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The Best Pool Games for Kids

Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated May 2023

Fun pool games are a must if you've got a family of swimmers. These options will keep the kids active and cool and bust boredom all summer long.

Scroll Table to Left
  Top Choice Best Underwater Ball Best Underwater Game Best Volleyball Net Best For Diving
  Activ Life
The Ultimate Skip Ball – Water Bouncing Ball (2 Pack)
Watermelon Ball
The Ultimate Swimming Pool Game
Water Sports
Swim Thru Rings
Inflatable Pool Float Set Volleyball Net & Basketball Hoops
Diving Toys, 28 Pcs Underwater Swimming Pool Toys
Our SummaryA family game of catch was never so much fun.This ball can take competitive games underwater for crazy fun.Make a splash and have a blast with these inflatable pool rings.Get your game on with this value set of volleyball and basketball.Keep kids busy while they search for these underwater toys.
Pros✓ Balls skip and splash on water's surface
✓ Safe for the whole family
✓ Durable
✓ Comes with 2 balls and 1 disc
✓ Available in 8 color options
✓ Can be bounced, kicked and passed underwater
✓ Can sink, rise or float
✓ Durable
✓ Easy to inflate
✓ Comes with hose adapter and filling needle
✓ Easy to inflate and deflate
✓ Simple to store
✓ 31 inches in diameter
✓ Adjustable air chambers to choose depth
✓ Includes net, two weight bags, volleyball, basketball, hoop
✓ Made of high-quality raft material for durability
✓ Fun classic games for everyone
✓ 28 variety pack of diving toys
✓ Made of ABS material
✓ Comes with mesh storage bag
✓ Appropriate for variety of age groups and swimming skills
Cons✗ Balls and disc are smaller than expected
✗ May be easily lost
✗ Can hurt a young child if hit accidentally
✗ Very heavy
✗ Rings are flimsy
✗ May not stay in place during breezy conditions
✗ Tendency to leak
✗ Does not come with pump
✗ Smaller pieces are less than 2 inches; can be choking hazard
✗ Some pieces break easily
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The Best Pool Games for Kids

Group of kids in swimming pool shooting water-gun squirt pistol on sunny day.
Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Pool Games

Cute mixed race Asian Caucasian boy happily plays with a water gun in a backyard swimming pool in the summer sun.
noBorders – Brayden Howie/Shutterstock.com

Why should you buy pool games?

Sure, a pool is entertainment enough. But keeping the kids interested day after day is another story. Give them a break from make-believe games or swimming drills, and give them these games to increase their activity levels and fun.

What should you consider when shopping for pool games?

  • Age Group: One of the most significant factors in deciding which pool toys are best for your kids is their age range. Younger kids should have toys that can’t hurt them by accident or don’t demand a skill set that is too advanced for their swimming abilities, and older kids need games that will actually entertain them.
  • Swimming Skills: Certain pool games, although super fun, might demand that a swimmer has a lot of core strength to maneuver through the water without the most proficient use of their limbs to swim and still keep their head above the water. Other games, like diving toys, should be played under the supervision of an adult, especially if the child is new to this type of game or is tired.
  • Occasion or Activity: If you’re looking for a pool game for a specific party, something that brings everyone together or that’s a classic game (like volleyball) might be a hit.

Is there a difference between above-ground pool toys and in-ground pool toys?

Thankfully, there is no difference in which toys can be used in either type of pool. The biggest consideration for some of the larger toys will be the size of your pool. Take note of the dimensions, then look forward to endless hours of pool-time fun.

Our Picks for the Best Pool Games for Kids

Top Choice

Activ Life The Ultimate Skip Ball -- Water Bouncing Ball (2 Pack)

A family game of catch was never so much fun.

Pros: Add some splash to your game of catch this with these balls designed to skip and splash on the water’s surface instead of sink. Kids of any age can enjoy this game since they don’t have to know how to dive in to retrieve the ball. Durable stitching means these skip balls are durable and made to last in the pool. They’re also soft enough that they won’t hurt too badly if someone gets hit accidentally. The set comes in eight different colors, and each set comes with two balls, one disc, and a mesh travel bag.

Cons: These balls and the disc are smaller than what you would typically play with, which can be a bit of an adjustment for some people. For those who are used to playing with regular-sized balls and discs, the smaller size can make it harder to get a good grip or control during gameplay. Additionally, the smaller size may affect the trajectory and speed of the ball or disc, which can also take some time to get used to.

Bottom Line: The simple, old-school concept of throwing a ball is taken to new levels of excitement when combined with fun at the pool. Spice things up by skipping the ball around the water, challenging reflexes, and inducing laughter for all. All of the pieces in this set are easy for little hands to grasp, so everyone can participate.


Best Underwater Ball

Watermelon Ball -- The Ultimate Swimming Pool Game

This ball can make competitive games underwater crazy fun.

Pros: This Watermelon Ball offers endless fun for the whole family, no matter their age or gender. The strong PVC material ensures that the ball will hold up for multiple summers. It is also versatile and can be used for a variety of outdoor water sports and beach games, such as football, basketball, dodgeball, and rugby. Additionally, this pool toy is easy to fill with water and a few pumps of air, making it hassle-free to set up for some serious pool fun. It encourages exercise and will keep your kids (and even the adult ones) occupied for hours, making it the perfect addition to any summer pool party or beach trip.

Cons: This ball is made from sturdy PVC material, which makes it quite heavy and can potentially cause injury if thrown outside of the pool. Some may find it difficult to handle due to its weight. Additionally, some customers have reported that the ball developed holes or tears after normal use, rendering it useless. Furthermore, some customers have reported that the ball’s outer layer peels or loses its paint after only a short period of time.

Bottom Line: Overall, the Watermelon Ball is a fun pool toy that provides hours of entertainment for both kids and adults. It is easy to inflate and use and has a sturdy construction. However, while this ball may provide fun and excitement during pool games, it’s important to be aware of its potential safety hazards and limitations. It’s crucial to handle it with care and use it only within the pool water.


Best Underwater Game

Water Sports Swim Thru Rings

Make a splash and have a blast with these inflatable pool rings.

Pros: These swim-through rings are perfect for hosting your own summer games or creating fun obstacle courses in your pool. They are also a great way to teach kids the joys of underwater swimming. The rings are easy to inflate and unfold, so you can get right to the swimming pool games. Each 31-inch ring is collapsible for easy storage, and they are a versatile addition to your pool toys. Plus, the adjustable air chambers allow you to choose your own underwater depth, while the fun turtle and fish designs (colors may vary) add a playful touch to your pool. These swim-through rings are great for kids and adults to enjoy all summer long, whether for everyday play, pool parties, or just soaking up the sun.

Cons: These rings are flimsy and can easily bend or break. This fragility makes it difficult to use them as advertised, especially for kids who tend to play rough. Additionally, there have been reported issues with the inflation of the rings, stating that the air chambers do not work properly or that the inflation is not strong enough. This can cause the rings to sink to the bottom of the pool or not float as intended. Another issue that some users reported is the difficulty in folding the rings back up for storage, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.

Bottom Line: Overall, these swim-through rings are a hit with kids and can provide hours of fun in the pool, especially for those learning to swim underwater. They even come with cute sea animal designs. They’re not the most durable things, but if you’re looking for a fun pool toy that can encourage underwater swimming, these swim-through rings are worth a try.


Best Volleyball Net

Joyin Inflatable Pool Float Set Volleyball Net & Basketball Hoops

Get your game on with this volleyball and basketball set for the pool.

Pros: If you’re looking for a fun and versatile pool float set that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults, this inflatable pool float set is a great choice. It includes an inflatable volleyball net with two weight bags, an inflatable basketball hoop, an inflatable volleyball, and an inflatable basketball. It’s a great value pack for pool activities. The set is made of high-quality raft material, ensuring durability and longevity. This makes it a perfect choice for any summer activity.

Cons: There’s a lot to inflate, so an electric pump would be the best option. Some reported that the volleyball net and balls required frequent reinflation, as they consistently lost air. Additionally, the provided weights are sometimes ineffective at keeping the net in place.

Bottom Line: Even if you’re not one to play on the court, something about volleyball and basketball in the pool is a blast. Spend hours staying active in the pool with these classic games. This set is made from high-quality raft material to stand up to full contact. Choose between the pool classics—-basketball or volleyball. The set includes a net with two anchor weights, a floating basketball hoop, a volleyball, and a basketball.


Best for Diving

Balnore Diving Toys, 28 Pcs Underwater Swimming Pool Toys

Keep kids busy while they search for these underwater toys.

Pros: Whether you’re keeping your toddler busy in the kiddie pool or helping your child get better with swim training, this set of sinking toys is a favorite way to splash in the pool—the wide variety of this 28-pack suits several different activity interests as well as age groups. Everything is non-toxic and made from ABS material. The toys are designed to sink to the bottom of the pool, providing a fun and challenging way for kids to improve their swimming and diving skills. The package also includes a mesh storage bag, making it easy to transport and store. This set is perfect for swim practice, beaches, pools, schools, and party favors.

Cons: The small size of some of the items included in this set may be difficult for younger children to handle or even pose a choking hazard. It is important to supervise younger children while they play with these toys to ensure their safety. Additionally, some of the toys in this set may not be of high quality and may break after normal use.

Bottom Line: Diving for toys at the bottom of the pool is a fun pastime that kids still love to do.  With a range of toys in different sizes, this set is suitable for children aged 3 years and older. Overall, this set is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a fun and safe way to improve swimming skills and have fun in the water.

Final Thoughts

There’s hardly anything better than splashing in the pool in the super hot weather. Change things up with these awesome pool games that will entertain kids of all ages.

Michelle Carellas Michelle Carellas
Michelle Carellas has had a love for writing from as early as her primary school years. Her writing career took her to journalism, copy editing, and email and digital marketing, and for the past 11 years, she's kept writing a strong focus with freelancing for local businesses and national marketing agencies. When Michelle isn't writing, she's homeschooling her four kids and embracing the country life with her husband in a small Texas town. She and her husband own and operate a small garage gym, the perfect endeavor for a couple who met and fell in love at a gym! Read Full Bio »
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