Pool games for the whole family

Family holidays are just fantastic, aren’t they? A great way to spend quality time with each other, by enjoying the sun, the sea and the super-fun pool games! With summer around the corner, we’ve been thinking about how we can encourage you all to get into the water with your family and swim, splash and smile! To help give you some inspiration, here are some brilliant pool games for you to play with the whole family.

Noodle race

A great start for those who are just getting used to being in the water. Get the whole gang together with a foam noodle each, grab on to your noodle and kick your legs to race across the pool. This can be played with any flotation device too, so if you have a beach ball or rubber ring, these can be used instead and are just as fun!

Diving for treasure

A favourite with those who love to be underwater and a great way to learn for those who don’t. Find a sinking block, throw it so it sinks to the bottom of the pool and race your fellow discoverers to dive under and find the ‘treasure’. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a great way to build your confidence with underwater swimming.

Splash tig

‘Tig’ for the water. One person is ‘it’ and needs to try to tig another participant so that they are then ‘it’. It’s likely you remember the dry land version from school, well this is a little tougher as you’ll find yourself trying to run and paddle through the water as fast as you can.

Stuck in the pool

Similar to tig, but you have one or more people who are ‘it’ for the whole game. Make sure to head to the shallow end for this one, as when you’ve been caught, you need to stand still in the pool in a star shape. At this point, you’re stuck in the pool and you need one of your teammates to swim under your arms or legs to un-stick you! It’s a fun way to get your breathing right for swimming underwater.

Marco Polo

One person is ‘it’ and closes their eyes whilst the others scatter around the pool. ‘It’ then tries to tig the others, but to find them with their eyes shut they shout ‘Marco’ and the others respond with ‘Polo’ so ‘it’ can use their sense of sound to find and tig the other players. To make it more interesting, ‘it’ can try shouting a type of animal, where the others will respond by imitating that animal’s noise.

Air ball

An alternative to pool volleyball if you don’t have a net, Air ball is a game you’ve most probably played before without realising it. Get a beach ball and use your hands to bat it to each other whilst in the pool. Prepare to run, jump and paddle in the pool, as there’s only one rule to Air ball – don’t let the ball touch the water!


Prepare for lift off! Get everyone to line up against the pool wall and, after ‘Go!’, use it to push off and glide as far as you can without swimming. Whoever glides the furthest is the winning rocket, so make sure your body position and breathing are up to scratch, plus you’ll need to make sure you’re as streamlined as can be. This game is fantastic for gaining water confidence.

Lilo jousting

This one requires foam noodles, lilos and a large area of pool. Two contestants are allowed at each time, both will be sat on a lilo with a foam noodle in hand ready to joust the other. Use your feet to paddle or push off the side of the pool and glide towards each other, with the aim of getting your opponent off their lilo by using the noodle. So, prepare to either win or to splash right under the water.

Tug of war

If you’re a fan of tug of war but don’t like to fall on the hard ground, play it in the pool to soften the fall. Use either a rope or a sturdy noodle and split into two teams. Each team pulls their end to try and drag the other team over and win the war.

Water Frisbee

Another that’s good for spacious private pools or even the sea! Frisbee may be fun on land, but it’s a great challenge when you’re trying to run through water to catch it. Not only will you have a laugh when you’re playing, but you’ll know that your Frisbee is safe too as they can usually float.

Fish in the middle

Just like ‘Piggy in the middle’ but in water! Get together 3 equal teams of any number (even just one person each), with two teams throwing the ball to each other and the third trying to intercept it. Once the fish in the middle have caught the ball, they swap sides with the team who threw the losing ball and are no longer in the middle. It’s a lot more fun in the water as you’ll be running, jumping and paddling through the water to catch the ball!

Check out our #AllSwimclusive page for more tips and tricks around swimming on holiday!

Written on 5th June 2019 by

Catherine Tansey

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