Water games for kids are a must for any outdoor summer party, play date or gathering – they are a good way to cool everyone off, are inexpensive and don’t need much time to set up.
On a warm day, check out these wicked water games for kids to enjoy in the garden – they won’t want to come inside, so make sure you leave plenty of time for splashing fun! Perhaps this could also be a picnic day in the garden, with some bitesize goodies they can enjoy between games?
Wicked Water Games for Kids
#1. Make a Slip and Slide
You’ll need a big plastic sheet or tarpaulin spread out on the ground, ideally on a slope. Use a small amount of an inexpensive bottle of shampoo or liquid soap and drizzle over the tarp to make it slippy, then start the hose running.
#2. Make Giant Bubbles to Stand Inside
Create your own bubble mix and see if you can blow giant bubbles big enough to stand inside!
- Pour enough bubble solution into a kiddie pool to cover the inside in at least an inch of liquid (if you keep it clean, you can scoop it out to save for later when you are done).
- Then place a clean hula hoop in the pool and carefully step into the middle of the hoop. Avoid splashing as much as you can, as any foam will make the bubbles less effective.
- Have two friends grab either side of the hula hoop by the outside edges. If they lift it up at the same time, it should make a bubble that stretches as high as they can reach.
Once someone is in the bubble, you can see who can stay inside the longest without it popping or try to do tricks, like touch your toes without bursting the bubble.
#3. Water Painting
Keep younger ones occupied “painting” things with water – either pictures on ground, or get them to “paint” the shed or fence.
#4. Play Water Balloon Dodgeball
Fill water balloons with water, divide the amount of balloons up and place them on opposite ends of the garden. Next split up into teams and stand facing each other. When the signal is given, begin throwing water balloons at the other team. When a player is hit, the other team scores a point.
Play until all the balloons are gone, the members of one team have all been hit, or a certain number of points have been reached.
#5. Wet Sponge Relay
Divide into two teams and line up behind a starting line. Each team gets an empty bucket and a large sponge. They have to run to the finish line where there are 2 large buckets filled with water.
The first person runs to his/her team’s water bucket, dunks the sponge in, runs back and squeezes it out into the team’s empty bucket then passes it to the next person and so on.
As a bit of extra fun, you can make it a rule that the wet sponges must be carried above the players heads as they run back from the water buckets for more wet fun!
#6. Water Limbo
Play water limbo with your garden hose, turn it on full and everyone has to limbo under the water stream. Once everyone has gone under, the stream gets lowered!
#7. Water Tag
You’ll need a spray bottle, small bucket or water gun for each player.
- One player is “It”.
- You can only “tag” a person and get him to “freeze” by spraying him with water.
- Then the rest of the players can only unfreeze their teammates by spraying them with water.
- If the person who’s “It” can freeze everyone at the same time, they win and the game starts again.
#8. Wet Basketball
Set up a hoop in the garden. If you don’t have a basketball hoop, then string up a hula hoop. Divide into two teams and give each team a wet sponge. They have to shoot the sponge through the hoop.
#9. Sprinkler Statues
Start with the sprinkler/hose turned off. Players have to move around the garden, jumping, dancing or striking funny poses. Then, when the sprinkler/hose is turned on, they have to freeze in position and get watered until the sprinkler/hose is turned off again.
#10. Sponge Throw
You will need a bucket for each player, plus two empty “team buckets” and 12 small kitchen sponges (6 for each team)…and water obviously!
- Divide into two teams and line each team up behind each other. The first person is the Thrower, the rest are the Catchers.
- Each Thrower has the bucket of water with 6 sponges and stands about 2 meters in front of his team with his back to them. He throws a wet sponge backwards over his head and each Catcher has an empty bucket and has to try to catch the sponges without stepping out of line (if possible).
- At the end of the round, the Thrower collects the caught sponges and wrings them out into the “team bucket”. At the end of three rounds the team with the most water in their “team bucket” wins.