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Pool Party Games for Younger Kids to Teenagers

Updated on June 13, 2014

Make The Most Of The Pool Available To You

Anyone can have a pool party. Yes, anyone can have a pool party. If you have one right in your backyard there are less rules, but that shouldn't stop you. I'll show you how you can have a great party in your own yard or at a public pool.

There are lots of games to play in a pool. Some you need equipment for such as needing a goal for basketball. Some games are easier to play, and only need goggles. Those are the games to play at a public or apartment pool.

If you live in an apartment, check with the management to know the pool rules on guest limits or rules regarding horseplay in the pool. Plan your party around the number of guests allowed, and what you are allowed to do in the pool. For example, you may have to eliminate games that involve running or using floats, but fun can still be had.

Maybe if your apartment pool calls for too many restrictions, you can plan to go to a public pool where you can bring in multiple children with you. There still may be some restrictions on horseplay, but we can work around that with our guests.

If your pool is in your own backyard, you won't have any restrictions but your own, but you can have a great pool party in any of these circumstances.

Once you have your place chosen, get started on the games, and how many children will make a good number for your party.

Typically an even number of people including your own children will work best. It keeps one person from feeling left out. In social situations we tend to pair off, so keep the party friendly by allowing that to happen.

A Pool Party Of Fun

Before The Games

The games I recommend are tested and approved by my own children, and many friends and family. I guarantee they will please your crowd.

I'll start with simple games and move up to the more involved games that include lots of exercise and movement from your adolescents and teens.

Before we head out to the pool, don't forget sunscreen for all of the kids, not just yours. These kids are under your supervision, you don't want to return them burnt!

Most sunscreens call for sunscreen to be applied 15-20 minutes before sun exposure. I usually have my kids sit in the shade while the lotion absorbs, or apply before going out of doors. They are teenagers now, and they do it without my asking because I trained them with this rule while they were young.

Noses and shoulders burn the most quickly, so pay special attention to those areas. Just because a child has dark skin, doesn't mean they do not need sunscreen. No matter our skin type, it's sun exposure. That means harmful rays beating down on these children, and dark skin can burn and is damaged by the sun's harmful rays just like lighter skin.

Don't forget to reapply sunscreen when the bottle recommends. All sunscreens are different, and have different lengths of protection. Mine has 80 minutes of coverage, but some have longer and some have shorter times. Be sure to read the bottle.

Some children wear earplugs to protect from swimmer's ear, and some wear goggles because the chlorine can irritate their eyes. Be sure to ask parents about these issues before taking them for a day of swimming.

Okay we are protected, so let's go get into the pool!

Tip: The games are numbered for ease of reading in this article.

Torpedoes and Dive Sticks

# 1 Hunt for Sticks/Rings or Torpedoes

We have always played games where you dive down for sticks, rings or torpedoes. If you have younger children, you can play it in shallower water. Water that is only 1-2 feet deep is fine. Have the kids face away from the water. You will throw in the dive sticks, and they will turn back around and search for them.

Some sticks have numbers on them, and you can add up the numbers as points and have a winner. Some kids like to wear goggles even if they aren't actually diving down, so maybe have those available.

It works the same way for older kids, but in deeper water. Have them turn around, and then throw them in. The older kids will listen for the sticks to hit the water to determine where they landed. Torpedoes have a trick to them though because they hit the water, then go spiraling to a completely different spot in the pool. Torpedoes are better for the older kids to challenge them more.

The winner gets to throw them in next. This allows me to step away from the game, and prepare other things such as snacks. Smaller children will need you to stay and supervise them in the water.

This game is easy to play, fun, and gets the kids running and swimming in the water which is great exercise! If you want to make this even more difficult for your older children play this with coins. It's very difficult to see coins especially in a patterned bottom pool. Points are added up by the value of the coin.

Tip: When you watch the torpedoes video, watch the point of entry to where they land, especially the second one. It shows you how far off they can spiral.

Watch The Torpedoes Shoot Out From Entry Into Pool

# 2 Swim Races

Who hasn't raced under water in a pool with other kids? Probably all of us have, and it's always fun. Goggles are a good idea for this activity. We all love to be able to open our eyes while racing, and look to the sides to see who's catching us.

You could also use the dive sticks for this game because you could set the sticks in the center of the racing line, and each child has to bring a stick back with them.

If the kids you have are too young for swimming under water, have them just swim with their heads out or doggy paddle across the pool. If that is not even possible, have them run in the water across the shallow area.

Timed swims is an option also. Each child takes a turn to swim the distance whether it's across the pool and back or just across. You time each child, and the winner has the shortest time. This can also be done while all swim at once. The winner will have the best time.

The beach ball is right under the flower planter in this photo.  We are all volleying the ball to one another.
The beach ball is right under the flower planter in this photo. We are all volleying the ball to one another.

# 3 Alphabet Beach Volleyball

Let's play a beach volley ball game. We're going to toss a beach ball up in the air, and volley it to one another. As we are doing this, we will each announce the next letter in the alphabet. Sometimes as a challenge, we say the alphabet in reverse. If the ball hits the ground or water, the alphabet starts over again.

My family is very large and even with 15-20 people, some playing in and out of the pool, we have only gotten through the alphabet a handful of times. But we cannot stop playing. It's a challenge we have to conquer! We play this at family get togethers, and a pool party for kids would be perfect too.

Little ones may need something shorter to conquer like maybe spell beach or ball instead of trying to get through the whole alphabet. You don't want to frustrate them, and then they give up.

Diagram Of How Categories Works

# 4 Categories

This game is about what we like. Choose a person to start as the chaser. This person is staged on one side of the pool outside the water while the others are either to the left or right of this person on opposites sides of the pool in the water.

The chaser will call out a category, and they will name something they love from it. For example, they could call out ice cream as the category, and then chocolate ice cream as the flavor they love. Everyone that also loves chocolate ice cream must swim from one side of the pool to the other, and the chaser jumps in and tries to catch one of those swimmers. If they catch someone, that person becomes the chaser. If no one is caught, the process begins again with the same chaser.

The chaser can choose any category they want, then name their favorite item in that category. We have played with pizza, then certain toppings as our favorites. We have used favorites bands, shows etc.

This games test the knowledge we know about our friends, and also helps us to get to know one another better.

# 5 Hunger Games

If you have seen the Hunger Games movie, you might have an idea what this game is about. As my picture shows, the kids made a big pile of weapons in the center of the pool. On top of a float, they piled pool noodles, foam balls, and smaller floats.

All of the kids lined up along the pool's edge. If your pool is rectangular, they could line up at each end or along the sides of the pool. You can count down from ten, then the kids jump into the pool and grab a weapon. There is no tagging until everyone is out of the pool with their weapon.

The kids run off in different directions to hide and tag one another. My kids and their friends were getting a little rough with hitting one another with the noodles, so I put a stop to it by telling them to tag one another.

Once you are tagged, it's into the pool with you. You wait there until everyone is tagged. The remaining untagged person is the winner.

This game may be too challenging for younger children, but the teenagers seemed to love this. It was popular with the movie itself being a hit, and my daughter came up with the idea from her own love of the books and movie.

This game probably wouldn't be good at a public pool since there is running and hiding involved. The kids really spread out into the front yard, and around other houses to hide from one another.

Pile Of Weapons In The Center Of Pool

# 6 Show Of Transformations

All kids like to show off what they can do, and we are going to do this in our next game. Line all the kids up outside the pool. Explain that you will call out a type of person or thing to pose as while jumping into the pool. For example, when the first person steps up, you could say, animal. Then you would say, as they were jumping into the pool, the type of animal to pose as, like elephant. The child would pose as best as they can as an elephant while jumping into the water.

It's difficult because they are transforming themselves last minute to create a vision you asked them for. After every child has had a chance to jump in and show their talents to transform as a different person or thing, you judge who did the best job. The winner will become the next judge.

# 7 Tube Diving

We aren't really going to dive into the pool, just into a tube next to us which makes it more difficult. All you need is an inflated tube and some participants.

We are going to jump into the tube one after the other continuously. It gets disorienting to keep this up, and that is part of the difficulty. All the kids surround a tube in the center of the pool. You tell them when to begin after deciding which order the kids will jump in the tube. Everyone must jump in that order. If you go before or after your turn, you're out. If you miss the hole, you're out. If you don't go right after the person you are supposed to follow, you're out.

It's basically a continuous dive into the tube, under, and back up to do it again. It's easier with more people because there is more people to jump, so your turn isn't one right after the other, As you dwindle down to two final players, it gets more and more difficult to keep up the pace.

Eventually, someone will fail, and there will be a winner. Those who have lost can stand by and watch, and keep the tube centered. If the tube gets too close to the edge, move it back to the center. We don't want anyone bumping their heads along the walls of the pool.

This is one of our favorites because we start laughing as it gets more difficult, and by the end we are all giggling and having the best time.

Fun For All Ages

You may think that some of these games are too young for your children. If your kids like fun, and they have their friends with them, they will enjoy these games. I didn't even have to encourage my kids to play. Most of the time, they play on their own, and make these games up themselves. They are in their mid and late teens. We are never too old for games.

Have fun with these games and some of your own. Get out there with the kids and be involved in these lazy, hazy days of summer. It's sure to make memories that will be remembered by all.

Make Time To Relax Too

Rate the Hunger Games:

Did you find the 'Hunger Games' game to be original and fun?

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Will You Play My Games?

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    • Krmission profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks, I agree it was pretty creative. Thanks for stopping to read, FlourishAnyway!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      I especially liked the Hunger Games challenge. I could imagine that's quite a hit!

    • Krmission profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Faith Reaper! I enjoyed taking pictures of the kids playing the games, and being out by the pool. Yes, my daughter is a creative one, and she is addicted to the Hunger Games series. Thanks for stopping to read.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, you have brought back a lot of memories of my children growing up in the city and we had a backyard pool too. We played many of these games too. So much fun and, yes, we are never too old to have fun too.

      The Hunger Games one is interesting that your daughter came up with and perfect for teenagers.

      Up and more and away

      Hope you and your family will enjoy a lovely weekend by the pool!


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