4 Old-School Swimming Pool Games Get a Modern Twist

girls with beach ball in a pool
The mercury is rising, and the pool is open. So who's placing bets on how long it takes for the kids to start in on the mantra of summer? Five days before the first "I'm bored"? Maybe we'll make it a whole week? It seems even fresh pool water could use a pick-me-up after a few days. How about a modern twist on some classic pool games to drive the cranky out of the kids and help you retain your summer sanity?


Chicken Fights -- Back in the day this was pretty standard. You had at least four people split up into two teams. One person climbed on another's shoulders, and the two people in the air battled it out with their hands to knock one another over. 

Fun, but it takes a lot of coordination, and someone always got kicked in the eye, didn't they? So let's take the hand-to-hand combat -- and the brutality -- out of the mix, and put in pool noodles, water guns, and other more "fun" oriented items for a battle that's more about hilarity, less about hitting.

Marco Polo -- One person is designated Marco. He closes his eyes while the other swimmers, all Polos, swim off in different directions. Marco yells out "Marco," while the others yell out "Polo." He then swims off, eyes closed, in the direction of their voices.

Let's face it -- everyone cheats at this game. So mix it up! Instead of making Marco close his eyes (which, ahem, allows for peeking), black out the inside of some goggles with black paint, which Marco will have to wear.

Diving for Dollars -- OK, so things get dropped at the bottom of the pool, and the kids collect them by diving down to the bottom. Usually everything has a point system, and the most points gets kids a prize. Yawn!!

Want to really get the kids excited about this one? Forget the toys. Bring out the money. You'll have 'em down deep faster than you can say dollar, dollar bill.

Volleyball -- Oh, so you set up a net and do the whole fancy pants game? It's so much more fun when you make the kids take turns BEING the net by lining up across the center in their giant rafts. With enough kids in the pool, you can also have a bunch stand in the center with their hands in the air, attempting to knock the ball down and upping the challenge. Attention: Beach balls are highly recommended with this game rather than traditional volleyballs to protect the "net." 

What pool games keep your kids occupied for hours?

swimming pool games

Image ©iStock.com/Susan Chiang and © Zurijeta/Shutterstock

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