Fun Pool Games for Kids

Holy crow, it’s practically summer. And when you have kids that love the water as much as mine, that means finding a pool and figuring out fun things to do in it. Sometimes all kids need to be entertained is the pool itself, but every kid loves a good pool game.

If you’re tired of playing, “Mommy, try to get away while I chase you,” (which really means, “Mommy, do your best to haul yourself around this pool without getting any of this community bath water in your mouth, while I kick strangers in the stomach, splash old ladies in the face and run into babies who are in the pool for the first time.”) then these alternatives should float your boat.

Indoor Fun
On rainy or snowy days, or for less athletically-inclined children, get their — and your — circulation going while indoors. Try a game of Twister, hold indoor ping pong tournaments or play hide and seek.;
Use Technology
If your child seems more excited about texting friends than moving his or her body, lure them into exercise with technology. Try the Wii, which can be played indoors while requiring the body to simulate the motions of tennis, baseball, golf, bowling and boxing. Let your children invite their friends over for Wii’s “Just Dance Summer Party.”
Respect Their Level
Some children are natural athletes while others enjoy more relaxed physical pursuits. Respect your child’s level and work within it, only gradually increasing the intensity. As with adults, all children progress at a different pace. If walking around the neighborhood or a park is what your child enjoys, begin there. Then slowly add other activities such as tossing a ball. Walking might lead to hiking a more challenging mountain trail.

How Ninja Warrior Class Brought the Athlete Out in My Child

Over the years, my kids have played soccer, baseball, gymnastics and basketball. They’ve taken swimming lessons and dabbled in taekwondo. These sports taught valuable lessons like teamwork, discipline and how not to drown, all while achieving my goal of getting their muscles moving and their hearts pumping. I consider it time—and money—well spent.

Our kids are lucky. The variety and accessibility of sports and activities has grown substantially in the past 20 years. While there are some kids who stick with one or two sports, many are trying out all kinds of fun pastimes like archery, rock climbing, dodge ball and organized foam sword fighting (yes, really).

Recently, my nine-year-old son began taking ninja warrior classes. Based on the hugely popular television show, “American Ninja Warrior,” children spend an hour climbing, running, jumping and scaling all sorts of obstacles.

For my little monkey, this is heaven. He’s always seen the world as his personal jungle gym. Just last week I caught him hanging off the gutter of an elementary school, so I like the idea of him climbing in a safe space for an hour a week. He’s getting stronger, faster and becoming more agile.

Ninja classes hold his interest more than any sport he’s participated in, and it’s not just because the gym is run by Drew Drechsel, a warrior the kids have watched on TV.