This Labor Day, surprise your kids (and all the kiddos in the neighborhood) with a DIY backyard waterpark! Even though the school year has started, that doesn’t mean the days have gotten any colder. Keep cooler and celebrate one more summer day off with a waterpark party that will have every kid in the neighborhood clamoring to get in your backyard. The success of any children’s party relies almost entirely on entertainment, and if you don’t have a pool, fun DIY water games are a must! Try some of these easy to organize games to get all the kids involved (and drenched!).
image from super cute baseball party over at iCandy!
- Water Balloon Baseball: Fill a bucket with water balloons and batter’s up! Use plastic play bats, so the balloons don’t break as easily.
- DIY Slip ‘n Slide: Conventional slip ‘n slides are expensive and easily broken. Make your own using a heavy duty roll of plastic you can buy from any home supply store. Roll the plastic down a gently sloping hill. Stretch the plastic tight, using stakes at either end to hold it down. (Nail the stakes down surrounded by foam so no one gets hurt on them.) Have someone at the top with a hose continuously spraying the slide, and add dish soap for some extra slippery fun! Keep in mind, this backyard activity is for older children. Expect a few scrapes and bruises along the way. Check out this DIY slide from Digital Misery (http://www.digitalmisery.com/2010/07/best-slip-n-slide-ever-from-wiredgeekdad) if you want to try something more permanent.
- Fun Sponge Water Fight: Traditional water balloon fights end all too soon when kids run out of ammo. Make your water fight last longer with sponges, instead! Cut sponges in fun shapes (stars, hearts, leaves, fish), and put them in water-filled buckets strategically placed around the yard. Kids can throw sponges again and again and get soaking wet!
- Life-Sized Bubble Pool: Fill a kiddy pool with a small amount of water and a large bottle of bubbles. Have a child stand in the center of the pool, and use a hoola-hoop to create a large bubble around the child by lifting it up around him or her. Kids will have fun popping these massive bubbles!
- Holey Cup Batman!: In teams of two, have kids try to fill a bucket with water using a holey cup! Place two buckets (one filled with water and one empty) twenty feet apart. Give each child a Styrofoam cup with small holes poked in the bottom. The task is for each team to fill the empty bucket with water from the full one using only their cups. The first team to fill their bucket wins! Makes for a wet and wild game!
- Ball and Chain: Tie a water balloon to each child’s ankle. Have them try to pop each other’s balloons without breaking their own. The last one with a balloon wins!
- Water Balloon Parachute: Just like in gym class, use a parachute with kids holding the edges to throw water balloons in the air. Whoever they land on gets drenched! If you don’t have a play parachute, use a king-sized sheet instead.
- Pool Noodle Sprinkler: Block one end of a pool noodle with a plastic bag and duct tape. Poke holes along the length of the noodle with a knife, and put a hose through the other end. Turn the hose on, and let kids run underneath the noodle. This improvised sprinkler is great for toddlers!
- Water Balloon Piñata: Hang a couple dozen water balloons on a clothesline, and let the kiddos pop them for a quick cool down! It’s even more fun if they’re blindfolded!
- Hose Limbo: Just like normal limbo, but use a hose to create a horizontal stream of water. If you get hit, you’re out!
- Water Balloon Toss: A summer tradition, everyone will have fun with this classic water game! Vary the game by having the kids catch the balloons in bowls, buckets, or strainers.