Hot summer days are the perfect time to pull out the water balloons for kids to play with! Of course kids can simply throw water balloons at each other. But you can also extend the fun of water balloons by playing some fun water balloon games.
These games are perfect for your own kids in your backyard, for summer backyard parties, or for field day, or for gathering with friends at the park.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Gather a bunch of balloons, fill them with water and get your kids started on these fun water balloon game ideas. If you hate filling water balloons, you have got to try these Bunch-O-Balloons which make it quick and easy to fill a large quantity of water balloons.
31 Water Balloon Games
Water Balloon Pass
Have each team line up with a bucket of water balloons at one end of the line and an empty bucket at the other end. The object of the game is to be the first team to pass all the water balloons down the line from one bucket to the other. For a harder challenge, have the players spread out so they have to toss the water balloons from person to person.
Water Balloon Penguin Race
Everyone lines up at the start line with a water balloon between their knees. When the race begins, players must waddle to the finish line without dropping their water balloons or touching them with their hands. If someone’s water balloon pops, that player must start over. First person to make it to the finish line wins!
Draw a target on the sidewalk with chalk and assign each ring a point value. Line the kids up and see who can score the most points with three water balloon throws.
Water Balloon Toss
This water balloon toss game is always a favorite. Pair children in teams of two and give each team a water balloon. Have the teams start close together and toss the water balloon from one person to the other. Each time a team successfully catches the water balloon, partners take a step further apart. If the water balloon pops, the team is out. Last team standing wins!
Water Balloon Stomp
Kids of all ages will have a blast with this water balloon game. Fill two kiddie pools with water and an equal amount of water balloons. One child stands in each kiddie pool and tries to be the first to pop all of their water balloons by stomping them with their feet.
Water Balloon Fight
What’s more fun than an epic water balloon fight? Fill several buckets with water and water balloons and let the fun begin!
Water Balloon Pong
Fill six plastic sand buckets half way with water and set them up in an inverted triangle. Label each row with a point value. Line the children up and see who can score the most points with three water balloon throws.
Monkey in the Middle
Two children toss a water balloon back and forth. A third child stands between them and tries to catch the water balloon as it soars overhead. When the monkey in the middle catches the water balloon, the last person touching it trades places with the monkey in the middle. If someone pops the water balloon, that player has to be the monkey in the middle.
Water Balloon Spoon Race
Players line up at the start line with a plastic spoon and water balloon. The goal is to be the first person to reach the finish line while balancing the water balloon on the spoon. If someone drops the water balloon or touches it with their hands, that player must start over. The first player to make it to the finish line wins!
Take a game of dodgeball to the next level with water balloons. Divide the players into two teams and assign each team one side of the playing field. When the game begins, players throw water balloons at their opponents, while also trying to avoid enemy water balloons. If someone is hit by a water balloon, that player is out. If someone catches a water balloon without popping it, an eliminated teammate gets to rejoin the game. The last team standing is the winner.
For this water balloon pass game, teams race to be the first to move all their water balloons from one bucket to the other. When the game begins, the first player in line takes a water balloon from the bucket and passes it over her head to the next person in line. That person then passes the water balloon under her legs to the next person. Teammates continue to pass the water balloon alternating over their heads and under their legs until all of the water balloons are in the empty bucket.
Water Balloon Slip and Slide
Your kids will have a blast with this water balloon slip and slide! Perfect for backyard play, field days, or summer parties, your kids will enjoy hours of fun outside with each other and their friends.
Water Balloon Relay Race
Have the teams line up at the start line and put a chair for each team at the finish line. Place one water balloon on each chair and a bucket of water balloons beside each chair. When the race begins, the first players in line run to their chair and pop the water balloon by sitting on it. When the water balloon pops, the player puts another water ballon on the chair from the bucket and runs back to tag the next person in line. The first team to finish wins!
Water Balloon Catching
This game will get everyone soaking wet in no time! Give all except one child a water balloon and have everyone stand in a group. When someone shouts “Go,” everyone throws their water balloon into the air. Players must try to catch the water balloons before they hit the ground or pop on their heads. Whoever does not catch a water balloon is out. The game continues until only one person is left standing as the winner.
Two children stand on each side of a volleyball net and stretch a beach towel between them. (You can hang a rope or sheet between two chairs to form a makeshift volleyball net.) The teams use their beach towel to catch and throw a water balloon back and forth across the net. If one team drops or pops the water balloon, the other team scores a point. First team to score ten points wins.
When the music begins, players stand in a circle and toss a water balloon from person to person. When the music stops, whoever was last touching the water balloon is out. If the water balloon pops while the music is still playing, the last person who touched the water balloon is out. Last person standing is the winner!
Tape a target to a building, chair, or tree in the yard and see who can hit it the most with three water balloon throws. Or, set up a pyramid of plastic cups and see who can knock the most down.
To make this game really interesting, check out this water balloon launcher.
The object of this water balloon pass game is to be the first team to pass the water balloon down the line without using their hands. Teams can try to pass the water balloon between their knees or lay on their backs and pass the water balloon with their feet. If the water balloon is dropped, the team must start over.
Water Balloon Tag
Water balloon tag is always a favorite water balloon game. One child is the “it” and tries to tag the other players by throwing water balloons at them. When someone is hit with a water balloon, that player becomes the new “it.”
Use chalk to draw a tic-tac-toe board on the sidewalk. Two children take turns throwing water balloons at the board and using chalk to mark the square where it lands with an X or O. The first person to get three X’s or three O’s in a row wins.
Catch the Water Balloon Challenge
Pair the children in teams of two. The teammate who is willing to be soaked holds a strainer on the top of their head, while the other teammate tries to toss water balloons into the strainer. The catcher can move around to catch the water balloons as they are tossed. Whichever team catches the most out of five water balloons wins!
Water Balloon Target Toss
Set up this fun Toss Game and see who can score the most points with three water balloon throws.
Duck, Duck, Splash!
All the children sit in a circle on the ground. One child is “it” and walks around the outside of the circle with a water balloon. As the “it” passes each child, she taps them on the head saying, “Duck.” When the “it” chooses who she wants to tag, she pops the water balloon over the child’s head and shouts, “Splash!” The child chases the “it” around the circle and tries to tag her. If the “it” makes it all the way around the circle and sits in the empty spot, she is safe. If she is tagged, she must be “it” for another round.
Pair the children in teams of two and give each team a water balloon. When the game begins, teammates stand back-to-back with the water balloon between them and race to the finish line. If a team drops, pops, or touches the water balloon with their hands, they must go back to the start line. First team to reach the finish line wins!
Water Balloon Darts
Water balloon darts is the perfect game for older children and teenagers. Tack several water balloons to a foam board with push pens. See who can pop the most water balloons with three dart throws. For a burst of color when the water balloons are popped, you can put a few drops of paint or food coloring in the water balloons as you fill them.
Water Balloon Basketball
Place a sand bucket filled with water on a chair as the basketball hoop. Have the kids take turns trying to throw water balloons into the bucket. Each time someone “makes a basket” they must take a step farther away. See who can throw a water balloon into the bucket from the farthest distance.
Capture the Flag
This is the perfect water balloon game for summer parties and field days. Each team places a flag on their side of the playing field. The object of the game is to steal the other team’s flag. Teams can use water balloons to protect their flag and take prisoners. If someone is hit by an opponent’s water balloon, that player becomes a prisoner of the opposing team. The only way to free prisoners is for a teammate to tag them. First team to steal the opposing team’s flag and bring it back to their base wins!
Water Balloon Splash Out
This awesome water balloon game will have everyone laughing in no time. Answer the questions quickly and pass the ball to the next player. But watch out—if you’re the one holding the ball when the timer runs out, you get splashed!
Leaky Water Relay
Have each team line up behind a bucket of water balloons. Before the game begins, poke a small hole in the water balloons (a sewing needle works well for this). When the race begins, the first teammate in line grabs a leaky water balloon, runs to the empty bucket at the finish line, and fills the bucket with the water from their water balloon. Then, she must run back and tag the next person in line. Whichever team fills their bucket with the most water wins!
Water Balloon Painting
Set up a large white poster board as a canvas and let your kids create a watercolor masterpiece. You can dip the water balloons in washable paint before you throw them or put a few drops of paint in the water balloons as you fill them. Either way, your kids will have a blast watching the water balloons burst with a splash of color against the poster board.
Water balloons are tons of fun—until it’s time to clean-up the tiny pieces scattered all over the yard. Turn clean-up into a game by challenging your kids to see who can pick up the most water balloon pieces. Your yard will be spotless in no time!
Kids will love these 31 awesome water balloon games at your next summer backyard gathering!