Heading on your summer holiday? Set your family up for maximum fun in the pool with our awesome pool games. Hours of parental satisfaction guaranteed.
Suitable for babies and confident swimmers alike, water-based Ring-a-Ring-o’-Roses provides a splash-filled take on the classic nursery rhyme. Holding hands in a circle, everyone skips round in one direction singing: “Ring-a-ring-o’-roses, a pocketful of poses, atishoo, atishoo, we all fall down!" At this point, the group splashes down beneath the water. To resume singing, jump up out of the water as high as you can: “Ashes in the water, ashes in the sea, ashes in the dustbin, up jumps me!”
Make it baby-friendly: Hold your little one on their front, under their arms, and swirl them around in one direction. When it gets to “we all fall down”, gently roll your baby over 360 degrees, from their tummy over onto their back before returning to their tummy again, lightly wetting their head as they go round.
What you need: Some friends! Goggles can also help improve your child’s water confidence.
*Treasure hunt *
Fire up your child’s imagination (along with their diving skills) with a fun treasure hunt game.
Choose to be treasure-seeking pirates or famous explorers searching for lost gold. Parents scatter dive toys on the pool bottom, while little swimmers search and retrieve.
Child not reached the diving stage just yet? Tweak the game so they can be a ‘spotter’, using goggles or a snorkel and mask to search from the water surface before instructing you to dive down and bag their haul.
What you need: Goggles and Speedo Dive Puzzle. ‘Spotters’ may like experimenting with a mask and snorkel.
Hum that tune
Brilliant for encouraging underwater confidence, two players or more submerge themselves completely while one hums a well-known tune underwater (nursery rhymes work well for younger children). The other player(s) must guess the tune before they take turns doing the humming.
Adapt it for less water confident children:
Rather than submerging themselves completely, younger players can practice ‘crocodile eyes’, submerging their faces up to their eyes while they hum a tune.
What you need: Goggles or a Sea Squad Face Mask will help maximise your child’s fun.
Starfish statues tag
Got a big gang of kids with energy to burn? Starfish statues is perfect. One player is ‘it’ and has to tag as many friends in the pool as possible. Once tagged, each player stands still in a starfish position and can only be freed by a friend swimming underwater through their legs (for less competent swimmers this can be adapted to touching their shoulder). Aim to create as many starfish statues as you can in a few minutes and then swap with another player.
What you need: Floatation suits and armbands can help less proficient swimmers stay buoyant. A Sea Squad Mask or goggles make it easier for young swimmers to locate their friends’ legs underwater.
*Relay races *
Team up and have some fun! Stagger your team members on opposite sides of the width of the pool, so everyone has someone to swim towards. Racing against your opposing team(s), the first team member sets off to swim the width of the pool with a dive toy or ring in their hand (the ‘baton’). When they reach the other side they pass the ‘baton’ to the next swimmer who then sets off to the opposite side of the pool. This continues until the last team member completes a width. The first team to finish wins!
To up the fun factor, vary what you use as a baton – from a tiny table tennis ball to a blow-up beach ball. The challenge is to swim the width of the pool without losing it!
What you need: A suitable ‘baton’ to pass on. Speedo Dive Toys or Dive Puzzle are perfect.
Piggy in the middle
Oink oink. Energetic Piggy in the middle provides hours of fun in the pool. All you need is three players, a ball, and enough pool space to splash around in. The ‘piggy’ must try to capture the ball while the other two players throw it to one another. Simple! Whoever throws the ball when it’s captured becomes the next piggy in the middle.