Ready, Set, Splash! 10 Water Games for Kids

Kids will love these fun water games in the summertime.

With scorching temperatures this summer, cooling off with some water games might just be the fun you need at your next children’s event.  Here is an arsenal of popular water games to use at your next Vacation Bible School, Day Camp, church picnic, family day, or in your own backyard.

All that is required for most of these games are water balloons, giant sponges, containers, and access to a LOT of water.  And of course a heads up for parents that it will be a “Water Day!”  Make sure you are ready for a soaking as well!  Ready, set, splash!

1.   Water Balloon Spoon Races:  Fill up small water balloons and race them on a spoon, much like an egg race.  First to the finish line with balloon intact wins!

2.  Water Balloon Toss:  Grab a partner and stand across from them.  Toss a water balloon back and forth, stepping further back with each toss.  For a variation, consider catching the balloon in a bowl, bucket, or towel.

3.  Dunk Tank, Water Balloon Style:  There is no point to this one, except for getting wet.  Place the water balloon on your head and squeeze until it pops.  Substitute water balloons for water balls or giant sponges.  Who looks the wettest?

4.  Water Balloon Teamwork:  Divide children into two teams.  Have the children pair up within their team with a partner, back to back and linking arms.  Place a water balloon between the two players.  Have them carefully walk to a designated spot with a bucket.  Together, they must get the water balloon in the bucket without popping it.  After they run back, the next two players can go.  The team with the most intact water balloons is the winner at the end.

5.  Water Balloon Smash:  Divide players into two teams and give everyone one water balloon.  The objective is to run to a designated place with the balloon, sit on it to smash it, and run back.

6.  Wet Sponge Relay:  You will need two buckets filled with water, two empty jars, and two large sponges (like car wash sponges) for this game.  Form two teams.  Each team makes a line next to a bucket filled with water.  When the game starts, have the first member of each team put the sponge in the water, put it on their head, and run towards a jar at the other end of the playing area.  Squeeze the water into the jar and run back.  Continue on with the rest of the players.  The first team to fill the jar to overflowing wins.

7.  Wet Sponge Over and Under Relay:  You will need the same supplies as the Wet Sponge Relay.  Form two teams.  Each team makes a line.  There is a bucket in front of the first player and a jar behind the last player.  The first player fills the sponge and with two hands lifts it over his/her head to the next player.  The next player takes the sponge and hands it back under their legs.  Continue to hand it back over and under until you reach the last player, who squeezes it in the jar.  Then he/she runs towards the front of the line to fill the sponge again and pass it.  The first team to fill the jar to overflowing wins.

8.   Wet Sponge Hot Potato:  Everyone sits in a circle.  Play music or sing a song.  Pass the wet sponge around the circle.  When the music has ended (just play a short segment) or the song is over, the person left with the wet sponge can squeeze it over their head.  They can also choose to squeeze it over another child’s head.  Refill the wet sponge and play again.

9.  Wet Sponge Tag:  One of my favorite water games for kids. Play the traditional game of tag.  Designate a person to be “It”.  “It” should have a wet sponge and run around to chase the others with it.  The first person tagged becomes the next “It” and refills the sponge with water.

10.   Wet Sponge Basketball:  Divide the children into pairs and give each pair a wet sponge.  One child will hold their arms in a hoop in front of them.  The other will shoot for the hoop with the sponge.  Substitute hula hoops if they are available.

What are some of your favorite water games to play with kids? Click here to leave a comment and let us know.


  1. Margaret says

    The SAMs as duck,duck,goose.Soak a car sponge as you go around the circle and say duck duck you tap each person on the head then when you choose the goose you completely squeeze the sponge on them and run round and back to the gooses spot.

  2. says

    Fronzen T-shirt relay. Our kids LOVE this game. Fold and roll up a t-shirt. Put in a plastic bag and cover with water. Put in freezer. Kids have to “break” and unroll the shirts.The first one to get a shirt on is the winner.

  3. Sue Cole says

    I am off to Marrakesh soon to play games with children in an orphanage. These sound good fun

  4. lois says

    these games are so wonderful my grandkids and I will use them

    also for our family reunion.

  5. Kori says

    Also another fun water game is like the “wet sponge relay”. You use the same idea instead you use a plastic cup, with holes in it(the amount and size of the holes should be decided on age group). Divide the kids into two teams, and have a bucket of water for both teams at one end, and an empty bowl or bucket with a line on it (ice cream buckets work very well), at the other end. Have the first kid in line hold the cup. When you say go, have the first kid in line dip the cup into the bucket with water, and run as fast as they can to the other bucket and dump it in there. Then they run back and hand the cup to the next kid in line and they do the same thing. The first team to fill there bucket to the line wins. It is so fun to watch the kids run to the other bucket with the water seeping out the holes, and then watching them realize there is not very much water left in the cup. It is priceless. To increase the fun, join in, it is a very fun game. Hope theses helped.

  6. Kori says

    There is this really fun water game my sister learned at a leadership camp for FFA. It is a fun summer twist to duck duck goose. All you need is a plastic cup, and lots of people (the more kids you have the more fun you have). Have everyone sit in a circle,and fill the cup with water. Now just like in duck duck goose, have one person walk around the outside of the circle with the cup. Only instead of toughing them on the head and saying duck, they drip a small amount of water on there head and say drip. When they decide who they want to chase them, instead of saying goose, they dump all the remaining water in the cup on that person and say splash. Then they run around the circle and the rest of the game continues on just like Duck duck goose. This is a really fun game, if you have older kids i recomend you use a bucket for twice the fun and double the wetness. This game ROCKS!!!!!!!

  7. says

    What great ideas!

    Our church already had vacation bible school already, and it was at nightime, so the water games might not have been a good idea…but these are great for summer time fun if nothing else.

    Thanks again!

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