Okay, so you have a pool. And you love it. You sometimes swim laps or do other aerobic water exercises, and your kids splash around for a bit. You’ve purchased your fair share of pool toys, floatables, and lounges, too. But what else can you do? There are so many activities and games you can do in your own backyard swimming pool! Let’s take a look at a few family-friendly pool activities! The following traditional favorites can be enjoyed without the addition of any equipment or toys.
Whether you call them “Dolphin Races,” “Mermaid Races,” or something else, underwater races are always a hit! You can challenge racers to try to get to a certain place in the pool, set a timer, or simply see who stays under water the longest. If you have several players, you might want to create tournament brackets with sidewalk chalk, and have division winners face off for a championship race.
After races, pool tag is another traditional pastime. Sometimes called “Shark in the Pool,” one variation refers to the tagger as a shark. Like a typical game of tag, the person the shark tags becomes the tagger. Players are allowed to get out of the water, but only for a time period of 5 seconds each time. You can add fins, a snorkel, or a mask to outfit the shark for added intensity. Another variation of pool tag is called “Popsicle Tag.” Instead of freezing in position (which might not always be possible) when tagged, the players stand up and lift their hands above their heads, assuming a popsicle-like shape. This version of tag allows players to be “safe” from being frozen whenever they are under water. While under water, they can also tag “popsicles” in order to relieve them from their frozen status.
A water version of the game Red Rover, Octopus might be considered similar to tag. In this game, most players try to travel from one side of the pool to the other, while a single player attempts to tag the rest. Any players who do get tagged join the tagger, and all taggers hold hands in the middle. Eventually, you’ll end up with an Octopus-like group in the middle, and the game is over when there’s a single player left who is not part of the tagger team.
A perennial favorite, Marco Polo could be considered another strain of tag. The tagger is required to close their eyes and yell “Marco.” Each time the tagger calls out the first name of the famous explorer, the other players must respond with his last name: “Polo.” For this one, the players must all keep their heads above water and remain in the pool. Without the aid of his eyesight, the tagger must rely on his sense of hearing in order to discern the locations of his fellow players.
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