With scorching temperatures this summer, cooling off with some water games might just be the fun you need at your next children’s event. Here is an arsenal of popular water games to use at your next Vacation Bible School, Day Camp, church picnic, family day, or in your own backyard.
All that is required for most of these games are water balloons, giant sponges, containers, and access to a LOT of water. And of course a heads up for parents that it will be a “Water Day!” Make sure you are ready for a soaking as well! Ready, set, splash!
1. Water Balloon Spoon Races: Fill up small water balloons and race them on a spoon, much like an egg race. First to the finish line with balloon intact wins!
2. Water Balloon Toss: Grab a partner and stand across from them. Toss a water balloon back and forth, stepping further back with each toss. For a variation, consider catching the balloon in a bowl, bucket, or towel.
3. Dunk Tank, Water Balloon Style: There is no point to this one, except for getting wet. Place the water balloon on your head and squeeze until it pops. Substitute water balloons for water balls or giant sponges. Who looks the wettest?
4. Water Balloon Teamwork: Divide children into two teams. Have the children pair up within their team with a partner, back to back and linking arms. Place a water balloon between the two players. Have them carefully walk to a designated spot with a bucket. Together, they must get the water balloon in the bucket without popping it. After they run back, the next two players can go. The team with the most intact water balloons is the winner at the end.
5. Water Balloon Smash: Divide players into two teams and give everyone one water balloon. The objective is to run to a designated place with the balloon, sit on it to smash it, and run back.
6. Wet Sponge Relay: You will need two buckets filled with water, two empty jars, and two large sponges (like car wash sponges) for this game. Form two teams. Each team makes a line next to a bucket filled with water. When the game starts, have the first member of each team put the sponge in the water, put it on their head, and run towards a jar at the other end of the playing area. Squeeze the water into the jar and run back. Continue on with the rest of the players. The first team to fill the jar to overflowing wins.
7. Wet Sponge Over and Under Relay: You will need the same supplies as the Wet Sponge Relay. Form two teams. Each team makes a line. There is a bucket in front of the first player and a jar behind the last player. The first player fills the sponge and with two hands lifts it over his/her head to the next player. The next player takes the sponge and hands it back under their legs. Continue to hand it back over and under until you reach the last player, who squeezes it in the jar. Then he/she runs towards the front of the line to fill the sponge again and pass it. The first team to fill the jar to overflowing wins.
8. Wet Sponge Hot Potato: Everyone sits in a circle. Play music or sing a song. Pass the wet sponge around the circle. When the music has ended (just play a short segment) or the song is over, the person left with the wet sponge can squeeze it over their head. They can also choose to squeeze it over another child’s head. Refill the wet sponge and play again.
9. Wet Sponge Tag: Play the traditional game of tag. Designate a person to be “It”. “It” should have a wet sponge and run around to chase the others with it. The first person tagged becomes the next “It” and refills the sponge with water.
10. Wet Sponge Basketball: Divide the children into pairs and give each pair a wet sponge. One child will hold their arms in a hoop in front of them. The other will shoot for the hoop with the sponge. Substitute hula hoops if they are available.