You’ve probably heard these words shouted at a pool an endless number of times. Marco Polo, sharks and minnows, breath-holding contests, these are the tried-and-true pool games of all time, but just because they’re classics doesn’t mean there aren’t others out there. We thought we’d tell you about three lesser-known pool games so that you and your kids can add some variety to your in-pool entertainment.

  1. The White Whale – This game requires 3+ players. One player will be chosen as the “whale.” The whale’s job is to float in the middle of the pool on their back. The other players then swim around the whale until the whale shouts “hungry whale.” The whale then flips over and begins chasing the other swimmers. If the whale tags another swimmer, that swimmer becomes the whale. If the whale fails to tag anyone, it must be the whale for the next round.
  2. The Whirlpool – Okay, fine. This isn’t exactly a pool game, but it’s a great pool…activity. For this one, a group of 5+ people is required. To start, everyone forms a circle in the shallow end of the pool. Everyone then walks around in the circle, picking up speed as they go. Eventually, everyone in the circle should be lightly running. Once a good amount of force has been generated, have everyone pick up their feet and they will be carried around in a circle by the whirlpool they’ve generated. If the whirlpool dies down, just have everyone start running again.
  3. Popsicle – This game is usually played with larger groups and is pretty much freeze tag in the pool. One person is chosen to be “it.” This person chases other swimmers around the pool and tries to tag them. If the “it” person tags someone, then that person has to stand in the pool frozen, like a popsicle. In order to be unfrozen, whoever was tagged has to be touched by someone who hasn’t been tagged yet. After three minutes, a new “it” person is chosen, and the game starts over.

We hope at least a couple of these pool games are new to you and that you give them a shot next time you and your kids hit the pool.

As always, happy swimming!

Disclaimer: All of these games require parental oversight and relatively experienced swimmers.