I have lived in the Pacific Northwest so long than any temperature above 80 degrees might as well be 1,000. I am an admitted lightweight when it comes to heat and my kids are as well. Luckily, I grew up in the Midwest so I have a whole lineup of games to play outside when it gets hot.
1. Cold Potato – Fill a small water balloon with ice cold water and poke 3-4 holes in it with a pin. You want a slow but steady stream of water shooting out of the balloon. Pass it around a circle, hot-potato style and whoever is left with the balloon when the water runs out is the loser.
2. Marco Polo (no pool version) – Blindfold one person and give them a large water gun. Like the traditional version, the person who is “it” yells “MARCO” and the other people yell back “POLO” as they run around. The person who is “it” sprays the water and once someone is hit, they become “it.”
3. Dry, Dry, Wet – Like Duck, Duck, Goose, but much more fun. “It” walks around a circle of seated people, tapping people on the head saying “Dry, Dry, Dry…” Once they pick a subject, they yell “Wet” and squeeze a wet sponge over the subject’s head. The subject leaps up and chases “it” around the circle, trying to tag them before they get seated back in the open seat in the circle.
4. Wet Volleyball – Have one child stand on either side of a baby pool filled with water. Give them a water soaked sponge as the ball and have them take turns serving the sponge over the pool at each other. If the sponge hits the ground, the player on the opposite side gets a point. If it lands in the pool, the person that last touched it has to get in the pool and fish it out and they lose a point. (For the record, this game usually lasts about 10 minutes then both kids end up in the pool – but it’s the thought that counts, right?)
5. Freeze Tag – This is similar to the original version of the game, except each kid gets their own spray bottle full of ice water. Once they are hit with the spray from the person that is “it” they have to freeze. They are still allowed to spray other people that run by. Whomever is last to be sprayed is the winner.
6. Fill the Cup – Have one child hold a plastic cup with a ping pong ball inside it. The other child stands a set distance away holding a large squirt gun filled with water. They try to spray their water into the cup and get enough in it to make the ball pop out. Time them and whoever gets the fastest fill up time wins.
7. Stomp It Out – Fill small water balloons with ice water. Tie one to the ankle of each player with a string, leaving about 1-2 feet of slack. The goal is for the kids to pop the other players’ balloon while keeping their own in tact. The last player with a full balloon wins.
8. Water Relay – Divide the kids into two teams (this can be done with just 2 kids, so you don’t need huge teams.) Place an empty bucket for each team on the far side of your yard. Have the kids fill up a paper cup from a communal bucket of water at the start line and hold it above their head. They have to run across the yard with the cup over their head and dump the water into the bucket. Whichever team finishes fills the bucket first wins.
9. Squirt Bottle Barber – Have one kid put on swim goggles and cover their chin with shaving cream, creating a “beard.” Sit them in a chair and have the other kid try to squirt away the beard with a spray bottle. If you do this in teams, the first one to get a clean face wins.
10. Homemade Slip and Slide – Take an old shower curtain and lay it out on a soft spot in the lawn. Put shampoo (tear free) on the curtain and spray it down with water. Let the kids slip and slide away!