Sharks and Minnows


Having a pool party? This game’ll be awesome for entertaining the kids. Your only prerequisite will be that you’ll need a pool (and we also recommend hiring a life guard if you’re going to be playing this in your own backyard). It’s a fun game for ages 6+, especially those that are good swimmers. Other than paying the lifeguard your negotiated amount, this game costs nothing!

Materials Needed:

  1. a mostly straight-lined pool
  2. possibly a life guard (you can always ask around the neighborhood, your religious institution i.e. church, or manager of the local town pool to find certified, teen life guards who’d be happy to watch and make sure that everyone stays safe).

Instructions for play:

Pick or have the kids volunteer a shark to stand in the middle of the pool. The shark should be a strong swimmer. Have the minnows line up against the pool edge facing the shark.

To begin the game, have the shark call out “fishy, fishy, cross my ocean” or whatever variation the kids prefer. The minnows must then swim to the other side of the pool. When they touch the pool wall opposite of where they started, then they are safe. If a shark tags one of the minnows as he or she swims across, then that minnow will become a shark. The shark must wait until all of the kids are touching the other wall until he or she can call out “fishy, fishy cross my ocean.”

Play until there is only one minnow left. That minnow should become the shark for the next round. I would say repeat the entire process all over again, but there are many variations of the game.

Check out this wiki how page to read about the difference versions of the game:


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