19 Kids Water Activities for Summer That Will Keep Them Cool

It’s summer, which means it’s hot outside and your kids are going to want to spend as much time as possible swimming and splashing around in the water! Keep them cool and entertained this summer with these fun and easy ideas for summer water activities for kids!

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fun water activities for kids

But be advised…We live in Southern California where there are currently (as of the publishing of this article) some pretty significant water restrictions in place due to the drought. We have had to pack up our water slide, put away the water table, and shelve the water guns.

The pool is still in operation but I’m looking at these fun water games with longing for a time when this might not be so hard to do.

If you live in a state or area of the world where water is abundant and you need fun things to do to entertain them on a hot summer day these kids water activities for summer are perfect.

If you want to keep your kids occupied, then having some water activities for kids up your sleeve can be a lifesaver during the long, hot summer months. Whether you’re looking to have some fun in the sun together or have your child entertain himself/herself in the pool or at the beach, here are eight water activities for kids that will make a splash this summer!

Read on to discover this ultimate list of outdoor water activities your kids will love!

Water Activities for Kids

On a hot day sometimes our brain just cannot put two sentences together without a giant tub of lemonade (or iced coffee) so thankfully I’ve sourced some awesome water activities for kids from other bloggers:

Enjoy Colorful (No stain) Shaving Cream Slide

Using shaving cream instead of water creates a thick and colorful blanket on your slide that kids can use to carry themselves from one side to another in a kiddie pool.

For a little more fun, add some fruit-scented bubbles and hand them out along with squirt guns. This is great not only as fun water activities for kids but also fun water activities at parties.

summer activities for kids water

Water Play for Toddlers Using Recycled Materials

If you’re looking for some easy ways to incorporate water play into your kids’ summertime fun, give recycled materials a try.

Forget store-bought toys. Save money and have fun at home by using recyclables found around your house. Whether you’re a parent with a little one on hand or a teacher working with a group of kiddos, these water play activities are easy ways to keep kids cool during hot summer days without draining your wallet.

summer water activities for kids

Sponge Water Bombs

Sponge water bombs are a fun activity that kids love. Make your own sponge balls and fill them with water so you can enjoy a great water activity. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a great way to cool off.These sponge water bombs are easy to make, plus they’re totally squishy and gross—great fun for kids!

water activities for kids

Water Balloon Activities

If you have a stash of water balloons at home, you can use them in tons of fun games for kids. Water balloon toss is a simple but challenging game that will leave everyone wet and laughing. For more ideas on how to make water balloon games even more exciting, check out the link of below.

If you’re in the market for reusable waterballoons check out these awesome ones as seen on TikTok where they tried several iterations before perfecting the perfect reusable water balloon. We’ve recently ordered ours so I’ll let you know how they are.

Reusable Water Balloons for Kids Adults, Silica Gel Water Ball, Quick Fill, Impact Open, Summer Splash Party Easy Quick Fun Outdoor Backyard for Swimming Pool (24 PCS)


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Pom-Pom Water Sensory Bin

Beat the summer heat by setting up a water sensory bin with water balloons and pom-poms. Encourage your kids to use their senses by filling one large plastic container with warm water (you can also add a little food coloring if you like).

Ask your kids what they can feel when they drop items into the water. If you love the idea of more sensory crafts check out this post about summer crafts for kids that will keep them busy all summer.

Encourage them to guess whether it’s a pom-pom or balloon before placing it in their hand—they may be surprised! What about smell? This is hours of water fun that is perfect for kids of all ages.

The Busy Toddler Instagram account TK also has this awesome pom pom soup which can be done in the bath or in a small water pool in your own backyard. Perfect for young children who are looking for some summer fun.

fun water activities for kids

Summer Escape Room for Kids

There’s an escape room concept in Los Angeles called Bunker 38 that provides team-building activities for adults. But many companies are now branching out to provide escape rooms for kids as well.

Escape rooms are a type of game where you and your friends must solve clues to escape from your location in time.

They’re similar to interactive experiences like Disney Quest (which closed last year) and can be found in places like malls, theme parks, and movie theaters. Create your own escape room a great alternative to a traditional water obstacle course.

summer activities for kids water

Water activities for kids- Reusable Swiffer Duster Refills

Little ones who love getting wet will have hours of fun with these water activities for kids. Provide each child with a broom, dustpan and Reusable Swiffer Duster Refills, and send them outside to explore different ways to get water from one bucket to another. The ultimate aim is to fill up as many containers as possible!

summer water activities for kids

Water Tarp Game

Go outside and lay a tarp on a smooth surface such as grass. Fill up water balloons, hide them in different spots around an even larger space and have your kids run around looking for them. They can’t pick up a balloon until they find it, so it’s an excellent way to have some outdoor fun in the sun.

fun water activities for kids

Slurpee At Home

If you’re looking for summertime fun and don’t want to spend money on overpriced frozen treats, making your own sweet slurpees at home is a great idea.

Using Kool-Aid and other sweetened, flavored powders allows you to save on sugar while creating delicious frozen drinks.

All you need are a few simple ingredients—including sugar, water, ice cubes and fruit juice—and you can create fun drinks that kids will love. It’s also an easy way to get active kids helping around the house.

summer activities for kids water

Water Balloon Science Experiment

The outdoor water activity kids should try is a science experiment. Fill up some balloons with water and stick them in different colored cups (red, blue, green). Which color has more water? Why? The answers might surprise you! And you’ll have fun playing around with balloons.

summer water activities for kids

Letter Fishing Kids Activity

Not only is letter fishing super easy to do at home, it’s also one of those water activities for kids that requires practically no adult supervision.

The way letter fishing works is that you print out a bunch of magnetic letters, grab a fishing pole with a magnet on it, and see how many letters you can catch.

How does that help you beat the heat? It’s a great option for younger kids who are still learning their letters, their sounds, and working on word identification. Pro tip have your kids spell their name!

summer activities for kids water

Water Balloon Piñata

Cool off at a pool party or birthday celebration with water balloon pinatas. Fill a piñata with balloons, and take turns hitting it with a plastic bat. Whoever breaks open their balloons wins! Just be sure you fill up water balloons outside or in an area that is covered in case of breakage.Any leftover balloons and you’ve got a classic water balloon fight.

outdoor water activities for kids

Sponge Bombs & Sponge Toss Water Game

If you’re looking for fun water activities for kids, look no further than sponge bombs.

These water fights will keep your crew cool and entertained all summer long—and they’re also easy to set up. Grab a handful of lightweight sponges, fill them with water, and let the fun begin!

To play, simply toss one sponge bomb at a time at friends or family members (or even into trees) and watch as it splashes down onto its target. The game can be played solo or in teams; just make sure everyone has their own sponge bomb so there are no injuries. My kids love to bring these into the pool too.

Pro tip for older kids, play marco polo with these and instead of tagging the person, hit them with the sponge bomb!

fun water activities for kids

Summer Snow Globe Dollar Store Craft

Crafts don’t have to be pricey, as shown by these fun and whimsical snow globes.

They are simple to make and only require items you can find at your local dollar store. While playing in water can get messy, you can use small toys that float inside of your globe. These kids activities will keep them entertained all summer long!

summer activities for kids water

Heat Wave Ice and Water Sensory Play

If you’re looking for new ways to help children explore and stay cool, try heat wave ice and water sensory play. In extreme temperatures, simple household items (and two of our favorite summer ingredients—salt and water) can be combined to create an awesome cooling activity. You can do it indoors or out!

outdoor water activities for kids

Other Awesome Water Activities for Kids this Summer:

Here are some other awesome ideas to keep cool and keep your kids active this summer.

Water Balloon Baseball

This is so fun for older kids, and a great way to keep cool.

Hot Potato Water Balloons

Remember that game of toss, take a step back…toss? And whoever drops the balloons are out? This is a fun spin on that game. sit in a circle and pass the water balloon to the person to the left. Whoever drops it first or makes it pop is out!

outdoor water activities for kids

Squirt Gun High Frequency Words!

Use chalk and write your child’s high frequency words (common words for kids to learn to help them read) on the wall. Once the child has read the word, they get to squirt it witih water and “Clear” it… my boys LOVE this game with their words it’s so much fun.

HITOP Water Guns for Kids Squirt Water Blaster Guns Toy Summer Swimming Pool Beach Sand Outdoor Water Fighting Play Toys Gifts for Boys Girls Children (2 Pack)


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Car Wash

Put your kids to work and get them involved in the family car wash!

My boys love to be on “sponge” duty to help spot-check all the dirt on the lower parts of the car. We love this set from Amazon to get them going. I love to put them in swimsuits and sunscreen and a carwash that would usually take me 15 minutes turns into a fun way to spend the hot afternoon.

outdoor water activities for kids

When all else fails, stocking up on a beach ball, hula hoops, jump rope and an old fashioned water hose can be hours of cool entertainment for your kids.

A simple bucket of water and spray bottles can also keep them cool at the park or at any outdoor spots.

Getting your kids outside to play is one of life’s simplest pleasures, and finding new ways to encourage active fun is easier than you think.

Whether it’s heading out on a boat or taking that picnic table and turning it into an underwater obstacle course, these water activities will make your backyard (or nearby park) feel like something straight out of Finding Nemo. Let’s get splashin’!

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