What’s your favorite family holiday tradition? Getting away to Kauai! No snow to shovel, no woolen socks, no mega malls. Just glorious sunshine, blue skies, swim time and a pool party. And your kids are all about the swimming pool. . . (Okay, let’s be honest. You’re ALL all about the pool. . .) This year, you plan to wow the family with exciting games to play in the pool that your kids have never experienced before.

Our Top 10 Fun Swimming Pool Games and How to Play

Tired of playing the same pool games like pool basketball, or who gets the most number of ping pong balls? Check out our top fun pool games for kids and the family.

1. Duck Soup

Duck Soup is a classic swimming pool game wherein all players start at one side of the pool. For this swimming pool game, each has a rubber ducky. At “GO!” players race to push their ducky to the other side of the pool first. They can push with their noses, blow on it, make waves — but they cannot touch it with their hands — or bite it! ;) The winner is the player who gets his ducky to touch the opposite wall first. The team with the highest score wins.

 2. Frozen Tee Race

In your villa’s kitchen, soak two T-shirts in water, place them in separate 1-gallon plastic bags, and freeze them overnight (preferably two nights). On game day, two teams form on one side of the pool, each getting a frozen shirt. The object is to thaw the shirt enough so a team member can put it on. Shirts can be submerged, twisted, whacked on the cement, sat on, breathed on, etc. (Jacuzzis are off limits, though.) ;) Every 15 seconds, someone yells, “Switch!” and a new team member gets to try to thaw the shirt. The first team to wear the shirt and swim to the other side wins.  Younger kids can also play this game.

3. Soaked Tee Relay

Best for older kids and is a classic game. This is ideal after the Frozen Tee Race! Players line up on one side of the pool. They put on an oversized soaking wet T-shirt and swim to the other side of the pool and back. They then remove the shirt and hand it to the next player, who must put it on and swim. (This is a LOT harder than it sounds). Keep the relay going until one team wins.


4. It!

“It” sits on the edge with his back to the pool while the others gather at the opposite end of the water. When “it” calls out a category, each player silently thinks up an answer. For example, “flavors of ice cream.” “It” will slowly shout out answers. “Chocolate! . . . Vanilla! . . . Rocky Road!” When a player’s answer is shouted, he must swim to “Its” side and try to touch the wall without being detected. If “it” hears swimming, he can turn around and dive into the pool to tag a player. However, if he turns around and everyone still has a hand on the side, then “it” must take a step further from the edge and start again. A swimmer who gets caught becomes “it.” This game can be played with any number of players and is one of the favorite pool games.


5. The Invisible Bottle Quest

This is a challenge! Fill an everyday clear plastic drinking bottle with water and remove its label. As everyone closes their eyes and ears, toss or quietly slip the bottle into any spot in the pool. At “GO!” players try to find the bottle first. Hint: If the cap is the same color as the bottom of the pool, this is even harder!

6. Popsicle

This is freeze tag with a twist: Players tagged by the “Popsicle” must freeze standing up with their legs apart and their arms in the air. They can be unfrozen when another player swims through their legs. When everyone is frozen, the first person frozen becomes the “Popsicle.”

7. Noodle Joust

This takes one pool noodle and one float per player. (Floats could be a raft, tube, swan, etc.) Doubling up is fun, too! Players mount their floats, pool noodles in hand and at “GO!” everyone paddles to the center (far from the edges) and tries to unseat each other from their floats using only noodles, feet, and humorous intimidation. The player who makes the other one fall into the pool’s water wins. Set some safety rules apropos to your players’ ages. A total hoot!


8. Secret Message

Anyone can join in this underwater communication game, even non-swimmers or those who prefer to relax on the steps. Here’s how to play: designate a messenger and guesser first. The messenger will silently say a word or two underwater while the guesser will try to decipher it upon resurfacing. Consider selecting a theme, like animals or fruits, to make guessing easier. Lastly, dive in and communicate. Simultaneously submerge yourselves. The messenger clearly utters a word underwater, and the guesser attempts to identify it once back on the surface. 

9. Follow the Leader

Gather your little ones for a game of Follow the Leader, one of the classic games to play in the pool that’s sure to bring giggles and excitement. This game uses actions instead of verbal instructions. The leader demonstrates the moves through actions. Follow the leader’s sequence of movements, and once everyone has completed the course, switch leaders and let the fun continue. Let the kids design their course for an added dose of creativity!


10. Whirlpool

Whirlpool is a simple yet exhilarating pool game that involves the creation of a swirling vortex of water using the combined power of human movement. It’s a great way to cool off on a hot day, exercise, and laugh with friends and family. To play it, gather a group of at least four people. The more participants, the stronger the whirlpool will be. Form a circle in the pool, with everyone facing inward and linking arms. Begin walking clockwise, gradually increasing your pace from a stroll to a brisk walk. As the speed increases, the water swirls around the circle, forming a whirlpool. Once the whirlpool is established, challenge yourselves to reverse the direction of your rotation, working against the existing current.


Enjoy Fun Pool Games with Your Whole Family!

Yup. Family pool time is definitely your favorite holiday tradition.

Beat the heat and create unforgettable summer memories with these exciting pool games to bring your entire family laughter and joy. From classic favorites like soaked tee relay to more adventurous activities like whirlpool creation and underwater treasure hunts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So grab your pool noodles, inflatable pool floats, and sense of adventure and get ready to splash into a world of fun and excitement. With so many options, you’ll create cherished family moments that will last a lifetime.

Talk with our expert concierge team at Koloa Landing Resort, the best Kauai beach resort, for more family pool-time fun ideas. Visit one of our poolside Activity Huts for the perfect Kauai activities and the needed gear. Contact us for additional information.