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14 Tried And True Water Activities For Kids

Kids of all ages love water! Something about it is so stimulating for our brains and just makes life a little more fun. 

Not only is playing with water fun, but it is also a great way for kids to grow. Plus, it keeps us all sane on those hot summer days. 

Some of the benefits of water play include: 

1. Development of Physical Gross Motor Skills (these include things like running, jumping, splashing, etc) 

2. Increased hand-eye Coordination (pouring water into different cups or catching balloons filled with water)

3. Enhanced Language Skills (talking about what your child is doing as they “scoop” or “pour” 

4. Great Sensory Play 

5. Better Problem Solving (as they figure out how much water each container will hold) 

6. Emotional Benefits (just from being outside in the sun, but also the physical touch of water helps children to reset during a hard day) 

Maybe your kids have been in school all year and now you are in the thick of summer break needing to cool off! If so, we want to help by providing some favorite water activities! 

Sometimes you can get stuck in a rut of the same water activities throughout the summer. I know we do. 

Our go-to is definitely the water table and kiddie pool in the backyard. But kids get bored of the same thing over and over again. 

Have no fear! We have created a list of simple water activities that will keep your kids learning and playing for hours on end! 

Maybe where you live (not in Arizona) is actually pleasant to be outside at this time of year. If you’re looking for some fun activities that don’t involve water, head over to our post on outdoor activities that your kids will love! 

Water Activities For Kids


1. Play With Reusable Water Balloons

These reusable water balloons are an investment but SO worth it! We just bought some at the beginning of the summer and my kids are obsessed. 

Take them to the pool, or splash pad, or simply fill them up and play with them in the backyard. 

Be careful, if you have a toddler, they will think it’s funny to “pop” them all as fast as they can. Be sure to teach them how to fill them up again on their own by providing a bucket of water. 

2. Have A Water Balloon Fight

Feel free to use the water balloons from the link mentioned above for this one. 

Or go back the old-fashioned way and use regular water balloons. 

Tip: for easier/funner clean-up, have each person be in charge of a different color of balloon. They have to fill up a ziplock bag with that whole color and once they do tell that that their bag will magically turn into a popsicle! 

Here are a few fun ideas to implement in your water balloon fights: 

Try to hit someone with a water balloon while running at full speed.

Try to hit someone with a water balloon while laying down.

Try to hit someone with a water balloon by using a wooden spoon to catapult.

Try to hit someone with a water balloon while using your feet to throw.

Want some more fun ways to use water balloons? Check out our post on water balloon fight ideas.

3. Play A Water Balloon Game

Water balloon games can help kids, especially the young ones, stay engaged in the activity. 

Try setting up a water obstacle course for kids to make it through without dropping the balloon. 

Or have them carry the water balloon on a spoon all the way across the yard and back again without dropping it. 

We have some great ideas over at water balloon games that you’re sure to love! 

One of my favorites is hide n seek water balloons. 

For this game, you’ll fill a kiddie pool with water. Then fill some water balloons with water and some with shaving cream. 

Place all of the balloons in the pool (near the edge so they are easy to reach) and then blindfold the kids. 

Give them one or two minutes to see how many balloons they can pop and to tell you how many of them had shaving cream in them. 

4. Play With Ice

Why are ice cubes so fun to play with? You freeze water and all the sudden it’s magical! 

Try using food coloring on the water before you freeze it. Place popsicle sticks in the ice tray and the kids can “paint the sidewalk” with their colorful ice. 

Another fun way to play with ice is to freeze things inside. Find little rubber animals at the dollar store to hide in the ice tray before you freeze the water. 

5. Fill A Big Plastic Container With Water

You can do this one inside (if it’s a really hot day) or outside of course. 

Fill up this water sensory bin with whatever waterproof things you would like– kitchen utensils, bowls, measuring cups, spoons, etc. 

You can also have a washing station. Fill it with some of their favorite toys (make sure they are hard and waterproof) along with some soap suds. Give them a scrub brush and let them have at it. 

A few of these toys might include: 

-plastic animals

-toy cars

-PVC pipe 

-construction trucks 


The best part is this activity is actually quite helpful to get all the toys clean! 

6. Create A Pour Station

This is a similar sensory bin, but after you fill up a big container with water, just give your child plastic cups of different sizes. 

Let them practice pouring water from cup to cup or even straight into the bin. If you have a toddler, they will probably try to drink from the plastic cup. So make sure there isn’t soap for this activity. 

7. Play With A Hose

Give your kids the garden hose and let them have at it! Try not to tell them exactly “what” to do. They are creative. 

Let them make up games with each other. If they are having a hard time, here are some ideas you might suggest: 

1. jump rope

2. Limbo 

3. Don’t get sprayed by the hose 

4. water slide 

8. Set Up Water Relay Races

Older kids will love these! Not only are they fun, but it helps them to be active. 

A fun one is to play “Water Bucket Race”. Divide into two teams and give each team a plastic cup wth a small hole poked in the bottom. 

Start at one end of the yard next to a bucket filled with water. One player from each team will fill their cup with water and run to the other end of the yard where an empty bucket will be waiting. 

Pour whatever is left of the water into the bucket, then run back and pass the cup to the next teammate. 

The first team to fill their bucket is the winning team! 

9. Play Water Balloon Baseball

Kids will love this twist on normal baseball! 

This might be hard to do with young children if they haven’t yet developed the necessary hand-eye coordination for baseball. But it could be just the thing you need to help them practice! 

Designate 3 buckets of water (or kiddie pools if you have them) as the bases and use a slip n’ slide for home base. 

Take turns batting and hitting the water balloons and running to (or jumping into) each of the bases! 

10. Add A Sprinkler To Any Game

What’s more fun than getting a little wet during some of your favorite games? 

Next time you play an outdoor game, just add a sprinkler to the mix. 

Here are some well-loved childhood classic games to try: 

1. Red light, green light

2. Musical chairs

3. Duck, duck, goose

4. Freeze tag

5. Mother may I?  

The kids will have so much fun getting wet while playing their favorite games. 

11. Play Drip, Drip, Drop

This game puts a fun twist on duck, duck, goose. 

Fill a cup with water, have everyone sit in a circle, and pour a tiny bit of water on each “drip” head and then when you decide to say “drop” you’ll pour the whole cup on the person. 

Help kids understand to pour water kindly so small children don’t get frustrated when it gets in their eyes. 

12. Make Your Playset Slide A Water Slide

This is one of our favorite water activities at our house! 

Put the hose at the top of the slide and viola! Your kids will have a great time turning your ordinary playset into a water park! 

Make sure you have close supervision on your children during this because kids tend to forget that water makes objects slippery causing falls off of swings and slides. 

13. Play Water Tag

If you have water guns then you’ll want to whip those out for this water game! 

Have the kids take turns with the water gun being “it”. Once they squirt someone, they hand over the gun. 

Don’t have water guns? No problem. Use a plastic cup instead or even an old spray bottle. 

14. “Paint” With Water

Grab some old paint brushes (thick brushes work best) and fill a bucket with water. Let the kids “paint” the sidewalk or back porch. 

This is a great activity to help with fine motor skills. You could even throw in some letters or words that they need to practice spelling. 

We hope you are excited to try some of these fun outdoor water summer activities! Nobody should be bored this summer! 

Did you try out one of these water play activities? Which one was your favorite? Be sure to comment below so other moms know what was tried and true!