25 Fun Games to Play with Water this Summer

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These fun water games for kids are sure to help you beat the heat. There are many ideas for all size groups (2 to 20 or more) and ages…just scroll thru and see!

An infographic with listing 8 water games to be played with kids. The name of the game and what materials are needed to play it. Have fun!

Water Games

1. Water Bomb Tag

Materials:

Splash Water Bomb or sponge
Bucket of water

This is a fun game for groups, small or large.

Instructions

  1. The person who is “it” throws the wet water bomb to tag other players. If hit, they are the new “thrower”.
  2. This can also be played with many variations of the game such as Frozen Tag, etc.

2. Water Balloon Toss with a Twist

Materials:

Balloons
✓ Something to poke a small hole in the balloon

Instructions

  1. Make a small hole in each balloon, then filling the balloon with water and letting the kids toss the leaking balloon.
  2. It becomes a bit of a time bomb, as you don’t want to be the last one holding the balloon when it finally runs out of the water! Quick, easy, and fun!

3. Fill the Bottle

Materials:

4 oz paper cups
✓ 20 oz plastic pop bottles
Clean bucket
✓ Finish line
✓ Sense of humor and no fear of getting wet

Players: Small to large groups

Instructions

  1. Set up a number of teams possibly by the number of people willing to get wet.
  2. On each team, one person lays on the ground while holding a 20-oz plastic pop bottle on their forehead.
  3. Teammates run to the bucket to fill up their 4-oz cup then they attempt to pour it into the teammate’s pop bottle while standing overhead.
  4. Then the next teammate will do the same until the 20-oz bottle is filled. Once the 20-oz bottle is filled, the bottle person should run to the finish line without spilling. Source: funattic.com

4. Sponge Toss

Materials:

Bucket of water
Large sponge

Instructions

  1. Set out a bucket of water and a large sponge.
  2. Soak them in the bucket and then toss it back and forth with the children.

5. Water Relay

Materials:

Buckets
Plastic cups

  1. Put children into as many teams as needed.
  2. Fill one bucket for each team and place them at a beginning line where the game will start; place plastic cups in the buckets of water.
  3. On ‘Go” kids scoop up a glass of water and run to a set far line where additional large containers have been placed.
  4. When the water is deposited, the child runs back to the next team member to continue play.
  5. The first team to fill the container with water is the winner.

6. Frozen Feet

Materials:

Kiddie pool filled with water
Buckets
✓ Ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Have kids sit along the edge of a kiddie pool filled with water.
  2. Each player has their own empty bucket or bowl beside them.
  3. Now dump a big pile of ice cubes into the pool.
  4. At the starting signal, players must pick up as many ice cubes as they can and put them into their own buckets…they must use only their feet.
  5. The player who collects the most ice cubes… within a designated time period is the winner

7. Pop Goes the Water Balloon

A collection of water balloon games and activities for the kids this summer.

Materials:

Water balloons
✓ Timer
Optional: Rewards such as candy or suckers

Instructions

  1. Place children in a circle and set a timer (or music).
  2. When the timer goes off, the child holding the water balloon ‘pops it’ and splashes themself.
  3. As children ‘pop and splash’ they are out.
  4. You can reward each child with a simple candy/sucker as they leave the game.
  5. The last player left is the winner. (Actually, all kids win in this game!)

8. Don’t Get Wet

Materials:

Sprinklers

Instructions

  1. Set up a number of sprinklers in between a starting line and a finish line.
  2. Have the children try to run from one end to the other WITHOUT getting sprayed.
  3. Have one of the youth control the faucet, turning it ON AND OFF AT RANDOM.
  4. When the game is over–allow children to get wet–of course have them wear their swimsuits!

9. Over-Under Outdoor Game

Materials:

Buckets of water
Sponges
✓ Pitchers

Instructions

  1. Divide the group into two (or more) teams.
  2. Have them form a single file line facing the person’s head next to them.
  3. At the head of each line put a bucket of water.
  4. At the other end put a plastic pitcher– with a line drawn on it.
  5. Give a sponge to the person at the head of the line where the water bucket is.
  6. That person has to dip the sponge in the water to soak in as much water as they can. They have to then pass the soaking wet sponge OVER THEIR HEAD to the person behind— who then passes the sponge to the person behind them THROUGH THEIR LEGS.
  7. The sponge makes its way back OVER THE HEAD of one person and BETWEEN THE LEGS of the next — UNTIL it gets to the person standing next to the pitcher.
  8. That person must squeeze whatever water is left into the pitcher and run the sponge back up to the head of the line.
  9. When that happens, everybody moves back one position– and the person who was at the back of the line now is at the head of the line. Continue the process till the pitcher is filled to the line.

Fun game on a hot summer day.

Submitted by Matthew Schlageter in funattic.com

10. Ice Cube Melt

Materials:

✓ Ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Divide players into two teams and line them up.
  2. The first player on each team is given an ice cube.
  3. The child rubs the ice cube between his hands for as long as possible to try to make it melt.
  4. When he or she gets too cold, the ice cube is passed to the next child in line.
  5. The first team to melt the ice cube wins!

11. Sponge Tag

Materials:

Large sponge

Instructions

  1. A twist on traditional tag, this game is played with a big soft sponge, similar to the kind used to wash your car.
  2. The player who is “It” must use the wet sponge to tag another player, who then becomes the new “It”.
  3. There will be no doubt about who is tagged because they’ll be wearing a big wet splat mark on their back.

12. Water Balloon Volley

Materials:

Beach towel
Water balloons

Instructions

  1. You’ll need a bucket full of water balloons for this game.
  2. Divide kids into two teams and pair them up.
  3. Each pair gets a beach towel and each child holds two corners of the towel.
  4. One side begins by placing a water balloon in the center of their towel. The object is to toss the balloon from one pair of kids to another, with the opposing side catching the balloon in their towel.

This can be played with a net, or simply pace off a distance between opposing teams.

13. Cold Potato

Materials:

Water balloons

Instructions

  1. Have players stand or sit in a circle outside.
  2. A water balloon is passed from player to player; however, the balloon is not passed around the circle as in traditional “hot potato”.
  3. It is thrown across the circle from player to player.
  4. If a player fails to catch the balloon, or it breaks when he or she attempts to catch it, that player is out.
  5. If a player intentionally throws the balloon hard to make it explode in another’s hands, he or she is called “out”.
  6. Older kids can spread farther apart if necessary.
  7. The game proceeds until there is one dry person left.

14. Water Limbo

Materials:

Water hose
Garden hose nozzle

Instructions

  1. Set up a water hose in a grassy area.
  2. Line kids up as in traditional limbo.
  3. An adult is in charge of the water hose, shooting a powerful stream of water for kids to limbo under.
  4. The adult starts with the hose high, and then lowers the stream of water after each round. Losers, of course, get soaked!
  5. Don’t forget the Limbo music!

15. Get Cool with a Pinaqua!

Materials:

✓ 10 gallon-trash bag
✓ Water
✓ Rope
✓ A tree limb or play structure
✓ A bandanna
✓ Broom

Instructions

  1. When temperatures soar and the afternoon gets hot and sticky, beat the heat with the fun of a pinaqua.
  2. This activity, from the Family Fun Web site (familyfun.go.com), is similar to the pinata game, but the players cool off by taking turns hitting a trash bag filled with cool water while blindfolded.
  3. Have children dress in swimsuits so they are ready to get wet.
  4. Fill the trash bag with one or two gallons of water and then knot the bag.
  5. Tie one end of the rope beneath the knot, toss the free end over a tree branch or structure and then tie it securely.
  6. To play, each child takes a turn being blindfolded, gently spun a few times and then getting three whacks at the pinaqua with the broom. The winner is the one who manages to break the bag and unleash the tidal wave.

Check out our other fun blindfold games for kids.

16. Make a Water Balloon Yo-Yo

Materials:

Balloons
✓ Water
✓ Rubber bands
✓ Markers

Instructions

  1. First fill the balloon up with water —but don’t make the balloon stretch.
  2. Next, blow the balloon up a little bit just so it’s half water and half air.
  3. Tie a knot to close the balloon.
  4. Take the rubber band and tie it on the end.
  5. If you want – decorate it with the markers. Have Fun!

17. Ring the Towel Relay Race

Materials:

✓ (2) towels
✓ (4) buckets

This is a great game for large groups of 20 or more.

Instructions

  1. Separate two teams evenly having children face back to back in a straight line.
  2. On a signal, the first player of each team dips a towel in a bucket filled with water.
  3. The wet towel then passes over each head of the people in line.
  4. The last person in line that receives the wet towel must ring it out into a bucket.
  5. Then that person runs to the front of the line, dips the towel into the bucket of water and passes it over the head of his/her team.
  6. It continues until the first person in line is in the front.
  7. The team that wins— is the one that has the most water in their bucket.
  8. To make it more challenging put a line on the bucket so they have a goal to reach.
  9. The game goes on until the first team reaches its mark. If the towel drops it must go back to the beginning of the line. If the team members do not pass the towel over their heads it starts over also.

18. Water Balloon Squat

Materials:

✓ (1) bucket per team
✓ (30+) water balloons in each bucket
✓ Chalk
✓ Garbage bag

Instructions

  1. This relay race needs at least 2 teams with equal players (or the other team has 1 person go twice). The start and finish lines should be about 20 feet apart.
  2. Place the bucket of balloons at the start line in front of each team. When you say ‘go’ the first person grabs a balloon and runs to the finish line.
  3. When they reach the finish line then must sit on their balloon and pop it. The player then runs back to the start line and gives the next person in line a high five, and then they go… and so on… until the whole team is done.
  4. Make sure that the group picks up all the balloon pieces before moving on.
A collection of fun water activities for kids. Great for school or at home during summer break.

19. Raindrops are Falling On Our Heads Relay

Materials:

✓ (2) buckets per team (one filled with water)
✓ (1) plastic baggie per team
✓ Object to poke holes

Instructions

  1. Put a lot of pinholes in the plastic baggies.
  2. The groups line up sitting down, one in front of the other, so that they are facing the back of the person in front of them.
  3. The bucket that is full of water goes behind the last person; the empty bucket goes in front of the first person.
  4. When the race starts, the first person takes the baggie to the back bucket, fills it with water and then tried to get the water to the front bucket, but it has to be carried OVER THE HEADS OF his/ her TEAM MEMBERS.
  5. He/ she dumps the water that is left into the front bucket.
  6. The line shifts up and the first person sits in the back.
  7. The winner is whatever group has the most water in their bucket after the pre-determined amount of time.

Note: Make sure that groups are not cheating by covering the holes – it might be best to say that they are only allowed to use one hand when passing the baggie.

20. A Water Windmill

This is one of those fun water games that can be played as a team relay race.

Materials:

Bucket with handle
✓ Water

Instructions

  1. Half fill a child’s pail (with handle) — with water.
  2. Have children hold the pails in one hand—and hold that arm straight down by their side.
  3. Keeping the arm straight, children swing the pail around and around in a circle.
  4. No water should spill if pail is kept moving like a windmill.
  5. Decide how many times the “windmill” will go around before the “next windmill” starts.

21. Water Bomb Target

Materials:

Splash Water Bombs
✓ Targets
✓ Trees or playground equipment

Players: Small to medium groups

Instructions

  1. Hang up targets on trees or playground equipment.
  2. Targets can be made out of cardboard, paper plates, aluminum pie pans or anything creative.
  3. Assign different points to each target depending on position and distance. You can keep points by teams or individuals.
  4. When a target is hit they receive points for the assigned target.

22. Water Balloon Dodgeball

Materials:

Water balloons
✓ (2) plastic tubs

Players: Small to large groups

Instructions

  1. Have at least 5 water balloons per player.
  2. Divide into 2 groups on opposite sides of a line with each side having their balloons in a plastic tub.
  3. If you are hit with a water balloon you are out (like dodge ball).
  4. The last one remaining wins.

23. Jump Rope Water Splash

Materials: 

Jump ropes
Plastic cups
✓ Water

Instructions

  1. Give each child a plastic or paper cup full of water.
  2. While two players twirl a large jump rope, jumpers one by one are to attempt three consecutive jumps.
  3. They are to do this while holding onto their cup of water and trying to do let any water spill.
  4. The child that has the most water left is the winner.
  5. You can keep playing until only one person has water left in their cup.
  6. When you play games like this-make sure kids have their bathing suits on–let parents know that it will be “Water-Play Day!)

Sara/Oakbrook From: funattic.com

24. Dry-Dry -Wet!

Instructions

  1. As a child goes around the circle he/she says,
  2. “Dry, dry, dry, dry, dry, WET! A small cup of water is poured on the person’s head. Play continues just as in Duck, Duck, Goose!

Duck, Duck, Goose–is traditionally a younger child’s game; however, with the water-school-age kids may find it fun!!!

In case you don’t remember how to play Duck-Duck-Goose…

  •  Kids (and grown-ups) sit cross-legged on the ground in a circle.
  • One child is chosen to be “It” and he or she walks along the outside of the circle lightly tapping the top of each player’s head saying “duck.”
  • When the player touches another player’s head and says “goose,” the “goose” must jump up and try to tag the other player.
  • If that player can run around the circle and sit in the empty spot, he or she is safe.
  • Then the “goose” becomes “it” and has to walk around the circle saying, “Duck, Duck, Goose!”

25. Three-Legged Race with Water

It’s best to play in a grassy area or even a sandy beach.

Materials:

✓ Old rags or stockings

Instructions

  1. Cut rags in wide strips ~ 3 feet long.
  2. Use old stockings; they are softer and have some give to them. Pair up into partners and stand side by side.
  3. Tie one persons left leg to the other player’s right or vise versa.
  4. Practice walking together until you get a rhythm going and then try hopping or running. This can be played as a race or just for active fun.
  5. An obstacle course can be created as well. For a real challenge, if it is warm try adding and avoiding an oscillating sprinkler. Be sure to wear swimsuits!

The kids won’t be able to make it without getting wet!

In Summary

We hope you have enjoyed this list of fun water games for kids. You can use these at summer camp, at home, at family get-togethers, or anywhere kids are looking to play games and have fun on a hot day.

A collection of 25 fun water games to play with kids.
A collection of water games to play this summer.

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