Keeping the kids entertained and cool in the summer time can both be difficult tasks. I've listed the top 7 water fun activities for summer that I think kids might enjoy. These can be just as much fun for the adults supervising them as well! Some of these activities might require the purchase of a few additional items, but many can be improvised. Since these water activities take place outside, be sure to stock up on the sunblock.
7. Water Balloon Fights
Photo Credit: Valpopando
Building a launcher for water balloons can turn a simple water balloon fight into quite the crowd-drawing event. Of course, the extent of the water balloon activity will depend on the age of the people involved. Very small children might find it more fun to have relay races, while older kids might like to play catch with water balloons, instead of throw them at one another. This is one activity that can be easily adjusted to suit any age.
6. Games in the Pool
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Whether you have a swimming pool of your own or have to go to a public pool, there are plenty of water games that have been thought of over the years. Investing in some diving toys is an option, as well as a beach ball or inflatable ring. There are many games that kids make up on their own too, by using these few items. There's no need to spend a lot of money on water toys though. Anything that sinks can be used for diving games and Marco Polo doesn't require any additional equipment. This is a great game for children of all ages to play together.
5. Build a Milk Carton Water Wheel
Photo Credit: Selim Ekmen
Creating things that require water always seem to be very entertaining. For this activity, you'll need a milk or orange juice carton and some string. Cut a small hole in the top of the carton or use the opening already provided on some orange juice containers. Many of the newer containers have a screw-top lid fitted into the top of the carton. A small hole will need to be punched in the top seem of the container, so that the string can be used to hang the carton in a tree. Make sure the carton is suspended from a branch that is low enough for the person making the water wheel to reach easily. A hole needs to be poked into the bottom corner on each side of the carton. If you poke a hole in the bottom left corner on one side, make sure you put the other three holes on the left corner of the other sides as well. Once water is poured into the top of the container, the water will shoot out of the holes in the bottom of the carton and cause the carton to spin in a circle. If the water just trickles out, try making the holes bigger.
4. Water Relay Races
There are many containers that can be used for water relay races; wading pools, buckets, empty containers, and just about anything that will hold water. One race requires participants to carry water from a wading pool to a bucket in a paper cup. This can be done with two teams; each with their own bucket. The goal is to be the first team to fill their bucket with water. I like to create different relay races for the kids during the summer. There's no limit to what can be done with water and a few empty containers. I find that the older the kids get, the more creative I have to be with the rules!
3. Get out the Sprinkler
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I remember the days of playing in the sprinkler. It was often the highlight of my summer. Most sprinklers set on the ground, but I found that they can also be hung in trees for some additional shade. If you want to save some of the water that is being used by the sprinkler, put a wading pool under it, then the kids can jump in and out of the pool and still play in the spray of water. The water left over in the wading pool might be dirty, but it can be used to water the plants later on in the evening.
2. Duck, Duck, Goose
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Even big kids will like the water version of this game. This can be turned into a water game with the help of a pitcher. As the person who is It walks around the circle of people, he/she has to carry the pitcher of water. Instead of saying 'duck', the words 'dribble' or 'drop' can be substituted. When saying this word, a small dribble or drop of water is poured out of the pitcher onto the head of the person sitting in the circle. The words 'dunk' or 'drench' can be used in place of 'goose' and the entire pitcher of water is then emptied onto the person's head. This keeps kids cool and gets them laughing too.
1. Make a Water Slide
Photo Credit: Plymography
This might be the most expensive water activity, but it sure is exciting! Be sure to use 4-ply plastic, so that it is less likely to tear as people are sliding on it. Most rolls of this type of plastic are 20 to 25 feet long and 4 to 5 feet wide. You'll also need to have a sprinkler or sprayer that can provide more of a shower of water, as opposed to a stream. The one downfall might be the set up of your yard. If you don't have a grassy yard, then it will be hard to make a slide that is smooth. Rocks and sticks can really put a damper on the whole sliding activity! I've doubled over thick comforters in the past and placed them under the plastic. This provides enough cushion to protect both the plastic and the slider from uneven terrain. I was able to keep these dry by extending the plastic a couple of inches past the comforter on each side of the slide.
I hope you find this list of my top 7 water fun activities for summer useful. Do you have a water activity that you or your family does every summer? Please feel free to share any additional ideas that you have for water activities. I'd love to hear them!
Top Photo Credit: PatrickSmithPhotography