Adults Featured Kids — 16 July 2016

Learn the rules for playing your child’s favorite summer games.  Second of a three-part series.

By: Jodie Shield, MED, RDN

It’s getting hot outside! Slather on sunscreen; grab a beach towel and head over to the local pool.  Nothing feels better on a scorching day then splashing around with your kids and having some summer fun together.  In my last post, I shared the rules for kids’ top 3 favorite backyard games. Now I’m going to share the rules for three of the most popular pool games. Are you ready to dive in?

Kids’ Top 3 Favorite Pool Games

 #1: Marco Polo

 Sort of like “blind man’s bluff” but you play this game in the water with your eyes closed and ears open.

Requires: at least 3 players but more will add to the fun!

How to Play: One player is IT and closes their eyes and counts up to a designated number.  All the other players must stay in the water and disperse.  IT, with closed eyes swims around the pool, trying to tag other players.  To find them, IT calls out “Marco” and the other players must respond “Polo” regardless of their location.  Once tagged, that player becomes IT.

Recommended For: Kids of any age just as long as they can swim.


#2 Sharks and Minnows

Minnows must swim away fast to avoid being caught by the shark.

Requires: 3 or more players and a pair of goggles

How to Play:  One player is the “shark” and gets to wear a pair of goggles.  The shark stands in the middle of the pool and counts to five while the others swim away.  The shark must swim underwater and try to tag minnows.  The last minnow remaining untagged is the winner.  Here’s the catch: when the shark comes up for air – eyes must be closed.  The shark can only tag minnows underwater.

Recommended For: Kids ages 6 and older


#3 Jump, Dive, or Twist

 Take a big bounce and in mid-air follow your instructions: jump, dive, twist or splash!

Requires: 4 or more players and a diving board

How to Play:  One person is designated the caller; all the other players take turns jumping off the diving board.  As each player takes a bounce, in mid-air they must do whatever the caller tells them: jump, dive or twist.  If they don’t follow the call, they’re out. The last player remaining is the winner.

Recommended For: older kids not afraid of swimming in the deep end of the pool.

Pool games are so much fun especially when mom and dad play.  What was your favorite pool game growing up?


Next week: Rules for Kids’ Favorite Sidewalk Games


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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

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  3. This is a fun idea for pool games

  4. pool games is just amazing for children but we need to be very careful and watchful for their safety

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