Sharks and minnows

This is a summertime favourite! Get the kids in the pool and play this fabulous kids birthday party game of sharks and minnows. This pool game is a great kids activity to liven up any party. Just remember to keep a few responsible adults around to keep watch.

What you need:

  • swimming pool
  • kids comfortable swimming in deeper water

Number of players:
3+ (but more players = more fun!)


Generally sharks and minnows is played in the deep end of a large pool.

The game starts out with one person selected as the shark and the rest as the minnows.

The shark starts in the water on one side of the pool and the minnows usually start on the deck of the other side (if they are playing in water deep enough to dive into).

The game starts by the shark calling out “Sharks and minnows, one two three, fishies, fishies swim to me!” at which point the minnows may begin to dive in to swim to the other wall.

If the shark manages to tag a minnow before he touches the wall, then that minnow becomes a shark in the next round.

After all the minnows have either reached the wall or been tagged the shark(s) swim to the other wall and the cycle starts again.

If the some of the minnows refuse to enter the pool, the shark may swim to the other wall and tag it, whoever was still out of the pool when the shark tags the wall becomes a shark.

The game is played until all of the minnows have been tagged, then the first person tagged becomes the shark who starts the next round.

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