15 Fun Games With Pool Toys And Floats


Swimming and wading in the pool can be fun. But sometimes, you’ll need to have a few other pool games and activities lined up to keep the kids from getting bored. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of 15 fun games with pool toys and floaties which are sure to keep both the young and the young-at-heart entertained for hours.

Squirt Gun Race

Shooting squirt guns and tube blasters can be loads of fun. But if you’re looking for something more competitive, then why not try this squirt gun race.

What You Need:

  • 2 plastic cups
  • 2 long strings
  • 4 chairs (or a table or anything which the strings can be tied to)
  • Drill or scissors

How to Play:

  1. Place two chairs on one end of the pool and another two chairs at the other end.
  2. Drill or cut a hole at the bottom of the plastic cups. The hole should be on one side of the cup’s bottom and not at the middle.
  3. Insert the string through the hole and pull it out on the other side.
  4. Tie the one end of the string to the chair on one end of the pool. Tie the other end of the string to the chair on the other end of the pool. Do the same for the other set of cups and string.
  5. Start with the cups on one end of the pool. When the ‘Go!’ signal is given players shoot the inside of the cups using their squirt guns and try to see who could bring the cup to the finish line first. Players can refill their “ammo” using the pool water.

To make the game more challenging, you can tape a marble or a coin inside the cup to make it heavier and more difficult to move. If you can make more sets of cups and strings, you can create a whole obstacle course that can run through your whole backyard.

Water Balloon Hot Potato

Everybody knows the classic children’s game ‘hot potato’, and yes this can be played in the pool as well. But if you want to make this game more exciting, then why not try using water balloons instead? And no, you won’t be needing any music here so you don’t have to worry about being accused of cheating when your kid wins.

How to Play:

  1. Players stand around in a tight circle in the pool and pass the ‘hot potato’ to each other.
  2. Once each player has had a chance to hold the ‘hot potato’ they take a step backward, thereby making the circle a little bigger.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the players are so far from each other that they have no option but to throw (instead of toss) the ‘hot potato’ to the next player. At this point, there’s no way that the ‘hot potato’ won’t burst as the players try to catch it.

This game can be really fun and kids will definitely be asking for more, so be sure to have lots and lots of water balloons ready.

Duck Push

Who says rubber ducks are only for bathtubs? If you have a couple of these lying around, then you should definitely give this game a try.

How to Play:

  1. Players stay on one end of the pool with the rubber ducks in front of them.
  2. When the “Go!” signal is given, the players start swimming and push the rubber ducks forward using their noses, foreheads, or cheeks. They’re not allowed to use any other parts of their bodies to push their ducks.
  3. The first player to bring their rubber duck to the other end of the pool wins.

This game can be challenging because most of the time the rubber duck will not travel in a straight line so players will have to push their ducks back in the right direction.

Pool Noodle Boats

Paper boat races aren’t fun, especially when the boats get wet, soggy, and eventually capsize. Well, if you have an hour or so before the party begins, why not make your own ‘unsinkable’ pool noodle boats instead?

What You Need:

  • Pool Noodle
  • Plastic Straws
  • Foam Sheets
  • Scissors or knife

Making the Boat:

  1. Slice the pool noodles (about one-inch thick) until you have several pieces of ‘donuts’.
  2. Cut the foam sheets into triangles (about two-inches or so) to make the sail for the boat.
  3. Cut the straws to about three-inches tall.
  4. Poke a hole in the sliced pool noodle and the sail.
  5. Insert the straw into the sliced pool noodle and the sail.

That’s it! You can now use these pool noodle boats for races like Duck Push and others.

Swim Thru Rings Race

Swim thru rings look like hula hoops, but they have inflatable air chambers that allow them to float vertically in the water. You can also make your own swim thru rings using a hula hoop and pool noodles or a floating device tied to one side of the hoop.

So, how do you use these rings for a fun-filled day at the pool?

How to Play:

  1. Line up two sets of rings from one end of the pool to the other.
  2. Divide the kids into teams and have each team line up in front of the swim thru rings.
  3. At the ‘Go!’ signal, the first team member jumps into the water and swims thru the rings until they come out at the other end.
  4. When the first swimmer emerges from the other end of the pool, the next player jumps into the pool and starts swimming through the rings.
  5. The first team whose members reach the other end first wins the game.

Bean Bag Toss

This is a fun game to while away time in the pool. It may not be as exciting as the other games mentioned here, but it’s just as fun.

For this game, you’ll need a floating board and some bean bags. You can get these in most toy shops, just be sure to get the ones designed for pool use. If you want to make your own board though, you can do so by drawing boxes or circles on a large rubber mat. You can use heavy sponges instead of bean bags as well. Why you can even use a floating beer pong table and assign points to the holes.

Sea Horse Race

This is a rather simple game using pool noodles only, but it’s no less fun than the other games here in the list.

How to Play:

  1. First, establish a starting line and finish line then give each kid a pool noodle.
  2. When the “Go!” signal is given, the kids straddle their pool noodles and use these as their sea horses as they race to the finish line.
  3. The first player who reaches the finish line first wins the game.

This can also be played as a relay game for teams. The races won’t be fast but they’re guaranteed to be fun.

Floating Scavengers

This is probably one of the simplest pool games you could play. It will take some preparation though, but it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes.

First, grab as many ping pong balls as you can. Then using a marker, write the numbers 1-5 on each of the balls. You can also write one or two bonus balls with 10 points on them.

How to Play:

  1. Have each kid stand outside of the pool with their floaties. A floating island raft can do, but it will definitely be harder for the kids to manipulate around the pool.
  2. Scatter the ping pong balls all over the pool.
  3. At the “Go!” signal, the children jump into the pool, ride their floaties and collect as many ping pong balls as they can in one minute (or 30 seconds if you think one-minute is too long).
  4. After the time is up, the kids surrender their balls to you and you can calculate their points by adding the numbers on the balls.
  5. The player with the highest point wins.

Target Practice

No squirt gun? No problem! All you need is a pool noodle and a target and you’re good to go.

What You Need:

  • Old newspapers
  • Scotch tape or masking tape
  • Pool noodle (one for each kid)
  • Chairs

How to Play:

  1. Tape the newspaper edges onto the legs of the chair to form the target.
  2. Give the kids their own pool noodles.
  3. Assign a line where they can stand in the pool.
  4. When the ‘Go!’ signal is given, the kids fill their pool noodles with water and then blow the water through like a blowgun, aiming at the target.
  5. The first player to tear their newspaper wins.

Ping Pong Ball Race

This is another game that makes use of ping pong balls and can play before or after Floating Scavengers.

What You Need:

  • Ping pong balls (one for each player)
  • Plastic spoons (one for each player)
  • Plate or box (one for each team)

How to Play:

  1. Put the boxes on the far end of the pool.
  2. Divide the kids into two teams and give each player a spoon and a ping pong ball. Have each kid line up at the starting line.
  3. When the “Go!” signal is given, the first player puts the spoon in his or her mouth, puts the ping pong ball on the spoon, and then swims to the other end of the pool towards the plate or box.
  4. Upon reaching the other end of the pool, the player transfers the ping pong ball into the container. Remember, players cannot use their hands to transfer the ball or remove the spoon from their mouths, so they’ll have to prop themselves onto the edge of the pool to drop the ping pong ball into the plate or box.
  5. The first team to put all their ping pong balls into the container wins.

Monkey in the Middle

This is one of those traditional ball games that children from every generation from every part of the world are well aware of. The game mechanics are pretty simple, but in case you forgot how to play it, here are the directions.

  1. Players form a circle in the pool.
  2. One player is ‘it’ or the ‘monkey’. The ‘monkey’ can be determined using a draw lot system, or you can ask any of the kids to volunteer.
  3. The ‘monkey’ stays in the middle of the circle.
  4. The players in the circle will then pass the ball (a beach ball will do) to one another while the ‘monkey’ attempts to intercept it.
  5. If the ‘monkey’ catches or touches the ball, the player who threw the ball last then becomes the new ‘monkey’. The original ‘monkey’ then joins the other players in the circle.

Ping Pong Ball Train

And yes, we have another game using ping pong balls (who thought ping pong balls could be so much fun?). You’ll need quite a few kids to play this game though, at least three or more players for each team.

What You Need:

  • Ping pong balls (one for each team)
  • Pool noodles, cut lengthwise so that a channel runs in the middle of each halved noodle (one for each player)
  • Plate or box
  • Two adults to assist you

How to Play:

  1. Place the box or plate on one end of the pool.
  2. Divide the kids into two teams and have them line up starting from the other end of the pool to the box or plate. Have the kids hold their pool noodles in a straight line so that they form a ‘train track’ for the ping pong ball to run across.
  3. When the “Go!” signal is given, the adults place the ping pong ball onto the first players’ pool noodles.
  4. The first player will then transfer the ping pong ball onto the next player’s noodle by raising or tilting his or her own pool noodle.
  5. The rest of the players will do the same, transferring the ping pong ball from one player onto the next using their pool noodles until they reach the last team member who then drops it into the plate or box.
  6. The first team to complete the challenge wins.

Keep in mind that if the ping pong ball drops into the water while traveling the pool noodle track, or if the last team member fails to put it into the box or plate, the team will have to start all over again.

Wet T-shirt Relay

This is quite a popular game and is played not only by kids but also by the kids at heart. And you’ll only need one item for this game – an oversized t-shirt (one for each team).

How to Play:

  1. Divide the kids into teams and line them up on one end of the pool.
  2. Give each team a T-shirt.
  3. At the “Go!” signal, the first player puts on the t-shirt and swims towards the other end of the pool.
  4. Upon reaching the end of the pool, the player taps or touches the pool wall or the ledge and then swims back towards his or her teammates at the starting line.
  5. When the player reaches the starting line, he or she removes the shirt and hands it over to the next player.
  6. The next player then wears the t-shirt, swims to the other end of the pool and back to the starting line, and then removes the t-shirt and gives it to the third team member.
  7. All team members will do the same, and the team who completes the challenge first wins the game.

Ring Toss

This is a popular carnival game and can be relatively challenging especially when played in the water. For this game, you’ll need to get two sets of swimming pool ring toss set. Be sure to get the ones made for pools, otherwise, the stands and rings will sink to the bottom of the pool.

To play, you’ll need at least two members for each team. The objective is to throw the ring (one by one) and make sure that it drops into the stand. The first team to throw all their rings into the stand wins the game. Simple, eh?

Giant Chopsticks

If you’re wondering what to do with those pool noodles and beach balls, here’s an idea: Giant Chopsticks.

How to Play:

  1. Establish a starting line and finish line in the pool. If you have a really large pool, use the sides with the shortest distance.
  2. Give each kid two pool noodles and a beach ball.
  3. At the ‘Go!’ signal, players wield the pool noodles like chopsticks and lift the beach ball out of the water.
  4. The player must carry the beach ball to the finish line without dropping it.
  5. The first player to reach the finish line with the beach ball wins.

You can also turn this into a cooperative game. You can pair up a kid, give each pair two noodles and see if they can work together in lifting and moving the beach ball from the starting line to the finish line.

Globo Surf Overview

Keeping the kids entertained can be a challenge, especially when they always have their smartphones with them. But with a few supplies and a little creativity, you can always find ways to create fun games with pool toys and floaties that will keep them active and entertained the whole time.

More Pool Reviews:


  1. Squirt Gun Races Obstacle Course, This Grandma Is Fun
  2. DIY Pool Noodle Boats, Penny Pinchin’ Mom
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!