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Wild & Wacky Water Games

Summer time means pool time for most of us. And whether you own your own pool or visit the local pool or beach, it’s always fun to play in the water. Having several game ideas on hand for the kids to play in the water can keep them from getting bored. Don’t have a pool? That’s OK – some of these fun games are easily played with a sprinkler. So, dig out those swimsuits and goggles and head for the wet stuff.

Diving for Treasure

The oldest pool game has to be diving for an object and see who can get to it first. This is a game kids will play for hours in the pool. Kids toss objects that sink and then search for them on the bottom of the pool. Today you can purchase toys that are weighted and brightly colored, designed specifically for this game. But why not add a new twist? Why not toss weighted trinkets or coins sealed in plastic bags to the bottom of the pool before the kids get there? Then they can have a real treasure hunt. Limit the amount of prizes each child can find, make sure they share, and keep the game in the shallow end of the pool.

Sprinkler Tug of War

Turn on your sprinkler full blast for this fun game. Divide the kids up into two teams. Use a rope or heavy duty jump rope and have the kids grab hold, one team on each end. Then, start the battle! There will be lots of wet, giggly fun as kids try to avoid getting dragged into the sprinkler water. To prevent kids from falling on the sprinkler, do not place it directly in the path of the tug of war game. Set it a few inches to the side of center. Turn the oscillating feature off, if there is one.

Water Balloon Dive & Toss

For this game, you will need to fill small water balloons as full as possible and place them on the bottom of one side of the pool. Make sure they are spread out evenly. Divide the kids into two teams (you will need at least four kids for this game). Each team will then be divided into divers and catchers. When you say “Go!”, the divers start looking for the balloons on the bottom of the pool. Then, they toss them over to their team mates. The team mates have to catch them in a small bucket or bowl. Whoever has the most at the end wins. You can also play a similar version of this game on land. Just have the kids toss the balloons back and forth catching them in a bucket and moving further apart each time they throw the balloon.

Fancy Footwork

Relay races are great fun in a pool. For this game, you need two teams of kids and empty sports drink bottles with lids – one for each child. Line both teams up at the edge of the pool. When you say, “Go!” the first person in each team jumps in, places his water bottle in the water, and has to race to the other side first. The catch? He has to push his bottle with his feet! As soon as he reaches the other side, the next team member jumps in and takes a turn. Lots of toe-tickling fun in this relay race.

Bucket Brigade

This relay race has many versions. One version has kids filling up a small bucket with water, racing across to a larger bucket, dumping the water, and racing back with the bucket for the next person to go. Whoever has the most water at the end wins. But there are other fun twists you can add to this. You can form two lines and pass the bucket down the line, send it back up and whoever fills the bucket first wins.

Rubber Duck Race

This silly game will have everyone laughing. Have each child get into the pool at the starting line with a rubber ducky or other small floating toy. Everyone should have something about the same size and weight. They then have to race the duck across the pool, but they cannot touch it. They have to blow their rubber duck across the water. Who will be the first to get their duck to the other side? If a player touches a duck, it’s back to the starting line.

More Water Fun

These are just a few of the many games you can play around the pool. If you have younger children, you can let them paint with water around the edge of the pool or on a sidewalk. All you need is water and large paintbrushes. Another neat idea for younger kids is to fill small water balloons with water and freeze overnight. The next day remove the balloon part and let the kids play with their ice balloons in a small kiddie pool. Place a small toy in the middle of the balloon before freezing and they will have fun trying to figure out what is hidden in their balloon.

Now you are set for a really cool, wet summer of fun!