There are always the classics like, a sprinkler or a water balloon toss, but here are some more original and fun ideas to try.
 

1. Build a Foil River

Kids playing with a foil river outdoors

This is a fun afternoon activity for the littlest ones in your home.  All you need for this great idea from Camo and Bows is a roll of foil, a small slope in the grass, and some bathtub toys that can float downstream!

 

2. “Ice”cavating

 

Kids "Icecavating" for an outdoor activity

This activity from Crumb Bums will require a little bit of planning ahead, but hours of entertainment. Create a Jurassic adventure for the kids by burying their dinosaur friends.  Also, it may end up that after some time spent chipping away, water is the best tool for reaching that plastic pterodactyl, so this activity blends best with an extra warm day.

 

3. Water Wall

Using a water wall outside

Again, this will require a bit of prep and planning, but nothing in comparison with the time that will be spent enjoying it!  With Tinker Lab’s instructions, kids can help design the flow of the water wall, or they can creatively figure out how to redirect the flow after it has been built.  Either way, this is a fun and recycled project that will entertain and help kids stay cool.

 

4. Bottle Sprinkler

Outdoor sprinkler made with a bottle

Ever wish that your lawn sprinkler would do a better job as a toy, not just a tool? It just doesn’t quite have that kind of flexibility. Frugal Coupon Living thought the same thing and created the bottle sprinkler. Now you can create a sprinkler with 360 degrees of spray, and you don’t have to spend a dime!

 

5. Sponge Bull’s-eye

 

Playing Sponge Bull's-eye outdoors

Mamas Like Me created a game just as low-cost as the last game, and just as fun!  Especially for those among your bunch who like to compete. Here is an easy game you can have set up and ready to play in your driveway or on the sidewalk in five minutes tops!

 

6. Car Wash in a Bucket

Playing with an indoor car wash

From Things to Share and Remember, this game is perfect on a rainy day that’s still hot and muggy. Kids can play inside in the water by taking their toy cars to the car wash!  It’s a fun way to get all the kids involved when you can’t do the real car wash.

 

7. Tricycle Car Wash

 

Car wash for a bike

Or, if you’re ready for a serious car wash activity…how cute is this?  Design Mom produces hours of fun with this creative car wash!  The tutorial is highly detailed, easy to follow and includes a list of exactly what size PVC segments you will need.

 

8. Sponge Balls
Kids playing with sponge balls

Here is a step-by-step tutorial from It’s Overflowing  on how to create sponge balls!  Easy to create and definitely reusable, these sponge balls make for a perfect substitute for water balloons if you’re not in the mood to forage for latex shreds for hours after the fun is over. It’s also great for kids who have a latex allergy.

 

9. Water Balloon Piñatas

 


Hanning water balloon pinatas

Whether celebrating a backyard birthday or just finding new ways to cool off in the afternoon, these water balloon piñatas from Scrap Happy Heather are an excellent, easy source of fun!  The site contains some helpful hints on how to have a successful go at it.

 

10. The Water Blob

 

Skip the pool to use a water blob

The ultimate pool-free water activity for your kids (and maybe you too!). Homemade Toast gives us a great way to stay cool during the summer.  This awesome tutorial explains in great detail how you can create a blob that is leak-proof and reusable!

 

Worried about using too much water?  Here are some helpful tips from Childhood 101 to having lots of fun and as little waste as possible.

 
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52 Activities for Family Fun

Laura Torres