15 Fun Swimming Pool Games and Pool Party Games for Kids & Teens

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Fun Ideas for Pool Noodle Swimming Games and Water Games for Kids. Whether you’re having a big pool party, a small get-together with friends or it’s you and your family in the pool, we have the perfect swimming pool games for kids.

Games to Play in the Swimming Pool with Pool Noodles

We’ll start with pool party games to play with pool noodles for this list of swimming pool games for kids.

Frankly, this is because you’ve come to a site that’s all about pool noodles.

But READ CAREFULLY. 😉 There are other games at the end of this post that do not require pool noodles.

So, play in the pool with noodles or without noodles. It’s up to you.

You can vary any game in any way, right? After all, this is your pool party and you call the shots – or swimming pool games.

It’s your house, your rules, your type of fun.

But please. Whatever you do. Don’t forget the pool noodles!

You know that when you’re looking for things to do in the pool, pool noodles make any swimming pool games more fun!

DISCLAIMER: Please take proper precautions around the pool area, in the water, and playing any of these games. These are ideas for fun, but must be appropriate for the age and skill level of the participant. We are not responsible for accidents. BE SAFE!

Pool noodle games

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure here.

If you are looking for pool noodles to use for these pool party games, Amazon has many different types. Some of these games may be better with a firmer pool noodle, others may work well with more flexible noodles like you might find at Dollar Tree.

Here is a post you may find helpful: Types of Pool Noodles.

And here are the games:

1. Races with Pool Noodles

2. Relay Race

3. Noodle Joust

4. Chopsticks

5. Blast-Off Noodles

6. Noodle Raft Race

7. Balloon Toss

8. Octopus

9. Snake

10. Wet T-shirt

11. Noodle Pop

12. Target Practice

13. Water Bucket Relay

14. Batting Practice

15. Scavenger Dive

1. Races with Pool Noodles

Things You’ll Need

People

A pool noodle for each person

Optional: Pool Noodle Swim Rope Finish Line

Number of Players:

2 or more

What to Do:

START THE RACES

Line up at one side of the pool (or at the end).

Use someone who is not in the race as your starter. Have them blow a whistle or simply shout “GO!”.

Hold on to the noodle with both hands and kick your way across the pool.

If you fall off, get back on your pool noodle and keep going. (or a tough crowd may disqualify someone who can’t stay on their noodle! lol)

Variation 1: Sit with the noodle between your legs. Kick and paddle your way across the pool.

Variation 2: This is a little harder and will make for a longer race. Sit on the noodle like a swing – with it sideways across your bottom. Kick and paddle your way across the pool.

Winning:

The winner of this pool party game is the first one to reach the finish line.

Using pool noodles for the start and finish lines is optional. You can make a rope from pool noodles using our directions here: Making a Pool Noodle Swim Rope

2. Relay Race

Things You’ll Need

People

A pool noodle for each person

A small object like a 12″ piece of pool noodle for a baton

Optional: Pool Noodle Swim Rope Finish Line (see instruction post above)

Number of Players:

At least 4 people.

Make 2 or more teams – This depends on how many people are playing. You can have 2 teams of 3 or 4 people or 4 teams with 2 people each, etc.

What to Do:

To play with 4 people, position players so that each team has one player at the end of the pool and one player in the middle of the pool. Adjust your distance for more players, or put two from each team in each spot.

Use someone who is not in the race as your starter. Have them blow a whistle or simply shout “GO!”.

The team members at the end of the pool sit on their noodle and kick their way across the pool holding their baton.

When they reach their teammate, they pass the baton to them.

That player, who is also on a pool noodle, then paddles on to the finish line.

Winning:

Whichever team reaches the finish line first wins.

3. Noodle Joust

Girls with Pool Noodles

Things You’ll Need:

People

A pool noodle for each player

A raft or float for each player

Number of Players:

2 or more

As always, the more people, the more fun!

What to Do:

Pick two players, put them on their pool floatie or raft, and push them to the middle of the pool.

Give each player a pool noodle and let the joust begin!

Players joust with the noodles until one player is knocked off of the floatie.

Winning:

If there are only 2 players, the remaining player is the winner. If there are multiple players, keep playing until only one person is left on their raft.

4. Chopsticks

Things You’ll Need:

People

2 pool noodles for each player

Laundry basket

A beach ball for each player

Number of Players:

2 at a time works the best (or more, but you don’t want everyone fighting to get to the laundry basket!

How to Play:

Place the laundry basket on the side of the pool.

Players line up on the opposite side of the pool with their 2 pool noodles and beach ball.

Use someone who is not in the race as your starter. Have them blow a whistle or simply shout “GO!”.

Players must use their pool noodles to “chopstick” and guide the beach ball to the other side of the pool, lift it up, and put it in the laundry basket.

Variation: To play with more than 2 players have an elimination type of race. 2 players play, the next 2 players play, etc. Then the winners of those rounds play each other until you end up with a winner.

Winning:

The first one to get their ball into the basket is the winner.

5. Blast-Off Noodle

Things You’ll Need:

People

Pool noodles

Number of Players:

Unlimited

How to play:

Cut pool noodles in half. Give each player a half a noodle.

Throw noodle pieces into the air and see who can go the highest. This may be a difficult game to judge, so here’s an alternative method after you’ve tried to blast-off the noodles upward.

Variation: Throw smaller pieces towards a goal like the laundry basket we used in the Chopsticks game above.

Winning:

Like I said above, if you’re trying to judge which noodle went the highest, good luck. If players can agree, or one went a LOT higher than the rest, then there’s your winner.

If you opt to use the goal/laundry basket version, the winner is the first one to get their noodle into the basket.

6. Noodle Raft Race

Things You’ll Need:

People

20+ pool noodles

Duct tape

Number of Players:

2+ players

How to Play:

Players construct their rafts using pool noodles and duct tape. They could do this as individuals or as teams.

Then they line up at one end of the pool.

On “go”, players race across the pool.

If a player falls off the raft they must restart from the starting line.

Play a single lap or relay-style depending on the number of players.

Winning:

The first team to finish wins.

Boy on pool noodle

7. Balloon Toss

Things You’ll Need:

People

1 noodle per player

Balloon (you may want to have more than one on hand, just in case…)

A dividing line like the Pool Noodle Rope or a volleyball net made for the pool.

Number of Players:

2 or more divided into teams

How to Play:

Players divide into two even teams and are each given a noodle.

Just like in volleyball, teams take turns serving the balloon.

Players use the noodles to hit the balloon and keep it afloat.

Points are scored whenever the ball touches the water on the opposing team’s side.

Play to a predetermined point (like 21 points) or set a time limit.

Winning:

The team reaching the point limit or is ahead when time is called is the winner.

8. Octopus

Things You’ll Need:

People

Pool noodle for each player

Number of Players:

2 or more

How to play:

Give everyone a pool noodle.

Choose a player to be “It”, and have them stand in the middle of the pool.

Instruct the rest of the players to line up on one side of the pool and try to swim with their pool noodle from one side to the other while the person who is “it” holds their own noodle, chases them, and tries to tag them. “It” is allowed to tag other players with their noodle.

The players who are tagged hold on to the noodle of the person who is “it” with one hand, and their own noodle with the other.

During the next round, all the tagged players hold on to the noodles and try to tag the swimmers as they try and make it to the other end of the pool.

Keep going until all players have been tagged – then choose another player to be “it” and start again.

Winning:

The winner is the last person to be tagged.

Kids in the pool

9. Pool Snake

Things You’ll Need:

People

Multiple pool noodles

Number of Players:

4 or more

How to Play:

Create a chain of pool noodles and players to make a long connected “snake” in the pool.

The player at the “head” of the snake starts swimming or walking while all of the other players try to keep the snake intact by holding on to the noodles.

The first person to let go of a noodle and break the snake is out of the game.

Other players reconnect and continue until you’re down to 2 players. These 2 players can have a “tug-o-war” game to determine the winner, or you can declare them both winners and start a new game.

Begin again with the “Snake” winner as the new leader.

Winner:

The person left at the end is the winner. (or the last two, whichever you declare).

Variation 1: Two separate snakes race from one end of the pool to the other.

Variation 2: Make a circle – noodle, kid, noodle, kid. Have everyone walk in the same direction and make a whirlpool.

10. Wet T-Shirt Relay

Things You’ll Need:

People

A soaking wet T-shirt (one per team)

A pool noodle for each person

Number of Players:

2 or more teams with 1 or more players each

How to play:

Divide players into two teams.

Half of the players from each team stand on one side of the pool.

Ask the other half the players to stand on another end.

Designate one player from each team as the “starting” player, and give them the soaking wet T-shirt.

The starting player must put on the T-shirt, swim across the pool with their pool noodle, take the shirt off, and hand it to their teammate waiting on the other end.

Then, that player must put on the soaking wet T-shirt and cross the pool with their pool noodle and hand off the T-shirt.

Keep going until all team members have had a turn wearing and removing the soaking wet T-shirt.

Winning:

The first team to get all players across the pool while wearing the T-shirt wins.

children on raft with pool noodle

11. Noodle Pop

Things You’ll Need:

Pool Noodle

Bubbles

Bubble Wands or Bubble Machine

Number of Players:

Unlimited

How to Play:

One person stands on the side of the pool and blows the bubbles. Make sure the wind is with you, so that the bubbles head towards the pool and the players.

Players use their pool noodles to pop the bubbles as fast as possible and before they have a chance to hit the water.

Let the bubble blower also keep score. Play to a set number/score or set a time limit.

Winning:

The player to score the most points by popping the bubbles is the winner.

pool party games

12. Target Practice

Things You’ll Need:

People

A pool noodle for each player

Floating target like a donut float.

Number of Players:

Unlimited

How to Play:

Give each player a pool noodle. Be sure to use one with a hole. (Do you know why pool noodles have holes?)

Place the target in the pool or, as an alternative, choose an object on the pool deck that you don’t mind getting wet, like a beach chair or Daddy ;).

Players line up next to one another in the pool and hold their pool noodles underwater to fill them with water, creating a noodle “squirt gun.”

Once filled, players hold the noodle so that both ends point up.

Use someone who is not playing as your starter. Have them blow a whistle or simply shout “GO!”.

Players position the noodle against their mouth like a horn instrument or blowgun, aim the other end of the noodle, and fire!

Players should blow as hard as they can and try to hit the target before their opponent does.

You may have to adjust the target or rules, depending on the age and skill of your players, the type of noodles you’re using, and the windiness of your players.

Winning:

The winner is the first player to hit the target.

13. Water Bucket Relay

Things You’ll Need:

People

Pool noodle for each person or team

Buckets or other containers

Number of Players:

2 or more

How to Play:

Place the buckets or containers on the side of the pool, close to the edge.

Instruct each player or team to fill their pool noodle, then take it to the bucket and fill the bucket as fast as they are able.

Keeping the water in the noodle from escaping and getting all their water into their bucket is fun and challenging at the same time.

Winning:

The first person or team to fill their bucket wins.

14. Batting Practice

Things You’ll Need:

People

Pool noodle

Whiffle ball or lightweight ball or balloon

Number of Players:

2 or more

How to Play:

Use the pool noodles and ball (or balloon) to have baseball practice in the pool.

You could also hold a real baseball game.

A thicker pool noodle would help the ball/balloon go further, and a lighter weight noodle will keep stronger players from knocking it into the neighbor’s yard.

Winning:

This is a game to play for fun and there really aren’t winners or losers.

Other Pool Party Games NOT Using Pool Noodles

Here is another pool party game to play in the swimming pool that doesn’t require pool noodles.

15. Scavenger Dive

Things You’ll Need:

People

2 each of a variety of small items. Think of things with a little weight that will sink to the bottom such as coins, diving sticks, plastic diving rings, or other toys.

Number of Players:

2 or more

How to Play:

Divide players into two teams.

Throw the items into the pool (make sure there are two of each item).

Use someone who is not in the race as your starter. Have them blow a whistle or simply shout “GO!”.

Players dive underwater to collect one of the items from the bottom of the pool.

Each team has to collect one of each scavenger hunt item from the bottom of the pool.

Winning:

The first team to collect all of the items wins.

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