Beyond Marco Polo: Fun Family Games For Your Custom Pool You’ve had a new custom pool designed to fit your landscape. Or maybe you’ve renovated your pool and added new safety features. You’ve had the water tested to make sure it’s chemically balanced. Now it’s time for the most important step: enjoying your pool. To ensure your entire family spends time together, you want to find a fun swimming game that all ages can enjoy. You’re probably tired of the old staples, like Sharks and Minnows and Marco Polo. Your whole family can have a great time in your new pool with the following lesser-known (but just as fun) pool games.
Search for Pirate Treasure All you’ll need for this game is a variety of coins (mostly pennies with a few nickels, dimes, and quarters).
How to Play Everyone closes their eyes while the “pirate” (the “it” person) hides coins in various places in the pool. When the pirate is ready, all the other swimmers search for the pirate’s coins. The swimmers get points depending on the monetary value of the coins they find. For example, a penny is worth one point while a dime is worth ten points. The pirate should keep track of how many coins he or she hid to make sure all are found. A pool in an unconventional shape is best for this game, as the extra curves or edges can hide the coins more effectively than a simple circle or rectangle.
Safety Tips Make sure the pirate doesn’t hide the coins in any potentially dangerous locations, such as near filters or drains. If players are younger, the pirate should avoid hiding coins in the deep end of the pool.
Popsicle This is an exciting, fast-paced swimming game for five or more players. It’s the classic game of freeze tag with a twist.
How to Play One person is “it” and tries to tag other players. If a player gets tagged, he or she becomes a popsicle, meaning he or she must stand in the pool with his or her hands in the air. The catch: “it” cannot tag players while they are underwater. Players try to tag the popsicles to unfreeze them before “it” tags them and turns them into popsicles. A circle-shaped pool is ideal for this game, as the evenness of a circle allows swimmers to travel around the pool without having to swim the length of the pool repeatedly. The curved sides also make it more difficult for a player to launch himself or herself from one side of the pool to the other, as one could do with a narrow rectangle.
Safety Tips Remind your children not to hold their breath underwater for more than a few seconds. Make sure an adult supervises from the sidelines while everyone else plays.
Fish, Dolphin, Shark Just like with Popsicle, you’ll need five or more players for this game.
How to Play Choose one person to be “it” (or two people, if there are more than fifteen people playing). The “it” person stands in the middle of the pool while all the players line up on one side. Each player chooses the animal he or she wants to be (either a fish, a dolphin, or a shark). “It” calls out one of the three animals. All the players who picked that animal must swim across the pool to the other side without getting tagged. If “it” tags them, they become “seaweed.” They must stand in place where they were tagged, although they can reach out their arms and try to tag other players. “It” continues to call out different animals to cross the pool until he or she has tagged everyone. A pool with straight, even edges on either end of the pool is ideal for this game so that it is clear when someone has reached the other end of the pool and so everyone travels the same distance.
Safety Tips Again, make sure someone supervises the game. Encourage players to pay attention to where they’re swimming so they don’t swim into other people.
Duck Race This is an exciting party game for all ages. You’ll need a rubber duck for each player.
How to Play Players line up on one side of the pool, each with a rubber duck in front of him or her. When the officiator shouts “Go!,” players try to get their duck to the other side by blowing on it. The first player to touch their duck to the other side of the pool wins. Like with “Fish, Dolphin, Shark,” a pool with straight, even edges on either end is best so that each player has to travel the same distance.
Safety Tips Make sure each player has enough space so players don’t run into each other.
Dolphin Race Get both kids and parents involved in the action. Players will need to form teams of two.
How to Play Each partnership decides who is going to be the dolphin’s flippers and who is going to be the tail. The tail person stands behind the flipper person and holds the flipper person’s waist. When the officiator shouts “Go!,” each partnership tries to swim to the other end of the pool. The flipper person can use only their arms to swim, and the tail person can use only their legs to kick. The first team to make it to the other side wins. Straight, even edges on parallel sides of the pool provide the best starting and end points for this game. Ideally, the pool will also be wide enough that the teams don’t swim too closely together and risk injuring each other.
Safety Tips The people acting as the flippers should make sure not to kick their feet so they don’t injure their partners. Try some of these games in your family and create unforgettable family memories. Before you jump in the pool, make sure your pool is ready. Testing and maintaining your pool’s water chemistry is crucial for a healthy swimming environment. Plus, adding safety features like pool covers, drain covers, and fences can ensure the safety of your family and guests. Let us do the work so you can enjoy your pool. Call KrisCo Aquatech Pools & Spas for all kinds of pool maintenance and renovation.