Put the Water Park in your Yard

What to do if a looooong, hot summer’s day has made the kids (and grownups) cranky, bored and restless? Turn on the spigot for these splashy water games to help everyone cool down and get a workout at the same time!

Personal Splash Pad

Drill holes of different shapes and sizes into pieces of PVC pipe, then use them to form a large square, rectangle or triangle. Hook it up to a hose and let the water spray and people romp all over the place!

Target Practice

Throw an inflatable inner tube into the water, whether it’s in a bucket, kiddie pool or pond. Have everyone try to toss small balls into the center. You can give lots of prizes out for this one — reward most balls in the tube, longest throw, most creative toss, etc.

Batting Water Balloons

Just send everyone out back with some bats (ideally the lightweight plastic play type) and a bunch of water balloons. It’s one very easy way for a flustered family to kill an hour or two.

Tinfoil Creek

Use a roll of tinfoil curled up on the sides to form a long channel for floating toy boats, rubber duckies or anything else you want to move from one side of the yard to the other.

Toe Fishing

Place some toys, floating and otherwise, in a kiddie pool and have everybody fish them out using only their toes!

Water Limbo

Let your kids build their flexibility and strength by bending backward under the stream of water from a hose!

Dunk Tank

Rig up a target holding a bucket of water over a chair and let everybody hurl their frustrations at it with a tennis ball, drenching whoever is brave enough to put themselves in water’s way. There are instructions for building one all over the internet; this tank on WikiHow (www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Dunk-Tank) may be a little more complex than some but gives you an idea what’s involved. Older kids can help build it, rewarding them with a sense of accomplishment before the fun even starts!