Pool Play! Outdoor Water Games

Is there a better combination than sunshine, a swimming pool and children in the summer? The following games will add to outdoor water fun, with several of the games possible in a wading pool for younger kids.

Paper Cup Race

What you will need:

1 plain small paper cup per child

Felt tip markers

Jelly beans

Decorate the cups with names and drawings using the crayons or the felt tips markers. Line the contestants up and place their paper cups before them in the water. Add a few jelly beans for ballast to the cup. The object of the game is to be the first one to blow the cup across to a designated place.

Water Soccer

What you will need:

Soccer ball

One inner tube per child (good used ones available inexpensively at tire stores)

Water soccer has the same rules as regular soccer, except each child is seated on an inner tube while playing.   Players can use both hands and feet in water soccer.

Underwater Treasure Hunt

What you will need:

Coins–lots of them including pennies and dimes

Ziploc sandwich bag per player

This is a wonderful game for making kids comfortable swimming underwater. Toss the coins into the pool and have the players dive for them. Place collected coins in the plastic bag for safe keeping. For younger children, a wading pool in the backyard can be just as much fun!

Leg Cave

My children never lost the thrill of this game. It started when they were young on the days I wanted to be in the pool with them, but not get my hair wet. Here it is: stand solidly in the water with legs wide apart. Have your child swim underwater through your legs, like a fish, without touching. If they touch, clamp them briefly (O thrill!) and a little hard with your feet. If they do not touch, bring your feet closer together. With each swim- through the kids either get clamped, or swam trickier, as the opening to the cave narrows with each successful swim-through.


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