Three kids having fun in the pool and enjoying water activities

15 Summer Water Activities for Kids


Summer is an amazing time to create family fun memories for your kids.

Lazy afternoons come with endless water activities where kids can practice new skills, have a little fun, and beat the summer heat. Whether you want to pack in every activity you can think of, or if you’re just trying to cool off and have a little fun, here are the best summer water activities for kids.

kids playing with water sprinkler in the garden

1. Water Sprinkler

A classic for a reason, the sprinkler is easy, practical, and tons of fun. If you don’t already have one for the garden, you can pick up a kid version at any store. A guaranteed way to cool your kids down and add a bit of excitement as they run through the moving spray. You can carry younger kids with you through the spray, or let older kids try games like red light, green light, and sprinkler version!

Kids Playing Water Balloon Toss

2. Water Balloon Toss

A perfect group game, kids will love the competitive spirit of the water balloon toss. Have the kids pair off to gently toss water balloons with the goal of not letting them explode on your teammate. To make it more challenging, have each kid take a step back after a successful catch and let them work together to make the next catch even better.

3. Liquid Limbo

A wet ’n wild take on limbo, this game is a party starter that only ends in everyone having a good time. Use a stream of water from a hose to take the place of a limbo stick. Lower the limbo hose every round someone goes through until everyone is wet!

4. Over the Head Water Cup

For a serious take on a water cup race, have kids pass cups full of water over their heads down a line to fill up a bucket on the other side. It will take teamwork to trust the person taking your cup not to spill it on you, and concentration to make sure you don’t spill it yourself. Put the teams on a timer and whoever has the most water in their bucket at the end wins! We recommend making the prize another awesome water activity.

5. Wash Something

Here’s a fun family activity that you can make into whatever you want it to be. Little kids can put their toys in a wading pool or water table and learn about foamy, sudsy soap. Older kids can wash their big kid toys like bikes or scooters, reliving the fun that got them dirty and staying clean in the process. They may even have enough fun washing your car for you! Or at least wash their hot wheels while you wash the car.

Family Playing Water Gun Freeze Tag

6. Water Gun Freeze Tag

Grab some water guns, or even just squeeze-powered water bottles and let the kids run wild tagging each other with water. There are no winners and losers here, just plenty of strategic, competitive fun. Add a sprinkler to the tagging field to keep things unpredictable—someone will get frozen over the sprinkler and end up soaked!

7. Drip Drip Drop

This is the most refreshing take on Duck, Duck, Goose. Kids sit in a circle with one player holding a cup of water. The runner will drip small amounts of water on each kid’s head until the runner says, “Drop,” dumps the cup over one player’s head, and runs to take their place around the circle. Make sure you use a paper cup, as enthusiastic dunkers could end up tossing the cup onto the unsuspecting dunk-ee.

Kids Fishing

8. Fishing

Kids of all ages can enjoy fishing, in a paddling pool, big pool, or even a stream. Let younger kids scoop out toys from a wading pool with a net, and let older kids go fish for weighted toys resting on the bottom of a swimming pool. If you want to get out in nature, kids can “fish” for sticks that wash down a stream or learn the basics of fishing with a line and lure.

9. Water Park Play Set

If you have a play set or swing set in the backyard, add a little water to your play. Let a hose run down the slide, or add a sprinkler for the kids to swing back and forth through. You can even add a kiddie pool at the end of the slide for an epic splash landing!

10. Sponge Relay Race

Grab a few buckets and extra-large sponges and create an epic sponge relay race. The goal is to fill the bucket of water at one end, by carrying a sponge full of water over, wringing it out, and then running back. Add a time limit, so runners have to go for speed and accuracy, and whoever has the most water in their bucket wins!

Kinds Playing Volleyball at the beach

11. Volleyball

A classic pool game, cool off by putting up a volleyball net across your pool and wading through a game of volleyball. If you don’t have a net, you can set up a hose to create a stream of water to act as a net. This activity is fun for the whole family and an easy way to jazz up a pool day.

12. Water Balloon Fight

Dodgeball with a summer twist, a water balloon fight is a great way to get some energy out and cool off. You can play last man standing wins, or you can get creative. If your kids don’t like having a water balloon explode on them, try having them throw the water balloons at targets. Littler kids could try to either toss or carry water balloons into a bucket, trying to fill their bucket and not break any on the way.

13. Giant Bubble Wands

Take the carnival classic and supersize it for summer fun. You can get giant bubble wands from any toy store, fill a bucket with suds and create giant bubble magic. For the extra-supersized (or just the DIY approach) some rope and a few sticks will make the most epic bubbles your kids have ever seen.

14. Slip ’n Slide

Ah, sweet summer nostalgia. The slip ’n slide is summer memories waiting to happen, and they are so easy your kids can make them themselves. Either by a slide or use a large tarp and some garden stakes, run a hose over it and get ready to have some fun in the sun. An oldie but a goodie, the slip ’n slide is perfect for any family on a hot day.

Waterpark for kids

15. Head to the Water Park

If all else fails, head to a local water park for easy summer fun. You will find water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and wading pools—activities for any child, of any age. Our tip, go early in the season and either get a pass if your kids love it, or steal some of the water activities your kids love and DIY them at home. Then, have another trip at the end of the summer to celebrate!

We love water activities, and hope all of the above brings great fun! 

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