What’s the best way to beat the heat and keep your kids from the lure of video games and spending their entire summer facing the screen? Splash your way through this summer with these insanely fun water play ideas!
Water Balloon Pop – tie about 40 water balloons onto the clothesline or a tree in two different colours (team colours!) The object of the game is for members of each team to take turns being blindfolded and wearing a hat with a fork attached. They are then verbally guided by their teammates to their team’s colour balloon, and they need to pop the balloon without touching it. This continues relay style until whichever team has popped all their balloons first!
Beach ball race – Grab some beach balls, some squirt guns, and see who can move their ball to the finish line.
Fill the Bucket – you’ll need two teams, a bucket of water, a big sponge for each team, a container to squeeze the sponge into. Each team gets their sponge wet, runs to the other side, and squeezes their sponge into the container. This continues until one team fills their container or you run out of water. The winning team is the one who has the most water in their container, and they get to dump their water onto the losing team!
Duck, duck, SPLASH! This game is a cool twist to an old classic, Duck, duck, goose. Have participants sit in a circle. The child who is the Splasher has a cup of water and walks around saying “duck, duck, duck”, while splashing a little water on each participant’s head (this also teaches them the art of self-control – to not splash too much water if the person isn’t actually going to be chosen!) When he/she gets to the person who is to be tagged, they yell “SPLASH!!!” and spills the rest of the water from the cup onto the person’s head. The person then has to chase the splasher around the circle to beat them back to their spot, or else they are the new Splasher.
Colour hunt & sort – you’ll need ping pong balls, coloured Sharpies, a net/scooper of some sort, and a big tub of water for this activity. First, start by drawing on your ping pong balls; you can put a colourful star on each ball so that you have around five balls in each colour. Next, fill up your tub of water just an inch or two then grab a scooper. Let your little one explore and play, notice and comment on the colour balls your child picks up. You can set up colourful bowls around the water tub and see if your child wants to pick up the balls and place it in the similarly coloured bowl that matches the ball they pick up!
If you’ve got a pool, grab pingpong balls or wine corks and write down letters and/or numbers on them, and then drop them into the pool. Have your kids collect the letters of their name, the number that matches their age (or two smaller denominations that equal their age) … the possibilities are endless! You can even write the sight words your child is learning at school, review them, and then get him/her to swim and hunt for the sight words.
We hope this has given you some ideas to beat the heat this summer!
Dr Lydia Soh is a registered psychologist who is a huge Harry Potter fan. Her passion for her work comes from a commitment to helping children and families develop their own toolkit of skills and strategies to achieve positive learning, healthy relationships, and mental wellbeing to lead a fulfilled life. Outside of her clinical work, she tutors at Monash University and spends her free time sweating it out at the gym or binging on the latest TV shows on Netflix.