Summer Water Play Activities for Kids

Summer Water Play Activities for Kids


by Rachel Wells

Summer is here… bring on the heat! It’s so important for kids to spend time outside every day, and water play activities are a perfect way to beat the heat while still getting in some daily fresh air.

Water play activities are great because they are easy to set up, easy to clean up, inexpensive, and provide a ton of refreshing fun! As an added bonus, water play also tends to keep kids busy for extended periods of time.

Check out these 11 water play activities that are sure to keep kids of all ages entertained this summer!


Water Bead Relay Race

Supplies Needed: Water beads, water, large bin(s), large measuring cup(s), large spoons or ladles.

Mix up a big batch of water beads the night before this fun relay race. To set up the playing space divide kids into teams, and line them up relay race style. Place a bin or bowl of water beads in front of each team, and a large empty measuring cup on the other side of the racing area. When you say “go”, kids will use their spoon to scoop up as many water beads as they can from their bin, and run with them to their empty measuring cup on the other side – trying not to spill too many beads on the way! They will then need to pour as many beads as they can into the measuring cup before running back to hand their spoon off to the next player on the team. When time is up, the team with the most water beads successfully transferred to the other side wins the game.

Note: If you only have one child at home, have them compete against the clock and see how many beads they can transfer in a set amount of time. How high can they fill the measuring cup in 1 minute? 5 minutes? Etc.


Water Writing

Supplies Needed: Squirt bottles or water blasters and water.

Squirt encouraging phrases or words onto blacktop/pavement using a squirt bottle or water blaster. Race to see how full you can make the area before the water disappears!


Tinfoil River

Supplies Needed: Tinfoil, plastic boats or rubber duckies, water.

Find an area of your yard that angles downward. Use a roll of tinfoil to create a long river angled down. Be sure to fold up the sides of the foil so the water and plastic items stay floating down the river instead of floating away. Gather up some plastic boats or rubber duckies (label them with names if you want to race them), and place them in the foil river. Pour some water at the top, and watch the toys race down the river.


Sprinkler Twister

Supplies Needed: Twister game board and a sprinkler.

Place your Twister game mat outside in the grass, but add a sprinkler for some slippery fun. When the board gets wet, it will make it that much harder to hold yourself up!


Sponge Toss

Supplies Needed: Cheap sponges, scissors, buckets, water, and rubber bands.

These are just as fun as water balloons, but without the mess to clean up at the end! Cut the sponges into three strips each. Use a rubber band to tie together 4 of the sponge strips in the shape of a ball. Dip the sponges into a bucket of water for the ultimate no-mess water play activity.


Spray Bottle Tag

Supplies Needed: Spray bottles and water.

Spice up a standard game of tag with spray bottles! Instead of tagging each other, kids have to spray each other with water. When their shirt is wet they’re out – last team standing wins!


Water Limbo

Supplies Needed: Water and a hose.

Another simple twist on a classic activity. Have one person hold the running hose while everyone else tries to limbo underneath the water.


Icy Fingers

Supplies Needed: Ice cubes.

This one works well with some of the neighborhood kids so you can have two teams. Each team sits in a row and passes the ice cube down the line. The first group to melt the ice cube wins!


Rainbow Water Bin

Supplies Needed: Large bin, water, colorful craft pom-poms, plastic spoons and bowls.

Fill a large bin with water and a bag of craft pom-poms. Add some plastic spoons and bowls, and watch your child enjoying scooping, sticking, and creating!


Flower Soup

Supplies Needed: Bowls, water, spoons, and plant items from nature.

This one always seems to be a hit. Fill a bowl with water, and have your child collect natural items (leaves, flower petals, grass, berries, etc.) to mix in and make ‘flower soup’.


Water balloon baseball

Supplies Needed: Water balloons, water, baseball bat, and base markers.

Practice baseball in the most refreshing way possible – by tossing water balloons instead of a baseball to your child!


Which of these fun water activities do you plan to try first?


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