Water Games to Play with Friends While Social Distancing this Summer

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This summer of social distancing has certainly made things tricky when it comes to our kids having fun with their friends. Kids aren’t content to sit around in a circle and talk for a few hours, but activities and games can get out of control quickly when the kids start moving around.

So when it came time for my son’s birthday party, I had to get creative so that he could see his friends and everyone could stay safe. We brainstormed ideas and finally came up with a list of ways to keep the kids at least six feet apart while participating in fun water activities.

In the end, we created a perfect social distance water party for kids and teens of all ages!

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Social Distancing Summer Water Party

With a few inexpensive supplies, your kids can have a fantastic time in the heat even with the current social distancing rules in place.

Supplies

You’ll need a few supplies for each child to to enjoy these social distancing water games:

Setting Up the Party

Spread out your plastic storage tubs in the yard approximately 6 feet apart. The buckets designate the social distancing spaces for each child. If it will help the kids attending the water day, then use jump ropes or regular rope to provide more visual cues.

Fill each bucket with water and drop in a water blaster. As the kids arrive, direct them to a bucket and let them have a great time squirting each other as their other friends arrive.

Then let the games begin…

Social Distancing Water Games

It’s important to have a few games in mind because a general water balloon can get out of control pretty quicky as kids move toward one another. If you want to keep everyone a safe distance apart, then be sure to switch the games and give very clear guidelines for each event.

Water Balloon Battle

Water balloons are the perfect tool when you are having fun with social distancing water games.

Distribute a bucket of 20-30 water balloons to each kid and let them aim them go at it. Be sure that you keep a few water balloons aside for additional games. A water balloon battle is a quick way to use the balloons in a short amount of time, so don’t hand them all out quite yet. Be sure to save several for the other games!

Sociallly distance water balloon party.

Water Balloon “Dunking Booth”

Give everyone 10 water balloons to use for the duration of this social distancing water game.

One child must stand in the center of the area and hold the colander on their head. (Back up the buckets if you need a larger space for social distancing from the child in the center) Take turns letting each person toss a balloon for the child in the center to catch using the colander.

We originally hoped the balloons would pop, making this a sort of walking dunking booth, but the balloons didn’t pop. We had to adjust and create new rules. Instead, the child in the center was allowed to keep all of the balloons they caught to add to their own bucket.

Don’t overthink the game – just have a great time.

Create a social distance "dunking booth" using water balloon and a kitchen colander.

Target Practice

Before everyone arrives, use sidewalk chalk to draw a target in the street. Assign point values to each part of the concentric circles. Place a bucket full of water balloons a medium distance from the target.

One at a time, each child should approach the bucket of balloons and toss three water balloons at the target. They should keep track of their score with each toss and then find the total after tossing all three balloons.

HINT: Give everyone a warm-up toss. After tossing it, they can count it as practice or as their first shot if they like the score. If they keep the score, they can’t take another practice toss.

Water Balloon Toss

Social distancing guidelines can remain in place during a traditional water balloon toss if each set of partners begin six feet apart.

Team members started six feet apart as marked by “X’s” on the ground. Each team was also six feet away from any other team. In our situation, this meant that only two teams could compete at a time, and then we had to rotate.

Team members tossed the balloon to their partner and if they caught it, they took a step back. The play continued until only one team remained with a balloon in tact.

A water balloon toss is perfect for a social distance water party.

Freeze Water Battle

Refill all of the buckets with water. The kids should use their squirters to soak each other as soon as the music starts playing. When the music stops, everyone has to freeze. On a hot day, this could last for awhile because it is so refreshing and fun!

Remind everyone to stay in the area created by the ropes on the ground because it is tempting to start moving toward one another.

Grab a few inexpensive water squirters to enjoy some social distancing water fun.

Hot Potato

Play this just like the regular hot potato game, but use a water balloon instead. When the music starts, let the kids begin passing the water balloon around the circle. When the music stops, the person holding the balloon has to bust it on their own head.

Keep in mind that the balloons will often drop or bust before the music stops. Let them start again with a new balloon.

Add a little twist to the game by starting two balloons at different points in the circle. This will help everyone remain more involved.

Hot potato is a great water game when you need to keep a safe distance.

Snack Time

I had to brainstorm a bit about how to let the kids enjoy a treat while remaining socially distant. We decided to purchase popsicles that were individually wrapped. I was able to toss one to each child from a distance and they could open the wrapper and enjoy a treat.

Grab a few popsicles for a break from your social distancing water games.

There are plenty of other great ideas for a treat the kids can enjoy from a safe distance. Just consider items that are individually wrapped and easy to enjoy.

Snack Ideas:

  • popsicles
  • chip bags
  • fruit snacks
  • bananas
  • granola bars

Drink Ideas:

  • Capri-Sun
  • soda cans
  • cans of anything you like
  • water bottles
  • juice boxes

Tips for Your Water Fun

  1. The rope boundaries will be more important for younger kids if you want to maintain distance.
  2. One hour seemed to be the right amount of time before the kids were restless in their socially distant corners.
  3. Be very clear about how you want them to move from one spot to another for balloon toss and target practice. Remind them to move one at a time or keep their distance.
  4. You can refill the rapid fill balloons!!! Keep the nozzles with all of the “straws” and you can refill them with water balloons later. It isn’t “easy” but it will save you a ton of money. You can refill the rapid balloon nozzles while watching Netflix the night before the party.

Now let the social distancing water fun begin!

More Ideas for Fun:

Yes, We did Enjoy a Round Two with the Teens:

Water balloons are a perfect idea for a social distancing water game.

Start a Book Club for Your Kids and Their Friends:

Enjoy social distancing water games with these fun ideas.
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