The dog days of summer are upon us, and we're all looking for ways to beat the heat. You can be the "cool" parent on the block by inviting the neighborhood kids over for a water day. Here are 10 fun water activities that you can plan with your children.
Sponge Dodge Ball
Buy several extra-large sponges, the kind that you use to wash your car, and fill several buckets with water. Have children stand in a ring with a few people in the middle. The children in the ring throw wet sponges at the children in the middle. When someone is hit, he switches places with the child who hit him. This also works well with water balloons.
Squirt Gun Freeze Tag
Divide kids into two teams. Have them try to squirt members of the opposite team. When someone is hit by a member of the opposite team, she must freeze in place until someone from her own team squirts her to unfreeze her. This can also work with sponges or water balloons.
One person holds a running hose up high. The other children go under it. The child holding the hose lowers it little by little each round. If someone gets splashed by the hose, he is “out.” The game continues until there is one child left who is the winner.
This is reverse Limbo. One person wiggles a running hose low to the ground. The others jump over it. The child holding the hose lifts it above ground little by little each ground. As an alternative, the child with the hose keeps it on the ground but wiggles it wider and wider each round. If someone gets splashed, she is “out.” The game continues until there is one child left who is the winner.
You can create your own sprinkler simply by drilling holes in a 2-liter bottle and attaching it to your hose. If you want a more challenging project, you can create a playscape with PVC pipe and drilled holes.
Get a very long piece of rope; long enough to extend across and beyond a kiddie pool filled with water. Divide children into two groups. Try to make the groups equal in strength. Each group grabs one end of the rope and tries to pull the other group into the water.
Water balloon hot potato
Have children sit in a circle. They pass a water balloon around as quickly as possible until you say “Stop!” Then, the child who ends up with the water balloon must pop it over her head. If you want everyone to get wet, you can use a soaked sponge instead of a water balloon.
Ziggity Zoom recommends that you fill birthday-sized balloons with water. Securely attach them to a long piece of string. Then, hang the string somewhere high like a patio or a tree. Have children take turns trying to hit the water balloons with a large stick or bat.
Slip 'n' Slide
Wired Geek Dad shows how you can create a homemade slip n slide using heavy duty plastic, foam noodles, Velcro, a sprinkler hose and some stakes.
Water obstacle course
Consider combining several of your water activities into an obstacle course. In addition to the options above, you could also add water buckets that kids need to step into, or have them carry a wet sponge on their head. Use your imagination — anything that gets the kids wet will make it fun.
You don't have to endure the summer heat in misery. Use it as an opportunity to have fun with your kids and build lasting memories.