Kids love playing in the water as it is a safe and refreshing way to cool off on hot summer days. However, you may need some fresh summer water games and safety reminders to enjoy the water.
There are all sorts of cool games to play with water. In groups or alone, children can pass the hot summer days with fun and laughter. Here are a few ideas for you to try during the Fourth of July get-togethers and family reunions or to pass time on lazy summer afternoons.
You don’t need to go to a park with a professional sprinkler and a lifeguard. All you need is a water hose and a spray nozzle to wet everybody down as they run through. A sprinkler device makes it easier and keeps the water flowing. A toy that attaches to the end of the hose and whirls around spraying is always great fun.
A simple bubble-sided pool or a stiff-sided pool can be worth its weight in gold in occupying the children. Run a hose to the pool add some big plastic drinking cups and plastic boats and the fun is on. Mom can pull up a lawn chair and read a book. Just stay close by and never leave a child near water unattended.
Pouring and Measuring
These are great activities for little ones or even for children who can’t play in a pool. Use a bucket and some plastic cups and let the kids pour from one to another. Slop and pour, slosh and glug, pour and trickle, and make a waterfall. Kids get wet and stay cool and they learn in the process.
Water tables are a great option for allowing kids to pour and measure water! Check out this article on 8 of the best water tables around.
Water Pistol War
Bigger kids enjoy water gunfights, but some of the huge water guns can be too much. If you restrict water guns to smaller sizes, more of the children will enjoy the fun of running and squirting. Provide a kiddy pool or buckets of water for refilling.
Water Balloon Wars
Kids have to prepare for this one. Like a snowball fight, they fill the balloons ahead of time. Stow the ammunition in buckets or plastic coolers. Site some rules for safety and to keep things fair and fun. (Hold a yard clean-up afterward to gather up the pieces of broken balloons that can be hazardous.)
Going to a beach, a lake, the ocean, a creekside, or a riverbank? All can be great fun but remember all require supervision to be safe. Take along buckets and sand shovels. Kids love to sift the sand and dig holes near the water’s edge to get to water level and watch the holes fill up. Wade along the sand and make writings in the wet sand. Look for rocks and shells. Make a sandcastle by adding water to your sand to make it moldable.
Slip and Slides
The idea of a slip and slide is to lay the large piece of heavy plastic (a tarp will work) on a sloped surface. Run a hose to one end of the plastic and wet the surface thoroughly. The children run and slide on the wet slippery surface. Add some dish soap to make things really slick.
Washing Bikes and Wagons
Pull out the bikes and the buckets, big sponges, and a few squirts of dish soap and you have a fun and beneficial game. The kids slosh and wash and scrub and shine all the bikes, trikes, scooters, and wagons. The whole neighborhood may ride over to join in the fun. Parade and show off the clean vehicles afterward.
Watering Gardens and Flowerbeds
Kids love to hold the hose to water the flowers and garden vegetables. Newfangled spray nozzles and spray wands make it easy and the plants will benefit from the work while the kids are enjoying the game. Kids also love to fill watering cans and carry them to thirsty plants. Even a little child will enjoy himself with a bucket of water and a plastic cup to carry water to the flower pots. For toddlers use a less stable water container such as a large bowl that will tip and drain if the child falls into it.
Never leave children unattended. Be certain to empty buckets, pools, and containers when finished as a toddler can fall in and could drown. For water games to be safe they need to be well supervised at all times.
If the children are little, keep the water in a wading pool or buckets shallow and stay with the kids. No running inside to answer phones or check supper. A child can drown in only four inches of water. Be safe—not sorry.
Don’t forget the sunscreen! Little ones can burn quickly.
Provide plenty of fluids. Children need to keep hydrated, so be sure to let them sip lemonade or suck on popsicles. Watermelon is a favorite treat that will be remembered.
Water games are great fun on hot days and with a few safety precautions, they are safe too. Some of these simple water activities will become staples of summer and the making of many happy memories for parents and children alike. Choose a few of these water games for your next day with the kids. You may start a new family tradition.
Here are some fun GIANT games to play with your family outdoors!