Swimming has been a great bonding activity for families and friends. Adding games can foster even more fun! There’s a wide variety of pool games that can be played, suited for different age groups. For those of you with older children, here are some fun-filled games you can enjoy together, while strengthening their swimming skills!
1. Sharks and Minnows
This pool game is similar to tag, but with a twist. At the start of the game, one player (the “Shark”) will wait in the middle of the pool, while the remaining players (the “Minnows”) line up along one side of the pool. With their back against the Minnows, the Shark will shout “Cross my ocean!” to start the round. With this cue, the Minnows must attempt to make it to the other end of the pool without being tagged by the Shark. Minnows cannot be tagged if their whole body is underwater, but if at least one part of their body is surfaced and they are tagged, they must become a shark starting the next round. After the Minnows have made it to the other side, the Shark(s) must go back to the middle to start the next round, repeating the process until all the minnows are caught. The last Minnow to be caught gets to be the Shark in the next game.
2. Invisible Bottle
This simple, searching game may be more challenge than it sounds and will push many of its players to really focus. Find a large, see-through plastic bottle with a white cap. Remove any labels it may have and fill it up with water from the pool. With all the players lined up on one side of the pool, have them face the wall and await your go signal. Throw the bottle into the pool and then signal them to search. The player that is able to find the bottle first, wins!
This is another variation of tag in the water. Similar to Shark and Minnows, players may not be tagged if they are fully underwater. However, if they are tagged, they are frozen a “Windmill” and must stand with their arms up in a “V” formation and legs spread. Other players may attempt to free any frozen windmills by swimming between their legs. Once everyone is a windmill, the game is over and the first windmill will become “It” for the new game.
4. Watermelon Relay
This game may be challenging for new swimmers, but can be altered according to their strength. In this relay, there are teams of 2 or more swimmers, waiting on opposite ends of the pool. Each swimmer must swim and push a watermelon across the pool and tap their teammate, who must do the same thing and bring the watermelon back to the other side. Players must not touch the bottom of the pool or stand up, but swim the entire time. Since watermelons float, players will not have to carry a heavy watermelon. However the object may be changed to suit the swimming strength of players. For example, beginning swimmers may opt to use a basketball or an inflated beach ball instead of a watermelon.
The Noodies Swim School doesn’t just provide swim lessons; we also host swim parties! At our parties, we have several games similar to these for all the kids to enjoy. These parties are perfect for celebrating birthdays and also strengthen every child’s swimming skills.