Inside: 50 interesting water games and activities for your kids to engage them this summer. 5 best Bonus activities handpicked for toddlers along with safety tips!
Hot summer and bored children is not a lovely combo for parents all over the world! If you are struggling to find engaging activities for your kids to entertain them during this summer, you are in the right place.
I have researched and gathered 50 incredible games that you can try in the backyard at zero or low investment. Your kids would love this and it’s easy to set them up too.
Why Are Water Games Important?
- Let’s accept it. They are fun! Who wouldn’t love to get drenched on a hot day?!
- It works on their fine motor skills and finger-eye coordination as well, especially for young children.
- It offers the best and natural sensory experience for them.
- They learn how to mingle well with other kids while equally maintaining the competitive spirit.
- It works on their language skills too as they learn new words and commands throughout the play.
- It’s also a STEM learning material as they learn science while they observe how water works with different objects.
Now that we have seen the benefits, without further ado, let me list down the games based on different categories they belong to.
Water Balloons Based Activities
#1. Throw and Catch
Bring home a mini picnic vibe with this classic water balloon throw and catch game. Fill balloons with water, tie them and there you go. Let them throw it or blast it upon each other and have fun.
#2. Water Balloons Pinata (Via ziggity zoom)
Tie filled water balloons across a ribbon and hang them in between two poles. You can even utilize a low-hanging clothesline for this. Now kids should line up, take turns, and with the help of a bat, they should burst the balloon.
Each gets three attempts to do this and if they break it, they win!
#3. Water Balloon Pop Game (Via diy_mum_ng)
This is a slightly modified version of pinata’s game. Tie the balloons across the rope, use a blindfold and burst the balloons one by one. I am so tempted to try this at home!
#4. Musical Chair With A Twist
Have a bucket filled with water balloons. Arrange chairs in musical chair game setup, turn on the music and let kids pass the balloons.
Those who get the balloon when the music stops should burst it over their head and leave the game. The last one who escapes without getting wet wins the game.
#5. Water Balloon Baseball
Replace the baseballs with water balloons and that’s it! The whole family can have hours of fun with it.
You can check out the rules here.
#6. Squeeze and Pop
Both adults and kids can play this game. It’s like the regular balloon bursting game where two people squeeze it from each end except the water balloons are being used instead of regular ones.
If kids don’t feel comfortable, then they can sit on it and break.
#7. Water Balloons And Archery!
Your kids trying to get a hang of archery? Spice it up by changing the target of the game from a target board to a hanging water balloon.
They can aim it with their arrow and burst it with its sharp tip.
#8. Sprinkle! Sprinkle!!
Water sprinklers can bring more excitement to water games. They are easily available or you can make use of old bottles with a sprinkler cap.
They can spray it on the floor, walls or even on their toys and play without any plan.
#9. Water Sprayer And Ball Game (Via waswirspielen)
For this game, set up plastic balls over plastic pipes or anything that offers good support. With the help of a sprinkler, kids should blow the ball away.
#10. Squirt Gun Canvas Art (Via Simplify Livelove)
Here is a good squirt gun that you can get from Amazon.
For this game, they would need coloring solutions, a squirt gun and some thick chart papers or canvas papers.
They can create any kind of artwork with the equipment they have now. Once it’s dried, they can adorn your living room’s walls.
Bring a mini fountain effect in your garden with this sprinkler toy! There are multiple outlets at the top that sprays water till 15feet high soaking kids around it gently.
The water pressure is the right amount that can add fun to your kids outdoor game sessions.
And the nozzle body rotates at 360 degrees too!
With just a little water supply, they can have loads of amusement!
This is a must-have if your kids love playing with water. You have to connect this with a hose and set the pressure. That’s all!
You can use this as a mini pool filling the tub with water. It works both ways.
Add in their favorite toys, get them inside and set the pressure based on their age. You are ready to go have fun!
Because normal trampolines are not that functional on a hot, sunny day! This is easy to install in your trampoline and takes less than a few minutes to set this up. Once set up, connect this to the hose and turn it on.
This elevates the jumping experience your kids might get out of it. They wouldn’t want to come out of it and your neighbours might get jealous looking at this product too!
#14. Water Hose Sprinkler
Turn your old water hose into a sprinkler by pinching small holes all over. With the movement of water, the hose would move like a snake sprinkling water all over. They can try to jump across it without getting wet.
#15. Drip, Drip, Drop (Via HomePartiesLife)
Kids should sit in a circle while one should run around them with a water-filled cup. That kid can drip it on others head but if he/she drops it, then the wet kid should chase the other one.
While the dropped kid should attempt to sit in the spot of the wet kid. The standing kid now should start running and the game goes on.
#15. Water Relay
This is the common relay game we all played during our school times. Kids should transfer water from one bucket to another with the help of a cup.
Those who fill it fast, wins the game. Add some twists to improve their game and team spirit.
#16. Splish, Splash and Jump
This is a game that my son and I would often play while taking baths. One should sit inside the mini pool or bathtub and spray water over the other one while they try to escape that. They shouldn’t try to go far away though.
If they get wet, they should jump inside the water and start throwing the water over others.
#17. Sponge Race
Sponge race is an enthralling game which both adults and kids can play. It needs two buckets and a few sponges only. Keep two filled water buckets at two ends, line up the participants and start the race.
They have to transfer water from one bucket to the other with sponge and fill it out.
Water soaker gun races are always spontaneous and amusing. Get them these good quality animal soaker guns and set off the race.
#18. Water Soaker Gun
Water soaker gun races are always spontaneous and amusing. Get them these good quality animal soaker guns and set off the race.
They can assign themselves animal names, call using this name, chase and spray the water over.
#19. Dixie Cup Game
This complicated game involves multiple teams with two players each. One should carry water in a cup, balance it in their head and bring it to the bucket on the other end.
Another one should do the next round. They can continue till buzzer buzzes.
#20. Pass The Water
Children can stand in a line with a container in their hand. The first person should pass the water over their head to the next one and it goes on. Without any loss, they should collect every drop of it till the last person in the line.
#21. Save Water
Put some holes in a bucket and fill it with water. Make them stand in a definite shape. Ask the first child to carry the bucket to the other person as fast as possible. Without wasting water, the last person should drop it in another bucket.
#22. Water Limbo
One should hold the hose higher through which water flows like a stream out there. Other players should try to go beneath the water flow. If they get wet, they lose. The main player can lower the hose to make it more challenging.
#23. See Your Reflection
Reflection can get toddlers curious within seconds. In a safe place in your garden, pour some water and make sure the floor is empty.
They can peek into their reflection or look at the sky, trees, and their surroundings in the stagnant water while learning about it.
#24. Collect Your PomPoms
This is a perfect sensory game to play in hot weather. Fill a tub with water and drop some pom poms over. Give them a colander sieve and ask them to collect the floating pom poms.
#25. Mess Free Painting
Toddlers are so good at this, right? Dilute some of their favorite watercolors, get large chart/canvas papers and ask them to use their fingers, hands, feet to paint. You can also give them shapes.
#26. Squeeze Your Sponge
This is more like the sponge race. For toddlers, you can keep the vessels next to each other. They can dunk the sponge and squeeze it to let water out.
#27. Mystery Water (Via StayathomeactivityMom)
Add the mystery element (dark food color) to the water and throw in their favorite elements. They can find them out one by one exuberantly.
#28. Soupy Play (Inspired by Funfamacademy)
If they like soups, let them prepare one. In a bowl, add some water and any food color. Let them mix their favorite ingredients, mix, mix and mix with a ladle and make their own version.
#29. Learn Some Colors
If your toddler is in the ‘learning colors’ phase, try this activity. Get five to eight tubs, fill them with water and ask them to mix the color, observe the changes while you can teach what it is.
#30. Scoop The Ball Out
Fill a large tub with water, drop their colorful plastic balls in it. Let them catch every one of them with the help of a ladle, moving around the tub.
#31. Water Tables
Water Tables are already their favorite item?! Bring them on! Set it up and let them play endlessly.
For more water table collections, check this out.
#32. Water Wall (Via HappyHooligans)
With some old water bottles, a cutter and screws, you can DIY this set up at home. Slice the bottles into half, set them up on the wall in a vertical manner so that each one is facing the other one.
They can pour water from the top and observe how it passes till the bottom.
#33. Fun Gardening
This applies to older kids too. Include them in your regular gardening activities. Let them water the plants and explore the greenery.
# 34. Target and Hit
They can use a water gun or a hose for this. Keep targets or toys in a distance and let them target and hit that with water.
It’s Ice Cold!
#35. Making Popsicles
This is our favorite indoor water based activity. We gather around, peel and cut fruits, squeeze juices, fill them in popsicle molds and wait for them to freeze.
You can pick any of their favorite food items for the stuffing, add some milk/water to it. Tada! We can have them all day!
#36. Coloring Ice
It only needs some ice cubes, brushes and coloring solutions. They can start it right away and play the game as long as the ice stays.
#37. Ice Bowling (Via LearnPlayImagine)
It’s like a bowling alley. But replace the ball with a huge ice piece and pins with water bottles. Ask them to target and push the bottles down.
#38. Ice Sculpting
Get some crazy molds and containers, food colors and water. Let your kids pick colors and shapes and fill them in. Now freeze them and viola!
#39. Ice Cubes Smash
Prepare some big randomly shaped ice cubes so that your kid can break it with their bat or stick. Make sure their eyes are covered with goggles while playing this.
#40. Ice Cubes Soup
Freeze some colored water overnight and hand it over to your children. They can add it to water, stir and make soups in a variety of colors.
#41. Fizzy Ice (Via ToddlerApproved)
Want to amaze your kids and make them go wow? Try this fizzy Ice experiment at home with simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, colors etc.
Let’s get wet!
#42. Dunk The Bucket (Via Happy Housewife)
Ready to get fully wet? Try DIYing this dunk the bucket setup that you can install in your backyard. When the target gets hit, it moves the bucket filled with water below which in turn falls over the kid standing below.
#43. Lawn Water Slides
This lawn water slide is available on Amazon. You can set this up within minutes. Fill it with water, use the slide pad to protect and start sliding to the other end.
Your children will have a safe sliding experience while they slide across the body of this slide.
#44. Pool Game
This classic game never gets old! If you have a swimming pool or a mini kids pool, get into it with kids, start throwing balls around and catch. Those who miss it lose.
#45. Water Slide At Home
Set up their portable slide inside their kiddie pool. Make sure it’s safe and steady at its place. They can have real water sliding experience at their home.
#46. Take A Dunk
You can try this at the pool or your kids mini pool (preferably for older kids). You can arrange a small quiz game by the pool. If someone doesn’t know the answer, they have to get inside pool and take a dunk (caution: Don’t try this if not used to water)
Time to Relax
#47. Mini Water Blobs (Via Hello Wonderful)
We can now make mini blobs at home where kids can lounge in and take rest. Try this at home and give a pleasant surprise to your kids.
#48. Giant Bubbles (Via HappyToddlerPlayTime)
Mix bubble solution in a tub with water and pick a fly swatter to fly bubbles. Now ask your children to dip the swatter into the tub and swing it out.
Get ready to capture some gram-worthy pictures.
#49. Mini Water Well (Via Kiwico)
Try this easiest DIY at home and make them play with a miniature well. It’s quick, effortless and your kids can learn Science concepts too.
#50. Tin Foil River (Via 3littlegreenwoods)
With the help of Aluminum foil, you can try to make a lengthy silver river bed. Add water in there and let them drive boats in the stream.
Make sure they are supervised and safe all the time as playing with water cannot be fun all the time.
Fill the water level in the right amounts and always check the pressure as it can hurt them.
See if they wear light or appropriate clothes for the game and make sure the floor is not slippery.
Any game that offers them a safe platform is okay to play as long as they want.