Games to make sure your teen’s pool party doesn’t suck!

Submitted by guest author, Sophia. See bio for more details.

Swimming pools can be a lot of fun for people of all ages, including teenagers. In fact, teens tend to have the most fun in pools, as they can play games, invite their friends over, and even host their own pool parties. Pool games are a super way for teens to make new friends, strengthen bonds, and simply have a good time in their own backyard. This guide will showcase some of the best swimming pool games for teenagers to play.

blue pool water with words over top: pool party games for teens

Classic Pool Games

Let’s start off with a look at some classic pool games that every teen knows and loves. Suitable for all types of pools (the backyard pool, the public pool, even the lake), these fun water games are a definite hit at parties.

Octopus Tag

Octopus Tag is essentially like a regular game of tag, but in a pool, and with a slight difference. Whoever is “it” has to go around and tag people by tapping them on the shoulder or back. When a person gets tagged, they join the tagged players’ team and go around tagging everyone else, until only one person, the winner, is left over.

Water Volleyball

An undisputed classic game, volleyball is such a fun game to play in a swimming pool! For this, you’ll need to try to set up a net of some kind along the middle of the pool. You can also simply stretch a piece of rope across the middle to act as the center line. Then, teams of players on each side have to hit the ball back and forth without letting it hit the water.

Team-Based Pool Games for teens

Next, let’s look at a few team-based pool games. These games are a great way for teaching teens the importance of teamwork and can be ideal for large groups like ‘school’s out!’ and birthday parties.

Greasy Watermelon Ball

All you need is a watermelon and some vegetable oil!

First up, divide the whole group into two separate, even teams. Then, position each team to the opposite side of the pool. You then throw a greased-up watermelon (or similar large fruit) into the water, and the two teams have to battle over it in a series of one vs one clashes.

The object of the game is to bring the watermelon back to your edge of the pool.

I’ll admit that I’d question adding this oil to my pool water, but I do see how kid could have a lot of fun with this. I wonder if there are other items that would be hard for kids to grab and hold that could be substituted?

Beach Ball Relay Race

Here’s another great team-based teen game to enjoy in the pool, and all you need is a beach ball to get started. The idea is simple. Divide players into two teams and line them up at one end of the pool. Hand a beach ball to the first player in each team. They have to swim to the end of the pool and back with the ball, and then hand it to the next player, racing to be as fast as possible.  The first team reaching the finish line wins!

Popular Pool Games for Teens

Here are some additional swimming pool games that tend to work really well for teens, even if there’s only a small group of them.

teenagers jumping into a backyard swimming pool

Noodle Joust

You’ll need a few pool noodles for this one, which you can usually pick up at a local dollar store or other department store.

The idea of the game is simple: the teens have to position the pool noodle between their legs and try to balance on it while using the end of the noodle to joust or sword-fight their opponent. Whoever loses balance first is the loser.

My kids play, unofficially, play this all the time when they’re in the pool! They also love to blow water at each other through the pool nooodle too!

Rubber Duck Race

This great game also requires some equipment: a lot of rubber ducks! …or some other small pool floaties.

The teens should each be given their own rubber duck and then get ready to race at one side of the pool, with the duck on the water in front of them. The idea is to race the ducks across to the other side, but without actually touching them. Teens can blow on them or splash and make waves to push the duck along.

A few more of the best swimming pool games:

Here are a few more ideas:

  • Marco Polo – the classic swimming pool game!
  • Treasure hunting in the deep end or bottom of the pool for sunk items
  • Pool basketball
  • What time is it Mr. Shark? (although perhaps enjoyed more by younger kids)
  • Water polo
  • Or my teens favourite: Who can make the biggest splash?
teens playing basketball in the swimming pool.
Playing basketball in the swimming pool

Safety Considerations

Of course, when it comes to fun and games in the pool, it’s always important to keep safety in mind. Whether the pool is being used by kids, teens, or adults, there are always risks: accidents happening and people can getting hurt. This is especially true when it comes to teens, as kids can sometimes get a little carried away during the fun of the game.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

Importance of adult supervision: Teens should always be supervised by an adult during pool time. Even though they might all be experienced swimmers and have spent lots of time in pools in the past, accidents can happen to anyone. With an adult present, there’s much less chance of anything going wrong, and some sort of supervision should also ensure that the teens behave properly and don’t break the rules or do anything silly, like dunking each other under the water.

Ensuring a safe pool environment: It’s also up to the pool owner to make sure that the pool environment is as safe as possible. This means that the pool water needs to be kept clean and sanitary using the appropriate filters and cleaning solutions. In addition, the space around the pool should also be kept clean and clear to reduce the risk of anyone slipping and getting hurt.

Tips for sun protection and hydration: One of the most common problems that occurs when teens spend lots of time in a pool is that they end up either sunburned or dehydrated because they’re too busy having fun to think about the basics. Make sure to remind everyone to use sunscreen on a regular basis and bring along a water bottle.

Read more about pool-side safety from Canada’s Red Cross Here.

Teens and Pools!

Overall, pools are clearly great places for teens to spend time and have fun!  Hopefully some of the above swimming games will help your teenagers get outside, get more physical activity, and have fun in the backyard pool!  Please remember the key safety tips outlined above: accidents and injuries can easily happen, if swimming pools users aren’t careful.

Have fun!

Written by Sophia

Exterior designer and author

Sophia is an experienced exterior designer with over 5 years of expertise in
crafting stunning outdoor spaces. Her creative vision and attention to detail
have transformed numerous environments into captivating landscapes.
Currently, she contributes her expertise to the innovative team at Designs by
, where her passion for design continues to shape inspiring outdoor


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