Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fun in the Sun Pool Party Games

Pool Game Fun - Handstand Contest!
I grew up in a pool! I spent many hours just bobbing up and down with my sister completely content. We also played endless amount of pool games. Here are a few of my all-time favorites, perfect for your Pool Party.

The Tried and True: Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows
These 2 games are king and queen of the pool! Here is a quick overview of each game.

Marco Polo
Depending on the size of the pool and number of swimmers, you can either designate a small or large area to have the game. Once decided it's time to pick who is Marco. He/She must go under water, close his/her eyes and count to 10. When up, with eyes still closed, he yells, "Marco." All the other players (scattered in the designated area) yell "Polo."

The object of the game is for Marco to tag one of the other players. When tagged, he becomes the new Marco, and the game starts over. My favorite part of this game is "fish out of water." Players can get out of the pool if they like, but if Marco calls, "fish out of water," any player who is not in the water (not even a toe), becomes the new Marco.

Sharks and Minnows
One person is picked as the shark. She stays on one side of the pool, and all the rest of the kids go to the other side (if the pool is large, you can use just the width of the pool not length.) The shark then yells, "minnows go." The minnows must then swim to the opposite end and not be tagged by the shark. The shark swims across and tries to tag as many minnows as possible. As soon as a minnow has been tagged, he/she becomes a shark. The game continues until there is one remaining minnow. He becomes the new shark.

Crazy Relays
Relays are a great way to entertain kids at a party. Since some guests may not be the best swimmers or have the most elegant stroke, it's fun to come up with some "crazy" relays for all to have fun. Here are some suggestions:

Kickboard Relay
Split the party into 2 teams. Line them up on one side of the pool. One member kicks across the pool, then hands the board to his team mate.

Kickboard/Surfer Relay
The same as the kickboard relay, but kids need to either sit or stand on the board and use their arms to get across the pool.

Feet First Relay
This is lots of fun. Basically, the kids "sit" in the water (like on a lounge chair) and use their arms to paddle forward, keeping their feet first at all times. The first toes to touch at the end, win!

T-Shirt Relay
For the first swimmer, this is relatively easy. He/She starts the relay by swimming across the pool with a t-shirt on. When done, he needs to get out of the pool, take the t-shirt off and pass it to the next person, who must put it on. (The trick to this relay is to lock arms, and have someone help "pull" the t-shirt between people.)

Water Ballon Relay
Kids must push a water ballon across the pool to their team member and continue until the last person pushes it to the end.

Underwater Relay
Just like the name says, kids must swim underwater the whole way across the pool. Of course they can come up to breathe, but no strokes.

Corkscrew Relay
Kids must swim in a corkscrew (twirling around and around) as the head down the pool. This is a dizzy, but very funny game, since it's very hard to swim in a straight line!

Inner Tube Relay
Each team gets an inner tube. One at a time the person must get in the inner tube and paddle (however they like, whether it's kicking or using arms or both) across the pool and pass the inner tube to his team mate.

More Pool Game Ideas
Handstand Contest
Handstands are the best in the pool since they are so easy. Have the kids perform their best handstands and give them ratings.

Gymnastics Routine Contest
Just like handstands, performing a gymnastics routine is fun, and much simpler in a pool than on land! Give the participants a set of "moves" they must accomplish in their routine (for instance, a hand stand, a flip, a cart wheel, a bend over, etc.) Now have them show their stuff!

Underwater Tea Party
One of my first swim coaches when I was a very little girl threw the best underwater tea parties around. This is a great game for little ones where just dunking in the pool is a big deal. The host of the party says, "OK, time to set up for the party. First let's put out the place mats." Then everyone dunks and sets up their pretend placemat. Next, the plates, cups, tea, cookies, etc... all pretend of course. Once the table is set, all get to go under and "have a party".


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Filling a Swimming Pool