Keep children cool and occupied during the hot summer months by heading to your local pool for an afternoon of swimming and games. Pool games are a great way for kids to get some exercise and enjoy the warm weather without becoming overheated. If many kids are playing, make sure you have an extra set of eyes to help keep watch over them.
Tag becomes more fun when water is involved. Marco Polo is a classic swimming pool tag game. One player closes his eyes and calls out “Marco” while swimming or walking around the pool. The other players respond with “Polo,” as they attempt to stay as far away from Marco as possible. Marco follows the sound of the other player’s voices, calling out “Marco” if he needs to. If he tags another player, they are it. Other swimming pool tag games include Octopus and Battleships and Submarines.
Older children and more advanced swimmers will have fun going after objects thrown into the bottom of the pool. Throw weighted plastic rings or sticks into the shallow end of the pool. Swimmers jump into the pool and must retrieve the rings or sticks. If you have plenty of adult supervision and children who are very good swimmers, you can throw the objects into the deep end of the pool, and have the swimmers retrieve them.
Sports in the Pool
Classic sports, such as baseball or volleyball, are great fun in a swimming pool. Stretch a net across the middle of the pool and divide a group of children into two teams for pool volleyball. Use a ball that is water resistant. If your pool is divided into a shallow end and a deep end, you may want to have one team be made up of older children and one of younger children. Set up bases at three points of the pool and have home plate be in the shallow end for whiffle ball.
Games Off the Diving Board
Hold a diving, cannonball or belly flop contest. Rate the jumps and dives based on form for diving and the size of the splash for the cannonball or belly flop. Make sure the children know that belly flops can hurt a lot. You can also have a contest to see who can come up with the most innovative dive or jump from the board. Incorporate the best of contest into a game of P-I-G, where players try to replicate another player’s jump or dive. Those who are unsuccessful get a letter. Once they’ve gotten enough letters to spell out the word “pig,” they are out of the game.
If you have a group or even a few kids over to swim at your pool, make sure you always keep an eye on them. Consider hiring a professional life guard to supervise a large group for a party. Always cover ground rules with the kids before they get in the pool: no running, no pushing people under water and no splashing.
- boy in swimming-pool image by Marzanna Syncerz from Fotolia.com