Today’s EZINE features some of our best swimming pool activity ideas. In that EZINE I told you that I’d blog about it so you could add your own ideas using the comment feature of this blog. (We are reworking the back end of our site right now so that you’ll be able to comment, vote, etc. with all our articles and resources. But for today you can use my blog to add your 2 cents.)
So check out our “Top 10 Swimming Pool Activity Ideas” below… and then add your own!
HERE’S OUR TOP 10 SWIMMING POOL IDEAS: some entire events, some games and activities. Some of these require bigger pools like those at camps or community centers. Others could be done in the pools in people’s backyards.
Dive In Movie Night: This is one of my favorite summer activity ideas. In high school ministry I try to rotate this one in at least every four years so kids get to experience it once. Basically, watch a “water” themed movie while floating in the pool (personally, I always select “Jaws”). Have everyone bring something to float on (we never charged admission, a tube or a raft was their ticket in). Click here for more about this event idea.
Water Joust: This activity is always a hit (no pun intended). Two people stand on a large raft and battle each other with noodles or blow up toys like the traditional joust game. (This requires a pretty large inflatable raft that at least two students can stand on and battle each other- I’ve done this on the traditional “queen size” inflatable mattress made for the water. This can ONLY be done in a large pool where kids can stand on a raft with no danger of falling and hitting their heads on the pool edge. Have spotters with flotation devices at the edge of the pool for an extra safety stop). Rotate different kids through battling each other. Have a championship at the end for those with the most wins. For large groups only a few can participate; but it’s a great spectator sport.
Change Dive: Simple but loved by all. Get anywhere from $10 to $100 in change: quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Throw it all in and spread throughout the pool. Gather everyone around the edge of the pool. Offer a prize for the person who collects the most money and yell “Go!”
Watermelon Polo: Get a small to medium sized watermelon and smear it in some sort of petroleum jelly like Vaseline. Float a hula hoop on each end of the pool and divide into teams. Play water polo with the greased melon and the floating hoops as goals. Great fun!
Summer Luau: Don’t underestimate the popularity of the age ol’ Hawaiian themed pool party with grass skirts, coconuts and tiki torches. Play Hawaiian music, serve tropical fruit drinks and cook Pumba! (Hakuna Matata!)
Raft Creation: This competition takes a little more time. Give each group or team a certain number of the largest trash can bags you can find and some tape/rope etc. You can inflate them, cut them, tape them… anything. See who can build the strongest raft and then, at a specified time, race across the width of the pool.
Belly Flop Contest: Yes, the ol’ belly flop contest is always a hit. Give each person an opportunity to get themselves ready, get into a quick costume (cape, mask, draw a target on their belly with a sharpie…), then announce them one at a time. Have a panel of judges hold up numbers, rating them 1-10.
Pool Waterskiing: Yes, you can water ski in a pool! (Only do at a camp or some place with an Olympic sized pool!) The trick is in the pulling. I use to see it done at a camp where they had a pickup truck ready to pull just outside the pool fence. The key is that you DON’T tie the rope to the truck… you have a strong staff guy bracing himself and holding a water ski rope in the back of a truck just outside the pool area. When the skier yells, “Hit it!” the truck takes off and skis the person 3/4 the way across the pool before the person in the truck lets go of the pull rope (for safety). (Try it several times in advance with some staff people to get the timing down and to know when to let go of the rope. Also have spotters with flotation devices at the edge of the pool for an extra safety stop).
Poolside Steal the Bacon: Just like Steal the Bacon with its many variations, but in the pool. Two teams can either be in the water or standing on the opposite sides of the pool (if you have a deep enough deep end that allows for safe diving in). The “Bacon” can be anything (ball, rag, raft, a penny, be creative here) and can be floating on the water, sunk to the bottom, or even in the process of sinking.
Water Ballet: Give each team (works best with teams of less than 10 people) a certain amount of time to perform a synchronized swimming/water ballet routine that involves EVERY team member. Play classical music through a sound system or boom box, if possible.