Free Swimming Pool Games to Keep Your Kids Entertained for Hours

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By the author of The Faithful Prepper and The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications.

Summer is finally here, and you’ve finally opened up your pool. Funds are tight this summer, so you plan on spending as much time as possible by the pool to save money on expensive vacations out of state. The problem is keeping the kids entertained in the process. So, here are a bunch of free swimming pool games that will keep your kids entertained for hours in your backyard or community pool.

Sharks versus guppies

One person in the middle of the pool is the shark. Everybody else is guppies. The guppies must start on one side of the pool, and when the shark says, “It’s feedin’ time!” in their best gravelly voice, the guppies all must swim to the other side. (When the shark gives the signal, they should rub their belly for added effect.) If the shark tags a guppy, they are now a shark too.

The final guppy is the winner.

Freeze tag

Still the best version of tag that there is, freeze tag can also be played in the pool. One person is the tagger, and they must attempt to tag all of the other players. If they manage to get everybody frozen, they win and get to pick the next tagger.

If a player is tagged by the tagger, they must “freeze” in place for the remainder of the game or until they are “unfrozen” by another unfrozen player. This not only makes it more difficult for the tagger to win but allows the players to strategize with one another.

The Kraken

free pool games

One player is in the middle of the pool as The Kraken. Everybody else is a pirate. Pirates must attempt to swim to the other side of the pool when The Kraken says ‘go.’ When The Kraken tags a pirate, they become a part of The Kraken, holding hands together.

As more and more pirates get eaten by The Kraken, The Kraken grows larger (more pirates hold hands with the ever-expanding Kraken). This makes it more difficult for the final pirates to swim across the pool. The game is over when there’s only one pirate left (who then gets to be The Kraken).

Chicken fight

You have to have four people to play this game, and you’re going to want to be as far away from the pool edges as possible. There are two teams. Each team is comprised of one person sitting on the shoulders of the other.

The winner is the team that knocks someone off the shoulders of another first.  Everybody is required to make chicken noises throughout the fight. (Also, don’t play this in really shallow water. Someone will get hurt.)

Marco Polo

This is the iconic pool game. One person closes their eyes. They are the seeker. They then go around hollering “Marco” as they search for everybody else in the pool. When the seeker says, “Marco,” everybody else must respond, “Polo.”

When the seeker tags somebody, the game starts over with the tagged individual being the new seeker.

The whirlpool of doom

There was never any competition in this game as much as it was an effort to see if it could be done. Get everybody in the pool to walk clockwise around the perimeter of the pool in an effort to create a pool-sized whirlpool. If everybody holds their arms out to their side, the whirlpool will be created quicker.

Once the whirlpool has been formed, curl up into a ball and let it float you around the pool.

Marco’s lost buddies

This one is kind of like Marco Polo. The same rules apply, but this time every person Marco manages to tag becomes a tagger as well. The winner is the last person left.

What a great catch!

You need pool floaty rings for this one. Everybody is a shark, except for the one person sitting in a pool floaty ring. They have to try to catch a shark. When they do, that person must now sit in a pool floaty ring as well (a different one). The fisher has made a great catch, and now the fishing hole is becoming more popular.

Eventually, there will be only one shark left in a sea full of boats. That shark is the winner.


This one works better in a larger pool. Everybody needs pool floaty rings here again, and they float in them with their arms over the sides. One person is the shark, but nobody but the shark knows who that person is. You can use a deck of cards, painted sticks, or whatever to determine who the shark is.

Everybody on the count of three says, “Sundown!” Then they close their eyes. The shark then stealthily swims underwater and grabs somebody’s feet. The victim yells “Shark!” and everybody else silently counts to 20.

Once 20 seconds have passed, they may open their eyes. They then vote to see who they think the shark is. Whoever they vote for is dead/out of the game. If they vote for the shark, the people win. If they vote for a person, that person has to sit on the sidelines until the game is over.

If the shark kills everyone, the shark wins.

What are your thoughts on our free pool games?

Most of these are ones I spent a lot of time playing growing up, but unfortunately, I can’t remember all of the pool games we used to play. What are your favorites? Do you have more to add that’s not on this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to and Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Free Swimming Pool Games to Keep Your Kids Entertained for Hours
Aden Tate

Aden Tate

About the Author Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to,,,,, and Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

1 thought on “Free Swimming Pool Games to Keep Your Kids Entertained for Hours”

  1. Even tossing a ball around is lots more fun in a pool! I see diving toys and such for really cheap at various grocery stores, which might be nice for if you have two, one, or no kids.

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