Looking for a great way to help the kids cool off on a hot day? It’s hard to beat water balloons! Odds are that everyone is going to end up wet and cool by the end of an afternoon with them. And you don’t have to be a youngster to enjoy them, either!
A fun afternoon with water balloons requires just three things: water, balloons, and people who don’t mind getting wet! Of course, you should plan for this to be an outdoor activity, too.
Filling Water Balloons
The number of balloons you need to fill depends on how many people will be participating and what games you’ll be playing. But you’ll want at least a few dozen to make for a really enjoyable day!
You can fill the balloons directly from the hose or faucet, but it can be a messy, difficult process. A small funnel can help make sure the water gets inside the balloon. There are also some great devices that fill multiple balloons at once.
Fill the balloon slowly to lower the risk of it breaking. You don’t have to fill it too much, either. In fact, you’ll raise the suspense level if it’s “full” but not stretched to the limit. That way, you’ll never be sure when it’s going to pop and drench the recipient!
Most people use a host to fill their balloons, but water usually ends up going everywhere, and balloons break accidentally.
Instead, you can fill the balloons in the kitchen sink, where you have more control over the force of the water. You can even get a nozzle to insert into the balloon. Another option is to use an old liquid soap dispenser to squirt water into the balloon. It’s a bit slower but a lot neater!
Tie the balloon the way you would tie one filled with air. If you have trouble doing it with your fingers, try wrapping the neck of the balloon around a popsicle stick a few times, then pull the end through the loop you’ve created.
11 Great Games For Kids, Teens, and Adults
Now let’s get to the fun! Here are some of our favorite games to play with water balloons!
Water balloon toss
This popular classic can be played by two or more people Most often, it’s played in pairs, but you could easily have groups of 3 so everyone can be involved.
Players stand a couple of feet apart and gently toss the water balloon underhanded to their partner. After each successful toss, they take a step backward. The goal is to catch the balloon without it breaking.
With four or more, break up into teams of two.The winners are the last to have an unbroken balloon!
Water balloon fight
The object here is completely the opposite of the toss we just described. This time, you want to get everyone else as wet as possible!
You can have teams, but usually this is a free for all. And it’s often a no-holds-barred attempt to just soak your friends.
Everyone should have equal access to a supply of water balloons. Then just start throwing them at each other! Hit your target directly or splash them with a nearby ground shot.
There’s no winner or loser, but it’s sure a ton of fun!
Water balloon back-to-back race
This one is done in teams of two. It’s best to try to match up people close to the same height.
The two people stand back to back and someone helps place a water balloon between them. Once all the teams have their balloon in place, they have to race to the finish line without the balloon dropping.
It calls for a lot of cooperation and patience, but that’s what makes it so entertaining.
Water balloon ring toss
For this, you’ll need a hula hoop or similar-sized ring in addition to a decent supply of balloons. Children can take turns holding the ring, while the others try, one at a time, to toss balloons through it.
There are a couple of ways this can be played. Each child could get a certain number of balloons to toss. Or it could be timed – who can toss the most through the hoop in a set amount of time. The winner, of course, is the one who gets the most through the hoop. And whoever is holding it will likely get soaked!
Water balloon tag
This is a unique variation on the old favorite. Instead of touching another person when you’re “it”, you have to hit them with a water balloon. You can decide if the balloon has to break or not for “it” to pass to the other person.
Water balloon rolling
How far do you think you can roll a water balloon without breaking it? Actually, this game probably has the fewest broken balloons involved. But it’s still hard to roll it along the ground for distance!
The winner is the one who can roll theirs the farthest.
Fill the bucket
Here’s another game where you have to carry water balloons from one point to another. The object here is to fill a bucket on the other end with as much water as possible.
On the starting side, balloons should be in a place where players can run back to get them. On the other side, there should be an empty bucket for each player or team.
When the game starts, each player or a team member picks up a balloon and runs it to the other bucket. They have to pop it and drain the water into the bucket. They then run back and get another balloon.
With teams, it works like a relay race.
Water balloon throw for distance
Throwing objects for distance has been a sport for time immemorial. Javelins, balls, discus, and . . . water balloons?
The goal here is to see who can throw a water balloon the farther without it breaking on impact. That’s no easy task! Players will have fun trying to develop an effective technique that gets them more than a couple of feet.
Water balloon ninja
We’ve named this one after the popular TV competition, “American Ninja.” It’s an obstacle course featuring water balloons! It’s a chance to be inventive. For instance, balloons could mark the path and the children have to avoid them while running. They could be placed on the top of hurdles. Or maybe they have to be held without being broken while crossing a balance bar.
Water balloon relay race
You’ll need at least four players for this as well as some chairs. This is, of course, a team game and you need at least two people on each team. For each team, you need a chair.
Place a water balloon on each chair, and a stack of balloons on the ground next to each one.
Players have to run from the start to the chair and sit on and break the balloon. They then run back and the next team member repeats the process.
You could have someone on the chair side placing new balloons on the chairs, or each leg of the team has to retrieve one themselves.
That means there’s a ton of wet bottoms – and a ton of fun!
Water balloon Easter Egg hunt
This one’s a little simpler and might be a slightly drier water balloon event. Maybe.
Simply prepare the balloons and hide them around the yard. You can even try to stuff tiny prizes in some of them (coins work well; some very small toys might fit, too)
You can have prizes for whoever finds the most, or maybe a certain array of colors. There are lots of ways to decide winners in this one!
Hot weather calls for cool fun, and water balloons are a great way to get there! With so many ways to enjoy them, you’ll never run out of great activities for children. And adults won’t mind getting involved, either, if it means they can get some relief from the dog days of summer!