Swimming Game – Pigeon

Jump in on "pigeon"
Jump in on "pigeon"
When do I jump in again?

A great game to play in a diving well or in the deep end of the pool. This Swimming lessons game, Pigeon, can be modified to work on any number of skills!



  • Children line up along the outside edge of the pool, standing. (they can dive in or not as you choose)
  • The caller announces the “key” word. For this example it will be “Pigeon.”
  • When the caller says the key word, the children must jump/dive into the water and swim to the other side. The last person there is out, and anyone the jumps/dives in before the key word is spoken is out.                             (you can say the last person to touch the wall is out, or the last to exit the water. If you do exit the water there are more injuries)
  • Continue until there is 1 person left, who then becomes the Caller, or gets to choose the “key” words.

The most fun from this game comes from the Caller saying sentences or phrase the people would expect to her the key word in.

EXP: “I was walking down the street in the city and i looked up and saw a flying rat; it was a PIGEON!”

EXP: “You often hear stories about people getting pooped on. Don’t be another casualty! Beware the flying ENGINES!”  (use engine b/c it rhymes with  the key word PIGEON to get kids to jump in before the key word is said.”

Use rhyming words, or substitute another word for what they expected.

EXP: Key word = FISH  “I went to the lake the other day and cast my line, saw it bob up and down and caught a FLASH/FIG/FLUTE, etc”

PRO TIP! Make this game a drill by having your swimmers do a specific stroke or kick to get to the other side. Require them to do breaststroke kick only, or underwater swimming, or only butterfly swim (space permitting).







Pigeon is a speaking game that works for pools with short distances or deep water. There are two main ways to play the game.

1) When you hear the “key” word jump in, last person to jump in is out, and if you jump in on the wrong word out.

2) When you hear the “key” word jump in and swim to the other side. Last person to the other side is out, or if you jumped in before “key” word, you’re out.

Game Rules:

The speaker chooses a “key” word. Speaker announces that the key word is “Cat” (as an example).

The next time that the speaker says the word “Cat” swimmers must either jump in or swim to the other side.

Speaker should speak in sentences designed to trick the listeners and play on their expectations.

Speaker could say: “I am a dog person. I’m not a big fan of BATS because they purr and rub up against your legs. I’m allergic to their FAT hair. In fact, I much prefer Dogs over little kitten, CAPS, and felines. Yup, I avoid CATS as much as possible. Even when I’m walking down the street….”

Substitute a rhyming word or a different word where they would expect you to say the “key” word. This makes the game more funny when they miss hear the word, or sometimes, they’ll miss it altogether.

Much of this game is determined by the confidence and ability of the speaker, which is usually the coach or teacher.

Better swimming.
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