Sharks and Minnows

Sharks and Minnows is one of the fun outdoor swimming games and tag games.

Adult supervision is needed for this activity.

Older kids who are good swimmers can play in deeper water.

Younger kids should play in shallow water.

It'll cool the children off - and let them have lots of fun - on those dog days of summer.

Before You Start

4 or more players
Ages: 6 and up


One player is the shark ("it") while the others are minnow. Each minnow lines up in the water at one side of the pool.

The shark is in the middle of the swimming pool. He tells the fish to swim.

They have to try and get to the other side of the pool without being tagged by "it".

The fish who make it to the opposite side safely are in the next round. They line up at that side of the pool.

Each fish who got caught by "it" is now a shark as well and helps the original "it" tag other swimmers.

The more sharks you have after you, the harder it will be to make it across safely.


The winner is the last minnow who hasn't been tagged. He is now "it" for the next game.


Depending on how many kids are playing, each round might not be very long.

Give every child a chance to be the shark at least once throughout the play.

Make this more challenging for the players by having them have to swim back across the pool from where they started.

They'll end up at their original starting point - well, hopefully they will if the shark doesn't tag them first!


You can also play by having the tagged players get out of the pool.

The original shark will be the only one.

This gives the other players more of a chance to make it across.

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