Get Outside! 11 Fun and Easy Pool Activities for Kids

This post may contain affiliate links.

11 Pool Activities for Kids | Whether you have a small inflatable kiddie or paddling pool for toddlers, a big outdoor swimming pool in your backyard, or you spend as many summer days as possible at your local pool, there are TONS of fun games your little ones can enjoy while cooling off and soaking up some vitamin D! From sensory play to building a DIY obstacle course out of inflatable toys - and everything in between - these ideas are equal parts easy and fun!

If you’re looking for fun and easy pool activities for kids, you’ve come to the right place!

Some of my favorite childhood memories involved afternoons spent splashing around in the pool with my friends. From swimming races, to seeing who could hold their breath the longest, to attempting to do handstands on the bottom of the pool, we never seemed to run out of activities and games to play. And now that we have access to so many cool pool toys, not to mention all of the kids activities that are featured on search engines like Google and Pinterest, there are so many more ways to keep kids happy and entertained in the water.

You may recognize some of these pool activities for kids from your own childhood, and some of the ideas may inspire you to create your own!

11 Fun and Easy Pool Activities for Kids

1. MARCO POLO
A list of pool activities for kids wouldn’t be complete without Marco Polo. LOL. For those who’ve never played it, the idea is pretty simple. One person is designated to be ‘it’ and stands in the middle of the pool with their eyes closed while all of the other players scatter themselves around the pool. Each time the person who is ‘it’ yells ‘Marco’, the other players must say ‘Polo’ until he or she finds and tags each player, all while keeping their eyes closed and using the sound of the other players voices as guidance.

2. DIVING FOR TREASURE
If you have a pocket full of change to spare, a really easy pool activity for kids is to simply throw a bunch of coins into the water, and challenge your little ones to dive down and retrieve them from the bottom of the pool. Your children will obviously need a set of goggles so they can see underwater, and you can turn it into a fun way to teach kids about money by having them count out their treasure once they’ve retrieved it all.

3. WHAT DID YOU SAY?
If you’re looking for pool activities for kids that involve 2 or more swimmers, this is another fun idea to try. All of the players submerge themselves under water at the same time, and one person either says or sings something while they are all under the water. The players then come up for air and take turns guessing what the person said/sang.

4. FIND THE WATER BOTTLES
Another one of my favorite pool activities for kids is simple to setup, but keeps children occupied for ages. All you need are a few clear water bottles with the labels removed – preferably ones with a clear lid. Fill them up with water and throw them into the pool while your kids aren’t looking, then challenge them to find them all. The water bottles are surprisingly difficult to see, making this a challenging and fun activity kids can enjoy both independently or with their siblings and/or friends!

5. DIY WHIRLPOOL
Did you do this as a kid? I did it a lot, and it’s such a fun way for kids to have fun with their friends while splashing around in the pool. It works best with a large group of people, but if you have a smaller bunch, you can be just as successful at creating your own whirlpool if you focus on a smaller section of the pool. All you need to do is line everyone up at the edge of where you want to create your whirlpool, and then have everyone ‘jog’ through the water in a circle as fast as they can until the water starts to swirl. Once you’re satisfied with your whirlpool, stop ‘jogging’ and let the current take you away!

6. PASS THE BALL
If you have a beach ball handy, challenge your little swimmers to see how long they can keep it from touching the water by bouncing it back and forth between one another.

7. DOLPHIN SWIMMING
If you have a few more beach balls, another great pool activity for kids is to see who can push the beach ball from one end of the pool to the other the fastest using nothing other than their noses!

8. DIY POOL OBSTACLE COURSE
If you’re looking for pool activities for kids that can be enjoyed independently, a great option is to set up a bunch of different pool toys and create your own obstacle course. This will be dependent on what items you have on hand, but here are some ideas to help get your creative juices flowing:

  • Jump/dive through the centre of a large inflatable tube
  • Retrieve coins from the bottom of the pool
  • Count coins and write total amount retrieved in sidewalk chalk on the side of the pool
  • Successfully sink 3 balls in a pool basketball hoop
  • Find clear water bottles in the pool
  • Successfully get 3 rings onto a pool ring toss set
  • Swim from one end of the pool to the other

9. FLOATIE RACES
Another great pool activity that will help kids burn off some steam is to challenge them to race from one side of the pool to the other without falling off of a pool floatie. They must only use their arms and/or legs to paddle, and the first person to make it to the end of the pool wins!

10. SHARK IN THE WATER
To play this game, one person (the shark) stays in the water, while the rest of the players stand outside of the pool. One by one, each player must jump into the pool and swim to the other side without being ‘eaten’ by the shark. This shark fin is a great accessory you can buy to make this game extra fun!

11. CANNON BALLS 
My final idea for those who are looking for pool activities for kids is to have your little ones challenge one another to see who can make the biggest splash when they jump in the water. The best way to do this is to jump cannon ball style, which involves (safely) running to the pool, jumping, and grabbing your knees to your body with your arms before landing with a splash in the water!

I hope these pool activities for kids help you and your little ones have fun in the water this summer and beyond!

This post contains affiliate links.

If you enjoyed this collection of pool activities for kids, please share this post on Pinterest!

11 Pool Activities for Kids | Whether you have a small inflatable kiddie or paddling pool for toddlers, a big outdoor swimming pool in your backyard, or you spend as many summer days as possible at your local pool, there are TONS of fun games your little ones can enjoy while cooling off and soaking up some vitamin D! From sensory play to building a DIY obstacle course out of inflatable toys - and everything in between - these ideas are equal parts easy and fun!

And if you’re looking for more ways to have fun with your kids at home, please follow our Kids board where we share all kinds of great ideas we find each day!



Gwen
Gwen
Gwen is a 40-something freelance writer and social media consultant who has an unhealthy love for makeup, hair, and fashion. She lives with her husband and 9-year-old daughter in Toronto, Canada and hopes to move to a warmer climate someday. Preferably tomorrow.