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10 Cheap or Free Water Activities for Kids

This post is part of our July Top 5! Check out the rest of the best here.
{No Pool Required}
The very first day after school was out, the kids want to have a water play day.  I have decided to forgo the pool this summer, since I have a 2 year old that has learned to open the back door. (Ack! Got to keep my eye on that one!) So I asked our Facebook friends for ideas, used some from my own experience and found some on Pinterest.
After that first water day and a few others along the way, we were starting to collect quite a few water activities. So I thought I would share them with all of you.

1. Roll for Splash

All you need for this is a die and a pan.  The kids sit in a circle around the pan and if they roll a six they get to splash the water soaking the others and themselves.  The kids loved it.  We changed up the number after awhile and managed to sneak some learning into the game. I found this game on Pinterest in a Shark & Water Theme Fun post.


2. Sprinklers

Obviously this one seems like a no-brainer.  Kids love sprinklers and you don’t have to go all out and get a fancy one.  My kids love the one we use to water the garden almost as much as their fancy ones.
One of our Facebook friends suggested setting up multiple sprinklers, making an obstacle course out of them, or sitting by the faucet and randomly turning on and off the sprinkler as the kids run through them,avoid them or play “Mother May I.”  Great ideas to bring some new fun to the sprinkler!


3. Relay Race​
Water Relay: Sisters helping sisters
We got some cheap buckets and shovels and let the race against each other to transfer the water into another pail.  I love how they worked together in this game!


Grab some paint brushes and water and let the kids paint whatever they want. Read all about it here.


5. Slip n’ Slide

Our slip n’ slide was given to us so that made it cheap for us but if you don’t already have one you can make your own with a tarp, hose, and baby shampoo (makes it slicker!).


6. Bike Wash

Give the kids a bucket of soapy water and let them wash their bikes, cars, or other toys.  Or as my brother-in-law suggested, let them wash your car!  My kids love washing their bikes!  And of course rinsing them with the water hose.
7. Water Fight
Who doesn’t love a water fight, whether it be squirt guns or pails of water?  Our favorite way to water fight is with buckets or bowls in the sprinkler or with cups and a central filling station (like a large tub or even a pool, if you haven’t gone pool-less).


8. Marble Pick-Up

Simple game: throw Marbles in a tub or pool, and the kids have to get them in the bucket only catch is they have to use their toes! DP & Kae learned this game at school, highly entertaining for how simple it is.

My little guy just scooped them up with a shovel, but even he had a blast getting the marbles in the bucket.

9. Water Balloons
My kids are still getting into the whole water balloon thing, since the little ones tend to drop them before we even start playing with them.  But my kids do enjoy tossing water balloons back and forth. For a list of a whole lot more water balloon activities, check out these 50+ Water Balloon Games.
10.  Duck, Duck, Squeeze
My oldest taught us this game! This game is just like duck, duck, goose only there is a sponge involved!  Instead of saying goose, you squeeze the sponge over someones head!! If you aren’t familiar with the rules of duck, duck, goose, you can find them here.
Have fun and don’t forget the sunscreen!  What’s your favorite water activity for kids?
Happy Summer!For more fun Summer Activities check out our Ideas for Kids Board:

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Friday 10th of January 2014

These are great, fun ideas!


Friday 10th of January 2014

Thanks we had a blast with them! My sister used the duck, duck squeeze at VBS and even the tweens loved it!


Thursday 9th of January 2014

These are some fantastic ideas! I'm pinning for my daughter to try next summer! :)


Friday 10th of January 2014

Thanks for pinning! Hope your daughter enjoys them!

Michele Butcher

Thursday 9th of January 2014

This must have been a blast making this post! I love all of your pictures.


Friday 10th of January 2014

It was a blast!! It was a lot easier getting pictures of them for this post because they were having fun. Trying to get them to pose is ridiculously hard!