Interesting Sports, Outdoor & Backyard Games

Three Of The Best Pool Games For A Hot Day

When you are in the midst of the Dog Days of Summer, there is one thing that is always on your mind—how can I cool off? You can just sit inside and play video games with the air-conditioner cranked up as cold as it can go, but we stay inside all winter long because it is too cold outside. Do we really want to stay inside during the summer months as well? 

No! But we don’t want to feel like a car overheating as it passes through Death Valley either. There has to be a way to keep cool while playing outside. 

There is, of course. It involves a large, often man-made hole in the ground filled with lots of water. Yes, the local pool. By itself, the pool is a great way to keep cool when the summer sun beats down on us. But to make it fun, it helps if you have something to do—like play a game! 

Marco Polo

It’s an easy game to play. One person is designated as ‘it.’ That person will either close their eyes or be blindfolded before play can begin. Once it does, everyone else scatters around the pool. The person who is ‘it’ will call out ‘Marco’ and everyone else will answer with ‘Polo.’ It is up to the person that is ‘it’ to find one of the other players and tag them after getting the auditory clue to their location. 

The game is meant to be played with everyone in the pool, but a common variation includes a rule that allows players to get out of the pool. But if the person who is ‘it’ calls out,” Fish out of water!” and a player is out of the pool, that player is now ‘it.’  

Another variation allows for players to sit on the edge of the ball, but they have to keep their legs in the water. But if the person who is ‘it’ calls out,” Mermaid on the rocks!” that person is it.  

Most of us probably assume that the name of the game has something to do with the 13th-century explorer of the same name. As legend has it, he did not have a clue where he was going but searched for new worlds anyway. Since the person who is ‘it’ is blinded and doesn’t have a clue where they are going, and they call out ‘Marco’ it is not hard to see why people make the assumption. 

However, there is no proof that the name of the game has anything to do with the explorer.  

Beach Ball Bonanza

One of the things that makes Marco Polo so popular is that it takes nothing to play. All you need is a pool and some friends. Beach ball bonanza, on the other hand, does require something—a beach ball for everyone. But they can often be had for a couple of bucks at the convenience store or Walmart, so it is not an expensive game. You can even get beach balls in funny designs for some added laughs.

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To play it properly, everyone need to have their own beach ball (and it must be fully blown up). The object of the game is to then use your beach ball to bump the other players into the sides of the pool. Once they touch the side, they are out.  

However, it is important to note one thing. You can’t physically make contact with anyone. You can’t use your hands or feet to push or nudge them towards the side of the pool. The only thing you can use is your beach ball. 

This is one that can be fun for younger children, but only with an adult watching to make sure no one slips in the water as they get close to the sides of the pool. Nothing ends fun at the pool faster than someone going down with a head injury because they slipped and banged their head on the side of the pool. 

Diving For Treasure

In this game, you need something that can be used as the ‘treasure.’ You can buy some fake gold coins or maybe just use whatever change you and your friends have on hand. Different denominations can be used to designate what treasure has more or less value.  

One person is designated the ‘sea monster.’ Before the game begins, the sea monster has to scatter the ‘treasure’ in the pool. When the game starts, it is the sea monster’s job to tag people as they attempt to retrieve the treasure. If the sea monster succeeds, the person tagged has to drop all of the treasure they have in hand. They also have to sit out for a predetermined amount of time before they can rejoin the game. 

The game ends when all of the treasure is collected. The person with the most treasure wins the game. 

Andrea H

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