Backyard Water Games

The pool ain’t the only place for wet summer magic. Put on your suits and stay poolside. More fun to come!

Water Limbo

This game can be played on the back lawn. What you’ll need is a hose with a nozzle that will allow for a straight, steady stream of water. You can either play the game as a limbo game or a hurdle game. Use the steady stream of water as the limbo stick. Kids must maneuver their bodies under the stream of water without getting soaked. The lower the stream is, the harder it is to go under it. The stream will be lowered when every kid makes it under the previous stream.

You cannot crawl on the ground to get past the stream—you have to walk—arching your back as you go! If the ground is too slippery for kids to arch their backs while walking under the stream, let them hunch forward instead—we don’t want anyone to get hurt!

If you decide to play the game as a hurdle, you might want to put some padding on the ground because kids could slip when they land on the ground. Try some rubber matting—something that might have a little traction for wet, slippery feet.

Water Gun Wars

Here’s a good way to enjoy a hot summer day without a swimming pool. For this game, you might want to invest in some of those supersoaker water guns. They don’t have to be the super-powered supersoakers because, again, the idea of water play is safety. But some of the super capacity but low-powered supersoakers are perfect. If you can’t get a supersoaker, a regular water pistol will do. To play the game, you can just fire at each other, or you can include a game of Tag in all the squirting!

The player who is “It” gets the water gun and must tag the other players by squirting them with the gun. The person who is tagged first gets to take over the gun and do the squirting.

Try playing this game as Freeze Tag. You must freeze in place when you are squirted by the water pistol. You can be unfrozen by having another player crawl (or swim) between your legs. If “It” manages to freeze everyone, he or she gets to squirt again.

You can also play that “It” has the pistol, but only until he or she is tagged by another player. If “It” cannot squirt the player before being tagged, he or she must relinquish the power of the pistol to the person who tagged him or her.

Three Strikes

Please only use the water pistols inside your yard and always make sure they are brightly colored. There are too many horror stories in the news these days about kids and realistic-looking toy guns. Be careful!

You can also play this game in the pool. It just makes it harder to get out of the way when you’re waist-deep in water.


Try this game on a really hot summer day in your backyard kiddie pool. Kids will love it, but believe me—if it’s hot enough adults will play, too.

Fill the kiddie pool with water and add ice cubes! Have each person try to remove the ice cubes with their feet. You’ll be cool before you know it! For a real challenge, have each person remove the ice cubes using only one foot. The person to remove the most ice cubes is the winner. With adults, don’t worry about who wins—just think … “cold!”

More on: Games

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Family Games © 2002 by BookEnds, LLC. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon’s web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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