Call me an overgrown kid, but it doesn't seem to matter how old I get. When the temperature starts to rise, I love nothing more than going out in the backyard to play a summer game with a kid where we both end up soaking wet. The wetter, the better, actually.
With schools letting out around the country, and the mercury on the rise, it's time to dive in ... and get wet!
1. Dry, Dry, Wet. Think Duck, Duck, Goose, only "It" walks around the circle with a soaking wet sponge in hand. Each time he taps a kid on the shoulder, he says "dry" (instead of duck) until he settles on his target. "It" squeezes that sponge over his target's head and yells "wet." The rest of the game follows the Duck, Duck, Goose rules.
2. Sponge Water Bomb Toss. I keep seeing tutorials for "bombs" you make from (surprise, surprise) cut up sponges and string. Dunk 'em in water, and the sponges naturally drink it all in. Make enough of them, and you've got perfect "snowballs" for a summer snowball fight!
3. Hot Potato. Switch out the "potato" for water balloons, and you've got a cool game for a hot day!
4. Pooh Sticks. Their favorite game from the books brought to life. The goal is to throw sticks into a water way at the same time, then run to nearest bridge to see whose flows under first. The wet part is going in to get your stick after it makes its way under the bridge!
5. Fill 'Er Up. Divide a group into two teams. One kid on each team gets a cup with a small ball inside (a ping pong ball works best, and you'll want a cup that's on the smaller side). Another kid on their team gets a spray bottle filled with water. The goal is for the kid with the spray bottle to squirt enough water into the cup for the ball to float. The first one to do so wins ... and will no doubt soak their friend!
6. Water Balloon Baseball. Get a plastic bat, a whole bunch of water balloons, and play baaaaaall.
7. Sink the Ship. Tie a water balloon to the ankle of each player -- that's the ship. Have the players run around trying to pop each other's balloons or "sink their ships" (while keeping their own ships safe!). Last person with a ship that hasn't sunk is the winner.
8. Water Balloon Parachute. Remember that big parachute the gym teachers would pull out every year? They'd have every kid in class stand around the outside, grab an edge, and lift it into the air, while they threw balls on top, which you had to keep in the air? This is pretty much the same thing, only you use water balloons in place of the balls. Don't have a parachute? Use a sheet or a big beach towel.
What are your favorite games to play with the kids when it gets hot?
Image by Jeanne Sager