Marco Polo

Marco? Polo! Marco Polo is a fun game for confident swimmers who enjoy strategy and chasing games. Find your way around this great pool game for kids with these easy step-by-step instructions and great variations!

What you need:

  • swimming pool
  • swim-ready children

Number of players:


The game is played by three or more people.

One player is designated ‘It’ and he or she must swim around the pool with eyes closed, attempting to tag the other player(s).

The ‘It’ player can only sense where the other players are by sound, but may call out ‘Marco!’, at which point all the other players are required to yell ‘Polo!’.

When the ‘It’ player succeeds in tagging another player, the latter becomes ‘It’.

There are a few common minor variations:

  • Fish-out-of-water allows the non-It players to get out of the pool (thus protecting themselves from being tagged by the water-bound ‘It’), however, should ‘It’ call ‘fish out of water’ while some one is out of the pool, that person becomes ‘It’. If there is more than one person out of the water, the person who is ‘It’ has the choice of picking anyone out of water to become ‘It’.
  • Mermaid on rocks is a variant of fish-out-of-water. This is when a person is sitting on the ledge of the pool with their legs in but their body is out. When the ‘it’ person calls ‘mermaid on rocks’, and someone is doing this, they are ‘It’.
  • Alligator eyes allows ‘It’ to call out ‘alligator eyes’ or ‘submarine’ and then swim underwater with eyes open for one breath. Usually, ‘It’ is limited to one use of alligator eyes. Other variations on this rule allow ‘It’ to look around underwater but not to move until he or she is above water with eyes closed once again.

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