We think that outdoor water play is an essential part of our DIY summer camp– and it's something that we like to indulge in often! Over the years things have changed up a bit when it comes to kids water play (which you'll see below). Here are some of our favorite water activities for kids!
I remember back when water play was an easy adventure. Simply add some warm water to this stand-alone water table , give the kiddos a few buckets and spoons to dip and pour with, and they were thrilled!
You could even do it indoors in January if you wished, with three feet of snow on the ground (as evidenced in this photo)!
As the kids grew a little older, our water play moved to Slip ‘ N Slides ! Purchased for a relatively small cost, all that was required was rolling it out, adding a few stakes at the ends, and attaching the hose.
The kids would run and slide for hours- and had the best time!
Then we moved into the outdoor water play “big leagues”- the inflatable water slide!
This one below came courtesy of Uncle Brian as a Christmas present a few years back (they all wanted to blow it up and try it in the basement Christmas morning, but Steve and I put our foot down on that one!). ( Here's a similar one )
Setting up an inflatable water slide requires a bit more effort, it's heavy (especially when wet), and must be attached to a blower to keep the thing inflated while the kids are playing on it. So out come the extension cords and more stakes to keep everything in place.
Well worth the effort- because this provides serious fun!
You can find more great resources for busy Moms over on my Amazon influencer page !
But as you might imagine, six kids pounding away at a water slide all summer long for several summers- and its days were numbered. We managed to create a small tear in the middle of the slide (just in the outer layer)- which quickly became a large tear, and the darn thing would just fill up with water on the inside… making it weigh about two million pounds (give or take).
So we graduated to this monster ! It comes complete with two slides- a long, twisty slide and a small run and jump-through-the-hoop slide, as well as two water cannons to squirt the sliders as they ride down. And a small pool on the bottom.
My kids LOVE this thing! Me…. not so much. It's HUGE! It weighs a ton and is absolutely impossible to drain completely when it is time to put away.
So when I am less inclined to set up the massive water slide, our go-to water activities for kids include self-tying water balloons !
As long as the kids help me to pick up all of the balloon fragments in the yard afterward- it's all good!
Please check out my DIY Summer Camp page for lots of ideas on how to host your own kids summer camp at home!
Here are some more great summer ideas for you:
- Free Family Summer Bucket List Printable
- Free Printable Summer Schedule
- 50 Fun Summer Activities, Crafts, and Field Trips (From Pre-K to Teens!)
- DIY Roller Coaster Ride
- Teach Your Kids How to Play Crazy 8's!