Kick Off Your Summer with These Backyard Pool Games
May 22, 2023

It’s almost summer and that means lazy days spent poolside with the kids. While you may be set to relax, children will want to splash and play all day long. So, whether you’re looking for fun distractions or planning the ultimate pool party, there’s plenty of games that are perfect for pools of all sizes. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite backyard swimming pool games to keep the kids entertained all day long for the entire summer.


A watery twist on “Tag”, one person is the “shark” who must swim and catch one of the other players. Once they’re caught, they become the shark and try to catch the others. This is a fun and easy game where elements can be added to change the rules slightly for different types of play. Larger pools are best for this game, to give everyone room to “flee” the shark.

Treasure Hunt

This is a great game for any pool size – even smaller styles designed for little ones. Basically, items such as coins, beaded necklaces, seashells, etc. are tossed into the pool. Children must dive down to collect the treasures they find. This type of game can go on for hours sometimes, and once again, you can add your own elements to the rules, like allocating points to objects or making the task like a race, timing children to see how fast they can collect the items.

Invisible Bottle

Fill a clear 2L bottle with water (making sure to use a cap that’s either white or the same colour as your pool tiles. Have the kids line up on the deck, facing away from the pool, then throw the water bottle in. Once they hear the splash they can turn around and try to find the water bottle. This is harder than it sounds, as the clear bottle practically disappears under the water! Once again, a larger sized pool is best, to give everyone room to dive and search.

Ping Pong Race

This game can also be done with golf balls or a combination of the two. Write numbers on each ball (which will be the number of points each ball is worth), then throw them into the water. The golf balls will sink to the bottom, while the ping pong balls will float along the top. Then, divide the children into 2 teams, with an empty bucket on each end of the pool. The kids can then dive into the water and collect as many balls as possible, one ball at a time, and place them into the buckets. The team with the most points wins. Once again, large pools are best for this game, but a lap pool would also work, and a plunge pool could too if golf balls are used.

What’s the Time, Mr. Shark?

This game is best in shallow pools, or shallow ends, where kids will be able to touch the ground. Similar to the game “What Time is it Mr. Wolf” which is played on land, one child is “The Shark” and stands at one end, turned away from the other players who start at the opposite end of the pool. The kids then call out “What time is it, Mr. Shark?” and the shark answers with numbers like “one O’clock”, “five O’clock”, etc. the players then have to take the number of steps the shark called out (one o’clock = one step) until the shark calls out “Lunch Time!” and turns to try and catch the players, who must swim back to the safety of the pool edge.

Balancing Game

If you have a fairly big pool, and a bunch of pool floats or pool noodles, this is a great challenge for kids. Get them to try and stand on their pool noodles or floats in the water and count how many seconds they can stay up. The one who stays up the longest wins!

Ball Toss

This is another great swimming pool game for your backyard. Even those who may not want to swim can participate by playing from the poolside! Write numbers on the back sides of frisbees. Then have the kids toss balls at the frisbees. Those that hit the target get the points. This is another simple game that can work with pools of any size and is a challenge for all ages.

Obstacle Course

Create an obstacle course for the kids with hula hoops and floats. If you’d like some sunken hula hoops, try this: cut a hoop and fill it with water. Tape the ends back together and add a small piece of pool noodle so that it will float slightly under the surface. You can even add pool rings, shells or other items that need to be collected. Starting at one end of the pool and working to the other, kids will have to dive, swim under and through obstacles, and collect items underwater, while racing from one end of the pool to the other. A larger sized pool works best so that obstacles can be spread throughout the space.

Marco Polo

One of the most popular outdoor pool games, Marco Polo can work for groups of any size, from 2 or more people. One child is chosen as “it” and must close their eyes. They call out “Marco” while the other kids call out “Polo”. With their eyes closed, the person who is “it” tries to guess from the voices where the other kids are, in order to catch them.

Has all this talk of backyard fun got you thinking about getting your own swimming pool in before the summer hits? Contact the team at Narellan Pools to find your nearest Pool Dealer

Proudly Associated With