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Water Games

Water Relay Races and Much More

When you have enough players, a water relay race is lots of fun. They are especially fun if it is a hot day! Here is a great list for you to choose from. Enjoy!

Air Raid Relay Race 

You’ll need a bucket of water and several sponges and an obstacle course. If possible, make the obstacles large enough that a player can hide behind them. Assign two people to be the “bombers”, and give them each a bucket of water and a supply of sponges. Divide remaining players into teams. The two teams do the obstacle course as a relay, with the “bombers” trying to hit them. The “bombers” are only allowed to try to hit their targets until the runners hit the return line, and then those players are “safe”.

Fill the Bottle Relay Race 

You’ll need small paper cups and 2 empty plastic soda bottles. Divide the players into two teams. One person from each team will sit down and hold the plastic bottle on top of their head. One person from each team will fill up their paper cup, run to their team member holding the bottle, and pour water into the plastic bottle. This is a relay, so when the players return to the team, another team member gets a turn. The relay is over when one of the plastic bottles is full.

Keep the Bucket Full Water Relay Race 

You’ll need four small buckets filled to the top with water and an obstacle course. Put four buckets full of water at the starting line. Divide players into two teams. On “Go," the first racer on each team picks up two buckets and runs the obstacle course, trying not to spill the water. Continue with each player on the two teams until everyone gets a turn. The team with the most water left in their buckets wins.

Leaking Cup Water Relay Race 

You’ll need a bucket of water, two cups with holes in it, two empty buckets and an obstacle course. Divide players into two teams. The first player on each team fills his cup with water, places the leaking cup over his head and runs around the obstacle course. When the player gets back to the starting line, he pours whatever water is left in his cup into the empty bucket and hands the empty cup to the next player. The team that fills their empty bucket to a pre-determined point first wins.

Shaving Cream Shoot Relay 

You’ll need a water gun per team, shaving cream, and water. Divide players into teams. Each team must have one large water gun filled with water. Select one team member and squirt shaving cream on the front of their shirt. On “Go”, each player gets one squirt from the water gun to try and remove the shaving cream. Let each player have a turn until one team removes all the shaving cream.

Sponge Water Relay Race 

You’ll need two buckets full of water and two sponges. Divide the players into two teams. On “Go”, one player from each team soaks up as much water as possible into sponge and carries it to another bucket, squeezes out the water and runs back to hand the sponge to the next player. The team that fills their empty bucket to a pre-determined point first wins.

Up and Down Sponge Water Relay Race 

You’ll need two large sponges, two buckets of water, and two empty buckets. Divide the players into teams that consist of two lines and have the lines facing one direction. At the head of each line put a bucket of water, and at the back of each line place an empty bucket. Hand the first person in each team an object. On “Go”, they must hand the sponge to the next person in line, but only by passing it over their head. The second person in line must pass the item on by passing it under their legs. Each time the object reaches the last person, have them squeeze as much water out of the sponge as possible into the empty bucket, then run to the front of the line and be the new head of the line. They’ll fill the sponge with water and begin passing it back again, over heads and between legs. The race is over when everyone one of the buckets reaches its fill line. You can also do this race by having the two teams stand side by side and pass the sponge normally from one player to the next.

Water Balloon Pop Relay 

You’ll need a filled water balloon for each player and two outdoor chairs. Divide the players into lines of two teams and give each plsyer a balloon. Have a few extra balloons on hand in case any pop before the game begins. On “Go”, one member of each team will race to the chair, try to pop their balloon by sitting on it, and when successful run back to the team. This is a relay, so the next person on the team would then be able to go until everyone has had a turn. If you don’t want to use chairs, players can pop balloons by sitting on them on the ground.

Water Balloon Race 

You’ll need one filled water balloon for every two players (make a few extra in case any pop before the game starts). Have the teams race from one point to another, while carrying a balloon between them. The catch? They can’t use their hands to carry the balloon!

Water Relay Race

You’ll need four buckets and two shallow bowls (one for each team). Divide the players into two teams. For each team, place a bucket full of water at the starting line, and an empty bucket a distance away. On “Go”, have the first player from each team fill their bowl with water, run to their other bucket to pour in the water, and then run back to their team for the next person to have their turn. Have the relay continue until the bucket is full (or until the water level reaches a certain pre-determined height.)

Spoon Spill

When you spill water on your favorite drawing, it's no fun. But in the spoon spill game, when you spill water spoon by spoon onto a piece of construction paper, it's a race to the wettest! Sometimes, soggy rules supreme!

What You'll Need:
Dark-colored construction paper
Paper cups

Each player gets a teaspoon, a paper cup of water, and 60 seconds. Whoever gets their piece of paper the wettest from a distance of three feet in just one minute wins the game. But remember, no fair tossing your whole cup of water. The idea is to win this race one spoon at a time. 

One hint: Be sure to use construction paper. It shows (and absorbs) water better than other kinds of paper.

Water Balloon Cut-up

If you've ever tried to cut up a Polish sausage, you'll know the water balloon cut-up game -- except that the weenie you're about to carve is a water balloon. And the minute you cut into the "meat," you get wonderfully wet.

Prepare to get soaked with water balloon cut-up.

What You'll Need:
Water balloons
Hose and water
Paper plates
Plastic knives

Fill your paper plate with water weenies (long, thin balloons filled with cool water from the hose). Take your plastic butter knife in hand and wait for the signal to start (have someone blow a whistle or just say "Go!"). The first person to "carve" five "weenies" wins the race. No one to compete against? Race the clock instead. Set your best time, then see if you can beat it. 

A hint: Have the water balloons (lots of them, at least 15 for each player) filled before you start the game.

Instead of crying over spilled water, have fun with it. 

What is needed:

One large sponge per team
One bucket of water per team
One obstacle course
Two or more groups of friends
How to play:
Each person dunks their sponge in their bucket and places it on their head. They then proceed through the obstacle course as fast as they can with out dropping the sponge. If they drop the sponge they have to start all over and redunk their sponge. After getting through the course they pass the sponge to the next person who proceeds in the same fashion. The first team done wins.

What is needed:

One cup with a hole in the bottom per team
One bucket of water per team
One empty bucket per team
Two or more groups of friends
How to play:
The first person fills their cup and places it on their head trying to plug up the hole. They race to the empty bucket and pour their water into it. When both teams are finished, the team with the most water in what was their empty bucket wins.


Have players stand or sit in a circle outside. A water balloon is passed from player to player. However, the balloon is not passed around the circle as in traditional "hot potato". It is thrown across the circle from player to player. If a players fails to catch the balloon, or it breaks when he or she attempts to catch it, that player is out.

If a players intentionally throw the balloon hard to make it explode in another's hands, he or she is called "out". Older kids can spread farther apart if necessary. The game proceeds until there is one dry person left.


You'll need a bucket full of water balloons for this game. Divide kids into two teams and pair them up. Each pair gets a beach towel and each child holds two corners of the towel. One side begins by placing a water balloon in the center of their towel. The object is to toss the balloon from one pair of kids to another, with the opposing side catching the balloon in their towel.

This can be played with a net, or simply pace off a distance between opposing teams. Kids volley back and forth till someone misses and the balloon breaks. This gives the other team a point.

For small children, use a sheet or blanket instead of towels. Divide into two teams and have each child hold onto the edge of the one of the sheets. Volley until one of the teams misses.


Divide players into two teams and line them up from start to finish line. Players each have a bucket in hand. A kiddie pool or large bucket is available at the starting line. The player closest to the water source scoops up a bucketful and pours it into the next closest player's bucket. That player turns and does the same, and so on down the line.

The last player dumps whatever water is left into the finish line bucket. The first team to fill their bucket wins. Kids will get excited and try to go fast, spilling water on themselves and each other. Good for a nice hot day.


A twist on traditional tag, this game is played with a big soft sponge like the kind used to wash your car. The player who is "It" must use the wet sponge to tag another player, who then becomes the new "It". There will be no doubt about who is tagged because they'll be wearing a big wet splat mark on their back!

Pass the Sponge

Fill up one large bucket with water and place an empty container at the other end. Have the kids line up single file between the containers. Use a large sponge - like you would use on your car. The first person in line dunks the sponge in the water then passes it over their head to the next person. The kids continue to pass the sponge overhead from person to person until it gets to the end of the line. The person at the end of the line squeezes all the remaining water out of the sponge into the bucket then takes the sponge back to the front of the line and everyone slides back one. The goal is to collect the most water possible in the bucket. It is so hard for the kids to resist squeezing the sponges as they pass them back.
Sponge Bum

The objective of this game is similar - get as much water from one bucket to the other as possible. With this game you start with two sponges and feed a belt through them. The kids will strap the sponge belt around their hips with the sponges under their bum. Next the “dipper” sits in the water bucket to soak the sponges and runs to the other bucket. At the other bucket they squeeze out the water and then return the belt to the next team member. The fullest end bucket wins.
The Hole-y Cup Relay

Still trying to move water from one place to the other! Get a few large plastic cups from the Dollar Store or your kitchen cabinet and have 5-10 pencil sized holes put in them. The kids will fill their “hole-y” cups with water from one bucket and then they will run to the other bucket to empty whatever water is left. The fullest bucket wins.
Water Balloon Toss with a Twist

Fill up a bucket full of water balloons. Instead of catching the water balloons with their hands, one child will toss the balloon and the other will catch the balloon with a plastic pasta strainer (Dollar Store again). This definitely added an element of the unknown to the game. If you could catch the balloons just right they wouldn’t break.

I am sure there are many more variations of the fun! A dollar store or even Target/Walmart are great places to pick up fun summer water activities.

With a few summer birthdays and a Fourth of July party to look forward to, I would love any additions to this list! Got any more ideas?

Share and Enjoy:


This is an outdoor party game, especially great for a hot day. Set off a game area and spread several beach towels on the ground in various locations. These are the anthills. One child is designated the "Exterminator" and is armed with a spray bottle of water. The other guests are ants. The Exterminator must get rid of the ants by spraying them with his bottle of insecticide.

When a player is sprayed, they must lay on the ground with arms and legs in the air - like a dead bug! The other players rescue the dead ants and bring them back to life by carrying them by the arms and legs to one of the anthills. (While an ant rescue is taking place, the Exterminator cannot spray any of the rescuers.) Once placed on an anthill, the dead ants come back to life and can rejoin the game. This game can go on for quite awhile!

Dribble, Dribble, Drench!

This game is just like "Duck ,Duck, Goose ", except that as "IT" walks
around the circle with a cup or pitcher of water. When they say dribble
to each player they dribble a few drops of water on their head. know this is coming don't you?
When they say "Drench" that player gets the rest of the water on their head or back. Then the wet player chases "IT" and tries to tag her before she gets to the wet players place. Got that?...this is really fun with kids
age seven or older on a very hot summer day. Younger children can
play if they are not sensitive about being drenched.

Don't be a Drip!

A family activity favorite!
You'll need: Balloons, a safety pin and a faucet
Poke a hole in a balloon using a safety pin.
Then fill it with water and tie the end to create a time bomb with a slow leak. Players stand in a circle and toss the balloon around. The idea is
not to be the one holding the balloon when it runs out of water.
The focus really isn't on winning or losing, it's on how much fun
you have while cooling off!

Relay Races

Relay races involving water make for great fun. If you have a group of children, you can have them do a relay by running with a bucket of water on their heads in a race to fill up a different container across the yard. You could fill two pairs of rubber boots with water and have the children race by weaving in and out of little orange cones. There is also the classic water balloon toss where the children toss the balloon and take a step back until all but one team is eliminated for dropping the balloon.

What is needed:

Plastic cup
Large bucket of water
Two or more groups of friends How to play:
You need a plastic cup & sponge for each team, and a bucket full of water. The second person in the line on the team, places the empty cup on their head. The first person runs back and forth from the bucket to the cup, squeezing the water out of the sponge into the cup. When the cup is full the second person empties it onto the first persons head. Then repeats the process using the second & third people, until the whole line has done it. The first line who is finished wins.

What is needed:

One ice cube per team; same size
A group of friends How to play:
The first person holds and rubs the ice cube until their hands get to cold. Then they pass it to the next person, and so on, until the ice cube melts. What ever team melts their ice cube first wins.