Pool Party Game Ideas: Dive into Fun and Splashy Entertainment

Dive into the fun with these pool party game ideas! Whether you’re hosting a kid’s party or an adult gathering, these games are sure to make a splash.

Summer is here, and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the warm weather than hosting a pool party with friends and family. An essential part of any successful gathering is keeping guests entertained; pool party games are the perfect solution. These games can provide endless fun for kids and adults, ensuring a memorable event for everyone.

I have tested various pool party games and am excited to share some of my favorites with you. Each activity is designed to be entertaining, interactive, and adaptable to different ages and skill levels. So let’s dive in and explore these fantastic game ideas for your next poolside bash!

Pool Party Game Essentials

Incorporating exciting and entertaining games is a must when planning a pool party. To assure you have the best possible experience, there are a few essentials I consider before planning any activities:

1. Safety Precautions

Pool parties can be lots of fun, but it’s essential to prioritize safety during any activity. Here are some key points I make sure to emphasize:

  • Always have a designated adult or lifeguard supervising game activities
  • Enforce the use of life jackets or floaties for young or inexperienced swimmers
  • Regularly check the pool area for hazards or slippery surfaces
  • Remind participants of pool rules and appropriate behavior
Adjustable Chairs 1

2. Age-Appropriate Selection

When selecting games, I consider the participants’ age group and skill level. This will help ensure everyone can enjoy the activities without feeling excluded or bored. Some games, like bobbing apples, are suitable for younger children, while others, like floating dodgems, are more suitable for adults.

3. Required Supplies

We always gather all the necessary supplies for each planned pool game. This might include:

  • Inflatable pool floats or toys
  • Water balloons or squirt guns
  • Diving rings or glowsticks for underwater games
  • Portable goals or nets for water sports like inflatable volleyball
Inflatable pool floats

Preparing everything in advance ensures attendees a smooth and enjoyable pool party experience.

Pool Party Game Ideas for Kids

We have some fantastic pool party game ideas for kids that are engaging and provide an extra depth of fun, keeping them entertained for hours. This section will focus on three popular and exciting games: Diving for Treasure, Water Balloon Toss, and Shark and Minnows.

Diving for Treasure

Creating a treasure hunt by submerging various objects in the pool is thrilling for kids. All you’ll need to make this game successful are small, waterproof toys or items easily retrieved from the bottom of the pool.

  • Choose a mix of objects with different shapes, sizes, and colors to keep things interesting.
  • Scatter the treasure items throughout the pool so they’re not too close together.
  • Have the children take turns diving in and retrieving the items, or let them join at once to make it more competitive. The kid who collects the most treasures wins!

Water Balloon Toss

Water Balloon Toss is a classic party staple that excites any pool gathering. In this game, kids will partner up and attempt to catch water balloons without letting them burst.

  1. Fill a bunch of balloons with water and distribute them to the kids.
  2. Pair up the children and have them stand a short distance apart, facing each other.
  3. Challenge the pairs to toss the water balloons back and forth, taking a step back after each successful catch.
  4. The last pair standing with their balloon intact is the winner.
Water Balloon

Shark and Minnows

Shark and Minnows is an energetic game that simulates a thrilling predator-vs-prey dynamic in the pool. This game is active and requires kids to use their speed and swimming skills to outsmart the “shark.”


  • Choose one child as the “shark” and the rest as “minnows.”
  • The shark starts at one end of the pool, while the minnows are grouped at the other.
  • The minnows aim to swim across the pool without being tagged by the shark.
  • If a minnow gets tagged, they become a shark and help hunt the remaining minnows.
  • The last minnow untagged becomes the winner and the shark in the next round.

Pool Party Game Ideas for Teens

As a pool party organizer, I know that teens love having various exciting games to play during their pool party. Here are three exciting game ideas to keep them entertained and engaged:

Pool Volleyball

Pool volleyball is a classic yet popular pool activity that will surely bring out the competitive spirit in teens. All you need is a volleyball net that is designed for pool use and an inflatable ball. Set the net across the pool and divide the players into two teams. You can also use the following set of rules to ensure fair play:

  • Each team can have a maximum of three touches before delivering the ball back over the net.
  • If the ball touches the water, it’s considered out of bounds.
  • The first team to score 15 points wins, but they must win by at least two points.
Pool Volleyball

Watermelon Relay

The Watermelon Relay is a unique and challenging game that will create a fun and memorable experience for the teens. To play this game, follow these simple steps:

  1. Divide the players into two teams and have them stand on opposite sides of the pool.
  2. Grease up a watermelon with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly and place it in the middle of the pool.
  3. At the starting signal, the first players from each team must swim to the watermelon, grab it, and swim back to their side while holding the greased watermelon.
  4. Once the first player returns, the next in line takes over, and the process repeats until all players have gone.
  5. The first team to finish the relay wins.

Inflatable Obstacle Course

An inflatable obstacle course is an exciting addition to any pool party that will keep teens entertained for hours. Various inflatable courses are available, ranging from simple designs to more elaborate setups. Here’s how to incorporate one into your party:

  • Choose an inflatable obstacle course based on your budget, pool size, and the number of attendees.
  • Install the inflatable course in the pool following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Organize a race where players must complete the course in the fastest time possible.
  • Alternatively, create team-based competitions where players work together to navigate the obstacles.

By incorporating pool volleyball, a watermelon relay, and an inflatable obstacle course, you will indeed create an unforgettable pool party experience for teens.

Diving for Treasure

Pool Party Game Ideas for Adults

Floating Flip Cup

Floating Flip Cup is a fun and competitive game for adult pool parties. You only need plastic cups, a floating table or tray, and some beverages.

  • Fill each cup with a small amount of your chosen beverage.
  • Place the cups on the floating table or tray.
  • Divide the group into two teams, standing on opposite sides of the pool.
  • Each player takes turns flipping their cup upside-down onto the floating surface.
  • The first team to successfully flip all their cups wins!

Water Basketball

Water Basketball is another favorite game of mine. It’s a fantastic way to get people active and engaged at your pool party. All you need is a floating hoop and a lightweight ball.

To play, divide your guests into two teams and set the floating hoop in the middle of the pool. Each team takes turns trying to shoot the ball into the hoop. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. Be prepared for lots of splashing, laughing, and friendly competition.

Water Basketball

Marco Polo Twist

Adding a twist to the classic game of Marco Polo can make it even more enjoyable for adults. In this version, the “Marco” player is blindfolded with goggles while the other players, “the Polos,” can swim and move around the pool.

When “Marco” calls out, “Marco,” the “Polos” must respond with “Polo.” However, they can use a variety of creative responses, such as singing, coughing, or speaking in an accent, to make it more challenging for “Marco” to locate them.

The game continues until “Marco” catches a “Polo” player, who then becomes the next “Marco.” This twist adds extra depth and fun to the classic pool game, making it perfect for an adult pool party.

Creative Pool Party Game Additions

As a pool party enthusiast, I’m always looking for unique and entertaining games to make the event stand out. In this section, I’ll share a few creative game ideas to elevate your pool party experience.

Themed Games

Themed games can add extra fun and immersion at your pool party. Incorporating your party’s theme into the games is a brilliant idea. For instance, if you have a pirate-themed party, try playing a game of Bobbing Apples, where players have to retrieve apples floating in the water with their mouths, just like pirates searching for treasure.

Another themed game could be “Duck Duck Dolphin,” a water version of Duck Duck Goose mentioned by Play Party Plan. Adapt this game to your party’s theme by changing the words and animals used.

Group Challenges

Group challenges encourage friendly competition and team spirit. One exciting game idea is “Glowing Sea Diving,” where players have to retrieve glowsticks from the bottom of the pool, as described by Medallion Energy. Teams can compete against each other to see who can collect the most glowsticks within a specific time limit.

Another exciting group challenge is a water balloon relay race. Participants form teams and race to transfer water balloons from one end of the pool to another using only their bodies, without breaking the balloons.

DIY Game Ideas

Creating your pool party games can be an enjoyable task, and it allows for endless possibilities. For example, you could modify a giant tic-tac-toe board to float on the water and use oversized foam pool noodles or kickboards as game pieces.

  • Invisi-bottle: Fill a clear 2-liter bottle with water, as suggested by Frugal Coupon Living, and toss it into the pool. Players must find and retrieve the “invisible” bottle from the water.
  • Water cups race: Hang strings with cups attached across the pool, as mentioned by Smart Party Planning. Players use water guns to shoot the water into their cups, moving them along the string. The first player to arrive at the other side of the pool wins.
Water gun

Author’s Note

With creativity and these game ideas, you can transform a regular pool party into an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

Hosting a pool party can be a fun and memorable experience for all ages, especially when incorporating entertaining and engaging games. When planning pool party games, it’s essential to consider safety precautions, age-appropriate activities, and necessary supplies. 

From Diving for Treasure to Watermelon Relay, Water Basketball to Marco Polo Twist, there are countless game ideas that can keep guests entertained and bring out the competitive spirit. Adding themed games, group challenges, and DIY game ideas can also elevate the pool party experience and make it even more unique. With these tips and game ideas, you can be sure to throw a pool party that everyone will remember.

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About the author

Maria Anderson

I am an arts and design lover. My passion are swimming pools and gardening. Follow me in our family project ThePoolPassion.com where we want to help everyone to make their dream pool become reality.

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