No Pool? No Worries! 5 Backyard Water Games for Wet & Wild Fun

Photo by Dejan Ristovski / Stocksy United / 551625
Photo by Dejan Ristovski / Stocksy United

Who needs a swimming pool when you have a water hose, buckets, balls, and some friends ready to get soaked? These five fun water games make great summer activities for kids and are sure to make a splash during the next heat wave.

1. Water Hose Fun, Limbo-Style

Shoot a steady stream of water from the hose, put on some dance music, and have kids try to pass beneath the water while leaning backward. If they make it under, lower the hose a few inches and start again! (In drought areas, simply use the hose itself as the limbo stick, and splash anyone who doesn’t make it under with a bit of water before the next round.)

2. Jump over the Snake

Here’s a wiggly, wet water hose game that gets the kiddos jumping! Simply spray a stream of water close to the ground near your child’s feet, and have them try to jump over the “water snake” as it wiggles and shakes.

Little ones can jump with two feet, while older kids can try it on one foot. Try making up other fun rules for an extra challenge, like naming a word that starts with the letter B every time they jump. This game is also fun with a jump rope!

Photo by Cara Dolan / Stocksy / 53107
Photo by Cara Dolan / Stocksy

3. Ball Blaster

This water game uses a hose to “push” a play ball toward a finish like. To start, create a start and finish line in the backyard or driveway (jump ropes or kid-size traffic cones work great as markers).

Place a playground ball on the start line and show your child how to use the stream of water from the hose to “push” the ball toward the finish line. First ball to cross wins!

4. Water-Bucket Race

Set up a start and finish line like above. Give each child a small bucket or large cup, and fill each container with water. Challenge the kids to race in different ways—running, hopping, skipping, or Hula-hooping—and see who has the most water left in their bucket or cup at the finish line.

5. Hose Target Practice

Hang a few targets (like pieces of paper, water bottles, or soda cans) from a tree branch or fence, or draw a few targets on the sidewalk or fence with chalk. Use a hose nozzle with a handle to shoot bursts of water at the targets.

For more splashy fun, other children can block the streams of water with their bodies to keep it from hitting the targets. Whoever hits all the targets the fastest wins!

Let the backyard summer water games begin! And for a prize idea—how about the winner gets first pick of the popsicles? You could even try your hand at some of these homemade recipes.

Happy summering!

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