Water Activities

Here is a great list of water activities and games. These activities can potentially be enjoyed at a lake, river, swimming pool, or other suitable location.

Water activities are an excellent way to teach swimming skills or just to cool off when it's hot outside. With any water activities, be sure to follow safe swim defense guidelines. Scoutorama.com's growing library of activities contains many great water games, and more are being added all the time! Need some ideas for out of the water too? Take a look at our warm weather activities.

Enjoy using the Water Activities library, and be sure to add your favorite Water Activities and games for others to read!

Currently showing all 37 Water Activities
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25-Yard Swim

One representative from each patrol/den will line up, and on signal, jump into the water, and race the 25-Yards to the finish....[read full activity]


Backward Race

Line up scouts facing away from the shore, in a line parallel to the shore, or side of the swimming pool. On signal, they will run backwards to the shore....[read full activity]

Ball Race

Every scout will carry a ping pong ball between their knees while they swim to the finish. If they lose it, they must replace it before continuing....[read full activity]


Balloon Ball

Split the group into two teams. One will form a ring around their balloon floating in shallow water. The other will line up on the shore, and, on signal, will attack and try to pop the balloon. They have three minutes to t...[read full activity]

Balloon Battle Royale

Scouts blow up their balloons and tie them to the back of their belts. As soon as everyone is ready, the scouts try to pop others' balloons without letting their own get popped....[read full activity]


Candy Hunt

Scatter the candy in shallow water. Contestants will try to find them in a given amount of time....[read full activity]

Canoe Logrolling

Stand one person on the bow gunwale and one person on the stern gunwale of each canoe. On signal, they will try to knock the other off....[read full activity]


Canoe splash

Have two people in every canoe. One person will paddle, the other will use their pail to try to fill up other boats until they sink....[read full activity]

Canoeing Tug-of-War

Tie the painters of two canoes together, with two people in each canoe. On signal, they will try to pull the other canoe past a given point by paddling....[read full activity]


Catch Ten

Divide into two teams and make sure the players can tell what team they're on. The ball is passed from teammate to teammate. The first counts "one," the next "two," and so on. If the ball is intercepted a...[read full activity]

Center Miss

All troop members stand in a circle except for one. The one stands in the center of the circle. One of the balls goes to the center man and the other goes to a circle man. On a signal, the center man passes his ball to a c...[read full activity]


Cross Tag

The scout who is "it" must chase the same scout until he is caught or until another scout crosses between them. The scout who crossed between the tagger and his prey becomes the one that "it" chases....[read full activity]

Greased Watermelon

Float the watermelon in the water between two teams of scouts. Line up the scouts across from the watermelon, 25-feet apart. On signal, each team will race forward and try to pull the melon back to their own line....[read full activity]


Gunwale Race

Only for experienced canoeists. Each person will stand on the gunwales in the stern. On signal, they will propel the canoe forward with a well-balanced knee action....[read full activity]

Hands-up Race

Line up scouts in the water. On signal, they will stick their hands in the air, out of the water, and, remaining this way, will swim to the finish....[read full activity]


Identified Flying Saucer Diving Contest

Patrols will line up on the dock or side of the swimming pool. The game leader will throw the discs into the water, and the scouts will dive for them. Do this three times....[read full activity]

Initiative Race

Have the scouts race back and forth between two markers in the water, a certain number of times, using a different stroke every time (such as crawl, breast stroke, back, side, and so on)....[read full activity]


No Paddle Race

Put four people in every canoe. Without using a paddle, scouts will paddle to the finish using only their hands....[read full activity]

Ocean Race

Scouts will line up in waist-deep water on their inner tubes. On signal, they will paddle to shore, or the edge of the swimming pool, using only their hands....[read full activity]



Scouts stand in a circle and count off 1-2-1-2. Scouts are now standing next to people on the opposite team. Give a scout on Team One a ball, and on the opposite side of the circle, give Team Two a ball. Scouts pass the ball ...[read full activity]

Ping-Pong Race

Scouts will line up at the starting point in waist deep water. On signal, they will try to blow their ping-pong ball to the shore or edge of the swimming pool....[read full activity]


Ring Buoy Throw

Each scout will throw the buoy across the target line three times, and leave the rope coiled and ready for used....[read full activity]

Shark Trap

Have scouts form a ring by linking arms in waist deep water. Designate one person to be in the middle and be the shark. The shark will try to break out by any way they choose....[read full activity]


Shirt Rescue

Each patrol/den will send a pair of participants. One of each pair will swim out 30-feet. On signal, the rest of the people will jump off the dock, with a shirt in their mouth, and swim out to rescue their partner with the ...[read full activity]

Signal Steal-the-Bacon

Line up two teams facing each other, with the "bacon" in the middle. Team captains at one end will receive a letter, and then signal it to their team. Each person in a team will be given a letter, so that they for...[read full activity]


Spoon Race

Each patrol/den will send a person. They will hold the spoon in their mouth and balance the egg or ping-pong ball on it. They will race through shoulder-deep water. They must swim 15-feet to the finish line. If anything f...[read full activity]

Suitcase Race

The first person in each patrol/den will open the suitcase and put all of the clothes on. They will the grab the suitcase, jump in the water, swim to a designated spot, and take off all of the clothes, packing them into the ...[read full activity]


Team Swim Relay

Line up the group on the dock. The first person will jump off, swim to the float marker, swim back, and tag the next scout....[read full activity]

The Game

Everyone is always playing "The Game." Anytime somebody remembers it, they must announce, "I have lost the game," which will trigger other people to remember, and lose the game again. This will always con...[read full activity]


Towel Race

Scouts will swim to a marker and back, all the time holding their towel above their heads. The towel must be completely dry for them to win....[read full activity]

Water Basketball

Fasten the basket to the end of the swimming pool, or to a dock. Split the scouts into two groups. Each team will try to make a basket, which is worth 2 points. Limit game time to 5 minutes....[read full activity]


Water Buffalo Riders

In knee-deep water, pair up all of the scouts. One will ride on the other (piggyback style). The goal is to unseat the other pairs. The last pair still standing wins....[read full activity]

Water Dodge Ball

Split the scouts into two groups. One will form a ring around the others in the water and try to get them out with the ball. If a scout is hit by the ball, they must leave the circle. After a set amount of time, they will ...[read full activity]


Water Knot Tug-of-War

Play like Water Tug-of-War, except that each team must tie their rope together from the little pieces using sheet bends....[read full activity]

Water Poison

Have scouts join hands and form a ring around the floating object in shallow water. Anyone that touches it is out. If two people let their link break, they are both out....[read full activity]


Water Tug-of-War

Split the troop in half, and play just like the game Tug-of-War, except everyone is in the water....[read full activity]

Wheelbarrow Race

Line up a pair from each patrol/den in shallow water (unless the wheelbarrow can hold his breath for a really long time). One person will be the wheelbarrow and walk on their hands, with the other person holding their ankles...[read full activity]