Budget-Friendly Water Games For Kids To Play This Summer

Looking for fun and affordable ways to keep your kids entertained this summer? Check out these budget-friendly water games to keep them cool and having a blast all summer long!

Budget-friendly water games for kids to play this summer on www.prettymyparty.com

Ready to turn your summer into an epic splash-fest without draining your wallet? You’ve landed in the right place! We have tons of super cool, budget-friendly water games that will keep your crew cool, entertained, and laughing all summer.

These fun water games are the perfect way to get everyone moving and soaking up the summer sun (with some SPF, of course!) Eager to dive into a summer filled with unforgettable wet and wild adventures? Let’s make a splash and explore how to keep the fun flowing!

Fun water games for kids

Duck, Duck Splash water game for kids - See a list of the best water games for your summer gatherings.

Image: Inspiration Made Simple

1. Duck Duck Splash

Get ready for a “splashtastic” twist on the classic Duck Duck Goose Game! Duck Duck Splash is the perfect outdoor water game to amp up your summer parties or poolside gatherings!

What you need


  • Have everyone sit in a circle on the grass or around the pool where getting soaked is part of the fun.
  • Fill the bucket with water or soak the sponge thoroughly. This is your “splash” tool.

How to play

  1. One person starts as the “Ducker.” They hold the bucket of water or the soaked sponge. (You can also use a cup of water, as in the photo above.)
  2. The Ducker walks around outside the circle, tapping each player gently on the head or shoulder, declaring each a “Duck” as they pass.
  3. Instead of saying “Goose” like in the traditional game, the Ducker selects a person by yelling “Splash!” and then either splashing that person with water from the bucket or squeezing the sponge over their head.
  4. The splashed player jumps up and chases the Ducker around the circle, trying to tag them before they can run around the entire circle and take the vacant spot left by the splashed player.
  5. If the splashed player tags the Ducker, the Ducker takes another turn around the circle. The Splashed player becomes the new Ducker if the Ducker makes it back to the spot without getting tagged.
Water cup races - see a complete list of the best water games for kids!

Image: All For The Boys

2. Water Cup Races

A cup, string, and squirt toys are all you need to set up this fun game of water cup races! The kids will have a blast racing their cups to the finish line.

What you need


  1. Cut a small hole in the bottom of each plastic cup.
  2. Run your string through the hole in the cup. Make sure the cup can slide easily along the string.
  3. Tie the ends of the string between two posts or trees. You can also tape the string between two walls. The string should be at a good height where players can aim and squirt water easily at the cups.
  4. Place each cup at the starting point.

How to play

  1. Players stand at the starting line with their squirt toys filled and ready.
  2. Everyone aims their water stream at their cup, trying to move it along the string to the other end.
  3. Players must aim carefully to keep the water hitting the cup effectively, moving it along the string.
  4. The first player to get their cup from one end of the string to the other wins.
Water hose limbo game - see a complete list of fun and affordable water games for kids!

Image: Semi-DIY

3. Water Hose Limbo

Remember the classic limbo game from childhood? Water Hose Limbo takes it to a whole new level!

What you need

How to play

Crank up the tunes and see who can limbo the lowest under a flowing stream of water. Add a kiddie pool to catch the spray – nobody wants a mudslide!

Flipper Fill Up Water Game - see the complete list of fun water games for kids!

Image: How Does She

4. Flipper Fill Up Game

Flipper Fill Up is a hilarious relay race that tests your balance and bucket-carrying skills.

What you need

How to play

  1. Throw on the flippers, grab a small bucket, and waddle your way to fill up your bucket.
  2. Then, with that bucket balanced on your head, run back to your team’s main bucket and dump it in.
  3. Tag your teammate, ditch the flippers, and repeat the chaos!
  4. The first team to fill their main team bucket wins.

Classic pool games

Splish, splash! Pool time is the ultimate fun time, especially with these super cool swimming pool games for kids. Grab your swimsuits, and let’s make a splash!

Pool Joust Game

1. Pool Joust

Calling all gladiators! This game includes inflatable jousting poles and logs. The goal? Knock your opponent off their inflatable log and into the water. Prepare for a fun competition perfect for birthday parties, barbecues, or just a fun way to cool off on a hot summer day.

What you need

How to play

  1. Each player sits on a raft
  2. Using pool noodles, players try to joust each other off their floats
  3. The last person floating on their log wins!

2. Treasure Hunt

Grab your goggles because this summer’s treasure hunt goes underwater!

What you need

How to play

  1. Toss the treasures into the pool
  2. On “Go!”, players dive in to collect as many treasures as they can
  3. The person with the most treasures at the end of the game wins
  4. Or if you’re playing in teams, the first team to fill their empty bucket wins

3. Dolphin Races

Calling all swimming sharks (minus the teeth)! It’s time for Dolphin Races! This pool game is all about speed. Think freestyle, but imagine yourself as a super-fast dolphin. Dive in, streamline your body, kick like crazy, and see who becomes the fastest fin in the water!

What you need

  • A pool
  • Group of friends

How to play

  1. Players line up at one end of the pool
  2. On “Go!”, everyone must swim to the other end using only dolphin kicks (legs together, moving up and down).
  3. The first one to reach the other side wins!

4. Sharks and Minnows

Need a pool game that gets your heart pumping? Look no further than Sharks and Minnows! This classic tag game transforms your pool into an underwater feeding frenzy.

One person, the dreaded “shark,” lurks in the deep end, while everyone else is the unsuspecting “minnows.” The minnows have to strategically navigate the shallows without getting tagged by the shark, making it a thrilling mix of speed, strategy, and screams!

What you need

  • A pool
  • A group of friends

How to play

  1. One player is the Shark and starts in the middle of the pool.
  2. The other players (Minnows) start at one end of the pool.
  3. On “Go!”, the Minnows try to swim to the other side without being tagged by the Shark.
  4. Tagged Minnows become Sharks until one Minnow remains. The last Minnow becomes the first Shark in the next round.

5. Ping Pong Pool Scramble

A fun pool game called Ping Pong Pool Scramble is a cool way to keep the kids entertained and moving. Ping-pong balls are thrown in the pool. On “Go!”, everyone jumps in to grab as many balls as possible. The person with the most balls at the end wins!

What you need

How to play

  1. Scatter ping pong balls across the surface of the pool.
  2. On “Go!”, players jump in and try to collect as many balls as possible, holding them or gathering them in a designated area or container.
  3. After a set time, the player with the most ping-pong balls wins!

Water balloon games

Get ready to make a splash with these super fun water balloon games! Perfect for those hot summer days, these water games promise tons of laughter and some cool relief from the summer heat. Gather your water balloons, and let’s dive into the fun!

Water balloon baseball - fun water games for kids

Image: iCandy Handmade

1. Water Balloon Baseball

Water Balloon Baseball is a cool twist on the classic game of baseball, turning it into a wet and wild adventure. Perfect for cooling off and having a blast during those sizzling summer days.

Here’s what you need to slide into the fun:

What you need

  • Water balloons 
  • A plastic bat
  • Bases (you can use anything from cones, towels, or even chalk to mark your bases)
  • A pitcher (someone to throw the water balloons)
  • Fielders and batters (your friends ready for some fun)
  • Slip-n-Slide (optional) to slide into home plate!

How to play

  1. Arrange your bases to form a diamond, like a regular baseball field. Decide on the home plate where the batter will stand and where the pitcher will pitch from.
  2. Before the game, fill up your water balloons. Make sure you have enough, as they’ll be breaking with every hit!
  3. The pitcher tosses a water balloon toward the batter. The batter tries to hit the balloon with the plastic bat. When the batter hits the balloon, they run to as many bases as possible before the fielders retrieve the remnants or splash the runner with another water balloon to tag them out.
  4. If the batter misses the balloon or if the balloon breaks upon pitching, it’s considered a strike. After three strikes, it’s the next batter’s turn.
  5. Players score runs by hitting the balloon and running around all the bases to reach home plate before being tagged out. Keep track of runs just like in baseball, with each full circuit of the bases counting as one run.
  6. Decide how many innings you’ll play or set a time limit. The team with the most runs at the end wins!
Learn how to make this DIY Water Balloon Kerplunk Game for your next outdoor party!

2. DIY Water Balloon Kerplunk

This DIY Water Balloon Kerplunk game is exactly what your next backyard party needs to dial up the excitement and cool down the guests! This game is a twist on the classic Kerplunk game and is guaranteed to bring out the fun and laughs.

What you need


  1. Find a spacious outdoor area to set up.
  2. Grab your metal fencing and roll it out on the ground.
  3. Decide how tall and wide you want your Kerplunk game to be, and cut the fencing to size with wire cutters.
  4. Bend the cut fencing into a cylinder shape. It should be large enough to hold plenty of water balloons.
  5. Use zip ties to secure the ends of your fencing together from top to bottom, ensuring it’s snug and won’t come apart during the game.
  6. Start threading the long sticks or dowels through the mesh of your fencing cylinder, crisscrossing them to form a dense support structure for the water balloons.
  7. Fill your water balloons with water.
  8. Once filled, carefully place the water balloons inside the cylinder, letting them rest on top of the stick web.

How to play

  1. Players take turns removing one stick at a time from the trash can. The trick is to do so without letting any water balloons fall through the mesh and burst.
  2. If a balloon falls and bursts during your turn, you score a point (or a splash!). Keep a tally of how many balloons each player bursts.
  3. Once all sticks are removed, the player with the fewest splashes (or points) is declared the ultimate Kerplunk champion! The player with the fewest water balloons dropped by the end of the game wins!

3. Water Balloon Toss

What you need

How to play

  1. Pair up players and give each pair a water balloon.
  2. Players start close together and toss the balloon back and forth, taking a step back with each successful catch.
  3. The game continues until the balloon pops. The last pair with their balloon intact wins!

4. Water Balloon Dodgeball

It’s time for an epic H2O showdown! Get ready to make a splash with Water Balloon Dodgeball, the ultimate game that combines the thrill of dodgeball with the cool, refreshing fun of water balloons! Ready to dodge, dip, dive, and drench your opponents? Grab your water balloons and get ready for a battle royale!

What you need

How to play

  1. Divide players into two teams.
  2. Each team starts on opposite sides of the playing area.
  3. On “Go!”, teams throw water balloons at the opposing team while dodging incoming balloons.
  4. If you’re hit, you’re out! The last team with members still standing wins.

5. Hot Potato Water Balloon

Take your classic Hot Potato game to a whole new level with a splash! Grab your friends and form a circle. Pass a water balloon around the circle super fast while some music plays. Whoever is holding the balloon when the music stops gets soaked! Fill up those balloons and get ready to see who gets splashed first.

What you need

How to play

  1. Players stand in a circle, passing a water balloon around while music plays.
  2. When the music stops, the player holding the balloon must pop it over their head.
  3. Continue until one player remains.
Water balloon pinata - fun water games for kids

Image: Meaningful Mama

6. Water Balloon Piñata

Water Balloon Piñata is here to level up your backyard fun! We’re talking classic piñata vibes but with a refreshing twist.

Hang a bunch of colorful water balloons, grab some sticks, and take turns swinging at them blindfolded. Every swing is a shot at a surprise splash!

It’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot day. Who will be the water balloon-popping champion? Grab your friends, a stick, and some water balloons to find out.

What you need

How to play

  1. Hang water balloons at varying heights using string.
  2. Blindfold a player, spin them around, and let them try to break the balloons with the bat.
  3. Take turns and enjoy the splash!

7. Water Balloon Relay

Ready for a super fun water balloon race? Divide into teams and line up. Each team gets a water balloon. On your mark, get set, GO! Race to the other side, carrying the balloon carefully.

If you drop it or it pops, you have to run back and grab a new one to start over! The first team to cross the finish line with their balloon wins!

What you need

How to play

  1. Set up buckets filled with water balloons at one end of the playing area and empty buckets at the other end.
  2. Teams race to transfer balloons from the filled bucket to the empty one. But here’s the catch – they must carry the balloons between their knees.
  3. The first team to transfer all their balloons without popping them wins.

8. Water Balloon Target Splash

Water Balloon Target Splash is the coolest way to beat the heat! Transform a giant wall into a “splash zone.” Grab your water balloons and take aim. Can you become the ultimate water balloon target splash champion and claim the ultimate victory? Get ready to dominate Target Splash!

What you need

  • Water balloons
  • Chalk or tape (to mark targets)
  • An open wall or fence

How to play

  1. Draw or tape targets on a wall or fence.
  2. Players take turns throwing water balloons at the targets to score points.
  3. The player with the highest score wins!

9. Ice Bowling

Get ready to slide into fun with ice bowling, a cool twist on traditional bowling that’s perfect for your summer games bucket list.

Here’s how you can set up your very own ice bowling alley:

What you need

  • Water to create your ice bowling balls
  • Balloons to mold your ice bowling balls
  • Plastic bottles to serve as your pins. You can fill them with water or sand to make them more stable
  • Freezer to freeze your ice balls
  • Plastic sheet (optional)


  1. Fill balloons with water, add food coloring, if desired, tie them off, and freeze them. Once solid, remove the balloon. You’ll have spherical ice bowling balls. Make several so you can play multiple rounds or, in case some break.
  2. Set up your plastic bottles in a traditional bowling pin formation (a triangle with one pin in front, two behind it, and so on) at one end of your playing area. If you’re outside, choose a flat surface.
  3. Lay down a plastic sheet to mark the bowling lane if you’re playing on grass or indoors. This step is optional but helps in setting boundaries for the game.

How to play

  1. Players take turns rolling their ice bowling balls toward the pins from a designated starting point. 
  2. Like traditional bowling, the goal is to knock down as many pins as possible. You can keep score over 10 frames, with each player getting two attempts per frame to knock down the pins (except when a strike is scored on the first attempt).
  3. The player with the highest score after 10 frames wins. You can adjust the number of frames based on your group’s preference.

Water Sprinkler Games

Nothing beats the fun of water sprinkler games for kids when the sun’s out and the heat’s up. These games are a blast, turning any backyard into a cool, splashy playground. Grab your sprinkler, and let’s jump into some water game fun!

1. Sprinkler Red Light, Green Light

What you need

How to play

  1. Set the sprinkler in the middle of the yard and turn it on.
  2. One person plays the role of the traffic light and stands opposite the players at a distance.
  3. When they say “Green light,” players run toward the sprinkler. “Red light” means they must freeze in place.
  4. The goal is to run through the sprinkler without being caught moving when “Red light” is called. The first person to pass the sprinkler and return wins.

2. Water Sprinkler Tag

What you need

How to play

  1. Turn on the sprinkler in the center of the playing area.
  2. One player is designated as “It” and must tag the others.
  3. The twist? Players can only be tagged when not sprayed by the sprinkler. Running through the sprinkler offers a momentary “safe zone.”
  4. The tagged player becomes the new “It.”

3. Freeze Dance with a Twist

What you need

How to play

  1. Turn on the music and the sprinkler.
  2. Kids dance around the sprinkler while the music plays.
  3. When the music stops, everyone must freeze in place.
  4. Anyone caught moving or laughing gets sprayed by the sprinkler!

4. Sprinkler Obstacle Course

What you need

  • A sprinkler (or multiple for a bigger challenge)
  • Various objects to create obstacles (chairs, cones, inflatable pool toys)

How to play

  1. Set up an obstacle course in your yard, adding the sprinkler(s) as one of the obstacles.
  2. Kids must navigate the course, going over, under, and around the obstacles, including running through the sprinkler.
  3. Time each run. The fastest time through the course wins!

Minute-to-Win-It Water Games

Minute-to-Win-It games are all about quick challenges that are packed with fun and excitement, especially with a splashy twist for those hot summer days.

Here are some fun water-themed Minute to Win It games for kids, perfect for parties. Each game is designed to be completed in just one minute, so prepare for some fast-paced water action!

1. Cup and Water Relay

What you need

How to play

  1. Divide players into teams.
  2. Each team gets an empty bucket placed at a distance.
  3. Players take turns filling their cup from the large bucket, then running to empty it into their team’s bucket.
  4. The team with the most water in their bucket at the end of one minute wins.

2. Sponge Squeeze

What you need

How to play

  1. Teams line up at the starting line, where the filled bucket is.
  2. The first player soaks the sponge in water, runs to the empty bucket, squeezes the water out, and runs back.
  3. The sponge is passed to the next player in line.
  4. The team that transfers the most water in one minute wins.

3. Ice Cube Melt

What you need

  • Ice cubes (one for each player)

How to play

  1. Each player gets an ice cube.
  2. On “Go!”, players use their hands to try and melt the ice cube as quickly as possible.
  3. The first player to melt their ice cube completely within a minute wins.

4. Ping Pong Ball Scoop

What you need

  • A large bowl filled with water
  • Ping pong balls
  • An empty bowl for each player

How to play

  1. Float several ping pong balls in the large bowl with water.
  2. Players use a cup to scoop out the balls and transfer them to their empty bowl.
  3. The player with the most ping pong balls in their bowl after one minute wins.

5. Slippery Water Bottle Flip

What you need

  • Plastic water bottles (half-filled with water)
  • A designated landing zone

How to play

  1. Players take turns flipping the water bottles, attempting to land them upright.
  2. The player with the most successful flips landing upright in the designated zone within a minute wins.

6. Dizzy Water Bottle Fill

What you need

  • Empty water bottles
  • A kiddie pool or large container filled with water
  • A chair

How to play

  1. Players spin around the chair five times.
  2. After spinning, they run to the pool, fill their mouths with water, run back, and spit the water into the bottle.
  3. The player who fills their bottle the most in one minute wins.

7. Water Balloon Catch

What you need

How to play

  1. Players hold a colander on their heads.
  2. A partner tosses water balloons one at a time to the player, trying to catch them in the colander.
  3. The goal is to catch as many water balloons without bursting them within one minute.
  4. The player with the most caught balloons wins.

8. Wet Shirt Relay

What you need

  • Oversized T-shirts (one per team, soaked in water)
  • Teams of players

How to play

  1. Soak the T-shirts in water before the game starts, making them wet and heavy.
  2. The first player of each team wears the wet shirt, runs to a designated point and back, then passes the shirt to the next player.
  3. The process repeats until all team members have worn the shirt and run the distance.
  4. The first team to complete the relay wins.

9. Puddle Jumper

What you need

  • Small plastic pools or large basins filled with water
  • Stones or waterproof markers

How to play

  1. Place stones or waterproof markers at the bottom of each pool or basin.
  2. Players jump from one pool to another, picking up a marker from each without using their hands.
  3. The goal is to collect as many markers as possible within one minute.
  4. The player with the most markers at the end wins.

These water minute-to-win-it games are perfect for outdoor parties, family gatherings, or just a fun day out in the yard. They’re a blast to play and a great way to cool off and enjoy those sunny days to the fullest. Get ready, set, and splash your way to victory!

Cool Water Game Prize Ideas

When setting up water games for kids, throwing in some cool prizes can really amp up the excitement. Picking rewards that match the water theme adds to the fun and keeps everyone pumped.

Check out these awesome prize ideas that’ll definitely be a hit at your next water-themed bash:

1. Beach Balls

Colorful and fun, beach balls are a perfect prize for kids to continue enjoying in the pool, at the beach, or in their backyard.

2. Pool Floats

From fun shapes like pizza slices, donuts, and unicorns to classic tubes, pool floats are a big hit. They can instantly upgrade a child’s pool time.

3. Waterproof Toys

Offer waterproof toys, like dive rings, sinking pool toys, or floating games. They’re great for encouraging kids to dive and improve their swimming skills while having fun.

4. Fun Goggles

Swimming goggles, especially those with funky designs or characters, make a practical and stylish prize. They protect kids’ eyes in the water, making swimming more enjoyable.

5. Beach Towels

A vibrant beach towel featuring popular movie characters or cool patterns can be a great prize. It’s both useful and fun for kids.

6. Novelty Ice Cream Floats

Small inflatable ice cream cones or popsicles are delightful, lightweight prizes that can be used in the pool or as cute decorations.

7. Sandcastle Building Kits

For kids who love the beach or sandbox, a sandcastle-building kit can inspire creativity and provide hours of fun building and creating.

8. Sunscreen and Lip Balm Packs

A practical prize, especially for summer events, is a pack of kid-friendly sunscreen and flavored lip balm. It’s a useful reminder of the importance of skin protection.

9. Waterproof Phone Cases

Waterproof phone cases can be an exciting prize for older kids, allowing them to take photos underwater or protect their devices near the water.

10. Mermaid Tails or Shark Fins

Fun swim accessories like fabric mermaid tails or shark fins can make swimming more imaginative and enjoyable.

Consider the children’s ages and choose a mix of fun and practical game prizes.

Get ready for a splashing good time with these games! They’re perfect for cooling off, sparking some friendly competition, and creating lasting summer memories.

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We’re serving up all the fun, inspiration, and oh-so-creative ideas you’ll need to throw the bash of the century. Let’s get this party started!

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