Mario Pool Party Game


It’s a me… the Blast Off Party Activities blogger with a great pool party game for anyone who likes Mario and wants to incorporate him into his or her pool party. This game is similar to hot potato. In Mario’s world, little bomb-shaped creatures called bomb ombs often chase after him. He can pick them up, but they will explode a certain amount of time after coming into contact with Mario. This game may cost about $14 to create.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 black beach ball
  • 1 white acrylic paint pen or a silver sharpie
  • something that you can play music through that can easily be stopped and started
  • 1 pool
  • a responsible adult

Setting Up:

  1. Making the bomb omb -Inflate your beach ball. Look at the model below and draw on 2 oval eyes using a white or silver permanent marker.


2. Selecting the music- use the music from the games to set the mood. You can either buy them in iTunes or simply use your smartphone to play the song from online. Here are some great songs to use off of YouTube:


Have the kids gather around in the shallow end of the pool in a circle. Make sure that everyone can comfortably stand. Explain that this game is like the game hot potato, except we have a bomb omb from Mario instead. When the music starts, pass or toss the bomb omb to another person. When the music stops, the person holding the bomb omb is out of the game and has to exit the circle. When they’re outside of the circle, the children who are out can make a splash when the music stops (like a bomb omb exploding). Play until there is one child left.

Pool Rodeo


Are you thinking of having a cowboy pool party or a poolside family reunion? Then, this pool float is a necessity. It costs over $60 (yikes!) and by the description sounds like a pain in the butt to inflate. It does look really fun and challenging for all ages. At first, I was skeptical about how hard it could be to stay on the bull, but then I saw a bunch of Youtube videos of people testing out the toy and having trouble staying on, such as this celebrity video:

Materials Needed:

  • 1 inflatable bull pool float
  • 1 pool
  • At least 1 responsible adult
  • optional: a stopwatch to keep times
  • optional: hiring a lifeguard for the party might not be a bad idea either



Get all of your materials in place the evening before or the morning of the party. Do not wait until the last minute to try to inflate this thing!

Have the first person get on the bull. They will need help to get on it. Start the timer (if you want to make this a timed competition to see who the rodeo star is), and then have the other members of the party grab onto one of the handles and shake the raft until the person falls off.

Then, write that person’s time down and switch to the next person. Repeat until everyone has ridden the bull.

*A little note on the price, someone on Amazon claimed to have bought this toy off the internet for $48, so this might be one of those items that you have to stalk in order to find at a good price.


Who pooped in the pool? 💩


The poop emoji is EVERYWHERE!!!! This pool game is bound to be a hit with a younger (younger than a tween) crowd. All you need is a poop emoji-shaped pool float, a pool, a responsible adult. Having a certified lifeguard at the party would be a good idea.


Materials Needed:

  • Poop Emoji Float (little poo, medium poo, large poo)
  • a pool
  • a responsible adult
  • (optional) a life guard – in order to get a local certified lifeguard you can either talk to the people at some local organization such as your church or go to your local pool and ask the manager if they know of any lifeguards that would be willing to help supervise your pool party.



This is a shallow end only game. Everyone should be able to walk around with minimal swimming for safety sake. This game is similar to the pool game Marco Polo, but with some changes. Instead of the person being ‘it’ yelling “marco,” the person will ask “Who pooped in the pool?” Then the party guests will “I did!” instead of “polo.” Remember to only play this in your backyard pool and not a public one.

Start off with putting one person on a pool float. This can be the birthday child or a guest of honor. Everyone should start around in a huddle around the emoji pool float once the person has gotten onto the float. The person on the pool float should close their eyes and yell “who pooped in the pool?”

The pool guests will then swim/run away as fast as they can shouting “I did!” The person who is ‘it’ will try to direct the pool float towards people and asking repeatedly “who pooped in the pool?” until they tag someone. That person will then take that person’s place on the pool float.

Play the game as long as you’d like.


Pool Float Races


Cool pool floats are everywhere! They’re at Urban Outfitters, Target, Kohl’s, and are all over instagram. You finally caved and bought one (or are maybe thinking of buying one). Now what? Well, why not have a whacky relay race? This game will be fun for all ages whether at a 4th of July party or for your child’s 7th birthday party.

Ideas Based on Popular Pool Floats (with links through

  1. Mermaid races (2 mermaid pool floats)
  2. The 4th of July (1 American flag pool float and one either red or Union Jack pool float)
  3. Battle of the Swans (1 black swan pool float and 1 white swan pool float)
  4. Unicorn races (2 unicorn pool floats)
  5. Candy races (1 piece of candy float and another piece of candy float)

Materials Needed:

  • 2 pool floats
  • 1 pool
  • At least 1 responsible adult


Split the party up into 2 groups. Each group will be assigned to a pool float. The kids will race to get their pool float from one side of the pool to the other. When one member finishes a lap, the next member of the team can jump on the pool float (which may be more or less difficult), and try to make it over to the other side of the pool and back before the other kid does. Keep going until one group has had all of its team members do a lap. The team that gets all of its players to return faster than the other team will win.

Tropical Jewelry Making


The new Disney film, Moana, was stunning to watch. The art and animation was gorgeous. The story was also pretty good. I was inspired when I watched the film and saw Moana’s tribe’s relationship to to the jewelry that they wore. Jewelry not only a status symbol in the film, but it also told a story. Maui wore a necklace that held the teeth or parts of talons of enemies that he had defeated. Moana’s necklace was a family heirloom that was part of the story of a voyaging nation. This is one part craft and one part game. Have the children make jewelry such as bracelets and necklaces and ask them to have a story in mind when they make it. This activity may cost about $20-25 to do and should entertain the group for 5-15 minutes with the the plastic string design and 15-30 minutes if you use hemp braiding techniques.

Materials Needed:

  1. Plastic Animal Beads (click here to see what I found on Amazon)
  2. Either plastic, stretchy string (which looks like fishing wire) or hemp
  3. Regular Plastic Beads (click here to see what I found on Amazon)


Place all of the same types of beads together in bowl around the table that you will use for the craft.

For plastic wire:

Pre-cut the bracelet strings and give them to the children at the start of the activity. Leave about an inch and a half to an inch extra of string so that you can easily tie the bracelets for the kids. Make sure you mark the area in the bracelet that the kids can use with 2 permanent marker lines to indicate the area that should be filled in. You can either let the kids’ imaginations run wild or let them know that they should be creating these bracelets to tell a story about visiting Moana or the child’s own story. Help them tie the bracelets on using a surgeon’s knot When everyone is finished, let them go around and tell their stories in a circle. This part of the activity will take about 15 minutes.

For Hemp Bracelets:

First of all, poll the children to find out if they have ever made a hemp bracelet before. Some children with experience may want to make their own design.

This wikihow demonstration will give them a good idea of how to make their bracelets. Have them add beads to the center at their own pace. You can either let the kids’ imaginations run wild or let them know that they should be creating these bracelets to tell a story about visiting Moana or the child’s own story.

Lastly, gather everyone around to listen to everyone’s stories.

Finding Nemo Search Game


That was a good movie, wasn’t it? Clownfish look a lot a like though. Would the children be able to find Nemo in a shoal of clownfish let alone guess how many clown fish are hanging around the yard? Setting up for these 2 games should cost around $35 and the kids will enjoy both games a total of 30 minutes or so.

Materials Needed:

  1. old newsprint
  2. an egg carton
  3. orange spray paint for plastic
  4. white acrylic paint
  5. black acrylic paint or sharpie
  6. 2 dozen or so ping pong balls
  7. optional: glass vase
  8. optional: paper to write down guesses on
  9. optional: a bowl to put the guesses in


Place old newspaper down as a cover on the ground. Depending on the wind, you may want to secure it down with either tape or heavy rocks. Next, put the 2 dozen ping pong balls in the egg containers. Spray paint a couple of coats of orange paint and then wait about 15 minutes (or longer depending on the paint) to turn them over and coat the other side. The ping pong balls should have a nice, smooth, and orange finish.

When those are done drying, paint two imperfect, but bold white stripes on each of the clownfish. Make sure that you’ll have room to draw a fin in between the lines later. It may be a good idea to paint the top side of each of the ping pong balls in all of the cartons before painting the bottom so that the paint will have hopefully dried by then.Here is some inspiration from the plush tsum tsum version of Nemo:


Once those stripes are dry, it’s time to give your clownfish personality. Give all but one of your ping pong ball fish equally sized fins. Save the last ping pong ball to be Nemo (so that your life is easier. It is essential that this fish has one fin smaller than the other. Let them dry and then draw a face on them. Simplistic is better. Then draw one, big curved line on the opposite side from where you drew the face to be the tail. Once that’s done, you can outline the 2 white stripes with the black pen/paint and draw the dorsal fin. This should look like a sideways B that isn’t filled in (kind of like the lazy, line way to draw birds in the distance). Once that’s dry, finish outlining the white on the bottom of the fish.

You can either leave it at that or you can write the name of each fish on the bottom so that there is no confusion about who found Nemo. If you want to play a joke on the kids or the kids know the movie well, you should name one fish Marlin, one fish Nemo, one fish Coral (Nemo’s mom), 11 fish named Coral Jr. and 10 fish named Marlin Jr.

There are 2 games that you can play with these fish. One is to have the guests try to figure out how many fish are in a jar and the other is to spread them around the house or yard to have the kids find the fish. The games should be played in the order above.


Game 1: There are a lot of clown fish in here. Can you guys guess how many there are total?

Game 2: Nemo, Marlin, and their extended clownfish family have moved in nearby. Everyone should grab any clownfish that they find and bring it over here. There will be a prize for whomever can find Nemo.



This fun pool game is similar to the game H-O-R-S-E, but its aquatic. We’d call it S-E-A-H-O-R-S-E, but that game would be unbearably long. The only highly expensive prerequisite for F-I-S-H game is a pool. You can purchase a basketball and a hoop with a net for somewhere between $45 to $150. The length of the game will depend on how many kids are playing, but expect it to last at least 10 minutes. It’s a good game for ages 6+.

Material Needed:

  1. a pool
  2. a basketball
  3. a hoop with a net near the edge of the pool or in the pool


Just like H-O-R-S-E, you should start with the birthday kid making a shot and getting the ball through the hoop. If anyone misses the shot, then that kid gets a letter. A child is out of the game when they get all four letters.

If the original shooter misses the shot, then they go to the back of the line. The child next in line should create the next shot for everyone to try to match. Repeat until you have a clear winner.


Finding Dory Riddle Hunt


I saw “Finding Dory” with my friend last month. I’ll admit it: I almost cried a couple of times. Thank you, Pixar. Just like Dory was on a search for her parents, we’ll send the kids on the search for the missing school of fish. They should be able to each take a fish home at the end of the party. The estimated cost is about $22 assuming that you have a printer at home and this activity may take 5-15 minutes to play. This game will work well for kids 6+ who can read. You should still watch over them to make sure that they can follow the clues correctly.

Optional: You can put little trinkets or candies at the bottom of poem as a reward for finding the next clue. 

Materials Needed:

  1. Plush fish. I found a dozen rainbow clownfish for $17, but I also found a dozen less expensive fish on the same website. Expect to pay at least $1.00 per plush fish
  2. tape to put up the rhymes (consider using painter’s tape to hang the images and rhymes on the walls when playing indoors).
  3. a printer to print out the rhymes
  4. a bucket or basket to put all of the fish in once found ~ $5


Print out the clues with their images and tape them around the house. They should follow logically (ex clue x, clue y, and clue z) rather than randomly placing the clues around the house so that the kids have to back track over old clue spots.

Each child should go home with a plush fish at the end of the riddle hunt.


Dory’s friends are missing. They were all in school when she last saw them and they may still be schooling. Do you think we can help her? (Wait for a cheer from the children) More enthusiasm! Do you think we can help her? (Get a louder cheer out of the kids before starting to read the first clue).

Our first clue is from Dory who wrote: “I can’t remember much about my fishy friends/ I remember that one of their names is Ben or is it Ken?/  Bruce knows a lot of fish in this sea / Can you please ask him where they are for me?”

Clues and answers:

1: Dory: “I can’t remember much about my fishy friends/ I remember that one of their names is Ben or is it Ken?/  Bruce, the shark, knows a lot of fish in this sea / Can you please ask him where they are for me?”

2: Bruce: “Fish are friends, not food/ Sorry, kids, I’m not in the mood/ Ask Dory’s clownfish mate/ i think I’m sick after something I ate”


3:Marlin: “Dory has too many friends/ Her list of friends never ends/ Nemo knows more than I/ And when you see him, tell him his dad says hi”


4: Nemo and his friends: “Schooling is so much fun/ But when in school there’s work to be done/ we learn, eat, and play all day/ ask our teacher, the manta ray”


5: Manta Ray: “My class left at about two-thirty eight/ they said they all had to go to a playdate/ do you all know where the fish like to play?”


6: Reef: “Us fish who like to play all day/ Are sad because we have no where to stay/ Won’t you take us home with you/ and none of us will ever be blue!”


Doubloon Hunt


Argh! A little parrot told us that ye was going to have a pirate pool party! No? Well, even if ye ain’t this is a fine game to play. It costs about $16 for 10 kids and how long it keeps the kids entertained may vary. It may take 5-10 minutes for the kids to play depending on how many kids are playing (the more kids, the less time this activity will take up). This is fun for ages 6+.

Materials Needed:

  1. A pool
  2. Possibly a lifeguard
  3. Plastic doubloons (a pack of 144’ll cost about $6 not including shipping off of Amazin)
  4. Optional: nets or mesh bags to put the coins into while they collect them – expect about $1 per small, mesh, jewelry bag from the craft store . If not, you may want to put each child’s name on duct tape by the pool and show them where their names are. They can then pile up their treasure at their designated spots.


Before the party, let the other parents know that this is a pool party in which the kids are expected to bring a change of clothes and goggles. Goggles will make the game easier.

Make sure that the pool you are using won’t get damaged if the small, plastic coins are in them. If you’re using somebody else’s pool, then make sure that the game is okay with them before putting it into your itenerary.

With or without the kids watching, poor the Duobloons into the pool at various sites so that the coins are spread out. Wait a minute or two before by telling the kids the story and letting them jump into the pool.

This is the point where it’s good to have a life guard to watch the kids. The kid that brings up the most coins wins. You can let them keep their bags of booty or have them empty it out to start again.


Who here knows what a Doubloon is? (Wait for answers. See if anyone gets it right).

A doubloon is a Spanish, gold coin that was used as money when Spain was colonizing the Americas. Pirates liked to steal the Spanish doubloons, but if there was a problem or they weren’t good pirates, their stolen booty would end up scattered all over the ocean floor.

I heard a rumor that some of Blackbeard’s (or preferred pirate) treasure is floating around this pool! Let’s see who can get the most.

No running, pulling other players’ hair or sinking them down, or stealing from their bags (or piles). Ready! Set! Go!



Another great pool party game that’ll entertain everyone. You’ll just 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. Even the older kids may want join in at the family reunion around the pool. Other than paying the lifeguard your negotiated amount, this game costs nothing!

Note: In order to generate more interest amongst the children or to use this game for a Finding Dory party/Finding Nemo party, tell the kids that it’s Hank the Octopus’ favorite game. 

Materials Needed:

  1. 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).


Choose one child (or adult) or have the group elect someone to be the octopus. They’ll be “it” for the game, or you simply call them the octopus.

Like the game Sharks and Minnows (link), the people that aren’t it should line up at one end of the pool and all try to swim across at once. You can have the octopus say something to start the new round such as “All clear, no octopi here” or not. Anyone who swims across without being tagged is safe. Anyone who was tagged, must hold hands with the octopus in the center of the pool.

The kids should create more of a spiral than a line. The newly tagged now have the ability to tag the swimmers trying to get across.

The last one standing should become the new octopus if you decide to play the game again.