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6 fun water games for 8-year-olds when you don’t have a pool

When school is out for summer and the temperatures begin to rise, kids want to get cool with water. The trouble is, not everyone has a pool in their backyard, but that doesn’t mean the kiddos have to spend the day indoors in air conditioning to beat the heat. There actually are fun water games for kids that can be played without an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool. Eight-year-olds love to play, and summer vacation is the ideal time for laid-back afternoons in the backyard because not every day can be an outing to the beach or a public pool. Try these six water games – no pool required! All kids need to play with are water balloons, squirt toys, and a hose. A portable blow-up baby pool is ideal to have on hand, too, to fill up those squirty toys and play these splashy games earmarked for summer.

Water balloon toss

Dollar stores are a one-stop-shop for inexpensive water balloons. Stock up for summer so there are always plenty on hand for when the kiddos are bored and hot. A water balloon toss is an easy way for kids to have fun and cool off without a pool. Fill up a large number of water balloons. Using a rapid-fill, bunch to fill self-sealing water balloons saves parents and caregivers a great deal of prep time. The rapid-fill bunch allows adults to quickly fill multiple water balloons. Arrange kids in groups of two. Partners should face each other and start out close together to begin tossing. After each toss and catch, the partners take a step back. The farther the pair separate, the more likely the water balloons will pop and get the participants wet.

Kids throwing water balloons at each other in the backyard
caseyjadew/Shutterstock

Water balloon fight

Make a big bucket of rapid-fill water balloons and divide the number of kids into two teams. Split the water balloons in half, and it’s on. The kids can have a lot of fun trying to get each other with water balloons. Be sure to set ground rules before the fight begins. Heads are typically off-limits as a target, and nothing good ever comes from kids running in flip-flops. Bare feet are a better choice. The round ends when the ammunition is gone.

Sprinkler tag

Sprinklers are a wonderful way to let eight-year-olds have fun in the sun while giving the lawn water, too. Instead of a conventional sprinkler, pick up one specifically designed for play instead of watering grass. Combine tag, which is a kid-favorite, with the sprinklers. Kids can play regular tag or freeze tag in the sprinkler. This is a great game because kids are running around while getting cooled off in the steady stream of water.

Water blaster fight

Like a water balloon fight, kids can have the same kind of fun getting each other wet by racing around the yard with water blasters and soakers. Like water balloon fights, remind the participants that heads are off-limits because not everyone appreciates getting his or her face wet. Another way to use water blasters and soakers is to have kids use them to hit specific targets like beach balls or trees.

Wet potato

Hot potato is a common classroom or camp game. Adapt the classic game for summer by using a water balloon as the hot potato. When the music stops, the child holding the balloon gets to break it on a person on either side. Don’t let the kids break balloons over each other’s heads to avoid tears and hurt feelings. Back, legs and arms are perfect picks for popping water balloons on.

Water ball

A cool way to bring water into backyard games is with water bomb splash balls. Fill up a bucket with water, drop in the water bomb splash balls and let them soak up the refreshing water. Then, let kids have fun with the splash balls using them in traditional backyard games like Wiffle ball and catch. Since the balls are wet, kids will be able to get cooled off. Whenever the water bomb needs a refill, toss it in the bucket or baby pool.

Sister and brother having fun playing with backyard sprinkler
FamVeld/Shutterstock

Other backyard ways to beat the heat

One simple way for kids to get wet is by attaching a beach ball sprinkler and letting them run in and out of it until they need a drink break. Another is to attach the backyard hose to a splash pad. If the backyard already has a trampoline, toss some water balloons in there for a refreshing jump, but only do this if the sprinkler has a net, and limit the number of kiddos jumping to avoid accidents.

When the temperatures rise, kids want to get wet. Don’t worry if your backyard doesn’t have a pool. Parents don’t have to wait for an invite to a friend’s pool for the kids to cool off or join an expensive pool club. With a stockpile of water balloons, water bomb splash balls, water blasters, or soakers, along with the backyard hose, parents and caregivers have a recipe for fun water games for kids that make for a splashy blast.

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Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
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