Children love pools. If you recently installed a new pool or are opening one for the season, you already know this.
Of course, children are also fickle and prone to falling into periods of boredom even when a pool is right in front of them. Sometimes simply rolling the cover back and throwing in some “floaties” isn’t enough. Instead, you have to get creative in order to maximize your kid’s enjoyment of the water with some smart purchases or the introduction of fun new games.
Today we’re going to take a look at how you can ensure your pool entertains children of all ages for the entire season.
What do they like?
Before you make any costly pool additions or introduce elaborate pool games, think through what your kids would most enjoy, or, better yet, ask them. If your children are on the younger side, you might have to do more work introducing safe pool games, but if they’re a little older or entering their teenage years, they’ll probably have something they’d like to try out.
Accessories to add
One way to enhance the enjoyment of your pool is to focus on some simple add-ons. Some popular additions include:
- Water slides – Who doesn’t love a classic waterslide? Along with just generally being fun for all ages, this addition is likely to attract your children’s friends — which is huge for keeping them interested in the pool all summer. Of course, you have to make sure your yard has enough space to fit a slide and that your pool is deep enough, at least four feet deep.
- Diving boards – There are few things better/worse than nailing your first perfect dive/accidentally belly flopping off of a diving board. Yard space shouldn’t be an issue here, but the size of your pool might affect whether or not you can realistically install a board. You won’t want to install a diving board that covers half of your pool, after all. Again, your pool needs to be deep enough for safe diving, at least eight to nine feet deep.
- Water basketball hoop – All the fun of basketball without having to worry about pesky dribbling. These can either be floating hoops that you put directly in the water or a weighted hoop set up on the side of the pool.
- Splash pads – While not “technically” an accessory for the pool itself, splash pads can be tons of fun for younger children. These pads squirt water up into the air, creating a water jungle gym, much like those that you’ll see at almost any waterpark. To set one up, you’d need enough lawn space away from your pool to allow children to run and play without risking falling on your pool patio or slipping into the deep end of your pool.
Games to play
Of course, you don’t always have to add to the pool to increase its fun factor. Simple games can also transform your pool environment, especially for younger children. Since there’s really no limit to games already out there or one’s you can think up yourself, here are four of our favorites to help get you started:
- Marco Polo – The classic. One player closes their eyes and yells “Marco!” while the others respond with “Polo!” and try to avoid the searcher. Whoever gets caught by Marco takes their place and the game continues.
- Mermaid races – An especially good game for stronger swimmers, this entails competitors swimming underwater for as long as possible, holding their breath. The first one to come up loses.
- Treasure hunting – An incredibly simple yet addictive game where an adult on the pool deck tosses coins or weighted pool toys into the water. The children then dive trying to collect them all. There are many variations to this game, from timing each dive, to assigning certain coins or toys to one child and seeing who can collect theirs first.
- Air ball – Another addictive game where the players are tasked with keeping a beach ball in the air for as long as possible. As soon as it hits the water, the game is over. The best part is there are really no losers and it’s easy to jump back into another round immediately.
There you have it, some add-ons and games that can keep your kids engaged for the full pool season. Remember, before you jump into any game make sure your kids have been educated in pool safety and are strong enough swimmers to carry out the more difficult games. You’ll always want at least one adult on site to monitor kids, especially if they’re younger in age.
With that being said, get out there and start having fun!