Hot weather can make us all feel tetchy, grumpy and want to flake out. If you can’t cool off in the shade of a wood or forest, try these easy water game ideas to get everyone active, giggling and making the most of sunny weather.
We’ve had fun browsing the best of the blogs to bring you these ideas that will work in your garden, yard or nearby park. They require very little in the way of kit, so are a low-cost, low-hassle way to cool off. Remember to have towels at the ready for when everyone’s soaked through! And don’t forget the sun cream!
Water obstacle course
The beauty of a water obstacle course is you can make it as simple or complicated as you like, using whatever space and materials you have to hand. The main principle is to get children running about and getting wet! Here are some ideas for creating your very own course:
• Washing up bowls (or similar wide containers) filled with water as stepping stones
• Balance a plank of wood across two chairs, put tubs of water on top and get the kids to crawl or limbo underneath
• Running through the hosepipe
• Water balloon piñata: peg balloons filled with water to a washing line
Apple bobbing tends to be a traditional Halloween game, but there’s no reason why you can’t adapt it for summer – icy water and peeled oranges (or peaches or other fruit that won’t suffer being in water for a while) are a great way to cool off hot faces! Simply fill a bowl or bucket with cold water, drop the fruit in and give each child a chance to ‘bob’ for it.
Duck, duck, splash
Do you know the traditional children’s game ‘duck, duck, goose?’ Here’s how to play in case you’ve not come across it before:
1. Children sit in a circle and one of them is ‘it’.
2. The child who’s ‘it’ walks round the outside of the circle, tapping each child on the head and saying duck.
3. When they choose, they tap a child and say ‘goose’ and then the two children race around the circle to be the first to sit down in the empty spot.
Now imagine that game with a cup of water – and you have ‘duck, duck, splash!’
A great way to practice throwing skills – simply load children up with wet sponges and invite them to throw at each other, while trying to dodge the other shots. It’s wise to establish some ground rules – such as no throwing at heads and no point blank shots!
If you’ve got some empty yoghurt pots or other cartons, simply add water, plastic toys and freeze. Then see who can excavate their toy the fastest. This works well as a larger ice block with multiple toys too, and children can work together. You could freeze a washing up bowlful of water if you have the freezer space.
We’d love to know your favourite ways to cool down outside. What water games do you play with your children, or remember from your own childhood?