At-Home Water Activities for Kids

As the weather warms and we transition from spring to summer, parents will want to find a few fun ways to keep their kids cool and collected. After all, the kids will most likely be home from school for summer vacation, and looking for activities to fill their time. Encourage them to unplug and trade sitting indoors in front of the television or computer for some good ole’ fashioned at-home water activities that can be set up right in the yard.

"Springfest 2012 - U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, South Korea - 12 May 2012" by USAG - Humphreys is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  • Slip and slide – Clear a portion of the yard and over grass, lay down a premade slip n’ slide or a water resistant plastic tarp. Run the hose from one end of the tarp to create a flowing stream of water across the ‘slide.’ Kids and adults can slide across the yard for a fun and high-speed water filled activity that everyone will enjoy.
  • Jump water - Grab the garden hose and whip around a steady stream of water at a low distance from the ground. Have the kids see if they are able to consistently jump over the stream as it flows back and forth near their feet. Think of it as a game of jump rope but with water. For added enjoyment to this exciting game, set the sprinklers off while the little ones play to ensure that they are kept cool in the heat.
  • Pool time – Inflatable pools can be a great alternative for little swimmers, if a regular pool is not an available option. Learning to swim early can help with water safety as kids grow and find themselves in situations where they might be near larger bodies of water. Set up a shallow pool of water in the yard and allow the little ones to splash around. Older and more experienced swimmers might even race in relays across larger sized pools to keep cool.
  • Water shooter tag - Find affordable water guns or shooters and play tag with water. Assign one of the kids as “it” and give them the water shooter to see how many of their friends they can splash with water before time runs out. The water aspect of the game can be applied to allversions of the game like freeze tag, candle tag, and more!
  • Water balloon fights – Purchase a few bags of water balloons and fill them for the kids to play with in the yard. Assign teams and let the mayhem begin. The softness of the balloons will ensure that nobody gets hurt in the overall ruckus but that everyone get splashed with some water to keep them cool in the rising outdoor temperatures.
  • Soak up the water – Plan a sponge relay race to keep the little ones outdoors and busy but still refreshingly cool. Get two buckets of water and a few large sponges and challenge the kids to transfer as much water as possible from point A to point B. Set up a course of buckets and water, if you are working with a larger group that might want to take part in a multipart race.
  • Water balloon toss – Pair the kids up into teams of two. Have them stand a certain distance from one another and try tossing a filled water balloon across the area. If they are able to complete the task without the balloon popping, then have them both take a few steps backwards to increase the distance and try again. The pair that is able to stand the farthest and toss the balloon across without it popping wins.

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