When the weather gets hot, nothing beats water to cool you off. In addition to the more traditional methods of swimming pools, sprinklers, and squirt guns, why not get a few water balloons?

You can often find water balloons at a dollar store, so stock up. Fill a bunch at the kitchen sink and place them in a portable cooler. Ice is optional. (The cold water makes the splash more invigorating and surprising … and the squeals more high-pitched.)

A few games you can play with water balloons:

  • Set up two rows of contestants facing each other and have them toss a balloon back and forth to their partner, taking a step backward after each successful catch, until only one pair remains.
  • For a variation, cut the bottom off empty milk, water, or bleach jugs and use them like scoops to hurl and catch the balloons. Try to set a record for the most successful catches.
  • String a rope or net across the yard for a game of water volleyball. Have each pair of participants use a bath towel stretched out between them to catch and launch the balloons.
  • Relay race. Hold a water balloon under your chin. Run down and pass it to the next team member without using your hands. If it breaks, that player must start over. First team to finish wins.
  • Get a couple pairs of larger sweat pants and divide kids into two teams. One player puts on the pants and the others stuff water balloons in until the time’s up. The team with the most un-popped balloons inside the pants wins.
  • Back to back relay. Two players must hold a water balloon between their backs and travel the length of the yard and successfully deposit it (without using their hands) into the team’s bucket. Team with the most in the bucket wins.
  • Relay variation. Run down to the end, sit on your balloon to pop it, and then run back.
  • Sit in a circle and toss a water balloon back and forth across the circle. A missed catch or broken balloon puts that player out.
  • Try to make the biggest splat on the driveway. Outline each water mark with sidewalk chalk before it dries.
  • Mark a line down the middle of the yard and play dodge “balloon.” Players who get hit have to sit out for 60 seconds before they can rejoin the game. Play until you run out of water balloons.
  • Give each kid a container. Race to pick up all the broken balloon pieces. Kid with the most wins a special prize like a milkshake.

Happy popping!

(For more ideas for getting the family together and creating new memories, stop by on Fridays all summer long!)

What about you? Any other ideas to add to the list?

Summer Fun – Water Balloons
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