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Fun Family Water Activities

With summer in full swing, the hot temperatures are upon us! With the sun beating down, it can be tempting to just sit inside in front of a fan or the air conditioning. But another great way to cool down on a hot day is by finding an activity that involves water. Depending on the ages of your kids, you might not be able to do all the things listed in this article, but I hope you can see a few fun family water activities for your kids to enjoy. 

Here are several fun family water activities.

Go paddle boarding.

Paddle boards have quickly gained popularity over the past several years and it is easy to understand why. They are a great way to get in some exercise while exploring the outdoors. If you have littler kids, they can sit on the board while you paddle. Older kids can give it a go on their own or with a sibling.

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I would recommend trying out this activity before you purchase a board, only because they are fairly expensive, and you want to make sure your kids actually enjoy this activity first! If you can’t find a board to borrow, check with your local sporting good stores. They sometimes have them for rent. Or if you live in a college town, often their outdoor recreation center will rent to community members. Some lake resorts will also have these for rent. 

boy on paddle board; Fun Family Water Activities

Float the river.

This is a great activity to do with older kids and teens. Obviously, this only works if there is a river or large creek that isn’t too far away. If you don’t have innertubes, again, check with your local sporting goods store to see if they rent them, or with your local college outdoor recreation center. As always, keep safety in mind and have everyone where life jackets even if you are taking a group of strong swimmers. 

Set up a Slip n’ Slide.

This was one of my favorite things as a kid. We would hook up the garden hose to our slip n’ slide and spend hours outside in the yard. You can find these out most big box stores like Target or Wal-Mart, or you can order one from Amazon or another online retailer. They are quite affordable and can provide hours of entertainment! 

Have fun with water balloons.

Water balloons are fun because they can be used in a variety of ways. Involve older kids in a water balloon fight. They will love throwing them at each other and at you! Invite some neighborhood kids over, and your kids will probably have even more fun! Littler kids might enjoy doing a water balloon toss or just throwing them up in the air and seeing the big splash they make when they hit the ground.

You can buy water balloons that you fill individually, and this will save you some money (and if you make your kids fill them, it can give them something to do for a while!) But you can also find quick fill water balloons that are held together and all fill up at the same time. They are self-sealing with tiny rubber bands, so no tying is required. These are quite a bit more expensive, but the cost might be worth it if you are trying to fill up several balloons. 

    water balloons; Fun Family Water Activities

Rent a bouncy slide.

My friend rented a bouncy slide for her daughter’s birthday. She hooked water up to it and turned it into a waterslide. It was a great way to celebrate her daughter’s summer birthday. But this could easily be organized as a fun neighborhood activity where a few households could pitch in towards the cost of the rental. 

Visit a splash pad.

Spending an afternoon at the splashpad is great way to cool off in the hot summer months. If your town doesn’t have a designated splash pad, then they might have a community fountain the kids could run around in. Just remember to bring towels, water, and plenty of sunscreen. 

Explore some local bodies of water.

Are you close to a lake, river, or creek? Many lakes have beach areas that are open to the public and this is a great place to play in shallow water or do a little floating near the shore. Some will even have a roped off “pool” area for older kids and adults to swim in. If you choose to play in a river, always be sure to wear a life jacket as there could be swift undercurrents under the surface. 

girl splashing in the ocean; Fun Family Water Activities

Battle with water guns.

Another favorite activity of my youth! Even if you don’t have water guns, you can fill up water in buckets or plastic cups to toss at each other or throw wet washcloths at each other. As with any “battle” it is good to establish some ground rules so all players are on the same page. The main rule in our house is to avoid spraying each other in the face, and players can’t be squirted while they are refilling their guns. 

Visit a community pool and/or waterslides.

Even smaller towns often have a pool accessible to community members. Another resource might be your local college’s aquatic center. Most have indoor pools that you can buy day passes to. My kids love going to outdoor pools in the summer. Just remember to bring along some sunscreen to reapply! 

Girl playing in pool; Fun Family Water Activities

Run through a sprinkler.

Who doesn’t love to run through a sprinkler on a hot day? I still love doing this with my kids and they love that I am willing. If you don’t have a sprinkler, no worries. Just turn on the garden hose and use your thumb to create a fun spray for the kids to run through.

The best part? This doesn’t require any extra planning or cost (besides maybe a little extra on your water bill–but your lawn gets watered in the process!)

I hope these ideas for fun family water activities will help you and your kids keep cool during these hot summer months! 



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