From shallow, quick set-up above ground pools, with depths from 8 to 24 inches, to bigger and deeper above and below ground pools, there are lot of safe swimming pool games for kids. No matter how many kids there are, there are games that all can be involved in. If there are lots of kids, you may have to play quick elimination games before the real games start. From Marco Polo to water polo, there are safe swimming pool games for kids that even the adults will enjoy playing. If they are allowed to join in, that is. The one standard for safe kid’s games in swimming pools is that they are played in shallow waters.
For the average kid, the idea behind the swimming pool game is to enjoy the water, to cool off from the hot and humid days without having to just stand around in the water, or to try and swim around all of the other kids playing games. It is much better to have all of the kids involved in the games, and maybe a 10 minute break between games for players to rest, and those who did not want to play to swim and play themselves until the next game starts.
Marco Polo is one game that has lasted the test of time, and is played all over the world. The kids choose the first “it” player, who will be blindfolded (or trusted to keep their eyes closed) and try to locate one of the other players. All players must be in the water, as when the it player calls “freeze”, if any players are out of the pool, they are eliminated from the game. When the it player locates and touches another player, that player becomes the it player.
Water basketball is fast becoming a very popular and safe swimming pool game for kids, and the equipment required, a light, waterproof ball and two water basketball nets (on floatation devices, or for the edge of the pool) is quite inexpensive ($20 to $40 USD for two nets and a ball). There is no travelling, few real rules other than no rough play, and most likely no referees, but the idea is still the same; to score more goals than the other team. This is very much like water polo, except with water polo you are not allowed to touch the bottom or the sides of the pool.
Treasure hunt is another great and safe game for kids in the swimming pool, and helps them to conquer their fears of swimming under water with their eyes open, and can improve lung capacity. Place a few “treasures” in the pool, with the kids all standing with their backs to the pool, hands over their eyes. Cheating gets you sidelined, and during a very hot day, will most likely only happen once. You should have enough treasures so that only one kid will be without one, making it very similar to musical chairs. The top treasure should be one that gives the holder a special prize, like picking the toppings for the after-pool pizza meal.
You can have races in the pool, with all but the slowest swimmer continuing on, or the swimer in any position other than first, until there is only one winner, who gets a special prize, like the choice of drinks. However, with races, you should try to have kids of roughly the same age and/or size in each heat. This is best for longer, in ground pools.
Follow common sense and the basic swimming pool safety rules, such as those found at http://www.helium.com/items/1844159-swimming-pool-rules, and make sure that at least two responsible adults who know how to swim well, and know CPR keeping an eye on the children at all times.
Play safe. Play informed.