The key to a successful kid’s birthday party is to keep the children busy, moving smoothly from one activity to another. However, in the heat of summer, parents have two choices: either have the party indoors or find a way to keep children cool outside. Water activities are an obvious way to keep children cool while they have fun. With a little ingenuity, there are many water games suitable for children of all ages.
Sponge Relay Race
For this game, you will need four buckets, two sponges, a garden hose and a group of children preferably in bathing suits. Make a line on two of the buckets and place them about 4 feet at one end of the play space and the other two buckets about 4 feet apart at the other end of the play space. Make sure the pairs of buckets are at least 10 to 15 feet apart. Fill the unmarked pair of buckets with water. Split the children into two groups and line them up next to the full buckets. Hand the first child in each line a sponge. Instruct the kids to dip the sponge into the full bucket of water, run to the marked bucket and wring out the sponge. The player must then run back to the full buckets and hand the sponge to the next player. Play continues as players run with full sponges to fill the marked buckets. The first team to fill the bucket to the line wins.
Fill It Up
Split the entire group into pairs of two. Supply each pair with a plastic cup, a ping pong ball, and a spray bottle. Keep a large bucket handy for refills. Put down two ribbons or two long strips of tape at least six feet apart. Place the ping pong ball into the cup, give the cup to one of the pair and place the child behind one of the lines. Give the bottle to the other child and place her behind the other line. The child with the bottle sprays into the cup with the ping pong ball. The first team that fills the cup with enough water to float the ping pong ball to the top of the cup wins. To make the game more challenging, announce the rule that if either team member steps over the line, the child holding the cup must dump out the water and start again.
Pop Goes the Water Balloon
Fill a wading pool with water. Dump at least two water balloons per child into the pool. Instruct the children to get into the pool and pop the water balloons, but they can only pop the balloons by sitting on them.
Attach a spray nozzle to the hose and turn the nozzle to make a straight stream. Line up the children in a single line. As you play limbo music, ask the children to duck under the stream of water. Any child that crosses the stream of water is out for that round. After the entire line passes under the stream, lower the water a few inches. Continue to play until only one child remains.