Swimming Games for Adults & Kids

Your swimming experience can be made more exciting by playing different games in the water.  Some of the most common adult, teen or kid swim games that can be played in the pool include bumper balls, volleyball, wet shirt relay, Marco polo, grape toss, sunken treasure and piranhas.

These games can be played during pool parties, by two people. The following are details on how to play plus safety measures that should be observed to ensure everyone is safe.

Pool Party Adult Games

Bumper balls

This is a simple game that does not require much equipment or skills.


  • Rope
  • A beach ball

How to play

Place the rope across the middle of your pool and give each of the players a ball. Say go and all the players should bump into each other towards the rope. The player who touches the rope is eliminated from the game. The winner is the last player who remains.

Pool volleyball

Pool volleyball is a familiar game and most people can easily play it. Even for non-athletic people, it is a simple one.

What you need

  • A beach ball or a volleyball
  • A net

How to play pool volleyball

Start by dividing the people in the pool into two teams then set up the net across the pool. Play the game just like you would have done with the normal volleyball. You could use a beach ball to slow things down in the pool. Avoid spiking the ball to prevent bloody nose accidents.

If you do not have a net, you can purchase an inflatable volleyball set that includes an inflatable net and volleyball.

Wet shirt relay

Just like the name suggests, this game involves relaying a wet shirt among teammates. This game does not require any equipment.

What you need

  • A shirt

How to play

Make sure you first divide the players into two groups. Each team should have half of its players on either ends of the swimming pool.  Each of the first players should wear a soaking wet t-shirt. They should then swim across the end of the pool, take off the shirt and give it to their teammates who will continue with the race.

Both groups should follow the process and the team that manages to get all their players across the pool wins.

Relay race flip cup

Relay race flip cup is similar to any other type of relay where a team member has to wait for the person ahead of them to finish the race. It does not require much equipment.

What you need

  • Cups
  • A table
  • A pool

How to play

When playing this game, it is better to have the table far from the pool. This makes the game more interesting and fun. Form different teams of players. Each player from a team should jump into the pool, swim till the other end of the pool and climb out of the pool. The player should then run to the table, drink their beer and flip their cup.

The player then gestures to the next teammate to do the same. The team that gets all its players across the pool and flips the cups becomes the winner. However, you should adhere to safety precautions to avoid getting hurt especially when running towards the table.

Water jousting

Water jousting is a competitive and fun game that many people would enjoy doing.

Equipment needed

  • A pool jousting jet

How to play

All players should have a log and a jousting blooper. The rule of the game is to knock down your opponent off the log quicker than they can knock you off.

Tipsy waiter

The tipsy waiter is a very interesting pool game for adults that will leave your stomach sore from laughing. It requires simple equipment.

What you need

  • 14 cups
  • 2 trays
  • 2 buckets
  • 2 bats

How to play

To play this game, you need to divide people into two teams. Put 7 cups filled with water in a tray for each team and place it on the floor. Set up one bucket for each team on opposite sides. One player from each team starts by spinning on their bat for at least 8 minutes or more and takes up their tray.

They are supposed to carry their trays with their cups of water and get to the other end then pour the remaining water into the bucket. The player should then run back for the next teammate to begin. The team that manages to fill their buckets first wins the game.

Games to Play in the Pool for 2 Grown-Ups, Teens & Kids

There are pool games that can be played by only two people and they can be categorized into those for adults, teens and kids.

Beach ball balance race

The only equipment needed for this pool game is a beach ball. It is an easy and simple game.

How to play

You and your partner need to stand at one end of the pool. Each one of you should hug their beach ball and make sure to balance on top of it.  At the count of three, start racing against each other to the end of the pool and back. The one who manages to get back first wins.


Piranha is a game where you and your partner are fighting against each other like piranhas.

What you need

Two strips of material or cloth for each player.

How to play

Both of you should hang out the pieces of cloth and ribbon about 2 inches. You have to try and pull out the ribbon out of your partner’s pockets while swimming. For you to win the game, you have to pull out all the materials from your partner. This game is best when played in the shallow end.

Poison pool toss

Poison pool toss is an interesting game that is really interactive. This game can be played on both the shallow and deep ends but if neither of you is comfortable with the deep end, you can use the shallow end of the pool.

What you need

  • Floatable objects
  • A rope

How to play

Start by dividing the pool into two using a rope. Each one of you should position themselves at either end of the pool. Throw the same number of floatable objects on either ends such as rings, corks and balls among others.

Count to three and start throwing as many items as possible to your partner’s end. Keep throwing till the time limit is up. You can set a time limit of 10 or 15 minutes. The player with the least number of objects on their end is the winner of the game.

Grape toss

Grape toss is a great game that can be enjoyed by teens in a pool. It involves catching a grape with your mouth.

What you need

  • Flag or mini cone

How to play

Start by marking several sections of four inches each. You can use a flag or mini cone to indicate the length of each section from the shallow end to the deep end. Of the two players, one is the tosser while the other is the catcher.

The tosser should have a large bag of grapes and stand with it at the end of the shallow end.  The catcher should position themselves at the first mark and wait for the tosser to throw a grape into their mouth. The tosser should throw as many grapes as possible until one gets in the catcher’s mouth.

Marco polo

Marco polo is a very famous 2-person pool game for kids and even adults. It was named after a person, Marco polo, who had an adventurous spirit. The objective of the game is for the player who is Marco Polo to use call and response and their hearing senses too to locate the other player. This game does not need any equipment.

This game can also be played by teens.

How to play

One of the kids volunteers to be the Marco polo. When playing this game in the pool, there is no need to use a blindfold for safety purposes. Instead, the kid can just close their eyes. The kid in the Marco Polo position shouts “Marco!” and the other one shouts “polo!” as they swim away to avoid being caught by Marco Polo.

To win the game, the other player should avoid being caught by Marco Polo.

Sunken treasure

Sunken treasure is a great game for kids to practice their underwater diving skills. It also enables them to increase their speed in the water.

What you need

  • Pool diving sticks or a small object that will sink

How to play

Before starting the game, both players need to be at one end of the pool, either on the edge or in the water. Then they should toss the diving stick on the other end of the pool. When both players say “Go!” they dive into the pool and swim fast to see who will be the first to retrieve the treasure from the bottom of the opposite end of the pool.

You can also play this game using toys. You have to drop a chest full of toys into the pool and wait for the chest to crack open. The kids can then swim into the pool and start collecting the treasures that float in the water. The kid who ends up with the most toys is the winner of the game.

Inflatable Pool Games for Kids and Toddlers

Pirate ships

Pirates ships is an exciting inflatable pool game that many kids enjoy playing.

Equipment needed

  • Two inflatable pool chairs or rafts
  • Beach balls

How to play

The kids are supposed to start on the opposite sides of the pool in their “ships” and paddle towards each other. As they approach each other at the center of the pool, they try knocking each other off their ships. They do not have to touch each other’s boats in the process.

To knock each other off the ship, the players have to either toss beach balls at each other or even splash water at each other.

The players can also try projecting prizes and “booty” which involves any random object. One player has to project any object to the second player. The second player has to maneuver the object without touching it and they should also position themselves to steal the price away.

 Raft battles

Raft battle is similar to the pirate ships in that the objective is the same; to knock off the other player off their raft.

Equipment needed

  • Inflatable rafts

How to play

Each of the kids should sit or lie on the inflatable rafts and balance well on them. The players should move around the pool and try to knock each other off their rafts. The one who remains on their raft is the winner of the game.

Safety Measures when in Playing in Pools

When playing in the pools, there are safety measures that need to be observed to ensure that everyone is safe and that no risks are involved.

Wear a life jacket

This is important for those adults and also kids who do not know how to swim well. It helps in preventing them from drowning during the pool games and also keeps them balanced on water.

Do not dive

Some pools are not deep enough to allow people to dive in. It is therefore advisable not to dive because it can lead to serious injuries. Most pools indicate where you should or shouldn’t dive

Keep children under supervision

The kids playing in the pool should not be left on their own. This can lead to either drowning or even more serious dangers.

Play safe games

Ensure that the games you play are safe. Some games such as wrestling and tumbling are not so good because they can lead to you hitting your head against the pool. This will eventually lead to injuries or even worse it can lead to the drowning of the participants.

Avoid alcoholic drinks

It is advisable to take alcohol while going for a swim. Alcohol decreases your reaction time thus it could lead to serious accidents in the pool or even cause drowning since it causes some dizzy feeling.

Protect eyes

Some pool chemicals might be too harsh to you and your kids. Have goggles when swimming or going underwater. Pool chemicals might have adverse effects on your eyes such as reddening and irritation. In case of irritation, you can use over-the-counter lubricating eye drops to soothe the eyes.

Protect your skin

Both kids and adults need to protect their skins from getting sunburns. You could wear sun-protective clothing. Applying sunscreen to your body is also very important because it reduces the chances of facing the effects of harmful UV rays.

For the pool

  • Ensure that the pool is easily accessible by all people; someone can get in and out without any difficulties.
  • The pool should be clean.
  • It should have a lifeguard.

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