25+ Fun Swimming Pool Games for Kids (Without Toys)

As a parent who loves seeing my kids splash around and have fun, I’m always on the lookout for ways to keep them entertained. Here’s the scoop on pool games without toys!

Fun swimming pool games for kids, especially those that don’t require toys, are a great way to keep them active and engaged.

From classic games like Marco Polo to creative challenges like underwater races or a synchronized swimming routine, there’s no shortage of excitement to be had.

These games not only provide endless entertainment but also help improve swimming skills, build confidence in the water, and foster a sense of teamwork among siblings and friends.

Whether it’s racing to retrieve objects from the bottom of the pool or perfecting cannonballs and belly flops, water polo ensures that laughter and joy are had.

Child with joyous expression playing in a pool with splashing water.

Marco Polo: The Classic

Everyone’s heard of Marco Polo, the classic pool game that’s been entertaining kids for generations.

To start the game one person starts in the middle of the pool. The rest of the players will scatter around the edge of the pool.

The person standing in the middle will keep their yes closed and shout out Marco while the other players will say Polo.

It is the person in the middle’s job to try and find the others based on when they say Polo.

Marco and Polo will be shouted interchangeably throughout the game until the middle person is able to find someone else and that person will take their spot.

It’s a great way to spice up any pool party, making pool time more enjoyable.

Underwater Treasure Hunt

Moving from the energy-packed Marco Polo, let’s explore another exciting pool game: underwater treasure hunt.

Ideal for your backyard pool, this game involves setting up an obstacle course from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end.

The first player to navigate through the pool water and retrieve the ‘treasure’ from the bottom of the pool wins.

It’s a fun twist to traditional water games in the pool area.

Watermelon Push Relay

Ready for some fun? Try the watermelon push relay, a hilariously entertaining and challenging pool game that’s sure to get everyone in the water.

In this fun game, relay races start at one side of the pool. The first team to push their watermelon to the finish line wins.

You can even add your own unique twist to it such as players can’t touch the bottom of the pool with their feet.

The last swimmer to the end loses but you can always play again!

It’s a friendly competition where the next person can’t start until the last person finishes. Perfect for younger kids.

Dolphin Races

As a parent, I’ve discovered that sometimes the simplest games are the most entertaining for little ones, especially when it comes to pool time fun.

One of our favorite activities is organizing dolphin races in the pool, and the best part is, it doesn’t require any toys.

All you need is a bit of imagination and some willing participants.

The concept is straightforward: kids mimic dolphins by swimming underwater as fast as they can from one end of the pool to the other.

They can compete against each other or simply try to beat their own previous times.

Not only is it a great way to encourage swimming skills and build confidence in the water, but it also provides plenty of giggles and excitement.

Plus, it’s a fantastic way to burn off some energy and keep them active while enjoying the refreshing pool on a sunny day.

Shark and Minnows

Girl wearing sunglasses lying on a float in a swimming pool.

Shark and Minnows is a classic pool game that doesn’t require any toys and is perfect for keeping little ones entertained.

It’s a fantastic way to encourage swimming skills and water confidence while having a blast.

This great game is simple all you need to do is designate one child as Mr. Shark and the rest as Minnows.

The minnows line up on one side of the pool, while the shark player stands in the middle.

When the shark shouts, “Fishy, fishy, cross my ocean!” the minnows must swim across to the other side without getting tagged by the shark.

If a minnow gets tagged, they become a shark in the next round. It’s a thrilling game of chase that keeps older kids engaged and active in the water.

The last minnow wins the shark attack!

This classic swimming pool game is perfect for a large group and is tons of fun.

Tug of War

Tug of War in the pool is a delightful twist on the classic land game and a fantastic way to keep little ones entertained in the water without the need for water toys.

To play, divide players into two teams and have them stand on opposite sides of the pool.

Each team holds onto one end of a long pool noodle or rope.

On the count of three, the teams start pulling, trying to pull the opposing team across a designated line or marker in the pool.

It’s a hilarious and energetic game that gets kids laughing and splashing around while also providing a great workout.

Tug of War in the pool is sure to be a hit with your little ones and is a fantastic way to create lasting memories of summertime fun.

Water Balloon Toss

Water balloon toss is a fun summer game that’s perfect for little kids to enjoy in the pool without the need for toys.

To play, simply fill up some balloons with water and gather the kids in the pool.

Have them pair up and stand facing each other, a short distance apart.

Then, they take turns tossing the water balloon gently to their partner.

The goal is to successfully catch and toss the balloon back without it breaking. Even small children can play this in the kiddie pool.

It’s a simple yet thrilling game that not only keeps the kids entertained but also helps improve their hand-eye coordination and teamwork skills.

Invisible Bottle Find

The invisible bottle find is a creative and engaging pool game perfect for little kids, requiring nothing more than an empty plastic bottle or water bottle.

To play, simply fill the bottle with water and add a few food coloring drops of different colors to make it easier to spot underwater.

Then, take turns hiding the bottle in different areas of the pool.

The objective is for the kids to dive down and search for the “invisible” bottle using their observation skills and swimming abilities.

Once found, they can proudly bring the bottle back to the surface, adding an element of excitement and accomplishment to the game.

If you have dive toys laying around you can use those as well.

Three young people with sunglasses floating on their backs in a swimming pool.

Floating Ping Pong Race

Floating Ping Pong Race is a delightful and easy-to-set-up pool game that provides hours of entertainment for little kids without the need for any additional toys.

Simply scatter several ping pong balls across the surface of the water and instruct the kids to pick a ball each.

Then, line them up at one end of the pool and let them race to the other side by blowing on their ping pong ball to propel it forward. You can even use a beach ball if you have one.

The first one to reach the opposite end wins the race!

Duck, Duck, Splash

Duck, Duck, Splash is a fun twist on the classic game Duck, Duck, Goose and is perfect for little kids without the need for any toys.

To play, children sit in a circle around the edge of the pool.

One child walks around the outside of the circle, gently tapping each player on the head and saying “duck” until they decide to choose a player to be the “splash.”

Instead of tagging the chosen player with their hand, the picker makes the biggest splash to get them wet before running around the circle to try and take their spot.

The splashed player then jumps up and chases the picker around the circle.

If the picker reaches the splashed player’s spot without getting tagged, they remain the picker for the next round.

This game not only encourages movement and physical activity but also adds a refreshing twist with the splashing element, making it a delightful pool game for little ones to enjoy.

The most important thing? It’s all about fun, no toys needed!

Bobbing Heads

Moving on from the lively game of Duck, Duck, Splash, we’ve another engaging pool game, known as Bobbing Heads.

In this game, you tread water with your friends, trying to keep your head above water.

It’s about timing, coordination, and stamina. You can even have someone using squirt guns to distract them and try to make them go under the water.

You’ll have a blast trying to outlast your friends, and it’s a great way to cool down on a hot summer’s day.

Kids of all ages are sure to have a great time with this as one of the best swimming pool games!

The Octopus Game

Next up on our list of fun pool games is The Octopus Game, a lively activity that’ll certainly keep you and your friends entertained.

Here’s how it works: one person is ‘the octopus’ in the middle of the pool.

The others try to cross the pool without getting caught.

If you’re tagged, you join the octopus in the middle. Last one remaining wins!

Pool Noodle Jousting

If you’re looking for a fun and competitive way to cool off, try your hand at Pool Noodle Jousting.

A thrilling game where participants use pool noodles as jousting sticks. Y

ou’ll feel the rush as you balance on a floating raft and try to unseat your opponent.

It’s a hilarious, action-packed game that’s sure to create lots of laughter and unforgettable pool-time memories.

Popsicle Freeze Tag

Have you ever played a game of tag that’s both chilling and thrilling at the same time?

Popsicle Freeze Tag takes the classic game of tag to a whole new level of fun in the swimming pool.

When you’re ‘it’, your mission is to tag others. If tagged, they must freeze like a ‘popsicle’ until another player unfreezes them.

You can even spray them with a water gun to cool them off. It’s a fun and cool way to enjoy pool time!

Fish Out Of Water

Playing fish out Of water is a delightful pool game suitable for little kids that requires no toys.

One person is chosen as ‘it’, while others are in the pool.

When ‘it’ suspects someone is out of water, they shout ‘Fish out of water!’

If correct, the ‘fish’ becomes ‘it’. It’s a thrilling, fast-paced game!

Seaweed Battle

Diving deeper into our pool adventures, let’s immerse ourselves in the exciting and strategic game of Seaweed Battle.

One player, the ‘seaweed’, stays underwater while the others try to swim past without being tagged. The caught ‘fish’ then becomes the new ‘seaweed’.

It’s a fun blend of tag and hide-and-seek, keeping kids active and developing their swimming skills.

Floatie Race

Moving on to the Floatie Race.

It’s a high-energy game where you’ll race against your pals while balancing on your favorite pool floats or boogie board.

The aim is to reach the opposite pool end first without falling off.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, but with practice, you’ll be the champion in no time. Those with the fastest time will win.

As one of our favorite pool games we almost never want to get out of the pool!

Whirlpool Fun

After mastering the Floatie Race, you might be ready for a different kind of excitement with Whirlpool Fun.

This game involves everyone in the pool walking, then jogging, then running in one direction until the water’s spinning.

Then, you all try to sit back and float against the current.

It’s a great workout, and it’s hilarious to see who can stay afloat the longest!

Cross The River

If you’re looking for a thrilling challenge, Cross The River is a swimming pool game that will test your agility and speed underwater.

You’ll need to race from one side of the pool to the other without surfacing for air.

This game improves lung capacity and builds endurance.

You can even divide kids up into teams.

The team members with the shortest time will win!

It’s a fun, competitive way for kids to stay cool and active during those hot summer days.

Water Leap Frog

Water Leap Frog is a delightful game for little kids to enjoy in the pool without the need for toys.

Similar to the classic game played on land, Water Leap Frog adds a fun twist.

You’ll form a line in shallow water with everyone bending over, while the kid at the end leaps over each one, landing softly with a splash.

The goal? Reach the front without falling! Splashes, laughter, and teamwork make this game a pool-time favorite.

Just as you can enjoy playing leapfrog on land, you can also have a blast with a fun game of water volleyball using nothing more than a simple volleyball net and ball.

Mermaid Races

Mermaid Races offer a magical and imaginative way for little kids to have fun in the pool without the need for toys.

In this game, children pretend to be little mermaids swimming gracefully through the water.

They can use their arms and legs to mimic the movement of a mermaid’s tail as they glide from one end of the pool to the other.

The goal is to see who can swim the fastest while maintaining their mermaid form. Use a green light to signal the start of the race.

Plus, it’s a great way for kids to channel their inner mermaid or merman and make lasting memories with friends and family.

It’s not only imaginative but also a delightful way to improve swimming skills.

Splash Dance

Often, you’ll find that Splash Dance quickly becomes the highlight of any pool party, combining rhythmic movements with the joy of splashing water around.

This game is all about creativity and coordination.

It’s easy, you just set some catchy tunes and let the kids create their own water dance.

As one of the best pool games its a great way to keep them entertained, active and cool in the hot summer months.

Three children smiling and splashing in a swimming pool.

Underwater Sing-along

Next up is the Underwater Sing-along, a hilarious and engaging game that’s sure to get the kids giggling.

You’ll start by singing your favorite songs underwater, and the rest of the people need to guess what it is. Add in some pool toys as props like a hula hoop and get creative!

It’s a test of your vocal abilities and listening skills, all while holding your breath.

This game isn’t just fun, but also a great way to build up underwater confidence.

Jumping Jack Splash

Ready for a splashing good time?

Let’s plunge into Jumping Jack Splash, a dynamic pool game that’s guaranteed to keep the kids laughing and active.

All they need to do is perform jumping jacks mid-air before landing in the water with a big, invigorating splash.

It’s simple, fun, and a great way to combine exercise and play.

The Wave Challenge

After they’ve had their fill of Jumping Jack Splash, you can stir up some more excitement with The Wave Challenge. This one’s about teamwork.

Get the kids to line up along the pool edge and move simultaneously in an opposite direction to create waves.

The goal? Make the biggest wave possible. Throw in a rubber duck for some fun and watch it ride the waves.

The thrill of the rising tide and the teamwork involved will keep them hooked for hours.

Chicken Fight

Chicken fight is an exhilarating pool game that doesn’t require any toys and is always a blast to play.

In this game, two players team up, and you hop on the player’s shoulders to start the game.

The objective is for the team to knock down their opponents by either toppling them over or pulling them off their partner’s shoulders.

The game continues until the first person falls and one team remains standing.

It’s all about balance, strategy, and having lots of fun in the water.

Cannonball Competition

Cannonball competitions in the pool are a classic and simple game that requires nothing more than a diving board and a group of excited kids.

Each kid takes turns jumping off the diving board and executing their best cannonball dive.

The goal is to create a big splash, earning bonus points for style and height.

It’s a fun and entertaining activity for a group of kids that never fails to bring laughter and excitement to the poolside.

With each participant vying to make the biggest splash, the cannonball competition is sure to be a highlight of any pool day.

Belly Flop Competition

A belly flop competition in the pool is a fun way to add excitement to a day of swimming.

Participants line up single file along the edge of the pool, each taking a deep breath before taking the plunge.

With arms outstretched and bodies fully extended, contestants leap into the water, creating a big splash upon impact.

Four children joyfully jumping into a swimming pool on a sunny day.

You can have judges rating their belly flops and the highest score wins.

It’s a hilarious and entertaining activity that tests courage and technique while providing plenty of laughs for spectators.

Summer Fun in the Pool

So there you have it – 25 fun and exciting, toy-free swimming pool games to keep your kids entertained all summer long.

From the classic Marco Polo to the fun-filled Watermelon Push Relay, these games guarantee endless laughter and enjoyment.

Just remember, safety first! Always keep an eye out while they’re splashing around.

Now, throw on that swimsuit, lather on the sunscreen, and plunge. Here’s to a summer filled with unforgettable poolside memories!

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