33 Splash-tastic Water Activities for Summertime Fun and Learning

It’s time to get a little wet and wild!

Water Activities

There’s no better way to battle the heat of a summer day than a little water play! So grab the beach towels, slather on the sunscreen, and get ready for some epic fun with these incredibly refreshing water activities and games.

1. Turn a plastic bottle into a sprinkler

Water Activities

No sprinkler? No problem! Upcycle a plastic water bottle and use your DIY sprinkler for all kinds of water activities.

Learn more: Housing a Forest

2. Toss water balloons using towels

Water balloon tosses are always fun, but this one ups the ante by requiring teamwork. Two teams snap the balloon back and forth until one team misses … and most likely gets wet!

Learn more: Love Play Learn

3. Water the alphabet flowers

Grab the sidewalk chalk and plant a garden of colorful alphabet flowers. Then fill a watering can and “water” the flowers, calling out the letters along the way.

Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids

4. Use a plastic bag to explore the water cycle

Water Activities

A sealed plastic bag is the perfect environment for recreating the water cycle. Hang it in a sunny window and watch evaporation, condensation, and precipitation in action.

Learn more: Teaching Ideas

5. Lob some sponge bombs

Water Activities

Water balloons are fun, but they’re wasteful and messy too. These reusable “water bombs” are cheap, easy to make, and can be used for water activities over and over again.

Learn more: A Pumpkin and a Princess

6. Construct a water wheel

Brush up your engineering skills and assemble a water wheel with paper plates and cups. Try it out in the sink, or take it outside and use a hose instead.

Learn more: There’s Just One Mommy

7. Craft a giant water blob

Water Activities

This trendy toy is all over the web, but there’s no need to spend big bucks to buy one. Learn how to make your own giant “water blob” at the link.

Learn more: Clumsy Crafter

8. Go fishing for numbers

Go fish! Float foam fish in a water table or kiddie pool. Add a paper clip to each one, and fish for them with a magnet on a string.

Learn more: Buggy and Buddy

9. Experiment with water filtration

STEM water activities are fun, educational, and perfect for summertime exploration! Scoop up water from a creek or lake, then see how different types of filtration work.

Learn more: Teach Beside Me

10. Play tag with spray bottles

Water Activities

Add a new twist to the classic game of tag! The one who’s “It” gets the water bottle, chasing the others down. If you’re hit by the spray, it’s your turn to be “It”!

Learn more: Kids Activities Blog

11. Make it rain

A little shaving cream and food coloring are all you need to perform this popular water science experiment about clouds and rain. Simple and fun!

Learn more: The Happy Housewife

12. Mix up bottle cap soup

Save those bottle caps and paint letters on them. Then mix them all up in a big bowl of “soup” and let kids have fun scooping them out with spoons, ladles, or other tools.

Learn more: School Time Snippets

13. Joust with water balloons

With a pool noodle (and a fork) for a sword, you can joust for water balloons! It’s lots of fun and good for hand-eye coordination too.

Learn more: Ziggity Zoom

14. Pierce a water-filled bag

Water Activities

This is one of those STEM water activities that you simply have to see to believe. Pierce a water-filled bag again and again, without spilling a drop of water!

Learn more: Fun With Mama

15. Tap on a rainbow water xylophone

Water Activities

This colorful, tuneful activity is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages. Experiment with different water depths and mallet styles to make all kinds of beautiful music!

Learn more: Mama Papa Bubba

16. Play a game of Duck Duck Splash

It’s so much fun to turn classic games into water activities! In this take on Duck Duck Goose, the tagged person gets a good splash of water before they run!

Learn more: Inspiration Made Simple

17. Learn with water balloon phonics

Water Activities

Set up letter targets, then toss water balloons marked with letter combinations to make words. What a fun way to learn sight words!

Learn more: Mess for Less

18. Make a mini water cycle terrarium

This mini terrarium is a cinch to put together, but kids will be amazed to see how well it replicates the water cycle!

Learn more: Laura Candler’s Teaching Resources

19. Swing at water balloon piñatas

Dangle water balloons from a clothesline, then swing at them with a bag or stick. Instead of candy, you’re rewarded with a cool splash!

Learn more: Hello Wonderful

20. Build a LEGO water dam

LEGO bricks are great on their own, but add water and watch the fun multiply! Use colorful bricks to build a dam, pool, or water course.

Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands

21. Discover buoyancy and density

Water Activities

Take a nature stroll on a sunny day and pick up a variety of objects. Then bring them home and find out which ones float and which sink. Some of the results may surprise you!

Learn more: My Bored Toddler

22. Engineer a PVC pipe water shooter

Water Activities

These water shooters are simple to put together, and kids will be amazed by how far they shoot. Set up targets and test your accuracy!

Learn more: Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls

23. Target numbers with water balloons

Water Activities

Draw a giant target marked with numbers, then stand back and aim with water balloons. Add up the numbers you manage to hit to see who can accumulate the highest score!

Learn more: Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

24. Jump through an amazing pool noodle sprinkler

Water Activities

You don’t need a pool to get wet with these noodles! Tape them together and poke some holes, then connect it to a hose for the coolest sprinkler around.

Learn more: Ziggity Zoom

25. Race to fill the bucket

Teams race to transfer water from one bucket to another, using a sponge. Everyone is sure to get wet, but they’ll also have a blast!

Learn more: The Resourceful Mama

26. Splash around in rainbow bubbles

Water Activities

What kid doesn’t love to play with bubbles? Fill a kiddie pool with them, and create a rainbow using liquid watercolor paints.

Learn more: Gift of Curiosity

27. Spell words with swimming pool Scrabble

How clever is this? Write letters on sponges and float them in the pool. Kids swim out and grab a number of letters, then bring them back to spell the best word they can.

Learn more: Toddler Approved

28. Jump rope with a cup of water

Water Activities

Two kids turn the rope, while a third jumps. But here’s the twist: the jumper carries a cup full of water. After 10 jumps, see how much water is still in the cup. Then switch roles and see if the next person can beat the record!

Learn more: Parents.com

29. Make a water balloon yo-yo

Under-fill a water balloon and turn it into a yo-yo! Of course, it won’t last forever, so be prepared to get a little wet.

Learn more: Inner Child Fun

30. Put together a pool noodle water wall

Attach pool noodles to a pegboard using zip ties, then pour water to see where it lands. Simple water activities like this one can keep kids busy for hours!

Learn more: Teaching Mama

31. Hold a spoon and water balloon race

This take on the egg and spoon race is less wasteful, but just as much fun. If the balloon drops, you can pick it up and keep going … as long as it doesn’t break.

Learn more: Kara’s Party Ideas

32. Put together a PVC pipe course

Water Activities

A collection of PVC pipes and connectors make totally fun real-life building toys. Add water for an even bigger impact!

Learn more: Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes

33. Light up the night with glow-in-the-dark water balloons

Join the fireflies with a nighttime water balloon fight! Simply add a glow stick to each balloon before you tie it off.

Learn more: The Scrap Shoppe Blog

Looking for more ways to have fun outside? Check out these 40 Wet and Wild Outdoor Science Projects and Activities.

Plus, 17 Picture Books to Celebrate Summer.

33 Splash-tastic Water Activities for Summertime Fun and Learning

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

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