When the days turn warmer, there is nothing better than cooling off by the water. It does not matter if the water is a pool, beach, or some other water activity; it is a great way to spend the day. There are many ways to enjoy the water, even if you do not have access to a pool. Continue reading to find out 50 water activities for kids so you can treat your kids to special water play in the summer.
What are Water Activities?
Children of all ages love playing in the water. It is a great way for kids to learn. Water activities give your children a way to practice skills like logic, math, language, solving problems, social skills, and science. The best thing about water play is they do not have to be expensive, difficult, or messy. Water activities help children improve their fine and gross motor skills. They become more coordinated and physically fit. They learn how to lift, carry, pour, run, and splash all while having fun with summer activities.
50 Water Activities for Kids
Slip and Slide
You do not have to buy a slip and slide. You can make your own. All you need is a plastic tablecloth from the dollar store. You can pin it to the grass with tent stakes. Add water to the tablecloth. Then, with a running start, you can slide down the tablecloth.
Water Bucket Race
Line the children up in a row and give them all a bucket full of water. Each child walks their full bucket to an empty bucket at some distance in front of them. The child pours the water from one bucket to the other. The child whose bucket has the most water in it wins.
Twister with a Sprinkler
This is a twist on the traditional twister game. Use the mat from the game and lay it out on the lawn. Turn on the sprinkler, so it gets the mat wet to make this version of twister is slippery.
While water balloons have been part of summer fun for a long time. There are many water balloon kits to help you fill-up the water balloons faster. You can toss them, throw them, squeeze, and bob for them.
Squirt Gun Races
You can get PVC rain gutters from your local hardware store and place them on the lawn. You can put a rubber duckie, toy car, or other plastic bath toys at the beginning of the gutter. Then, with a squirt gun, squirt your toy until you get it to come out the other end. You can compete with someone by setting up multiple gutters next to each other.
Water Duck, Duck, Goose
You play this just as you would the traditional game of duck, duck, goose. The difference with this version is the person walking around the circle has a cup full of water. Instead of saying goose, the person dumps the cup of water over someone’s head. The person that got wet must get up and chase the dumper.
Create a large square from four pieces of PVC pipes and four connectors. Be sure to add a hose connecter. Drill several small holes in the pipes. Hook up the hose, and now you have a fun sprinkler.
Fill spray bottles with water and two different food coloring colors. Give the kids white t-shirts. Let the kids play tag with the spray bottles. You will easily be able to see who is hit with water.
Sheet Balloon Toss
Another water balloon game option is to give the kids a sheet, with each one holding a corner. Have the kids bounce a water balloon on the sheet. The goal is not to let it bounce on the ground, or they will get wet.
A fun idea for younger kids is to put small plastic toys, like bugs and other fun toys, in a bowl of water or an ice cube tray. Once the water freezes, allow the kids to chop into the ice to find the surprise toy.
Set up a kid pool in the backyard and allow your kids to take a bath in the backyard. You can include toys and bubbles. Be sure to check the water temperature.
Fill a kid pool up with water and put an inner tube in the pool. Let the kids toss small balls in the center of the tube.
Water Balloon Pinata
Fill water balloons with water. Fill the balloons with different amounts of water to make some larger than others. Tie them with a string and allow blindfolded children to hit the balloon with a plastic bat.
Writing with Water
Fill a squirt bottle with water and then have the kids right words, including their names on the pavement for outdoor water play.
Have the kids spin around on a bat a certain number of times, until they are dizzy. Then have them pick up a tray of water cups. They must carry the tray to a bucket and pour the cups in the bucket. The first person or team to fill the bucket wins.
Put foam fish in a kiddie pool or water table. Attach a paper clip to each fish. Then, have your children use a fishing pool with a magnet to pull out the fish.
Water Balloon Jousting
Fill up water balloons with water. Then, attach a fork at the end of a pool noodle and try to pop the balloons with your pool noodle sword.
For more water fun, tape pool noodles together and the poke holes in them. Connect your hose to the noodles for a cool sprinkler.
Swimming Pool Scrabble
For a fun activity, write letters on a sponge and let them float around a pool. The children can grab a handful of letters and try to spell a word with them.
Water Jump Rope
Two children turn a jump rope while a third child jumps with a full cup of water. After so many jumps, see how much water is left.
Yo-Yo Water Balloon
Take a water balloon but do not fill it up all the way. Instead, use the balloon the same way you would a yo-yo and see how long it lasts before you get wet.
Water Balloon Race
Place a water balloon on a spoon and have a race. If you drop the balloon, you can pick it up and continue as long as it did not break.
Limbo with Water Hose
Stream the water from your water hose as your limbo stick. See who can make it under without getting wet. Do not forget the music.
For more fun summer activities, create squares or circles on the grass. Place various sized balls inside the. Using a hose, see who can push the ball out of the shape.
Storage Container Pool
Find a storage tub and fill it with water. This is a personal sized pool for kids.
Create a water obstacle course with various water obstacles. It can include a slip and slide, dumping water over your head, carrying a bucket of water, and dumping it into a bucket at the other end.
Target Water Balloons
Create a giant target with numbers and aim with water balloons. Add up the numbers you hit to see who has the highest score.
Splash Pad Swingset
Connect your house to the canopy of the swing set and create a water slide. The water rains down below while your children are swinging.
Water balloon baseball by hitting water balloons with baseball bats. You can use balls that are like sponges to play a wet baseball game.
Turn on the sprinkler or spray the house and let the kids run through the water with their umbrellas. Create an ark and see if they can run under without getting wet.
Foam Water Table
Create a foam water table for a soapy twist on traditional summer fun. Add dish soap to your water table, agitate the water to create lots of bubbles. You can add some food coloring for new fun.
Pool Noodle Water Wall
Use tape, zip ties, or string to create an obstacle course for water. Poke holes in the pool noodles and hook up your hose.
Freeze Tag with Water Bottles
Purchase colorful water spray bottles and fill them with water. You can use water blasters for your older kids (or adults) for a wet and fun time.
Take sponges and cut them into four strips, then stack them two high. Put four rows next to each and tie them tightly in the middle with fishing line.
Water Balloon Slide
Lay out a long sheet of plastic and put pool noodles on either end (lengthways). Then fill the middle with water balloons. Mix baby shampoo with water and drizzle it over the balloons for an extra slippery slide.
Water Gun Painting
Get some squirt guns (or spray bottle) and fill them with liquid watercolors. Have the kids aim them at art paper and let the magic happen.
Glow in the Dark Pool
Wait until it gets dark, and then throw glow sticks in a kiddie pool and have glow in the dark fun.
Sponge Water Darts
Create a bullseye on the ground with sidewalk chalk. Gather sponges and get them wet. Then take turns throwing the sponges at the bullseye.
Roll and Splash
Fill a pan up with water and have the kids roll die. When a specific number is rolled, that kid gets to slam their hands in the water to splash everyone.
Water Balloon Toss
Get five bowls and fit them with water and attach points to the bowl. Give your kids water balloons to toss in the bowls.
Have children stand in a row, each with a cup of water. The child in front pours their water into the cup of the child behind them without turning around.
Water Cup Race
Attach a plastic cup to a clothesline on its side. Then have the kid shoot at the inside of the cup with a water gun to get the cup to move.
Volleyball Water Balloon
Using a towel, have the kids toss a water balloon on the towel. The goal is to keep the balloon on the towel.
The goal is to get a water balloon into a bucket of water. Use some type of level to launch the water balloon into a bucket. This is a great exercise for kids’ imaginations.
This is like a dunking booth, but your child sits in a chair under a bucket of water with a target. Have someone throw a ball at the target.
Make this a race for extra fun. Put a t-shirt in a freezer until it is frozen. Then have a race to see who can get it on the fastest.
Using a wall, set up various different water bottles and water toys.
Attach a water balloon to a plastic bag to see how well it flies.
Fill a kid pool up with water and marbles. Have your kids fish for the marbles with their feet.
Get a bar of soap and put a toothpick with a flag in the top. Using a piece of plastic, have water flow down the plastic and float your soap boat.