Sweating through a heat wave this summer? Cool off with these fun water games and activities for kids and families, all recommended by Circle of Moms members.
1. Water Fights
Who doesn't love a good water fight on a hot summer day? Whether you're throwing water balloons, squirting water guns, or spraying hoses, trying to soak your friends really never gets old. Even if you don't have water toys on hand, you can easily organize a game with household items, says Char C.: "Have a water fight with buckets and cups — simply place the buckets at opposite ends of the yard, fill with water hand kids cups. Explain [that] they can't pick up the buckets, and let them go at it — more fun than water guns and harder to avoid getting wet."
2. Slip 'n Slides
As simple as the Slip 'n Slide concept may be (douse a stretch of plastic in water, run, slide!), the fun factor is huge and can easily entertain kids for hours outside. Even adults like Becky say they want to try: "My mom never let us have a Slip 'n Slide when we were younger. Someone got one for the girls last year but it's not big enough for adults....so I want an adult Slip 'n Slide." Just be careful how much water your lawn is drinking up!
3. Frozen Toys
Freezing toys in water is another way to have fun with water outside. As Nicole K. suggests: "Freeze small containers of water with toys in them and take them out to play with while they melt." Or, include a surprise factor by freezing toy-filled water balloons, as Teresa V. recommends: "Put some fun small rubber toys inside of balloons, then fill them with water like a regular water balloon and freeze them. When ready, kids pick whatever color balloon they want, peel away [the rubber] and wait for their prize to appear. All ages like this one."
4. Inflatable Water Slides
An inflatable water slide requires more efffort and expense than other activities on this list, but many moms say the payoff is worth it. As Sarah D. recalls of her son's birthday: "My boyfriend rented a giant inflatable water slide, which was a huge hit not only with the kids, but myself! Jude kept hugging me and telling me I was the best mom ever."
5. Water "Painting"
On the other end of the cost spectrum, painting on a dry sidewalk with water could hardly be more simple or affordable. Circle of Moms member JuLeah explains: "Give them paint brushes and buckets of water, too. Kids love to paint with water. It dries in the sun, and they can paint again." Or add chalk to make washable colored water, suggests Amie T.: "You can also take broken pieces of chalk and crush them up. Add some water and let them 'paint' on the house or a fence. It's chalk so it washes off with a quick run of the hose."
6. Sprinklers and Splash Pads
Kids love running through, hopping over, and dodging sprinkler spray. If you don't have a sprinkler-friendly yard, look for local sprinkler parks or splash pads. (A splash pad is a space for water play that has fountains or sprinklers but no standing water.) Rebecca T. shares: "We spend MANY hot days at our splash pad up the street and my son LOVES it.
Pools are, of course, a trusty standby for summer water play. "Check and see if your city has a splash park or wading pool," suggests Amanda V. Or, if you have young kids and a yard, a small inflatable kiddie pool is another great way to cool off. As Tiffany H. relays: “[I] just bought the kids a small pool. It isn't much, but the three of them can fit in it and it keeps them cool.”
How are you staying cool this summer?