Make a water park in your own backyard

When the weather’s nice, it’s a crime to keep indoors. But no one likes becoming dehydrated, either! Thankfully, there are many fun water-based activities that you can set up in your own backyard for groups big and small to take part in. If you’re in need of ideas for fun, creative ways to cool down, we’ve got you covered!

1. Sponge Toss

This game makes a splash! Have two players stand 8 feet apart from one another, giving each one bucket full of water and a soaked sponge. Have them take turns trying to toss their sponge into the other player’s basket for a big splash! This game can be played with more players; if more, have everyone stand equidistant in a circle.

2. Water Tag

Everyone loves a game of tag, but players will work up a sweat quickly. Keep your kids hydrated by adapting it for summer with spray bottles. Instead of tagging, players can instead spray one another with cold water.

3. DIY Slip ‘n’ Slide

You don’t have to buy an expensive kit for this backyard classic. Simply purchase (or re-use!) a cheap tarp from the hardware store doused in soap and water.

4.  Ice Breakers

This one is great for the little ones. Before your kids go out to play, freeze some (waterproof!) toys in water, so they become encased in bricks of ice. Let your kids chip away at and excavate the toys–and cool themselves off with the pieces of cold, melting ice.

5. Water Balloon Pinatas

Hang water balloons from a tree or clothesline, and have kids take turns trying to pop them. The ensuing splash and cool-off will be just as satisfying as the traditional candy reward on a bright, hot day.

6.  Kid Car Wash

Set up a series of hoses and sprinklers and hang some sponges using stands made from PVC pipes to make a small-scale car wash for kids to go through. They can walk, run or ride a small toy bike or vehicle for an icy shower!

7. Sponge Brigade

Divide the kids into two teams, and have them lay in alternating positions so that a child’s head will rest next to the feet of adjacent players. Place a bucket of water at the start of each line. Players will have to pass a large, soaked sponge down the line and back using only their feet, starting from the one closest to the bucket. Whichever team does so first wins!

8.  Water Balloon Catch

Cut off the bottom of some one-gallon milk jugs and tape over the edges so no one gets cut handling them. Now, hold the jug upside-down–you now have an instant water balloon catcher! Have kids see how many times they can toss and catch a water balloon with their jug before it pops. They can also play catch amongst themselves with them!

9.  Duck, Duck, Splash!

It’s duck, duck, goose with a twist–water balloons! Play the game as you normally wood, but instead of calling “goose!” when choosing someone, drop a water balloon on their head instead!

10. Water Arms Race

Here’s a fun team game: string two ropes in your yard so they’re taut, with a bucket hanging from each. The buckets should each be on one end of their respective ropes; have teams compete to see who can push their bucket across fastest by shooting them with water guns!

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