There are so many fun ways to play in your back yard swimming pool! From variations of tag to other family-friendly competitions such as Chicken Fights to Cannon Ball Contests, you’ll be reaping plenty of health benefits without even noticing! This grouping of pool games below is based around a hide-and-seek or hunting-and-gathering motif. After all, who doesn’t love searching for treasure — hidden or otherwise?!
Underwater Treasure Hunts cost only pennies but can provide hours of entertainment! Start with a roll of pennies, and start tossing them off the deck (making a wish is completely optional). Then let participants jump in and try to collect the pennies from the bottom! If you’re feeling generous, feel free to use some higher value coins as well! Whoever finds the most obviously wins, and you might even want to have a “store” set up with low-priced prizes they can buy.
Pirate Races are a little easier than pennies for first-time under-water divers because diving sticks sink to the bottom but allow for easy grabbing. If you have two players — er, pirates! — be sure to use an odd number of diving sticks, and ask them to start on opposite sides of the pool. Toss the sticks into the middle, and the pirate with the greatest number of sticks wins!
An Under-Water Scavenger Hunt might take a little longer to set up, but it’s still a pretty simple activity. Find several items that will sink, and be sure to find them in pairs (think coins, pool rings, or rocks). Divide players into two teams. Toss the items into the pool, and tell each team that their goal is to secure one item from each pair. The first team to deliver one of each to the “base” will win!
If your crowd isn’t up for under-water contests, have them try some Ping Pong Pandemonium! Lightweight Ping Pong balls are great to use because they’re lightweight and float easily, while remaining difficult to spot on the water’s surface. For added intensity, write point values on the balls or letters that players need to match to their names or combine to figure out a secret message. Just toss a dozen or two into the pool and let the pandemonium begin!
Who’s up for a challenging game of “Find the Invisible Bottle”?! All you need is a clear, plastic 2-liter bottle, emptied of its original contents. Fill it with pool water and use either a white cap or one that blends in with your pool liner. Ask players to stand along the edge of the pool, with their backs facing toward the water. Then instruct them to remain in that position until they hear the bottle splash into the water; at that point, they can turn around and look for the camouflaged bottle.
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