With less than 5 weeks left of the school year, I’ve been on the hunt for creative and inexpensive ways to keep my daughter entertained when she’s not at summer camp. We spend a lot of time indoors seeking shelter from the misery that is winter in Toronto from December through May, and once the sun starts shining, I want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. I find the fresh air and Vitamin D does wonders for our moods and helps us sleep better, and since my sweet girl is desperate for us to put a pool in the backyard, I figured it was time to find some summer water activities for kids to help her stay cool on hot summer days. Here are 16 of my favorites!
1) Challenge your kids to a water balloon fight
Water balloons are definitely one of the best summer water activities for kids, and Amazon sells ‘Bunch O Balloons’, which allow you to fill and tie 105 water balloons in less than 60 seconds. I’m serious! Invite your child’s BFFs over for a playdate, gather the neighborhood kids together, or setup a family water balloon fight. The possibilities are endless!
2) Invest in a water table
Whether you have a full backyard, a small patio, or a tiny balcony, consider purchasing a water table for your kids to enjoy. I speak from experience when I say that this small purchase will keep your little ones occupied for hours during the hot weather months! There are tons of fun water table accessories you can buy, like this fishing set and this toy boat set.
3) Play Water War
If you’re looking for ways to stay cool while spending time outdoors, this game of Water War I found on Fred Meyer is a great option. All you need is a couple decks of playing cards, a plastic water pitcher, and plastic cups.
4) Setup a sprinkler!
While it can be fun to create elaborate summer water activities for kids to enjoy in the backyard, it’s always good to have a few no-fuss ideas up your sleeve for the days your kids are climbing the walls and you need a few moments to yourself. One idea to consider is to put your kids in their bathing suits, get the sprinkler going, and give them a few buckets to play with. We’ve tried several kids sprinklers over the years, but I find they typically fall apart after only a few uses. We’ve had a lot more luck with this basic sprinkler system.
5) Make your own sprinkler
Speaking of sprinklers, did you know you can make your own out of a plastic bottle? Housing a Forest has all the details HERE.
6) Have fun with water balloon pinatas
If you have a clothesline and clothespins (this clothesline set from Amazon is fairly inexpensive), water balloon pinatas is another one of my favorite summer water activities for kids! I first saw this idea on Paging Fun Mums, and I think you and your little ones will love it.
7) Have a family super soaker fight
I realize that not everyone approves of using toy guns, and when looking for water gun alternatives on Amazon, I found this 6-Pack Water Blaster Set. They are fairly inexpensive and if you’re looking for no-fuss summer water activities for kids, make sure to have a few of these on hand.
8) Make a water blob
This DIY water blob by Clumsy Crafter is high on my list of summer water activities for kids I’d like to try. It looks like heaps of fun, and she makes it look so easy to make! I especially love her idea of adding glitter as I think that would make it extra fun.
9) Paint with water
This is another one of my favorite summer water activities for kids as it requires next to no setup, but always keeps my daughter occupied longer than I expect it to! Fill up a bucket with water, give your kids a set of different-sized paint brushes, and let them ‘paint’ your driveway, patio, or balcony. This activity works best on really hot days as the water dries quickly, allowing them to create new masterpieces over and over again.
10) Play spray bottle freeze tag
If you’re looking for summer water activities for kids, Kids Activities Blog’s Spray Bottle Freeze Tag is pure genius as it gets kids moving while also keeping them cool during the summer heat!
11) Make a pool noodle water wall
There are so many ways you can have fun with pool noodles (we’ve written an entire blog post full of ideas HERE), and this pool noodle water wall by Teaching Mama is super easy to recreate. All you need is a peg board (you can buy one at any hardware store), some zip ties, pool noodles, and funnels, and your kids will have fun for hours. I also love the idea of taking this inside and using it as a marble run on bad weather days (and during the winter)!
12) LEGO mini figure knock down
Another great way to keep kids busy outside is to setup a little target practice for them like this LEGO mini figure knock down by Toddler Approved. All you need is a water gun, some mini LEGO figures, and an upside down bucket. Easy, peasey.
13) Play ‘fill the bucket’
Whether you’re looking for summer water activities for kids that can be enjoyed independently, or as a group, ‘fill the bucket’ is a great option to consider. All you need is one big bucket of water as well as a sponge and small bucket for each player. The idea is for each child to run to the bucket of water, fill their sponge, and then race back to their own bucket to squeeze as much water out as possible. The first person to fill their bucket wins!
14) Keep cool with ice excavating
I saw this ice excavating activity on Gluesticks a couple of months ago and I can’t wait to give it a try this summer. It’s super easy to setup and you can mix it up with different themes and objects throughout the summer.
15) Make super soaker sponge balls
Creating your own summer water activities for kids has never been easier than with this super soaker sponge ball idea by Natural Beach Living! All you need are a few sponges, some string, and a bucket of water, and your kids will be squealing with delight!
16) Wash the car
If you’re looking for ways to get your kids to help out around the house this summer, hand them a bucket, some large sponges, some soap, and a hose and let them wash your car! If they hum and hah at the idea, consider starting a family water fight to lighten the mood!
I hope this collection of summer water activities for kids inspires you to find new and exciting ways to keep your kids cool and entertained during the hot weather months!
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