February 23, 2024

certainly, you Your child may be happy floating aimlessly in the pool, possibly with a drink in hand, but your child may need a little more structure to make pool time as enjoyable as possible. Helping them out is also a great way to unknowingly engage them in some healthy family activities and create a lasting bond between you and your child.

Because we take your pleasure seriously and aim to make your life less strenuous, we’ve sourced some family-time-friendly pool wellness activities from the experts: Rochelle Baxter, triathlete, parent, and our favorite fitness App Aaptiv for coaching. (Free subscription available through Haven Life Plus, an additional rider for eligible Haven Term policyholders.)

She gave us four great ideas for fun pool games, and we added a few of our own favorites. Whether you’re heading to your neighborhood public pool, splashing around at someone’s backyard pool party, or enjoying your hotel pool during summer vacation, these are the tools to keep you safe and healthy through the long summer months.

Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

in the text:

ring throw

“Have some water rings ready to sink into the pool,” says Baxter. “Depending on your child’s swimming level, you can throw the ring into shallow or deep water. This will help your child learn how to hold their breath, reach for the ring, and more importantly, learn what it’s like to achieve small goals.”

The game also helps kids get used to keeping their eyes open (and/or using goggles) underwater. Holding your breath and swimming against your natural buoyancy is also good exercise.

water relay

“I’d say this activity is more suitable for kids with experience swimming,” Baxter said. It also works with different numbers of children: if there are more children, just increase the length of the team or each game.

You, as the adult, form the team and choose the start and finish lines, and the kids race. It takes someone to say “ready, go, go” and then judge who wins the race, so it’s a great option when you want your kids to flex their muscles while you sit by the pool.

treasure hunt

And by “treasure” we mean “cheap pool toys”. “Buy little ones water toys that float or sink. Put the toys on the shallow end of the steps. Have the kids find the water toys and reach for them,” she says.

“If the child is a beginner at swimming, make sure you’re nearby to help and supervise them. This activity can really help younger children get used to the water,” says Baxter.


“Get some kickboards and even some fins (optional). Have your child lie on the kickboard and move the board across the water as they kick. Since you’re holding the board, it will give them the confidence to kick the ball on their own, said Baxter.

It also helps to develop solid parent-child activities. “Flippers are also a very useful tool for this activity,” she says. “Tell the kids to kick fast or slow” depending on their ability level and how much energy you want them to expend before dinner.

sharks and small fish

This is basically a version of the label in water. The baby shark is “it” and moves to the middle of the pool. When he or she says (or, more likely, yells) “go,” the other kids jump in and try to get to the other side of the pool, while the shark tries to tag the other players. Each tagged child turns into a shark (and “it”), and the game continues until only one baby fish remains.

That little fish is your winner – and the opening shark for the next round. (More advanced kids might also like Freeze Tab or Marco Polo.)

keep vigilant

It is also a water game of the famous land game. Children scattered around the pool, passing beach balls to each other, trying to keep it from falling into the water. Encourage them to count how many passes they can make before the ball hits the surface. It’s a great exercise, improves coordination, and is fun.


It might not be the most dignified name for a kid’s game, but it’s an honest one. This is great for younger children, including those who don’t have a small playmate on hand. You sit by the pool and throw whatever floats you have on hand (even your pool slide) to your kids and they go collect it. Little ones love this, it helps them learn to swim with an object, which helps them become more proficient and confident in the water.

our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-focused life insurance organization backed and wholly owned by MassMutual. We believe that decisions about life insurance, personal finances and overall health can be simple.

our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-focused life insurance organization backed and wholly owned by MassMutual. We believe that decisions about life insurance, personal finances and overall health can be simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life less difficult if they are appropriate for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice and should not be relied upon. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal advisors.

our disclosure

Haven Term is a term life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in some states, including North Carolina) issued by MassMutual, Springfield, MA 01111-0001, through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC Exclusively available. In New York State, the safe harbor deadline is DTC-NY 1017. In California, the safe harbor deadline is DTC-CA 042017. Simplified Safe Harbor Term is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in some states (including North Carolina)) issued by CM Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and add-on form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our agency license number is OK71922 in California and 100139527 in Arkansas.

MassMutual is rated A++ (Superior; Top Category 15) by AM Best Company. This rating is as of April 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual Financial Services has received varying ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is part of a Haven Term policy that provides additional services and benefits for free or at a discounted price. This rider is not available in every state and may change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for providing the benefits and services under Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information on Haven Life Plus, visit:

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