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4 fun swimming games

Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity, according the U.S. Census Bureau. People report that water-based activities are more enjoyable than those on land. While you already know about Marco Polo and pool basketball, here are four unique games to play in your Phoenix pool this summer.

1. Popsicle
This game is fun for the younger children in the family. It's essentially a pool version of freeze tag. One person is the tagger and everyone else must avoid getting tagged. If you get caught, you have to put your hands straight up in the air and stand still or tread water. You can get unfrozen by having another player swim between your legs, and as long as you're underwater, you can't be tagged. The tagger has to freeze everyone in order to win, but you can switch up positions whenever you like.

2. Bobbing heads
According to, this game requires swimmers to bob in and out of the water in the deep end of the pool. One player uses a beach ball to hit the other children on the head when they're exposed. The one with the ball can only cross the center of the pool in order to get the ball back. The players bobbing up and down should try varying their speeds and locations to create a game similar to whack-a-mole. If you get hit with the ball, it's your turn to toss it.

3. Dolphins and sharks
This is a classic and requires an adult or leader. One player starts the game as a shark, while the remaining children assume the role of dolphins. They split to one side of the pool and the sharks to the other. The adult or leader will begin by shouting "Dolphins!" The group must then swim across the pool and touch the other side without getting tagged by the sharks. If tagged by the opposing team, you switch sides. The adult or leader then alternates shouting each team's name to cause swimmers to chase one another back and forth. A team wins when they have collected all the other children.

4. Invisible bottle
This diving game is fun for all ages. Take an empty, clear two-liter bottle – preferably with a cap that matches the bottom of the pool – and remove the label. Fill it up with pool water and put the cap on. Line up the swimmers on one side of your pool. Then, have someone with their back to the pool throw the bottle in the water. On the splash, the swimmers turn around and jump in. First one to find the bottle becomes the thrower and repeat. It sounds easy, but with waves and other children swimming around, it can be hard to spot the clear bottle. To make it more difficult, don't let anyone wear goggles.

Remember to always practice safety when playing any games in your Phoenix pool! Have an adult supervise at all times and have fun.