With a swimming pool and a bit of creativity, the entire family can have an amazing summer vacation right in the backyard. To get the fun started, here are some easy pool games that children and adults alike will love. As a bonus, they might even get your kids to stop splashing you with all those cannonballs!

  • Giant Pool Scrabble

Playing pool scrabble is a fun and original way to work your brain power. Make the tiles by writing letters on large sponges with a waterproof marker. Each player get 5 letters and tries to make a word with them. But since the letters keep moving in the water, this version is a bit more difficult… and a lot more fun!

  • Against The Current

A classic for shallow pools: create a current! Everyone moves in the same direction in the pool until a current is formed. Then everyone turns around and tries to run against the current. It’s harder than it looks – not to mention great exercise for your legs!

  • Aquatic Treasure Hunt

Toss an assortment of “treasures” in the pool (including some in the shallow end for younger players). These can be all sorts of things, so use your imagination: coins, swim goggles, diving masks, fins, rings or other pool toys that sink, golf balls, etc. Just make sure they won’t damage the liner or harm players. The player who finds the most treasures within the allotted time wins! Or make things more challenging by assigning different values to items.

  • Water Bocce

The rules are the same as traditional bocce, but the “underwater” version adds a fun twist! Just throw the balls under water and wear a dive mask if needed. Since the balls never seem to go where you want them to, this game is guaranteed to keep everyone laughing.

  • Cardboard Boat Race

Each team is given a certain amount of time to build a race boat using only the allowed materials (such as large cardboard boxes, packing tape, permanent markers and stickers). Once this time is up, each team designates a captain who has to get in the boat and use his or her arms as oars to “row” it from one end of the pool to the other (or at least try to!). The trick is to build a boat that floats and that can support the person’s weight. The best time wins!

N.B.: Captains must be able to swim or wear an approved flotation device.

  • Aquatic Races

There are endless aquatic relay races you can organize. For example, make each team push a beach ball from one end of the pool to the other using only their noses. Once one player makes it back to the starting point, he or she passes the ball to the next player, who has to do the same thing. If players use their hands or anything other than their nose to move the ball, they have to return to the starting point and start over. To make the game even more challenging and fun, add a few twists: Players have to lie down on an inflatable mattress or sing a song while pushing the ball; they can’t use their legs or have to hold a ball under each armpit. The team that finishes the race first (without any errors) wins!

Aside from being loads of fun, these pool games will also improve kids’ swimming skills and comfort level in water. Plus it’s a great way to keep the entire family in shape. What’s not to love?

Last thing: Always keep safety in mind because accidents happen in the blink of an eye. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, and drink lots of water. Have a great summer vacation!