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Backyard Games That Will Leave You Soaking Wet

It’s hot out, so you may as well get soaked!

Margo Gothelf · 6 months ago

It's the summer, so why not turn every game into a water game? Especially a water game where you're guaranteed to get soaked. Some of these games require water balloons, while others just require a big imagination. Wait for a super hot day and let the games begin. Don't forget the extra towels! 

Water Balloon Toss


Source: Play Party Plan

Think you have gentle hands? Put your skills to the test and see if you can last the longest in a water balloon toss. This game starts off pretty simple and gets more challenging as time goes on, so don’t lose your concentration — unless you want to get soaking wet!

The Rules:

  • Players from each team stand facing one another. One player holds the water balloon and takes a step backward before throwing it to the opposite team. If the opposite team member catches the balloon, they must take a step backward before throwing the balloon back. If they miss the catch, they are eliminated. 

Water Balloon Musical Chairs



Put a summertime twist on the classic game of musical chairs and add in some water balloons. In this version, there’s no running around the chairs — the water balloon does all of the moving. That means you better be passing that balloon around the circle fast. When the music stops, whoever has the balloon is out and has to find a fun way to pop the balloon over their head to show they are truly eliminated

The Rules:

  • Set up a bunch of chairs and have everyone take a seat. Hit play on a song and keep the music loud enough so everyone can hear. While the music is playing, continue to pass the water balloon around the circle, until the music stops. When the music stops, whoever has the balloon is out and has to pop the water balloon over their head.

Water Balloon Tag



In this upgraded version of tag, you'll need to have quick reflexes! You’ll also need to be on the lookout for water balloons coming your way and warm up your throwing arm for when you do get tagged. There's never been a better time to multi-task! 

The Rules:

  • Assign one player to be ”it.” The player who is “it” will chase the other players around the area, trying to hit them with a water balloon. If they get hit with a water balloon, they are tagged and become “it.”

Water Balloon Piñatas

You don’t need a birthday to rip open a piñata — especially when it comes to water balloon piñatas. Instead of candy, these piñatas are filled with water, making for a giant splash when they explode. The bigger the balloons you use, the greater the splash will be.

The Rules:

  • Fill up a bunch of water balloons and hang them up in a high place using a rope. Using a Wiffle ball bat or stick, take turns swinging at the balloons until they explode.

Water Balloon Volleyball

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Credit: NAVFAC/CC BY 2.0

Trade in “bump, set, and spike” for “catch, toss, and throw” in this version of water balloon volleyball. The game takes everything you love about volleyball and gives it a summer twist. The volleyball gets replaced with a water balloon and instead of keeping the ball in the air, the goal is to catch the balloon in a blanket. You're going to want to fill up a bunch of balloons for this one. Something tells me a lot of them are not going to get caught!

The Rules:

  • Set up a regular volleyball net and have teams of two on each side of the net. Use the blankets to toss the balloons back and forth. Find the full set of rules over on It’s Always Autumn’s site.

Toe Diving


Source: Play Party Plan

Diving in kiddie pools is a big no. The only exception to the rule? Toe diving! So, how exactly do you toe dive? Fill up a kiddie pool with items that will sink. Then hop in and use your toes to see just how many you can get out! 

The Rules:

  • Fill up a kiddie pool with items that will sink. Then have two to three players hop in the pool and see how many items they can fish out using their toes. Play the game until there are no items left, or place a time limit and see who can grab the most. Read more about it on Play Party Plan.

Drip Drip Drop



You never know when the water is going to drop in Drip, Drip, Drop! This summertime game is a riff on the childhood classic game Duck, Duck, Goose. It has the same principles, but instead of just patting everyone on the head around the circle, you drip a little bit of water on their heads. The fun part comes in during the drop — or goose — as you'll have to recover quickly from a big splash in order to beat the winner. 

The Rules:

  • Players all sit in a circle and one player is picked as the dropper. Using a bucket or a cup, the dropper goes around the circle dripping a bit of water on each person’s head. When they are ready, they drop the rest of the water on top of one player’s head and run around the circle trying to beat them back to their spot. See more details over on The Educators’ Spin On It.

Jug Catch



Brace yourself — you're about to get soaked ... unless your jug catching skills are supreme! New to jug catching? Not to worry, just head to your recycling bin and pick out a few big jugs — milk, OJ, or anything of the sort will work. Make sure to cut off the tops so the water flows easily in and out of the jugs. Then head outside for a game of catch with water using the jugs. See who can fill up a bucket the fastest or who can catch the most water at once. No matter which one you choose, you'll want the towels handy for this one. 

The Rules:

  • Cut the tops off of two jugs and have the players stand about a few feet apart. Fill the jug with some water and toss it out for the other player to catch in their jug. Keep an extra bucket next to each player to then dump the water in to see who can collect the most water. In the end, measure the amounts to see who has won.

Cup to Cup


Source: Play Party Plan

Do you trust your friends? You better if you play a game of cup to cup! In this game, players sit on a line on the ground. The first player starts with a full cup or bucket of water and dumps it over their head for the player behind them to catch. The player then continues to pass the water down the line only using their cups or buckets. To make the game even more interesting, blindfold the players and communicate using words to catch the water! 

The Rules:

  • Players sit in a line with an empty cup in their hands. Then the first player takes a full cup of water and passes it back over their head for the player behind them to catch in their cup. The next player repeats the process using whatever water remains in their cup. See the details over on Play Party Plan.

Sponge Run



Cool down any relay race and turn it into a sponge run with a few simple tricks. Grab a bunch of big sponges and a kiddie pool or bucket of water. Then, before each lap, dip the sponge in the water and run with it on your head. When you get to the end of the lap, squeeze out all of the water remaining in the sponge. You might even want to pull out the goggles so you can see clearly on this one!

The Rules:

  • Give each player a sponge to dip in the water. Before each player runs, they must dunk the sponge into the kiddie pool or bucket so it is fully absorbed. They must then place the sponge on top of their heads and continue to run the race as they normally would. When the player finishes their lap, they must squeeze out the sponge into a bucket. The first team to empty their bucket or empty the pool wins. See more details over on Ultimate Camper Resources.

Water Balloon Fight



It's pretty much a rite of passage to have a classic water balloon fight during the summer. Split into teams or just go crazy throwing the balloons all over the yard. Add in some buckets, cups, or even the hose for a soaking wet good time! 

The Rules:

  • Blow up a ton of water balloons and go wild!