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20 Fun Pool Party Games for Kids

Give the kids a pool party they’ll never forget this summer with these totally Fun Pool Party Games for Kids that all ages will love.

Fun Pool Party Games for Kids

Summer is full-on here and we’ve been making lots of trips to the pool to cool off. Over the years we’ve had a few pool parties for the kids and they’re always a blast. One of the best things about having a pool party is that you don’t really have to worry that much about entertaining everyone because the pool IS the entertainment.

Seriously, kids can spend hours in the water and never be ready to come out!

But, if you’re having a group over for some poolside fun, then you may want a break from the usual Marco Polo. So, in an effort to help you kick things up a notch for your kids’ pool party, here are some Fun Pool Party Games for Kids that everyone will love.

And once you scroll through these also remember to check our 15 Water-Balloon Games for Super-Soaking Fun for even more cool ideas.

Pool Party Games for Kids

Just a quick note before we get started: For a lot of the pool games here, you can spend as much or as little as you want. I personally love the novelty of big, ridiculous floats, so I include many in this list. Pool noodles, on the other hand, are super cheap and are versatile enough to be used in place of the big floats in many cases. So, get some ideas here and then adjust to your budget.

*Please adjust the games to fit the swim levels of the kids participating. Weak swimmers should wear a life jacket and kids should always have adult supervision in the pool. Adult spotters are recommended for games that require balance to keep kids at a safe distance from the edge of the pool. All pool games carry some risk and safety measures should be followed at all times.

Pool Party Games to Play In the Pool

These games are all meant to be played IN the pool. I know how nervous I get when there are a bunch of kids running around the deck of the pool (no matter how many times we tell them no running!) so the goal here is to keep the kids having fun inside the pool itself.

1. Inflatable Pool Ring Toss Game

Inflatable Pool Ring Toss Game

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • Inflatable Pool Ring Toss Game

How to Play: Bring this classic kid’s game to the pool! How many rings can you toss onto the center cone? Each player has a turn to toss all of the rings and the player with the most points wins. The tubes can be used as pool floats when you’re not playing the game. This game can be played in the pool or on the ground.

2. DIY Sponge Ball Target Game

DIY Sponge Ball Target Game

Number of Players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • 4 Toy discs
  • Enough sponge balls (or you can just use a regular sponge) for all players
  • Vinyl numbers

How to Play: Use the vinyl numbers to set a score for each disc. Each player takes turns trying to throw the sponges onto the toy discs. The player with the highest score wins.

3. Alligator Float Races

Alligator Float Races

Number of players: 2-3

Supplies needed: 2-3 Alligator floats

How to Play: Players must stay on their alligator floats as they race to see who can get to the other side of the pool the fastest. The first player on the other side wins.

4. Hungry Hippos Pool Game

Hungry Hippos Pool Game

Number of players: 4-8 people (2-4 teams of 2 players)

Supplies needed:

  • Raft floats (1 for each team)
  • Plastic baskets
  • Ball-pit balls

How to play: One player from each team lays on a raft facing towards center of the pool. The other teammate stands/floats behind the player and holds on to the back of the raft. The player on the raft holds a basket. All of the balls are released in the center of the pool. When play starts, the teammate holding the raft lunges the raft towards the center of the pool so that the other person can try to collect balls in the basket. At the end of the match, the team with the most balls wins. An outside player should keep time and say when the round is over.

5. Beach Ball Squirt Races

Beach Ball Squirt Races

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • Average-sized inflatable beach balls
  • Water squirters

How to play: The object of the game is to move your beach ball to the other side of the pool using only your water squirter. Players are not allowed to use their hands to move the ball. The first player to reach the other side of the pool with the beach ball wins. The game can also be played as a relay race.

6. Watermelon Push

Watermelon Push

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • Whole watermelon
  • Vegetable oil (optional)

How to play: Players must move the watermelon to the other side of the pool using only their heads. Greasing the watermelon beforehand makes the game more challenging. The person to reach the other side in the least amount of time wins. This game can also be played as a relay race, with teams moving the watermelon back and forth across the pool.

7. Pool Basketball

Pool Basketball

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • Inflatable basketball set

How to play: Players compete to score the most points by throwing the ball into the “basket”.

8. Squirt Gun Wars

Squirt Gun Wars

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • Pool floats for each player
  • Water guns for each player

How to play: Each player must stay on/in their float while playing the game. Players can duck to try to avoid being sprayed by the other players. There are special floats, like the airplanes pictured above, that have a tube connecting the water gun to the water in the pool to allow for continuous spray water guns. But, you don’t need a special pool float for squirt gun wars. Tube floats also work well for this game because players can spin and duck inside the tubes.

9. Pool Jousting

Pool Jousting

Number of players: 2

Supplies needed:

  • Jousting set

How to play: Players try to knock each other off of their floats. The player who can stay on the float the longest wins.

Dollar Tree version: Use pool noodles for riders to balance on, and another set of pool noodles for jousting.

10. Pool Volleyball

Pool Volleyball

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • Inflatable Pool Volleyball Net

How to play: Create two teams from 1 to 4 players. Teams compete to score the most points by throwing the ball over the net. The winner is the first team to score eleven points.

11. Ride the Bull

Ride the Bull

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • Big slippery inflatable pool toy that’s hard to stay on
  • Stopwatch or timer

How to play: Players take turns trying to stay on the bull without falling off. An outside participant should keep the time. The player who can stay on the longest wins.

12. Floating Musical Chairs Pool Game

Floating Musical Chairs Pool Game

Number of players: 3+

Supplies needed:

  • Floating pool chairs
  • Music that can easily be turned off and on

How to play: To start the game, everyone playing has a chair. When the music starts, players leave their chairs and must swim around. Players may not touch the chairs while the music is playing and must continue to swim around the pool. An outside participant removes one chair from the pool. When the music stops, all players in the pool must quickly sit in one of the remaining chairs. Whoever doesn’t have a chair is out of the game. The play continues until only one chair is left. The winner of the last chair wins the game!

Dollar Tree version: Use pool noodles and mesh laundry bags to make your own DIY floating chairs (use this tutorial).

Poolside Games

Here are some more fun games to play at your pool party. These are all games you can play outside of the pool itself, either on the deck or in the backyard. Even though it’s a pool party doesn’t mean everyone will want to get in the pool. Here are some great options for friends who can’t swim or just need a break from swimming and splashing around.

13. Fill the Bucket Sponge Race

Fill the Bucket Sponge Race

Number of players: 4-6+ (this game is more fun with a lot of players)

Supplies needed:

  • 2 Buckets for each team
  • Large sponge for each team
  • Sharpie marker or masking tape

How to play: Separate players into even teams. Each team sits in a line, with each player facing the back of the player in from of them. Place a full bucket of water at the back of the line of each team and an empty bucket at the front of the line. Mark a line near the top of the empty buckets with a permanent marker or masking tape.

Teams will each have one sponge, which starts in the full bucket of water. Players must pass the sponge, over-head, from the back to the front of the line. The player at the front of the line squeezes the water from the sponge into the bucket and then passes the sponge back (over-head again). The player at the back then refills the sponge with water again. Play repeats until one of the teams reaches the marked line on the empty bucket. The first team to fill the bucket to the line wins!

14. Pool Noodle Ring Toss

Pool Noodle Ring Toss

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • Pool noodles
  • Wooden dowels
  • Pool tubes

How to play: Set up pool noodle targets and players take turns tossing the pool tubes at the targets. Check out the link below for three different versions of this fun game.

Learn more: Kid Friendly Things To Do

15. Squirt Gun Cup Races

Squirt Gun Cup Races

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • String
  • Water Guns
  • Plastic Cups

How to play: Players use their squirt guns to try to move the cup across the string the fastest. See below for more details and how to set up this DIY pool game.

Learn more: This Grandma is Fun

16. Frozen T-Shirt Race

Frozen T-Shirt Race

Number of players: 2+

Supplies needed:

  • T-shirt per player

How to play: Get one t-shirt per player, soak it in water, squeeze it out and fold it up. Place them in the freezer with wax paper in between. When frozen you’re ready to play. The first person who can unfold the t-shirt and put it on wins! For more details on this game visit the link below.

Learn more: A Girl and a Glue Gun

17. Duck, Duck, Splash

Duck, Duck, Splash

Number of players: 3+

Supplies needed:

  • Bucket of water
  • Cup

How to play: Grab a bucket of water. Pick a person to be “it” and give them a cup filled with water. The “it” goes around the circle tapping the people who are sitting on the head saying, “Duck” and then pours the water onto the seated person’s head and runs for it while the soaked child then goes to chase “it” around the circle. Visit below for the full instructions on this game.

Learn more: Inspiration Made Simple

18. Beach Ball Bowling

Beach Ball Bowling

Number of players: 1+

Supplies needed:

  • Pool noodles
  • Inflatable beach ball
  • Yoga mat
  • Recycled bottles or cans

How to play: Players can take turns trying to knock over as many “pins” as possible. See the link below for more details on this DIY pool party game.

Learn more: The Polka Dot Chair

19. Sponge Ball Tag

Sponge Ball Tag

Number of players: 3+

Supplies needed:

How to play: Soak the sponge ball in water then give it to whoever is “it” (i.e. the tagger). The rest of the players run around and try to avoid getting hit with the sponge ball. If a person is hit with the sponge, that person is now “it” and play continues. This is a great game to play at a pool party since the kids are already in their bathing suits and ready to get wet!

20. Beach Ball Relay Race

Beach Ball Relay Race

Number of players: 4+

Supplies needed:

  • Beach balls
  • Beach towels to mark a start and finish line

How to play: Create teams with at least two players each. Get each pair to place a beach ball between their bodies and run to the finish line with no hands on the ball. The team that finishes first wins! Check out below for all the details of this summer game.

Learn more: Kid Friendly Things To Do

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Saturday 7th of May 2022

Brilliant ideas love them so do my kids


Wednesday 24th of April 2019

This is really helpful, thanks.