5 Fun Water Games to Keep Kids Safe and Cool This Summer

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Water games are a great way to beat the heat and you can do them right in your own backyard. Kids will stay safe and cool, and you won’t have to spend a ton of money to make it all happen. Gather up a few materials, make sure you have access to water, and get to building those fun water games for your kids.

Make a foil river

Using aluminum foil, build a little river that runs into a “pool” made from a storage bowl. Take cups of water and pour them onto the foil, letting it run down. Use plastic bathtub toys in the river and watch them float to the “pool.” This is a game best done with toddler and babies. They will enjoy watching their favorite bath time friends float in the river.

Water balloon wars

Divide the kids into teams and let them pelt each other with water balloons. You can set this up with rules or let it be a free-for all. This is a game best done with older kids, but if you have younger kids you can help them out, too. Make sure you use balloons designed for water use to hold up the handling they will receive.

Water fun obstacle course

Use a kiddie pool and set up an obstacle course where your kids have to run around the course and, at some point, jump in the pool to complete the course. You can use more than one pool, sprinklers, a hose, water guns, and even water balloons to make this course challenging and surprising for younger and older kids.

Duck, Duck Goose kiddie pool

Have the kids sit in a kiddie pool and play Duck, Duck, Goose. Or have them sit outside of the pool in a ring and the pool can be the “safe zone” when the kids jump into it. Either way, it’s loads of fun for kids of all ages.

Water gun targets

Set up targets in the backyard and have kids try to shoot them with water guns. You can also have kids play a game of water gun tag with one another. All you need is a few water guns and space to run! If you want to make it really fun, add in ice cold water instead of regular tap water.

What kind of water games do your kids play during the summer?

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About Catherine

Catherine is a self-proclaimed "organization junkie" living in Los Angeles. She blogs about family, entertainment, food and anything else that pops into her mind.


  1. These all sound great. Will have to try doing some with my nieces!

  2. these are fun games! my son would love to play water guns target

  3. there were a few kids in the park this past weekend that were playing water balloons. they were having a blast. unfortunately, they, and the parents that were with them, did not pick up the left over balloon garbage!

  4. Great ideas. I pinned this!

  5. Thanks for sharing. My son would have a blast with these.

  6. Fun ! thank you for the ideas :)

  7. Nicole Dz says:

    We love the water balloon fights and we also have a slip n slide game we play. Great suggestions here.

  8. Some great ideas. I especially like the duck duck goose kiddie pool one.. I loved playing duck duck goose as a kid

  9. Cynthia C says:

    I like these ideas. I also used to give my kids a bucket of water and old paintbrushes to “paint” pictures on the sidewalk

  10. Kathy Lausche says:

    What great ideas! We always have water balloon fights when the grandkids come over.

  11. The foil river sounds like such a fun idea! I like water activities where I don’t have to worry too much about the little ones.

  12. Dana Rodriguez says:

    It has been such a hot summer.These are all wonderful ideas!

  13. Birdiebee says:

    You have some wonderful choices here. I appreciate the sharing as always looking for free/inexpensive summer fun with the grandkids.

  14. Christy Peeples DuBois says:

    What children don’t like playing in the water. And I’m this heat in order to make it bearable to be outside water needs to be involved. I will keep these I’m mind for the kids to play.

  15. These all sound like great ideas. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Alyssa Lee says:

    Love playing water games with my little brothers and sisters.

  17. Tracy Melhinch says:

    We always have water gun fights! I think the adults have more fun then the kids. We had to buy extra guns so the adults would share!

  18. Priscilla S. says:

    Great ideas though I’m partial to the water balloon wars. So much fun!

  19. Amy Orvin says:

    What fun ideas! I especially love the Water balloon wars!! I would love to play that one, too. :)

  20. Jill Myrick says:

    The water balloons and water guns are a must here in the summer, even my husband has his own water gun. The other ideas sound great as well, especially the obstacle course. My kids would love that.

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