wrong, you get dunked backwards. With the lucky guess, you’re thrown backwards for a somersault.

Touch The Bottom Of The Pool Contest

1...2...3...Go! Person to touch the bottom of the deep end and come back up first wins.


Players line up on the side wall, and one player is “it.” The person that is “it” stands with their back to the other players as they try to sneak across the pool without them knowing. They can splash while they are on the wall (in order to trick the person who is “it”), but the goal is for them to get across to the other side of the pool to remain in safety. The person that is “it” can turn around at any moment to see if someone is truly swimming when they hear a splash. They are to tag a player in order to pass on the name of being “it,” but if they turn around and everyone is still on the wall, they have to take a step further away from the pool every time this happens.

Red Light, Green Light

The game we all played in swim lessons when we were itty bitty. With red light, you stopped swimming; yellow light, you were to go slowly; and green light, you swam as fast as you freaking could with all your might.


Find a partner, climb on their shoulders, and battle another duo! Whoever got knocked off of the person’s shoulders first, wins! This is typically a game that we all tried to play in our teens, but the lifeguard immediately blew their whistle at us....


Everyone lines up on the edge of the pool while one person is “it” and stands on the side intersecting the two in which the people are about to swim to and from. The person that is it yells out a category, and the players along the wall begin thinking of an object or person in that category. The person who is “it” then begins shouting out objects or people within their category. When they shout out what the players along the wall were thinking, they must swim across to the other side. The person “it” turns around when they think they hear people swimming across, and if there is someone swimming, then they can jump in and tag them. If there is not someone, then they must take a step back each time they turn around and someone is not swimming. The game ends when all of the players make it across without getting tagged (in this case, the same person would be “it”) or the person who is “it” tags someone (in this case, the tagged player would be “it”).