We love to go to the pool in the summer. It takes up a lot of those boring hours during the long “Dog Days” of summer. Not to mention how much exercise they get swimming. One thing we love about swimming are all the fun games to play with our friends. Today I’m sharing with you some of those fun games we play while in the pool.
1. Motor Boat: All the kids stand in a circle and hold hands. They say a chant as they bounce around the circle:
“Motorboat, Motorboat, Go So Slow.” (Pick up a little speed and say), “Motorboat, Motorboat, Go So Fast.” (now a little faster) “Motorboat, Motorboat, Step on the Gas!” ( you can have the kids float on their tummies (in the star fish float with arms and legs out) and blow bubbles at the end)
This game helps the kids get used to putting their faces in the water and helps them learn to do the star fish float.
2. Monkeys on the Wall: All the kids stand on the side of the wall and whomever is in the pool (a parent preferrably) says:
“5 little monkeys standing on a wall, (name of child) jumps in and splashes us all!”
Then repeat with the remaining kids. This game teaches the kids to be brave when getting in the pool in a fun way.
3. Animals in a Basket: All of the kids stand in a circle holding hands. One child is in the center and decides what animal they want to be. Then the kids say a fun chant:
“(Shark) in a basket, (Shark) in a basket, how you gonna get out, how you gonna get out? You can’t go over, you can’t go around, you have to go under!”
Then the child in the middle has to choose who’s arms they are going to swim under to get out of the circle. Then let all the kids have a turn in the middle.
This game teaches the kids how to swim completely under the water in order exit the circle.
4. Ring Around the Roses: This game is for younger kids who need to work on being confident about putting their heads under water. You can do this game with an infant by holding them in front of you, then dunking the baby for a split second when you say “We all fall down!”. Alternatively you can play it with older kids holding hands and everyone tries to sit all the way down in criss cross legs on the bottom of the pool after saying “we all fall down”.
“Ring around the roses, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down!”
5. Red light, green light: The kids lay on their tummies holding onto the side of the pool. When you say green light, they kick like crazy, when you say red light they stop. You’re kids will learn how to kick and hwo to propel themselves under water.
6. Marco Polo: The person who is “it” closes their eye and keeps them closed. Then the person who is “it” yells “Marco,” the other players have to say “Polo“. To start playing, “it” closes his eyes for a set number of seconds while opposing players disperse in the pool. It, with eyes closed, then swims around the pool, attempting to tag the other players, yelling “marco” and using his ears to guide him to the other players. The first person that get’s tagged then has to be “it”.
7. Shark Tag: This game is played in the deep end of the pool so children should be comfortable swimming. The game starts with one player in the deep end that is designated as the “shark”. All other players start on the shallow end pool deck. The object is to swim to the deep end and touch the deck without getting caught by the shark. The game starts by the shark calling to the minnows to swim to towards the deep end “Fishies, fishies swim to me!”. If the shark manages to tag a minnow before reaching the deep end deck they become a shark to help tag the other minnows. If the minnows don’t enter the pool the shark can swim to the shallow end and tag the deck – and anyone not in the pool yet is it! The game is played until all the minnows are tagged – at that point the first person tagged becomes the shark for the next round.
8. Dive sticks or pool toys: Dive toys are great to play with for older kids. You can start by throwing in all of the dive sticks and the kids can take turns seeing how many they can pick up before they have to come up for a breath. A clear bottle is fun in the pool too! Fill the bottle with pool water and line the players up on the pool deck, backs to the water. When they hear the splash they can turn around and try to find it. It’s harder than it seems as the bottle camouflages to the bottom.
There are all types of pool toys you can buy. I really love this “shootball” game for the kids because it involves a lot of people.
9. Dolphin Races: With this game you hold your breath and see who can swim the longest underwater race.
What it all comes down to is to just get out there and have fun while teaching the kids some great swimming skills! Have a great summer everyone!