Marco! Polo! I was reminiscing last night with my usual insomniac self, reflecting about what we used to do when we were kids during our summer vacation. Although I didn’t have a swimming pool myself my aunts house was a welcome destination quite often as well as going to the reservoir for a swim. When we weren’t playing in a body of water we were still outside playing various games, going to the park, doing arts and crafts and other fun stuff.
Since the holiday is coming up, indeed, parents are likely to be looking for activities for their children to enjoy so why not bring back some of the oldies but goodies we use to enjoy at their age. You may even feel like joining in the fun as you make new memories for your kids. Here are a few ideas for pool party events and backyard fun.
Marco Polo- choose a player to be Marco and have him keep his eyes shut. This player will shout Marco! And the rest of the players shout Polo; leaving hints of where they are. A new player is picked when Marco tags a player.
Whirlpools-have everyone form a chain and follow the parameter edge of the pool, going around several times until the current carries them, then tell them to try to switch directions and see if they can swim against the current.
Dive games-There are several dive games out there using fish, sticks, hula hoops but if you don’t have those available use quarters. Toss into the pool and have kids dive for them. (Remember to remove them afterward)
Chicken-this is a good one for older kids, have one person sit on the shoulders of another. The person on top wrestles with another pair until the first one topples into the water.
Beach Ball Races-Using two beach balls have two players pushing the balls with their noses till they reach the other side, the victor being the first one to get to the other end.
Relay Races-This is a swim race with kids on each end of the pool. When one reaches the end another kid jumps in and swims to the other side. This continues until the first team goes through all their players.
Best Cannonball Contest-Have a contest on who can perform the best cannonball.
Group games can provide hours of fun for kids and adults alike. A few I remember playing as a kid are;
Tag- One person is selected as it and must tag another person to make them it.
One, two, three red light!-Again one person turns their back on a group and closes their eyes and counts slowly while the group scatters. The counter goes one, two, three red light and then turns around at which point the group must stop and be completely still right where they are. If one person moves and doesn’t freeze they become it.
Badminton-this game is simple and fun and requires a net, rackets and birdie which you hit back and forth like tennis.
Dodge Ball-Using a soft bouncing ball (nothing hard please) a person is selected to be in the middle of group. Dodging the ball as someone throws it at you is the premise of the game. There’s no malice in playing this as a group of kids and each takes turns being the dodger. For those who are into political correctness lighten up or don’t play it. Dodge ball was a fun game for years.
Volleyball-This game is easily played in the pool or yard and is just as much fun if you don’t have a net. You can use a regular volleyball or just a plain old type bouncing ball. See which team can keep it in the air the longest or how many times you can go back and forth without missing.
Bocce and Croquet-Simple games yet require so strategizing and gamesmanship! Equipment is needed for these games but rather inexpensive and can be fun for the entire family.
There are so many more pool games and outdoor games to be discovered and created just use your imagination and go wild! The point is to get out and enjoy the weather, and each other. Why not leave the technology in the house for a few hours and do something physical and social. Create your own summer memories instead of watching reruns or playing video games?
Let me know what your family favorites were when you were growing up! firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great 4th of July. Remember to supervise be smart and safe! Happy Birthday America!