Are you looking for some fun games to play with the kids in your church on a hot summer day? Wouldn’t it be great if you could have fun and teach the truth of the gospel at the same time?
With this ‘splashy’ fun event you can do just that. This event would be great from a neighborhood outreach, or a game day where kids can invite their friends, or even for VBS or camp.
So, grab some simple supplies (sponges, water balloons, cups, etc.) and a few buckets of water and you’re set for a day of fun with kids.
Summer Splash Event
For this event you should allow 60-90 minutes. It’s perfect if you need water games for camp or VBS. A suggested schedule would be to play 3-4 games, take a toilet break, have the devotional (which includes a snack), and then play the remaining games for the rest of the time. Many of the games are team games and depending on your view on prizes, you could stick to the same teams throughout the night and award a prize (a small water gun or a beach ball) to the members of the winning team. Or, mix the teams up to encourage more conversation between kids.
10 Water Activities for Kids Ideas
1. Sponge Freeze Tag– – To play this game you’ll need a bucket of water & 1 sponge for every 15-20 kids. Place a large bucket of water in the middle of the playing area. Designate one child to be ‘IT’ and one child to be the ‘Unfreezer.’ At your signal, kids will start running around the playing area being chased by ‘IT.’ When tagged, they have to freeze and in order to rejoin the game, the ‘unfreezer’ has to run over and squeeze a sponge full of water on their head.
2. Wet Head– To play this game you need one cup and one sponge for every 4-6 kids. This game is best played in teams of 4-6 and you need at least 3 teams for the game to work. If you have less than 12 kids, divide into smaller teams to ensure you have at least 3 teams. To play, have one member of each team stand at one end of the playing area holding a cup on their head. The remaining team members should stand in rows facing their team member about 3 meters (10 feet) away. A bucket of water with one sponge per team should be placed between the teams and the players with cups on their heads. Teams will take turns sending a player to fill a sponge with water and squeeze it into the cup of one of the opposing teams. The last team who’s cup hasn’t overflowed is the winning team.
3. I’ll Take a Cup – -To play this game you need teams of 4-6 kids each. For each team you need a large bucket of water (or one shared between 2 teams), an empty small bucket and a cup with 3-4 small holes poked in it. Teams line up in rows with the full buckets of water at one end of the row and the empty bucket at the other end. The child at the end with the full bucket will fill the cup with water and pass the cup down the row (child to child) until the one by the empty bucket gets it and pours it into the bucket. That child should then run to the end of the row, fill the cup and start over. The first team to fill their bucket is the winning team.
4. I’ve Got Your Back – – You can play this game either as teams or not. If you play with teams, you need one water balloon (or beach ball) per team + a few extra in case some pop. To set up the game, place cones or chairs in rows in the playing area – one row of 4-5 cones/chairs per team. To play, have teams line up behind their row of cones or chairs. The first 2 players will hold a water balloon or beach ball between them while standing back to back with their arms linked. The players holding the balloon/ ball will race around the cones and back to their team without dropping the balloon/ball. If they do drop it they have to run to the beginning and start over. Once back at the team they give the balloon/ball to the next 2 players who do the same thing. Play continues until all players have finished.
(If you play without teams, you’ll need one water balloon or beach ball for every 2 players and they’ll either all race at the same time, or run individually in pairs and be timed.)
5. Get in Gear– For this game you’ll need one set of swim gear – mask, flippers, towel, inflatable ring, etc. per team, with at least 2 teams. To play, teams should line up at one end of the playing area and piles of swim gear should be placed opposite the teams at the other end of the playing area. One player from each team races to the gear, gets dressed, races back to their team and takes off the gear. The next player puts on the gear, races back to the other end and takes it off. Etc.
6. Shoot Off – – For this game you need a can of shaving cream and one strong water-gun & 1 pair of goggles/ swim mask per team. One team member from each team comes to the front of the playing area and puts on the goggles. Then, using the shaving cream, draw a design on their shirt (a heart, a smily face, etc.). The rest of the team take turns spraying their team representative with water-guns until all of the shaving cream is washed off.
7. Drip, Drip, Splash – – To play this game you need a buck of water and a sponge. All of the kids should sit in a circle with a bucket of water in the middle. One child is chosen to be ‘IT’ and then fill a sponge with water from the bucket. Then, “duck, duck goose style” IT should walk around the circle dripping water on players heads. On one player instead of just letting the sponge drip, they should squeeze out all the water and yell “splash.” That player should get up and race IT around the circle back to their spot. They then get to be IT next.
8. Target Practice – – To play this game, you need something to draw large circles on the ground (sidewalk chalk in a parking lot works well for this). You also need sponges and buckets of water. Before play, draw concentric circles and write scores in the circles ranging from 20 points to 200 points. To play, kids will take turns throwing sponges into the circles trying to get the most points. The first player to 500 wins. This game could also be played in teams.
9. Whatever Floats Your Boat – – For this game you need 1 spray bottle, one ping pong ball and 1 plastic cup for every 2 players. If you have lots of kids, this could be adapted to a team game.
To play, one player holds a cup by their chest with a ping pong ball in the cup. Their partner will use the spray bottle to spray water at their partner trying to fill the cup and make the ping pong ball float and come out of the top of the cup.
10. Over/ Under Relay – To play this game, you need buckets of water and one sponge & one plastic cup per team. To play, one player from each team stands at one end of the playing area holding a cup. The remaining team members pass a wet sponge over & under (1st player passed over their head, next player passed between their legs) until it gets to the end of the line. That player runs to squeeze the water into the cup and then runs to the back of the line to start the relay over. Play continues until a cup is completely full
“Water Games” Bible Devotional
After playing 3-4 games, allow the kids to take a toilet break and then call them over to a shady spot for snack and a devotional. You (the leader) should have a large bottle of water and you should have a bag of chips or popcorn (something salty) for the kids to eat. You should also have water bottles for the kids, but they should be hidden out of sight at this time.
Hand out the chips (with no water) and stand in front of them drinking your water. Hopefully they’ll start complaining about being thirsty and ask for some water. Act like you don’t have any water and tell them to enjoy their snack while you talk about how refreshing your water is on such a hot day. Continue like that for a few minutes and then finally give in and bring the water out of hiding and hand it out. Allow kids to finish their snack while you go through the following devotional.
“Have you ever been really thirsty? I know you were complaining about being thirsty a few minutes ago, but have you ever been so thirsty that all you could think about was water?
The Bible tells us about a time when God’s people were just that thirsty. God’s people had been slaves in Egypt and God led them out of Egypt by His mighty hand. He rescued them by showing His power to the people of Egypt and finally with the blood of lambs who died so that they might live…but that’s another story for another day. God led His people out of Egypt and into the wilderness and that’s where the complaining started. We’re tired. We’re hungry. We want meat. We’re thirsty. We’re all going to die out here.
In Exodus 17, we read that the people started complaining to Moses about being thirsty and wanting water. And, it wasn’t just a few people, like you guys, complaining about water, it was thousands and thousands of God’s people. What was Moses going to do? Moses went to God and prayed and in Exodus 17:5-6 we read God’s response. (READ THE VERSES). Basically God told Moses that He would stand on the rock and then Moses was to hit the rock and water would come out. The Bible tells us that Moses did what God told him to do and God provided water for His people. God gave them what they needed at that moment. Water. The water to quench their thirst came from God Himself – but the rock on which God stood had to be struck. Remember that fact, it’ll be important in a minute.
Fast forward to the New Testament, and we find a story about someone being thirsty in John 4. This time, Jesus was thirsty and He sat down next to a well to rest. A woman came to the well and Jesus asked her for a drink. Then, Jesus said (John 4:10), “if you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” The woman was obviously confused. How would Jesus give her a drink? What is this living water. Jesus went on in verse 13 and said that the water He would give would keep her from being thirsty again. It was clear that Jesus wasn’t talking about water to drink. Jesus was talking about meeting a need greater than thirst.
Let’s think for just a minute. I just gave you water, does that mean that you will never be thirsty again? No, you’ll be thirsty in a couple of hours again. We need water all of the time.
Jesus was talking about filling a need that was greater than thirst. He was talking about eternal life. He was talking about meeting the greatest need that any of us have ever had and ever will have – the need to be rescued from our sin and given life with Him.
But, how would this be possible? How would Jesus give eternal life? Remember back in Exodus 17 when God gave people water from the rock. Where was God standing? What was done to the rock? God stood on the rock. The rock was struck and God met the needs of His people. In order to give living water and eternal life to His people, Jesus would be struck and He would meet our greatest need.
It happened just like that. Jesus stood in our place and He was struck. He received the punishment that we deserve for our sin. He died on the cross in our place. And His death brought life to His people. Jesus is the living water that He was offering to the woman by the well. Jesus is the answer to our greatest need.
Next time you’re thirsty, think about this story about how God met the greatest need of His people through Jesus’ death on the cross.
Close in prayer, thanking God for the way He meets the needs of His people. Thank Him specifically for meeting our greatest need (salvation) through Jesus’ death in our place. Pray that kids would come to understand their need for salvation and would look to Jesus as the only one who can meet that need in their lives.
Don’t miss another list of of fun water games for kids on our website.