Family in a pool playing games


The Best Pool Games For Kids


Holidays with the family are one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it can be tricky finding enough activities to keep your kids happy. Fortunately, with a James Villas holiday, you have the luxury of your very own swimming pool to help keep boredom at bay. And with these great pool games for kids, your little ones are sure to have hours of fun splashing around!

Marco Polo

Marco Polo has to be the most famous pool game and an absolute classic. It can be played with as few as two people, but is much more fun if there’s a group of you.

The rules are simple. One person takes on the role of ‘Marco’, and has to close their eyes and try to tag the other players. To locate the other people in the pool, the person whose turn it is to be Marco shouts out “Marco” and the rest of the players must shout back “Polo”. By following the sounds of the voices, Marco must try to grab the Polo players, after which point the roles are switched, and it’s the other player’s turn to be Marco.

Just remember, getting out of the pool is cheating, and if Marco suspects this, they may shout “Fish out of water”, and if they’re right then that ‘Fish’ becomes Marco. And most importantly, no peeking, Marco!

A family playing Marco Polo

A family playing Marco Polo

Diving for Treasure

This pool game is another easy to play classic, and will keep the kids busy for hours. All you need to do is provide a few of shiny coins to throw to the bottom of the pool for your kids to dive in after.

To up the stakes, you can add a competitive edge to see who can gather the most coins the fastest, with a prize for the winner. The rules are easily adaptable to be played with as many or few players as you like, or even designate teams to silver and copper coins and have a bit of a relay race. It’s also easy enough to play on your own, seeing how many coins can be collected with just one breath!

Family searching for treasure

Family searching for treasure

Sharks and Minnows

This game is a lot like an aquatic version of the playground classic, British Bulldog, only a lot less rough thanks to it being played in water!

This group game is great fun, and can be enjoyed by all the family. One person is designated the role of ‘shark’ and the rest of the players are the ‘minnows’. The aim of the game is for the minnows to get from one side of the pool to the other without the shark catching them. Once caught, the minnows join the shark’s team and try to catch the rest of the little fish remaining.

There are a couple of variations of the rules, where you can have the shark starting with their back to the minnows who have to try to enter the pool and swim past silently to avoid detection. You can also include safe zones, such as pool drains, steps, or being fully under water at which point the minnows can’t be caught. Have fun with it!

With such simple and fun pool games to play, you and your family are sure to have a blast no matter where you go on holiday with James Villas! For a little inspiration of where to head to next, check out our destinations.


Alex is a Marketing Communications Manager at James Villa Holidays.

Known as the 'unique' one in the team, I have been with James Villas since November 2013...

See all articles by Alex

See all articles by Alex

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