Nothing beats a dip in the pool on a hot day. But if the kids want more than swimming and splashing, offer up some games and activities:
- Blow bubbles in the pool -- there's no need to worry about making a sticky mess on the patio or porch!
- Place some plastic toy boats or ping-pong balls in the water. The kids have to move them by creating waves and currents with their bodies, not by pushing or pulling the objects.
- In case you forgot this classic, try Marco Polo: The person who is "it" closes his or her eyes and counts to 10. Everyone else in the pool moves away from "it," who must keep eyes closed as he or she starts moving around the pool. Each time "it" says "Marco," the other players must respond "Polo," which helps "it" locate them. Once "it" tags another player, that person becomes the new "it."
- Play freeze tag in the shallow end of the pool. This game differs a bit from conventional tag. Once a player is tagged by "it," he or she must remain in the pool with arms and legs outstretched, and can be "freed" only if another player swims through his or her legs. The last kid who is "frozen" becomes the new "it."
- Toss a handful of coins in the bottom of the pool. Tell the kids "finders keepers," and watch them go!
- To play underwater keep-away, players must keep a small rubber ball away from "it." The catch? The ball must not be tossed -- it must remain under water at all times. When "it" tags someone holding the ball, that player becomes the new "it."
- If your pool has a large shallow end, kids can play volleyball with a beach ball. If you don't have a net, use a rope with pool buoys.