Pool floats are essential summer accessories. And while there’s nothing wrong with kicking back on a massive unicorn-shaped float or helping your kid into that donut-shaped inner tube, we sometimes want more out of our pool floats. Because while there are plenty of games to play with pool floats there are also plenty of pool floats that allow you to play inflatable versions of classic games.
Perfect for one-on-one battles, neighborhood showdowns, or just some harmless after-school/after-work practice, these ten inflatable pool games, which range from cactus ring tosses and carnival shooting ranges to floating poker tables and volleyball nets, will help put some air back in your competitive spirit. The following inflatable pool games are safe, affordable, and designed to withstand the energetic onslaught of your average six-year-old, and can be tucked away neatly when not in use, making them perfect for backyard BBQs, or me-time when the kids are asleep. Don’t worry, we won’t tell.
Cactus Ring Toss
Turn your pool into a desert oasis with the Cactus Ring Toss game. It’s made of light, yet durable .18mm PVC plastic, and features the all-important “you can actually wear this on your head” feature as well. Three tossable rings make for a guaranteed good time in or out of the water, and the spines aren’t real, so you won’t have to worry about it popping itself.
An old standby at any pool party, this setup by Intex is made from 10-gauge vinyl (the ball is 7-gauge vinyl), which means it can withstand even the most brutal of bump-set-spike combos. Measuring in at 94 x 25 x 36-inches, it’s held in place by anchor weights.
Inflatable Game Center
Wouldn’t real basketball be better with a ring toss bonus round? This inflatable set features a floating basketball hoop adorned with three “stakes” that are perfect for ring toss tiebreakers. The whole setup is 24-inches in diameter and is perfect for young swimmers or competitive aqua athletes alike.
Inflatable Tic Tac Toe
A buoyant update on the classic we all know and love, this inflatable Pool Tic Tac Toe setup is perfect for in-pool showdowns, and can also be used on the grass if your fingers are too pruney. The set includes a blow-up board, along with 10 Xs and Os (five of each). Here’s a tip: If you go first, start in a corner. Trust us, it’s science.
Inflatable Poker Table
While it might be more suitable for Go Fish, this inflatable four-person Poker Table is the ideal float for making things a little more…interesting. Whether you’re betting Pokémon cards or Goldfish crackers, you’ll love the feel of lounging in one of the four double-air chamber chairs (big enough to fit a full-grown adult) while you hit, call, and raise on the floating table. Waterproof cards and poker chips (included) make the game all the more real, while bathing suits make it impossible to cheat: Have you ever tried to hide an ace up your sleeves while you’re not wearing any?
This two-player, carnival water race game features dual blasters that draw right from the pool below, so you’ll never run out of ammo. The setup measures almost 4 feet high, which means that you’ll have to aim and shoot with deadeye accuracy to make it all the way to the top. The whole thing weighs less than five pounds when fully inflated, too, so you can easily pick it up and launch it into the bushes if you lose.
Splash Battle Islands
Now this is what summer is all about — braining your friends with safe, inflatable batons. The Banzai Splash Battle Islands inflatable pool game features two 28” D inflatable island rafts that you can sit on while you use the 42” inflatable batons to battle back-and-forth until one of you takes a dip. The batons (and bases) are durable enough to withstand your barrage of blasts, yet soft enough to keep your little ones from constantly yelling “DAAAD! HE HIT ME!”
Activity Center Octopus
Did you know that a single octopus “sucker” (and there are about 240 on each limb) can hold up to 35 lbs? What a great inspiration for the SwimWays Activity Center Octopus, which features multiple arms that can hold interactive, water-safe toys such as a squeaker, rattle, stacking rings, and a soft-touch star. Designed with your young one in mind, this mighty mollusk features a durable fabric covering, which can withstand all the tests of those exploring young hands, without squirting ink to ward off danger!
Log Flume Joust Set
If you really want to take your pool party back to the dark ages, try the Swimline Log Flume Joust Set Featuring two inflatable logs, and two inflatable “log boppers” (think “Joust” from American Gladiators, as if you weren’t already), all you have to do is mount up and start swinging. There aren’t too many rules here, and the durable logs can hold up to 200lbs! We won’t rat on you for taking bets, either. In fact, put us down for $20 on your daughter…she looks tough!
Blow Up Billiards
Now you can play pool…in the pool! Featuring all the fun of your local bar, without the pretzel crumbs and passed out regulars, the SwimWays Blow Up Billiards set comes with one inflatable cue ball, and nine inflatable numbered balls, as well as a set of pool noodle “cues” you can use to bank, backspin and nudge your way to victory. Who gets to break? Whoever cannonballs into the rack first, duh!