10 Inexpensive Water Games Your Kids Will Love

water games

We know how summer can get. It’s hot outside, your kids are bored, and you’re sick of spending money to keep them entertained.

Let our creative caretakers at Mary Margaret help with these inexpensive but fun water activities! You don’t need much money, and you don’t need to take a lot of time to prep these games, either. Just set them up and let your kids do the rest. There will be no excuse for whining with these fun outdoor water games!

#1 – Jump the Snake

For this one, the only thing you need is a garden hose. Turn it on (be sure to let the water cool!) and then run a stream from the hose back and forth like a snake. Your child should try to jump over the stream without getting wet. If you have several kids over, turn it into a game. The kid with the driest feet at the end wins!

#2 – Backyard Bath Time

Here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone. Take advantage of those warm summer nights by taking bath time outdoors. Simply fill a kiddie pool with soapy water and bath toys, and then let your child splash around. This turns what can sometimes be a frustrating chore into a fun game.

#3 – Ball Blast

Using pegs and string, or some other kind of marker, create a large circle or square on your lawn. Next, place balls inside: soccer balls, basketballs, beach balls – anything works as long as they’re balls of different sizes and weights. Give your child a garden hose and challenge him or her to blast those balls outside the lines in under a minute. If you’ve got several kids, try this with water guns and turn it into a competition.

#4 – Soaking Sponge Race

Place two buckets – one filled with water and one empty – on two ends of your patio or lawn. Then, give your child a sponge. The goal of the game is to transfer water from one bucket to the other using only the sponge! This can be a timed race with one child seeing how fast he can do it, or it can be a race with several kids. Either way, your kiddo is bound to be soaked by the end!

#5 – DIY Slip-and-Slide

You don’t always have to buy the real thing. Do you have a plastic drop cloth and some garden or tent stakes? Lay the drop cloth on a hill, stake it to the ground to keep it in place, and then get ready with a garden hose or some buckets of water. Your kids won’t care that it’s homemade. They’ll just love sliding down again and again.

#6 – Baby Doll (or Action Figure) Bath

Does your child have a favorite doll or action figure? This activity is perfect for her (or him)! Simply fill a baby bath with soapy water and let your kid play parent for a little while. You never know … before long ALL of your child’s toys might be clean!

#7 – Chalk Paint

Do you know what happens when you add water to sidewalk chalk? Chalk paint! This can get messy, but your kids will have a blast painting on the sidewalk (or each other). Don’t worry, parents. You can always hose them off before allowing them back in the house.

#8 – Duck, Duck, SPLASH

If you know how to play duck, duck, goose, then you’ll know how to do this game. It’s an update on an old-fashioned playtime activity that’s perfect for a hot, sunny day. Instead of tapping a friend’s head, the child who is “it” yells “SPLASH!” Then he or she drops a water balloon or splashes a cup of water on “goose.” This activity is great when you’re entertaining several kids on a hot day.

#9 – At the Car Wash!

We remember playing this one as kids. Set up a make-believe car wash with sponges, buckets of soapy water, and a garden hose for kids to ride their bikes and tricycles through. This is a great role-playing game, or just a way for kids to get active.

#10 – Sponge Tag

Here’s another twist on a beloved game. The player who is “it” uses a soaking wet sponge to tag another player. It’s easy to spot the kid who’s been tagged … at least at the beginning! This one will have your kids running and laughing in no time.

Mary Margaret Cares for Kids

Do you need a break? Stop by Mary Margaret Day Care to learn more about our summer programs for kids. 

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