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No pool? No problem

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Wet and wild

Who needs the bore of floating in the pool when you have cool and engaging water games like these?

brother and sister in backyard sprinkler

Wet and wild

Who needs the bore of floating in the pool when you have cool and engaging water games like these?

1

Drip-drip-splash

Remember the chaotic fun of duck-duck-goose? This game steals the concept of duck-duck-goose, but the person who is "it" is armed with a cup of water to drip, drip and splash the players who are seated in the circle. The same rules apply, but the outcome is a lot better and wetter.

2

Water limbo

Turn on some island music and fire up the hose for a game of water limbo! The game is best when you attach a sprayer to the end of the hose so you can control when water comes out. This not only reduces water waste, but it actually makes the spray much stronger. Players limbo under the spray of water from the hose, and they're eliminated as soon as the spray is lowered to a level they can't clear. The last player standing wins!

3

Twisty Trunk Elephant Sprinkler

If playing with sprinklers is fun, playing with a Discovery Kids Twisty Trunk Elephant Sprinkler is insanely fun. I mean, obviously. Something magical happens when water sprays forcefully from a toy elephant trunk, and kids are all about magic.

4

Fireman relay

Rules vary, but here is our favorite version: Sort participants into two teams and have them form lines. At one end of the line, there is a kiddie pool filled with water. At the other end, there are two large empty buckets. When the relay starts, the participants closest to the kiddie pool fill a small bucket with water and pass the bucket overhead down the line. The last participant in line dumps the remaining water in the team's bucket and races to the start of the line to start the process over. After two minutes, time is called, and the team with the most water in their bucket wins.

5

Water balloon fight

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned water balloon fight. Fill several large ice chests full of filled water balloons and let kids (and adults) go nuts. For what it's worth, we recommend grenade water balloons because they break on contact rather than breaking only upon hitting the ground.

6

Tug of war

Set up a kiddie pool in the middle of the backyard, and divide participants into two teams. Each team pulls as hard as they can until one of the teams falls into the pool. The teams might be left wondering who actually won.

7

Sponge tag

This game is played just like regular tag, with the person playing "it" chasing the other participants. Sponge tag is a little different and a lot more refreshing, however, because the person who is "it" has a large, wet sponge in their hands. "It" can either tag participants by touching them with the sponge or throwing it and making contact.

8

Beach ball race

This race requires two beach balls and two water guns with a pretty good squirt strength. Place the beach balls on a flat surface, and have the racers squirt the ball with their water guns until the winner's ball reaches the finish line. Then instruct the players to turn on each other.

More family fun

Host a backyard movie premiere party
Yummy popcorn recipes for movie night
How to build a backyard pillow fort

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