In the Midwest, we are blessed with warm summer days. On those days, getting the kids outside to play can be a hassle; they would much rather stay indoors with the air conditioning and put on a movie or play video games. Say goodbye to the fuss when you introduce these fun water games!

Water Bomb Tag

Use a large sponge and a bucket of water. The person who is “it” soaks the sponge and tosses it at other players. If the sponge hits you, you’re “it!”

Water Relay

Here’s what you will need for a water relay: bucket(s) of water, empty bucket(s), and some sort of cup (if your kids are younger, plastic or styrofoam cups are probably the safest option).

Divide the kids into teams and fill a bucket for each team. Set an empty bucket 20 feet from the full bucket. Have an adult say, “ready, set, go!” The goal is to take your cup, fill it with water, dump it in the empty bucket at the end of the line, run back and pass the cup to the next team member. The team that fills the empty bucket (and transfers the most water) is the winner! 


Keep a bucket of water balloons in the middle of your yard and divide players into two teams. All normal rules apply; if you’re hit you’re out. If you catch the balloon without it popping, the person who threw it at you is out. Tip: use larger balloons; they don’t pop as easily when thrown.

Glow Pool

Creating a glow pool is perfect on warm, humid nights. Fill the pool with a bunch of glow sticks and let the kids swim for a while before bedtime.  

Water Gun Battle

With no official rules, the sky’s the limit. Fill up enough water guns for the whole family and let the battle begin. Set up obstacles in your yard to hide behind or create an obstacle course to spice up the battle. Tip: if you do not want to use a gun, there are plenty of alternative water squirt options available.

Frozen Feet

Remember the hungry hippos game you used to play with laundry baskets? Well, this game is sort of like that but has some significant differences.

Fill up a kiddie pool with water. Each child has an empty bucket and sits around the edge with their feet in the pool. On the count of three, an adult or supervisor dumps a pile of ice into the pool and players have to begin picking up as many ice cubes as they can using, you guessed it, only their feet!

Hot Potato, Hot Potato: Water Balloon Style

Have an adult control the music as the children gather in a circle. Pass around a water balloon as the music plays along. When the music stops, the kid that’s holding the balloon has to pop it, splashing themselves! The last person standing is the winner. 

Water Balloon Pinata

For a twist on the traditional piñata game, hang several water balloons from your tree at different heights. Blindfold one child at a time and see how many balloons they can pop in under a minute!

Slip and Slide

This classic water-fun favorite never gets old! If you don’t have a name brand slip and slide, stake down an old tarp and soap it up. Want to do something a little different? Play slip and slide kickball, baseball or softball! For the bases, fill up inflatable pools with more water and soap. 

Ice Cube Painting

Freeze watercolor paint the night before, and send your child out with paper or fabric the next day! Get crafty as the ice melts and creates fun, unique designs. 

Duck, Duck, SPLASH!

This game is played with an amusing twist to the regular duck, duck, goose game and only requires a bucket of water. Instead of tapping the goose on the head, the person who is “it” dumps the full bucket on the unknowing goose and then the dazed goose must chase them around the circle before they sit down!