A family’s backyard can be a year-round haven for outdoor fun. Try these five fun games this summer to create an action-packed water park in your own backyard. Keep in mind that the kids will be out in the sun, so coat them in sunscreen (and reapply), and have water on hand to drink to keep them hydrated.

Water Balloon Toss

It is similar to the classic egg toss game. Instead of two kids tossing an egg back and forth, it’s a water balloon. Two kids face each other about a foot apart. Begin by tossing the water balloon to each other. After each kid has a turn tossing, everyone takes a small step back and each kid tosses again. It will become harder with each step taken back.

Play until the balloon breaks. If you have an odd number of kids, arrange the kids in a circle together and toss between players. It will be more of a challenge than a competition.

Dribble, Dribble, Drench!

This game is a water version of Duck, Duck, Goose. Have the kids sit in a circle facing each other. Place a bucket of water in the center. Choose someone to be “It.” They’ll then go to the bucket to retrieve a water-soaked sponge. They’ll walk around the circle and say “dribble, dribble” above the heads of the kids until they choose who they want to drench. They’ll say “drench” and squeeze out as much water on this kid.

Like the original game, they run around the circle and try to sit in the empty spot before getting tagged. If tagged, they are out. Play until there is one person left. By the end, everyone will be drenched and definitely cooled off.

Sprinkle Freeze Dance

An oscillating sprinkler is needed to make this game happen. Turn up the music and everyone dances around the sprinkler while trying not to get wet. Stop the music and everyone freezes in their spot. Allow enough time for the sprinkler to make a pass. If the sprinkler gets someone wet they must remain frozen. If they move, they are out.

Turn the music back on for another round. Keep this up until there is only one left who isn’t wet – they’re the winner!

Water Limbo

This well-known game comes alive with a stream of water in place of a limbo pole. A hose with a nozzle is required to make a straight, steady stream. Each kid makes his or her way under the stream without touching the water. Lower the stream after every kid makes a pass under it. Kids can start off by walking under it while arching their back. If the grass gets slippery, encourage them to be creative: crawl like a baby, hop like a frog, or sliver like a snake!

Water Freeze Tag

This all-time favorite game takes on a new twist by tagging someone by squirting him or her with water. Thoroughly rinse an empty dish detergent bottle and fill with water. Now you have your tagger device! An important rule to enforce: Aim only from the chest down.

The kid who is “It” will try to squirt other players. If a kid gets wet from a squirt, then they must freeze in place. To be unfrozen, another player crawls under their legs to unfreeze them. Play until every kid has a turn of being “It.”

Photo Credit: Sara Kendall

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.

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Sara Kendall writes about travel, parenting and lifestyle. She is just as passionate about photography as she is about writing, so you will find her writing paired with her beautifully captured images. Sara’s work has appeared in numerous print and online publications including the following CLT ones – Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Parent and Epicurean Charlotte. Need travel inspiration? Check out Sara’s travels at latitudecrossing.com.