These Fun Outdoor Water Games for Kids are sure to beat the heat this summer! Your children will have a blast competing against each other, while parents will love how simple they are to put together and quick to clean up!
Fun water games for kids
Outdoor water games are so much fun for all kids, especially in the dreaded summer heat! Games that involve water are the best for outdoor parties, field days, backyard cookouts, or DIY carnivals! All of these water games are cheap and simple to put together too! So if you are trying to entertain some rambunctious toddlers or bored teens, you’ll find that these water games will bring some laughter and, of course, soaked clothes to any outdoor party!
Outdoor Water Balloon Games
Water balloon games are super fun and never get old! I mean, what’s better than having a big water balloon fight on a hot day? But other than throwing water balloons at each other, there are so many other games you can play involving water balloons that kids, no matter their age, will enjoy. Here are a couple of easy water balloon games that relatively cheap and super easy to put together!
1. Water Balloon Hot Potato
Number of Players: 4-8
What you’ll need:
- Water balloons (these are the BEST)
- mechanical pencil/safety pin to poke a hole
- fun music
Nothing screams youth like a hot potato! For this game, you want to fill up one water balloon and poke a small hole in it. It may be difficult to poke a tiny hole, so I use a mechanical pencil or safety pin to do it easily. Next, have all the players sit in a circle.
Pass the balloon around with music until all the water has leaked out of the hole. Make sure that the hole is facing down when passing the balloon around so all the water will drip out. You might want to poke another small hole in the top too! Then, whoever is left holding the empty balloon, is out. Keep playing until there is only one player left!
You can also play this game with music like musical chairs. Don’t poke a hole in the balloon this time. Instead, simply pass a filled water balloon around the circle to music. Then, when the music is paused, the child holding the balloon must pop it over their head! They can step out of the circle if they want, or you can continue playing! This is great for toddlers since you technically do not have to be “out” to continue playing; hence, no crying! Whew!
2. Water Balloon Toss
Number of players: 8 (Four teams of two)
What you’ll need:
Pair up the players into teams of two. Give each group a water balloon, and have them stand approximately 2 feet away from each other. Begin tossing the balloon back and forth, taking a step back after each successful throw.
The balloon must either hit the ground and burst or a player’s hands and burst for a team to get out. Last team standing wins!
*If you have younger kids, like toddlers, you can use large sponges and tell them to toss the sponge back and forth like the big kids. They will still get super wet, but sponges will be much easier to catch and throw! 😉
3. Water Balloon Sheet Catch
Number of Players: 6-12
What you’ll need:
- Water balloons
Divide the players into 2 teams with at least 3 people per team, 2 or more will hold a sheet, one on each side, while another will “pitch” the water balloon (or toss it).
The pitcher from the same team will stand a determined amount of distance away and will toss the balloon at the sheet, while the players manning the sheet will try to catch the balloon. The team that catches the most water balloons in a designated time limit wins!
If you’re playing with toddlers, have them use a beach towel or something smaller to catch the balloons!
4. Water Balloon Dodge-ball
Number of players: 6 or more
Just like real dodge-ball, divide the players into 2 equal teams. Have the opposing teams stand on opposite sides of the yard or field with a large bucket or kiddie pool filled with balloons (or wet sponges) sits in between each team.
Once the game starts, players will race to grab balloons and hustle back to where they started before throwing them at each other. If you are hit, and it busts, you’re out. If someone catches a balloon (or sponge), a player from their team gets to come in, and the person who threw it is out. The last person standing wins the game for their team.
If you have little kids, again, you can also use soaked sponges instead of water balloons with the same rules except sponges won’t burst, so that rule won’t apply.
Outdoor Water Gun games for kids:
Kids love playing with water guns because there are so many fun games you can play! From freeze tag to hide and soak, here are some games all kids will love for any party!
1. Hide and Soak
Number of players: at least 3
Designate a seeker, who has a water gun, to count while all other kids hide. The seeker gets to choose where to count, and that will be the base for the rest of the round. Make sure to mark this spot off after the game starts!
Once the seeker is done counting, he/she will try to find all of the children and spray them before they get back to ‘base.’ The last person found, or to reach base wins! You cannot leave base once you get there. The winner chooses the next seeker!
2. Water Gun Freeze Tag
Number of players: 5-15
Choose 1 player to be “it” and give them a water gun. He or she will chase the other kids around, trying to spray them. If a kid gets sprayed, they will have to freeze until another child tags them to “unfreeze” them.
When all kids have been frozen, whoever was “it” wins. If he/she is unable to freeze all players in a designated amount of time, then the other team wins!
4. Water Gun Fight
- a water gun for each player
Number of players: 2-20
Give each kid a gun and let them go to town running around, spraying each other, and goofing off. Whichever player has the driest shirt wins! Or just have fun with it and don’t pick a winner for this one! Have a water filling station nearby like a bucket or kiddie pool so the kids can refill their water guns on their own!
5. Beach Ball Race
Number of players: 2 or more
Set up a designated start and finish line, with two beach balls and the players at the starting line. Once you yell “go,” the kids will squirt the balls with the water guns as fast as they can until it crosses the other side. The kids are not allowed to kick or touch it!
You can designate one ball per team or use different colored beach balls to differentiate!
More water games for kids:
You can’t have an outdoor water day without playing in sprinklers, slip n’ slides, or kickball! A few of these water games may require a few more players, but they are a blast and great for both younger kids and teens!
1. Soaked Sponge Relay
Number of players: 4 or more
Divide players into at least 2 teams with a kiddie pool or bucket filled with water and sponges. The teams must race to fill a cup of water up to the fill line by soaking the sponges and then placing them in between their legs until they get to the cup. Then they will squeeze the water from the sponges into the cup and race back to tag the next player in line.
The first team to fill their cup up to the fill line wins!
2. Soaked Sponge Toss
- water-soaked sponges
- empty buckets
Number of players: 2-10
Set all the buckets up in line with the players standing across from them approximately 2 feet away. Each player will throw a sponge in the bucket and then take a step back with each successful throw.
Whenever the player misses the bucket, he/she must start over back at the starting position. The first person to reach 10 steps back wins!
3. Slip N’ Slide Kickball
- 1 kickball
- 3 kiddie pools
- 4 slip n’ slides or tarps
- 3 bottles of dish soap or baby oil
Number of players: 10-16
You can’t have a day filled with fun water games for kids without playing slip n’ slide kickball! This game is perfect for a large group of older kids or teenagers. You will need 3 small kiddie pools, 4 slip n’ slides, or tarps, and dish soap. Use the slip n’ slides to make a diamond with a pool in 3 of the corners (like bases).
Fill each pool about halfway with water and add soap and water to all the tarps. Split the players into 2 teams and decide which team will kick first.
The kicking team will stand on the side of the diamond (home-plate) without a kiddie pool, while the fielders spread out all over the field. The chosen pitcher will roll the batter the ball, and he/she will try to kick the ball as hard and as far as they can. Once they kick the ball, they must run (or slide) to first base using the slip n’ slide.
If the ball is caught, or the ball is thrown at that player before they reach base, he/she is out. Once the pitching team gets 3 outs, they switch sides and get to bat. Set a designated number of times each kid hits, and the team with the most points at the end wins!
4. Sprinkler Freeze Dance
Number of players: 2 or more
Turn some music on and have kids dance and run around with the sprinkler turned off. Then, turn the water on! When the water is on, the kids have to freeze no matter where they are with the water spraying on them. If you catch a player move, then they are out. Last kid standing wins!
To make this more fun, designate a certain circle or area that the kids cannot step out of.
5. Slip n’ Slide Race
- 1 slip n’ slide (or large tarp)
Number of players: 2 teams of 4+
Water slides provide the ultimate summer fun for kids! All you need is a slip n’ slide from the store or a large tarp, water, and some dish soap or baby oil. Spray the slide with water and dish soap, then either use a sprinkler to keep the slide wet, or set the hose at the start of the slide.
This game is great for larger groups of kids! Split the kids into two teams of at least 4 players each. Then, start a timer! One team needs to slide down the tarp (or slip n’ slide) as fast as they can, one player at a time. Stop the timer when the last player reaches the end. Write this time down! Now, the other team’s turn! They need to beat their opponent’s ‘slide time’ in order to win!
The only rule is that the next player cannot start their slide until the player before them has LEFT the slip n’ slide! (This is for safety and to keep it fair.) They will have a blast with this one!