Water games for teachers

two girls playing with a hula hoop underwater in a pool

Learning to swim is and should be a fun and exciting time for all, however at times the teaching process can become complex.

By encouraging fun and fitness through the use of games, and by taking a structured approach to game play, instructors can now ensure each lesson will be engaging and creative. Games make an ideal warm up or a fun way to finish a lesson.

Learning to swim must be a positive experience for students, and students learn through the process of playing games further assisting them to understand new concepts and ideas.

If you're looking for game ideas to include in your next lesson here's some great examples!


Game Example: Circle Tag

Rationale: To encourage children to jump and move around in water therefore increasing water confidence

Level: Beginner

Equipment: None

Water Depth: Knee-Waist deep

Participants: Up to whole class

Organisation: In pairs

Description: Pairs stand facing each other in the water, with hands on each others shoulders. On the word Go, each tries to step on the others feet, while at the same time avoiding being stomped on.


Game Example: Ball, Hoop and Block

Rationale: To encourage submersion fort beginners and surface dives for advanced swimmers.

Level: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced.

Equipment: One large ball, one weighted hoop for each team, one block for each player.

Depth of Water: Shallow to deep, according to standard of players.

Participants: Small groups.

Organisation: Teams of six or eight, across the pool.

Description: Players line up in teams on the edge of the pool, with Number 1 holding the ball. On the word ‘Go!’, Number 1 enters the water using an entry appropriate to the depth, runs or swims with the ball to the hoop, submerges, passes through the hoop, then turns and throws the ball to Number 2. This player repeats the sequence while Number 1 turns, swims to the blocks, submerges, retrieves one block, continues to the other side of the pool and climbs out. Player Number 6 completes the sequence by carrying the ball and the block to the finish. The first team to finish wins!


Game Example: Boogie-Woogie

Rationale: To develop the skill of row rescues.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Equipment: One boogie board or small surf mat for each team.

Depth of Water: Deep.

Participants: Small groups

Organisation: Teams of six or eight.

Description: Each team’s Number 1 player starts on the opposite side of the pool from the rest. On the command ‘Go!’, Number 1 dives in on the board, paddles to Number 2 and gets off the board. Both players then hold the board, kick back to the starting point and climb out. Number 2 repeats the sequence with Number 3 and so on until all the players are at the starting point.


For more fun games purchase the book Wet Games: a fun approach to teaching swimming and water safety by Peter Meaney and Sarie Culka which is available at our online shop!

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