Water games for kids  keep them busy all day at the pool, lake or sea

27. May 2023 - Anika Semmer

Water Games for Kids – Best 25 Games for Pool, Lake and Sea


Icon Spielen © Abenteuer Freundschaft


On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than playing water games for kids! Whether in the pool, lake or sea, these water games ensure that the kids do not want to leave the water. From these water games without accessories and with few materials, children can not get enough.

What child doesn’t love playing in the water, and even more so in the sea? Water games are an absolute favorite in the summer. Most are action-packed and varied enough that after a short while of swimming or splashing around, there’s bound to be no boredom. Among the best water games are small, fast-paced game ideas like Water Olympics, Dragon Tail Diving, and Equestrian Combat that require no accessories other than fun, kids, and, of course, water. But we also have some darn good water games that require materials like pool noodles, air mattress, floating hoop, or floating animals. You’ll probably have most of that with you anyway! The absolute favorite for kids’ birthday parties is the Fun Bubbles obstacle course. Some games are fun for teens and adults, too, and are great for a mixed-age family celebration at the pool or lake and for pool parties!

Games in the Water Are Simply Great

"Games in the water are great for learning movements that are different from movements on land."

Games in the water for children are great fun and gently train muscles and joints

Did you know that water games have many positive effects for children? Today it is proven that children learn to swim much faster and feel comfortable and safe in the water if they have been brought to and in the water at an early age. Water games promote coordination skills, as the resistance of the water means that movements have to be planned earlier and more force has to be applied. And the natural movements involved in water games are also quite different from those involved in land games and are encouraged. Children’s joints are still growing and water games for kids are a brilliant thing from a sports point of view, as they are much gentler on the joints than sports on land.

There are also great water games you can play in the backyard and anywhere outside! Here are my favorites for games with water for kids, teens and families and the best water balloon games for kids!

15  Water Games Without Accessories for Swimming Pool, Lake and Sea

"These water games make time fly by"

Whether it's a birthday or simply a group meeting at the lake - in a larger group you can play great water games

For these water for kids do not need accessories. Each game provides 5 to a maximum of 15 minutes of entertaining entertainment. All water games can be played just like that with a group of children, although most games are also very suitable for large groups of 8 children or more. Especially popular for children’s birthday parties in the swimming pool or bathing lake is the equestrian fight, the water Olympics and the classic Fishermen, fishermen how deep is the water?

  1. Water Hunters
    One player is a water hunter. He chases the other players and must touch them to petrify them. Once he has petrified half of the other players, it is the next water hunter’s turn. | Number of players: up to 10 players | Duration: about 15 minutes
  2. Lifeguard Competition.
    Form two teams. Each team joins hands and one player lies on top. On a start signal, the teams try to transport the child as fast as they can until it falls into the water. Which team manages to transport it the fastest? Which one transports it the farthest? The lifeguard competition is one of the water games for kids that is especially fun with a large group. | Number of players: from 10 players | Duration: 10 minutes
  3. Rider Fight
    Form pairs in the shallow water. One player is the horse, the other the rider. The horse gives the rider a piggyback ride. Now two pairs compete at a time, trying to get the opposing rider to fall into the water. | Number of players: up to 8 players | Duration: about 15 minutes
  4. Water Olympics
    In this game, everyone can show their talent! In advance, each athlete may choose a discipline / figure, announce it aloud and then all may practice their discipline. Disciplines or figures can be for example a somersault, a water bomb or the perfect dolphin jump. Then it starts and the first athlete announces his discipline and performs it for a jury (for example parents and siblings). The jury decides how many points he gets. At the end there is an award ceremony for the first three places. | Number of players: no matter | Duration: any
  5. Bridge Diving
    The players line up in a row with their legs spread 1 meter apart. The rearmost player starts and dives through the legs of the children in front of him. Then it’s the turn of the player now standing at the very back, and so on. | Number of players: from 10 players | Duration: about 5-10 minutes
  6. Dirty Dancing
    Form pairs in chest-high water far enough away from the edge of the pool. The boy touches the girl on the hip, whereupon the girl jumps up and the boy tries to keep her in the air as long as possible. Which pair creates the most beautiful lifting figure? | Number of players: no matter | Duration: about 10-15 minutes
  7. Gordian Knot
    Form a circle in shallow water. Now, under water, all children except one grab each other’s fingers, wrist or hand and intertwine their hands together to form a Gordian knot. The remaining child now tries to untie the knot. | Number of players: from 3 players | Duration: about 10-15 minutes
  8. Catch the Fish
    The children are the fish and swim from one edge of the pool (or two points in the water e.g. buoys) to the other. One child is the fisherman and tries to catch the fish. When a fish is caught, the child also becomes the fisherman. This continues until all the fish are fishermen. Number of players: from 10 players | Duration: about 15 minutes
  9. Cops and Refugees.
    Form two teams of equal size. One team is the cops, the other is the fugitives. The cops have to catch all the fugitives and bring them back to the prison. This is a location in shallow water that is determined. Once the cops have caught all the fugitives, the teams switch roles and play again. | Number of players: up to 10 players | Duration: about 15 minutes
  10. Silent Mail Under Water
    Try to play underwater Silent Post with funny bubbling conversations. | Number of players: from 10 players | Duration: about 5-10 minutes
  11. Dragon Tail Hunting.
    All players form a chain in the water and grab each other’s hands. The head now tries to catch the tail. | Number of players: from 10 players | Duration: about 5 minutes
  12. Wide Dive
    Everyone lines up next to each other. Who can dive the farthest? | Number of players: up to 5 players | Duration: about 5-10 minutes
  13. Stone, Starfish, Great White Shark.
    All children go into the water and are allowed to swim, dive, move. As soon as a command comes, they must obey it. If the game leader calls out “starfish”, everyone must lie on their backs with their arms and legs spread out until they are allowed to swim again. For stone, the children pull their knees to their stomachs with their arms and must hold out until they are allowed to continue swimming. If the game leader calls Great White Shark, everyone must swim to shore or to the edge of the pool as quickly as possible and get out of the water. | Number of players: ideal 6-8 players | Duration: approx 5-10 minutes
  14. Catching Burrs
    All the children are in the water. One child is the barnacle. It catches a partner. The two hold on and catch a third child and a fourth partner. Then two doubles form and continue to catch. It goes on and on like this until all the children are caught. | Number of players: from 10 players | Duration: about 10-15 minutes
  15. Fishermen, Fishermen, How Deep Is the Water?
    One player is the fisherman and has to catch the other players. He stands at the edge of the pool or on the shore. All the other players stand at the other edge of the pool or at a fixed distance in the water as a group. They call out, “Fisherman, fisherman, how deep is the water?” The fisherman answers, for example, “30 meters deep”. Now the children ask, “And how do we get across?” The fisherman may now think of a command that the teammates must do such as splashing, diving, jumping. While the children try to get to the other side, the fisherman tries to catch them. As soon as a player is caught, he also becomes the fisherman. Once all players are caught the game is over and a new fisherman is chosen. | Number of players: up to 5 players | Duration: about 5-10 minutes
"One of the best water games for children up to their teens is the Water Olympics."

World class jump! The Water Olympics is one of the best water games for kids aged 8 and over

The Best 10 Water Games for Kids and Families With Few Materials

"For these water games for kids, you need aids such as a floating animal, pool noodle and air mattress."

Great games can be played with the swim ring, air mattress and floating animal

Floaties, air mattresses, pool noodles or even oversized bubble balls – with a few accessories you can play the best water games for older kids, teens and even adults. Here you’ll find some games that are also great for a pool party. If you are looking for a very special water game, the Fun Bubbles obstacle course is a game that will provide unforgettable pictures and guaranteed excitement for the kids. The Fun Bubbles are unfortunately not cheap to buy, but you can rent them in many cities for a day or children’s birthday party!

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  1. Jumping Championship
    The teammates stand at the edge of the pool or on the footbridge. One of the children on the footbridge throws a ball high in the air and another tries to catch it while jumping into the water before it hits the water. You can also decide on the jumping style before the jump. Do you want it to look as funny as possible? Or be a simple jump? The children evaluate each jump and award points. The winner at the end is crowned and receives a small winner’s prize. | Materials needed: ball, possibly winner prizeNumber of players: at least 3 | Duration: about 15 minutes
  2. Air Mattress Race.
    Two players sit down on their air mattresses and get 2 spoons each. Now they try to get to the other end of the pool or to a buoy as a goal as fast as possible on a start signal. The winners move on to the next round and compete against each other until the fastest air mattress sprinter takes the overall victory. | Materials needed: at least 2 narrow air mattresses, 4 spoons, possibly a small winner prize Number of players: at least 2 | Duration: about 10-25 minutes
  3. Water Talent Show
    First, a jury is appointed, consisting of either three children or three supervisors or parents and siblings. Alternatively, everyone can participate and cast their vote for the final score after the talent show. Form teams of two. Each player may jump into the water three times and pose under water as funny, special or beautiful as possible. His partner captures the poses with the underwater camera and takes pictures. After all players have had their turn, all photos are viewed and scored. The one who gets the most points for his winning photo has won. | Materials needed: Underwater photo or waterproof camera Number of players: from 2 | Duration: about 5-10 minutes
  4. Chaos on the Life Raft
    Chaos on the life raft is one of the water games for kids, which can be played in two variants. In the first variant, as many children as possible try to sit on an air mattress. When all are seated, the supervisor counts to 10 and all children who do not fall off get a point. For the second variant, two teams are formed. Each team gets an air mattress. There is now a time limit in which as many children of the team as possible may sit on the air mattress. As soon as the time is up, the team that falls off the mattress first loses. This water game is especially fun when making waves in the pool or swimming pool. | Materials needed: 1 or 2 air mattresses Number of players: from 5 | Duration: about 10 minutes
  5. Foot Ring Championship
    The foot ring championship is one of the water games, which can be played already excellent with only two players but also with 10 or more players. In this game, two players always compete against each other, with many players, several competitions can be held in parallel. At the beginning 2 rings are put into the water and all players go into the water. On a start signal, the children try to get one ring out of the water with their foot. The one who succeeds first goes one round further and competes against a winner from another duel. The winner is the one who wins in the last round.< strong> | Materials needed: 2 rings Number of players: from 2 | Duration: about 5-10 minutes
  6. Water Taxi Race
    Form two teams. One player puts a pool noodle under his head and one under his knees and is the water cab. The other player now has the task of driving the water cab from a start to the finish (for example, once through the pool or to a buoy) and with as smooth a ride as possible to arrive first at the finish. | Materials needed: 4 pool noodles Number of players: from 4 | Duration: about 15 minutes
  7. Swimming Hoop Rodeo
    The swimming hoop rodeo is one of the water games that is fun for everyone regardless of age and is great for a pool party. For this you need only a large swimming hoop. First, everyone tries to get their butts in it as fast as possible, one after the other. The one who does it the fastest wins. You can also try to jump into the ring with your butt from the jetty or the edge of the pool. The game is funniest for those who are watching. | Materials needed: a large swimming hoop Number of players: no matter | Duration: about 15 minutes
  8. The Shark Is Loose
    One is the shark, all the others take a floating animal or an air mattress, sit on it and gather in the water at one point. Then the shark swims off and pushes a child off the mount. As soon as it lands in the water, it is also a shark and goes hunting for prey. The winner is the one who is left last and is still on his mount. | Materials needed: per player a swim animal or an air mattress Number of players: from 4 | Duration: about 10-15 minutes
  9. Air Mattress Jumping
    Build two teams and let the air mattresses close to each other in the water. In a swimming pool, the air mattresses should ideally reach from one edge of the pool to the other. On a start signal, the first two players start and jump from air mattress to air mattress and to the other end. If one falls into the water, one must quickly swim back to the beginning and start again until the air mattress bridge is crossed. Then the next person may start. The team whose last jumper finishes first wins. | Materials needed: several air mattresses, at least 3 Number of players: from 4 | Duration: about 5-10 minutes
  10. Fun Bubbles Obstacle Course
    For this water game you need at least one oversized inflatable ball – a zorb ball is best. There are those that leave the legs free and those in which the entire body is enclosed. You can play the game with both. More beautiful, of course, are several and you can also rent them. Below you will find a link for the link for the balls from amazon that we used. Players get into the balls and can walk on the water with the really big bubbles and pedal forward with the ones that leave the legs free. Just walking and paddling through the water is a lot of fun. It gets even funnier when you build a obstacle course with buoys, floating animals, mattresses and pool noodles, which you have to run through in a race where two players always compete. | Materials needed: at least one Fun Bubble Ball, floating animals, air mattresses, pool noodles, buoys Number of players: no matter | Duration: any

"One of the craziest games in the water is to walk on the water in a Zorbball"

Pure fun: walking on the water in a Zorb ball

Have fun with our water games for kids and families!

How to make the summer unforgettable? On Abenteuer Freundschaft you’ll find lots of inspiration for beautiful family games and tips for kids’ parties, scavenger hunts and more! Discover 1001 ideas for activities for families, friends and couples for year-round and special occasions. Have fun browsing!

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