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Try to Stay Dry on this Summer Obstacle Course

Keep cool on a hot summer day with this series of summer games.

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Average Rating:
Participant Age: Under 7, 7 to 12
Approximate Cost: $0, Under $10
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes, Over an hour
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Balloons, ideally biodegradable water balloon type
  • Bathing suits or clothes that can get wet
  • Access to a faucet of water
  • Ice cubes
  • Lawn sprinkler
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic containers, big enough to put your feet in, one per player
  • Scissors
  • Towels
  • Wading pool (optional)
  • Water squirters, such as empty, clean condiment containers
  • Yogurt containers, individual serving size, 12-15
Make lots of water balloons
Include the kids in making the water balloons because it teaches them patience and impulse control. An adult will likely need to tie the knot though.
Set up the obstacle course
You could set up the activities as a series of items around your yard - for a summer birthday party for example. Or you could pull out the activities one-by-one.
Give each player a bucket of water balloons
Toss water balloons

Each player tosses one balloon into the air and tries to catch it without breaking it.


Use a water shooter to knock down cups
Set up plastic containers in a pyramid and the kids can knock them down with a water shooter.
Play leaky bag run

Cut three holes in a plastic bag. Fill one dish tub to the top with water and set the other empty tub about 5 feet away. Players must dip the plastic bag to fill with water, then carry it to the empty tub to dump, leaking all the way. Note: The bag should be wide relative to its length for easy dipping. For example, if using an empty 8-inch-wide bread bag, cut the length of the bag to about 5 inches.

Play a game where you look for a prize in ice chips
Lay a sheet of plastic on the ground and place game chips on top. Cover with ice. Each player must dig through the ice to retrieve one chip.
Make a wading pool run
Set up the wading pool for players to run through. Add water and about 1 pound of ice chips for extra chills.
Set up the sprinkler pointing at the place where everyone is playing
Players ride a scooter across the driveway, kick a soccer ball into a goal, or swing on a swing, all with the lawn sprinkler aimed right at them.
Create a wading pool run
Add water and about 1 pound of ice chips for extra chills.
At the end, hand out frozen treats
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