Five Fun Games to Play in a Swimming Pool

Published: Sunday 23rd Mar 2014

Written by: The Original Cottages Team

It’s not many of us who have the luxury of our own personal pool at home, so when you rent a cottage that has one you need to make the most of it. It’s pretty easy just to splash about or have a float on a lilo, but if you’d like a little more excitement than that, we’ve got five fun games to play in your very own swimming pool.

Water Polo

We’ll start with a classic. This Olympic sport is a simple one to set up, all you need is a ball and a goal at either end. Any sort of ball will suffice, though something like a netball or volleyball is a good size and weight for the game. Goals need to have posts and a crossbar, a couple of chairs with a bit of rope strung between them is an easy way to make one. The aim is to score more goals than the other team, and the ball can be moved by carrying it or throwing it. Officially teams have a 30 second shot-clock, but that can be dispensed with in a fun game. Just make sure you set a time limit for the game and change ends halfway through so there can be no accusations of having the shallow end for too long!

Sharks and Dolphins

This is known by many names, but essentially it’s tag in the water. Divide players into two teams, sharks and dolphins, with one player as the leader. One end of the pool is the sharks’ safe area, the other is the dolphins’. Everyone gathers in the middle of the pool and the leader calls either ‘Sharks’ or ‘Dolphins’. That group then has to dash for their end without being caught by the other team. Anyone who is caught joins the other team, and the game ends when everyone is on one side.

Atomic Whirlpool

This dramatic sounding game is very simple. Everyone stations themselves at equal intervals around the edge of the pool. On the signal you start to walk around, then after a couple of minutes jog, then start moving as fast as you can. If it’s done correctly a whirlpool effect will be created, carrying you around the pool.


You’ll need a clear plastic bottle with no label for this game. Another game that is best played in teams, everyone lines up on the side of the pool facing outwards. Someone fills the bottle with water and then throws it into the pool. The teams wait ten seconds before turning around and jumping in to find the bottle.  As the name of the game suggests, the bottle is extremely difficult to see. First team to retrieve it is the winner.

Marco Polo

This is probably the most played and classic of all swimming pool games. One player is selected to be Marco Polo, and must keep their eyes shut at all times. To start the game they must count out loud to ten while the other players scatter around the pool. Marco Polo must then try and catch another player by shouting out ‘Marco’, to which all the other players must reply ‘Polo’. As soon as another player is touched they become the new Marco Polo.


The Original Cottages Team
The Original Cottages Team


Original Cottages - Truly local, wherever you stay.



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