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10 Water Activities to Keep Kids Cool If You Don’t Have a Pool

Written by Laura DaSilva

It seems like the weather went from winter to summer in one day. Thanks, Canada! With splash pads and public pools remaining closed due to COVID-19, it’s time for those of us living that un-air-conditioned life to think of ways to beat the heat. We’ll get by with a little help from our friend water.

Here are 10 water activities to keep the kiddos cool if you don’t have a pool.

Hey, that rhymed. 

Outside Bath

What you need:

  • Large plastic container or inflatable kiddie pool 
  • Water
  • Bath toys

How it works: Just let your little ones splash around outside in any container big enough. Bring out some bath toys and let the fun begin. Bonus: you won’t have to give them a bath before bed. 

Water Limbo

Photo credit: Davonneparks.com

What you need:

  • Garden hose 
  • Flexible back 

How it works: How low can you go without getting soaked? Make a limbo stick out of your hose water stream and gradually lower it. The kid who can bend their back best wins.

Musical Sprinkler Freeze

What you need:

  • Garden hose
  • Sprinkler
  • Device to play music 

How it works: Start with the sprinkler turned off. Players move around the sprinkler area, jumping, dancing and striking funny poses. When the sprinkler is turned on, they have to freeze in position and get drenched until the sprinkler is turned off again.

Jolly Jumper Baby Dip

Photo credit: Lisa Taylor

What you need:

  • Baby exerciser that hangs
  • Kiddie pool or plastic container

How it works: Attach your Jolly Jumper/baby exerciser to a swing set or stable archway and let your baby bounce around in a little pool of water. Cool off those teeny toes!

Water Balloon Splat Game 

What you need:

  • Water balloons
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Paved surface

How it works: Fill up a bunch of water balloons that are roughly the same size. Each kid takes a turn holding one above their head and throwing it onto the pavement with all their might. Outline the splat with sidewalk chalk, measure it and add their initials. Biggest splat wins. 

Sponge Water Race 

What you need:

  • 4 Buckets
  • 2 Large sponges
  • Water 

How it works: Divide your family into two teams. Each team gets two buckets and a large sponge. Fill two of the buckets with the exact same amount of water and place them near the teams. Put the other two empty buckets in the distance. In this relay, players soak the sponge, carry it to the empty bucket, wring it out and carry it back to the next member of their team. This goes on until all the water from the first bucket is in the second. Winners can be either the team that finishes first or the team that has the most water in their bucket. 

Paint with water

What you need:

  • Paint brush or roller
  • Paint tray or container
  • Water
  • Paved surface 

How it works: Let your little one paint on the pavement with water. Huge bonus: no cleanup for you. 

Car wash

Photo credit: Steve Woodall

What you need:

  • Vehicle
  • Buckets
  • Soap
  • Sponges
  • Garden hose

How it works: Put your little ones to work cleaning the car. Parents are encouraged to sit back with a glass of lemonade and sing, “Working at the car wash, working at the car wash, yeah.” 

Sprink-o-line

Photo credit: Steve Woodall

What you need:

  • Trampoline
  • Sprinkler
  • Hose 

How it works: Rig up your sprinkler to sprinkle water onto your trampoline and let the kiddos jump for joy.

Super fun bonus variation: Water balloon trampoline! See below.

Photo credit: Steve Woodall

DIY Slip n Slide

Photo credit: hopestudios.blogspot.com

What you need:

  • Heavy duty plastic sheeting
  • Landscape anchor pins
  • Hammer
  • Hose/Sprinkler
  • Tear-free baby soap

How it works: Fold the plastic sheeting in half length-wise. Use the anchor pins to fix the sheeting in place on the grass. Make sure they’re not sticking out! Turn on the hose or sprinkler. Add some tear-free soap for extra slipperiness. Slide on. Whoo!

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.

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