While living the swimming pool lifestyle, you'll find yourself outdoors more often. We have compiled a fun list of games to entertain swimmers of all ages, and some of our team's favorite, easy grilling recipes and other dishes you can enjoy by the pool.
Pool Party Games
Have the kids wait in a designated space (in or out of the water) and toss water balloons for them to catch. After throwing a couple, tell them that they don’t get anymore unless they sing a song (can be anything, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “Humpty Dumpty”). Every time they sing a song, throw in a few more balloons and try a different song, or make them say something like, “I love swimming!” or, “Happy birthday!” Keep doing this until you are out of balloons.
This is a relay race that needs two teams with an equal amount of players. You also need enough water balloons to provide one for each player (plus a few extras for mistakes). Make start and finish lines about 20 feet apart. Place the water balloons in two piles at the starting line. Call out, “Go!” and the first person on each team picks up their balloon and runs to the finish line. There, they must sit on their balloon and pop it, and then run back to the start line. Then the next player grabs their balloon and does the same thing. If a player drops their balloon or pops it on the way, they must go back to the start line, take a new balloon and start again. The first team to finish popping all its balloons is the winning team.
Form two groups: one for the cannonballs, and the other a team of judges. The cannonball group lines up behind a diving board and has to make the biggest splash to get the highest vote. The judges are the voters and give each person a vote between one and 10. An adult is needed to decide what the majority of the judges want to give each person.
Played preferably in a smaller pool, it’s just like regular frozen tag but, once tagged, another player has to swim under your legs to free you.
Everyone walks clockwise around the swimming pool without stopping. One person is in the water with a hose, which is turned on. Everyone sings, “London river’s flooding up, flooding up …” as everyone else walks whenever “flooding up” is sung; the person in the water can then move the hose out of the water and spray someone else. During the part in the song that says, “Take the key and lock her up,” you hold the hose out to another person; this person holds the hose and jumps into the pool.
Throw a large amount of pennies (depending on the number of kids) into a good-sized pool. Cover about a third of the pennies with correction fluid, and then send the children in to dive for them. If a child finds a penny covered with correction fluid, that child gets a prize. Great for all ages! Shallow water for the younger kids, and deeper for the older kids.
Seahorses and Mermaids
This game is played in the shallow end of a swimming pool. You need at least five people – two seahorses, two mermaids and one caller – but the more people you have, the better. The seahorses make a circle in the water, and the mermaids stand behind the seahorses. The caller calls out “mermaids” or “seahorses.” If the caller says “mermaids,” the mermaids must swim like a mermaid with their legs together, clockwise around the circle, and take their place behind the seahorse. The last mermaid in her place is out, and so is her partner. If the caller says “seahorses,” the seahorse must back out between the mermaid’s fluke (legs) underwater. The seahorse must them swim clockwise around the circle, back under the fluke and stand up. The last seahorse in her place is out, and her partner is out, too. The last couple standing is the winner.
Have the kids line up beside a length of a pool (25 meters is ideal). One by one, they have to start at one end and swim as far as they can underwater – until they have to come up for air. Once they surface, have them sit on the pool deck next to the place where they came up. The top five or 10 people who went the farthest get a prize.
Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon steak sauce
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- Preheat the grill for medium heat.
- In a shallow bowl, mix the mustard, honey, mayonnaise and steak sauce. Set aside a small amount of honey mustard sauce for basting, and dip the chicken into the remaining sauce to coat.
- Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken over indirect heat for 18 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until juices run clear. Baste occasionally with the reserved sauce during the last 10 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning!
Teriyaki Beef and Chicken Kabobs
- 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 pinch ground ginger
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 1/2 cups whole fresh mushrooms
- 1 pound beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes
- In a large resealable plastic bag, mix the teriyaki sauce, honey, garlic powder and ginger. Place red bell peppers, onion wedges, mushrooms, beef and chicken in the bag with the marinade. Seal, and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.
- Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
- Discard marinate, and thread the meat and vegetables onto skewers, leaving a small space between each item.
- Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 10 minutes, turning as needed, or until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
Crispy Grilled Pizza Margherita
- 1 (16 ounce) package pizza dough, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 ounces shredded Asiago cheese
- 3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 cup packed whole basil leaves
- 1 (8 ounce) package fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat and outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
- Place pizza dough in a bowl to rise 2 to 3 times the original size, about 1 hour. Flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Divide dough in half; roll each half to a 10- to 12-inch diameter circle.
- Place pizza dough rounds on the preheated grill using a wooden paddle (pizza peel) and close lid; cook until grill marks appear on the bottom of each round, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from grill and flip over on a work surface. Lower grill heat to medium.
- Brush each round with olive oil. Spread half the Asiago cheese on each crust; add tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer pizzas to grill with wooden paddle and close lid. Cook until bottom of rounds is cooked with grill marks and cheese is melted, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from grill and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Tangy Dill Potato Salad
- 3 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- 1/2 cup Italian-style salad dressing
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the salad dressing, mayonnaise, green onions, dill, mustard, lemon juice and pepper. When the potatoes are cooled, stir into the bowl until coated. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to blend flavors before serving.
Mexican Corn on the Cob
- 4 ears corn, shucked
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
- 4 wedges lime (optional)
- Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
- Grill corn until hot and lightly charred all over, 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill. Roll the ears in melted butter, then spread evenly with mayonnaise. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and serve with a lime wedge.
Grilled Onion Blossom
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- Garlic salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat and outdoor grill for high heat.
- Peel the onion. Slice into 6 to 8 wedges, leaving the base of the onion intact. Pull apart wedges slightly, and place butter, garlic salt and ground black pepper inside onion.
- Wrap onion tightly with aluminum foil. Place on the preheated grill. Cook 45 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and lightly browned.
Savory Grilled Peaches
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 6 fresh peaches, halved and pitted
- Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.
- Whisk olive oil, basil, thyme, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Allow flavors to combine for 5 minutes. Brush oil mixture on inside flesh of peach halves.
- Grill peaches, flesh sides down until softened and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes.