Backyard Water Games: Your Secret to Staying Cool
While back-to-school ads make it seem like summer is winding down, that doesn't mean hot days are gone. Save your water park money: There's so much you can do with a hose beyond plugging it into a sprinkler.
These five DIY backyard water games keep kids of all ages (that includes you!) happy and cool on the hottest summer days.
1. Build the Ultimate DIY Slip’n’Slide
You don't need to purchase brand-name products to have fun. Instead, spread a tarp or piece of clear plastic sheeting over a slope in your yard. (Depending on how long you want your slide, you may need more than one.) Near the top of the slide, place your sprinkler or a hose with the nozzle set to a steady mist.
The key to keeping the slide slippery is to add an inexpensive shampoo to the tarp or plastic. If you want to improve your slide further, homemade slide experts have plenty of suggestions, including what to do if you have a flat lawn.
2. Embrace Water’s Frozen Form
Fill an inflatable pool with water and add in ice cubes. Give each person a small bowl or bucket and challenge them to move as many ice cubes as they can from the pool to their bucket – using only their feet. You can make it more challenging by only allowing one foot to touch the ground, creating a balancing act that may result in some major splashing.
3. Put a Twist on Twister
The vinyl mat of a Twister board is practically built for getting wet. Lay it out on your lawn, position the sprinkler nearby and let the water flow. As soon as the board is wet, it'll be a challenge for anyone to stay up – or dry – for long.
You can also tape water balloons down to each dot, ensuring that everyone gets soaked.
4. Play Water Balloon Baseball
Fill balloons. Grab a bat. Pitch and swing! This water-filled take on baseball makes for good batting practice and even better summer fun.
Alternatively, fill water balloons and hang them from a tree branch or clothesline. Blindfold participants, spin them around and let them loose on the balloons for a piñata-style game where everyone ends up getting splashed with water instead of candy.
5. Do the Limbo, Sprinkler Style
If you're feeling extra crafty, hit your hardware store and pick up supplies for sprinkler limbo. Make a quick sprinkler-system-turned-limbo game by drilling holes in PVC pipe and connecting your hose. Other game options with PVC pipes include constructing a water "net" for volleyball or a run-through sprinkler.
For even more fun, think of ways to incorporate water or ice into your favorite backyard games. You could, for example, replace the beanbags in cornhole with water balloons.
If you're ready for the ultimate backyard cooldown, combine several of these water game options into a water obstacle course.
No matter what you try, you can bet there won't be anyone complaining about the heat for long!