Backyard water play
Five wet’n fun games
A family’s backyard can be a year-round haven for outdoor fun. During those summer months, there will be days when the heat is unbearable and your kids will want to have nothing to do with being outside. “It’s too hot outside to play” is what you’ll likely hear. However, you can easily turn their thinking around by adding water. Try these five fun games to create an action-packed water park in your own backyard. Your sweltering backyard will take on a whole new kind of fun and your kids will forget how hot it is.
Water Balloon Toss
It is similar to the classic egg toss game. Instead of two kids tossing an egg back and forth, it’s a water balloon. Two kids face each other about a foot apart. Begin by tossing the water balloon to each other. After each kid has a turn tossing, everyone takes a small step back and each kid tosses again. It will become harder with each step taken back. Play until the balloon breaks. If you have an odd number of kids, arrange the kids in a circle together and toss between players. It will be more of a challenge than a competition.
Dribble, Dribble, Drench!
This game is a water version of Duck, Duck, Goose. Have the kids sit in a circle facing each other. Place a bucket of water in the center. Choose someone to be It. This kid goes to the bucket to retrieve a water soaked sponge. It walks around the circle and says dribble, dribble above the heads of other kids until It chooses who they want to drench. It says drench and squeezes out as much water as It wants onto this person. It runs around the circle and tries to sit in the empty spot before she gets tagged. If It gets tagged, she is out. Play until there is one person left, the winner. By the end, everyone will be drenched and definitely cooled off.
Sprinkle Freeze Dance
An oscillating sprinkler is needed to make this game happen. Turn up the music and everyone dances around the sprinkler while trying not to get wet. Stop the music and everyone freezes in his or her spot. Allow enough time for the sprinkler to make a pass. If the sprinkler gets someone wet that player must remain frozen. If the player moves, the player is out. Turn on the music for another round. Keep this up until there is only one left who isn’t wet – the dry player is the winner!
This well-known game comes alive with a stream of water in place of a limbo pole. A hose with a nozzle is required to make a straight, steady stream. Each kid makes his or her way under the stream without touching the water. Lower the stream after every kid makes a pass under it. Kids can start by walking under it while arching their back. However, over time the wet grass can get slippery, a kid could easily lose their footing and get hurt. Go loose on the rules and encourage them to crawl like a baby, hop like a frog and slither like a snake.
Water Freeze Tag
This all-time favourite game takes on a new twist by tagging players by squirting them with water. Thoroughly rinse an empty dish detergent bottle and fill with water. Now you have your tagger device! An important rule is to aim only from the chest down. Getting sprayed in the face could lead to unwanted water in the eye and some hurt feelings.
The kid who is It will squirt at other players. If a kid gets wet from a squirt, then that player must freeze in place. To be unfrozen, another player crawls under the frozen player’s legs to unfreeze him. Play until every kid has a turn of being It.
So, when the days are hot and your kids still want to be outside, you now have five fun ways to keep them cool outside. Keep in mind they will be out in the sun, so coat them in sunscreen and have water on hand for kids to drink and stay hydrated. Trying this new backyard fun will help keep your kids active, out of the house and smiling all summer.
Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mother of two daughters.