With July 4th falling on a Wednesday this year, there is some confusion as to when to have Independence Day pool parties—some are selecting the weekend before (this weekend), some prefer the actual holiday (July 4th), while others are opting for the weekend after (July 7th-8th). Regardless of when the party will be held, pool games and activities can really add to the party. Following are some pool games and activities that will assure that your Independence Day pool party will be one to be remembered.
- Marco Polo—An oldie, but a goodie! But just in case you forgot how to play it—here it is: Choose someone to be “it”. They close their eyes and try and tag the other players. Whenever the person who is “it” calls out “Marco”, the players must answer “Polo”. If “it” tags a player then that player becomes “it”. If you allow players to get out of the pool while playing the game then if “it” calls out “Fish out of water!” and there is someone outside the water then that person becomes “it”.
- Relay races—Use red, white, & blue plastic streamers to separate swimming lanes. There are many type of relay races such as swimming backwards, riding a pool noodle, etc. Another relay race that you might not be familiar with is the watermelon push relay—players must push a watermelon from one end of the pool to the other without touching the bottom of the pool with their feet.
- Noodle jousting—Select two players to sit on a blow up raft in the middle of the pool. Give each one a pool noodle and have them joust with the noodles and try and get each other off the raft.
- Dive games—Dive rings and sticks are available at most pool supply stores.
- Chicken fights—Most of us have participated in chicken fights, but try chicken fight tag
(self-explanatory) or chicken fight races (from one end of the pool to another).
- Sharks and minnows – This game is good for a large group. One person is the shark and starts in the middle of the pool. All other players are minnows and start out of the water on one side of the deck. The shark yells out “minnow!” and the minnows must jump in and try to swim to the other side of the pool without being tagged by the shark. The minnows that get tagged become sharks and the game is replayed until only one minnow remains. That person starts the new game as the shark.
- Innertube race – This is fairly self-explanatory. Each participant sits in an innertube at one end of the pool; someone says go and the participants race to the other end of the pool.
- Scuba relay–Gather two sets of scuba gear (flippers, snorkel, and mask) and form two teams. At the word “go!”, the first player on each team puts on her team’s gear, jumps into the pool, swims to the other side and back, gets out of the water, and removes the gear. Then the next player does the same. The first team to finish wins. This game can also be done with t-shirts, shorts, and socks.
- Frozen T-Shirt Contest—This is a really entertaining game. Freeze two shirts in zip lock bag. During the party take the shirts out and divide the attendees into two groups. Each group is racing to thaw and put on the shirt. You can use anything in the yard to thaw it: hose, pool, hands, etc. Every 15 seconds you switch the person thawing the shirt. The first one team to thaw it and puts it on one of their teammates wins.
- Water volleyball—Volleyball games are available at most pool supply stores. Some pool owners purchase a regulation net and anchor it to fence posts, trees, etc. allowing the net to cross over the pool. Either way, it is a great game for larger groups.
- Water basketball—Basketball goals are available at most pool supply stores. This game is better for small groups. This is by far the most popular water event at the Gohlke house.
- Water baseball –Typically it is played in the shallow end of the pool with bases being approximately 10’-15’ apart. Typically, a ball hit out of the far end of the pool is a homerun.
- Water football—This game is self-explanatory and is also quite fun.
While enjoying your pool party games and activities, remember that pool safety should always be a concern. Many drownings and accidents occur during parties. Children are often ignored while parents socialize. It might be a good idea to either hire a lifeguard or have parents take shifts being the pool monitor (even provide a whistle and a list of pool rules if you feel it is necessary).