The days are hot, sticky and miserable, and a jump into the cool waters of a swimming pool is all you can think about. But, unfortunately, you don’t have one, and the idea of paying the cost of admission to the community pool every time you long for a chlorinated oasis is not appealing.
So, what do you do? You get creative with what you do have at home, and create a wet and wild time in your own backyard. Here are some ways to beat the heat if you don’t have a pool.
1. Water Balloon Fun
Water balloons are also synonymous with summer, and can be a great alternative to a sprinkler or inflatable water slide. But, instead of just throwing them at each other, have your kids make the fun last longer with water balloon games.
The water balloon bucket toss is a good way to get soaked and also a fun way to practice hand-eye coordination. One person acts as the balloon thrower and the other as the catcher. The one who is tasked with catching the balloons will be holding a bucket on top of their head. The thrower will then attempt to throw the balloon into the bucket without popping it. Whoever has the most balloons at the end of the game wins.
You can even trade in your candy-filled piñata for a bunch of water balloon piñatas. Paging Fun Mums strung balloons up on a clothesline and let her little ones go to town.
And if you want the fun to last longer, you can hide water balloons around the backyard or at the park and see how many the kids can bring back to you without popping them.
2. Soggy Sponges
If you don’t have dozens of water balloons lying around the house, then you probably have a cabinet full of cheap sponges. With some scissors and string, you can turn your hoard of cleaning tools into sponge water bombs that will provide hours of fun.
Include a bucket and you can play “Fill the Bucket,” where participants are asked to soak up a sponge in a bucket full of water and then run it to any empty bucket they have to fill before anyone else.
3. Other Water Games
Playing with water is fun no matter what form it comes in. And if you have some plastic cups, then your kids can play “Pass the Water,” where they try to pass a cup full of water from one child to the next without spilling it. We’ve all seen a child pour themselves a glass of milk, so you can imagine how wet they get playing this game.
If you’d prefer a more orderly water game, then give one child a spray bottle for a game of “Spray Bottle Freeze Tag.” The spray bottle holder is “it” and must try to get other children “out” by spraying them with water. If you’re brave enough, you could even have the children wear white t-shirts and add some food coloring to the spray bottle. This would avoid arguments about who really got out, and would create a cool summer souvenir.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.