Backyard games incorporating water provide entertainment and exercise on a hot day without the necessity of a pool. The materials needed for many water games are items you probably already have around the home, making these games affordable and quick to set up when warm-weather boredom strikes and the kids need to cool off.
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Water Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses keep the kids moving for a solid dose of exercise. Incorporate the water aspect into a backyard obstacle course for a cooling activity. Set up a series of different activities or obstacles that the kids run through to complete the course. A sprinkler is a simple way to incorporate water. Set up the sprinkler along the course and have the kids jump over it as they run. Use a kiddie pool as an obstacle to wade through. Other ideas to include on the course are pool noodle hurdles, popping water balloons and transporting water from one bucket to another.
A large tub or kiddie pool of water holds the targets for this outdoor water game. Set Frisbees on the water surface with the bottom facing up. The Frisbees serve as the targets. The players toss sponges, small balls or other lightweight items toward the floating targets. Landing the item on a Frisbee earns the player a point. To add a challenge, have the kids take a step away from the pool after each round.
Water Balloon Transfer
This relay race requires the players to transport water balloons from one end of the field to the other. Each team needs a tub of filled water balloons. The teams should have the same number of balloons. At the opposite end of the field, each team needs an empty tub. One at a time, the players pick up a water balloon, run down the field and place it in the empty bucket. To make the game more challenging, specify how the balloon is transported. For example, you might specify that they carry the balloon on their heads or forbid the players to touch the balloons with their hands. The first team to transport all of their balloons wins.
Instead of the traditional limbo bar, use the spray of water from a hose for this game. Use a concentrated stream of water rather than a shower-type setting that shoots the water in several different directions. Hold the hose so the stream of water sprays at the desired height. The players take turns doing the limbo underneath the water stream. Lower the water spray each round until only one person is left.