Water Balloon Games
We've listed our favorite water
balloon activities and games that children love to play during the
Keep the kids cool and having fun with these great game
ideas! Great for birthday parties or for anytime the kids need
some fun games to keep them busy and cool.
***Caution: Balloons can be a CHOKING HAZARD
Children under 8 years
old can choke or suffocate on un-inflated or broken balloon pieces.
Adult supervision is required for all the activities and games listed.
Make sure to pick up and discard broken balloon pieces right away.
Water Balloon Games and Activities
Balloon and Dart game (for older kids)
Fill up several water balloons and tack the ends to a large cork board
with thumbtacks. Place the board about 10 - 15 feet from the
throwing line. Kids then line up behind the throwing line and one
at a time throw darts at the water balloons. To score points write
point values on the water balloons with a permanent marker before
hanging them up. Balloons that are filled the most will pop the
easiest so make them the lowest point value.
Fill up lots of water balloons and place on the ground. Let
the kids stomp them until they are all popped.
Blindfold Toss Game
Blindfold the players with bandanas and have them try and toss water
balloons to each other.
Capture the Flag
Have kids play Capture the Flag with water balloons added in just for
fun. Instead of tagging someone so they have to go to "jail" have
the kids tag each other with water balloons. Complete directions
Capture the Flag game.
Catch and Duck
Divide the kids into 2 teams and have them stand at least 30 feet apart.
Each team gets a plastic tub filled with water balloons and an empty
plastic tub. The teams take the water balloons and throw
them at each other. While they are throwing water balloons they
are also trying to catch the balloons that are being thrown at them.
The balloons that are caught are placed in the empty container.
When there are no more the caught balloons
are counted and the the team with the most wins!
Circle Turn Game
Divide players into teams of two. Give each team a water balloon.
Place the water balloons on their stomachs and without using their hands
they must each turn a complete circle without dropping the balloon.
The balloon must be in contact with both players at all times.
If a balloon pops give them another one and they must start back with
the balloon in between their stomachs.
Diving Board Catch Game
You'll need a swimming pool with a diving board and water balloons.
While the kids are jumping off the diving board have one person toss a
water balloon to them to see if they can catch it before they hit the
Duck, Duck, Splooosh!
Played just like Duck Duck Goose only instead of patting the heads of
the players in the circle they are gently bopped on the head with a
water balloon until they choose who they want to chase them and they try
and break the water balloon on that persons head.
Divide kids into two teams and give each team an equal number of water
balloons. Have them sit down and line up side by side on the
ground. At the end of the line set up an empty container.
The object is to pass the balloons down the line using only their feet.
The last person in line places the water balloons in the empty
container. The team who has the most balloons at the end wins.
Before the party guests arrive fill balloons with different items such
as rice, pasta, marbles, pennies, etc. and then fill with water.
Have kids guess what is inside the balloons.
Hand Towel Race
Relay race using a hand towel and water balloons. Divide
children into 2 teams. Give each team a tub of water balloons and
a hand towel. Two at a time the players will each grab an end of
the hand towel and place a balloon in the center. They must race
to an object they run around and then back to their teams without
dropping or in any way popping their balloon. First team back
Hide and Seek
Played just like the traditional Hide and Seek game except when a person
is found they must be tagged with a water balloon before they make it
back to the base. If they are tagged before making it back to the
base then they are out. This game is played just like the traditional tag game except
that whoever is "it" has water balloons and uses them to tag the other
players. Once tagged that child becomes the new "it" and must run
and get a water balloon to try to tag another player else.
Hot Balloon Potato
Play hot potato using a water balloon with a small hole poked in it that
causes a little leak as it goes around the circle.
Laundry Basket Catch
You'll need 2 laundry baskets, water balloons and a net is optional.
Divide the kids into two teams and give each team a laundry basket.
Throw the balloons back and forth (over the net if you have one set up)
and the kids try and catch them in their baskets. 1 point for a
balloon that is caught and not popped.
Leaky Water Relay
Teams race to see who can fill up a container first using leaky water
balloons. Fill lots of balloons with water and place in a plastic
tub. At the other end of the playing field set up two identical
containers - clear plastic containers are the best - and with a
permanent marker make a mark at the same spot near the top of the
containers for the fill line. Divide into two teams
and line up near the water balloons. One at a
time have an adult prick a small hole in two of the water balloons and
hand them to the first players on each team. The teams must run
with the leaky balloon to the container and get as much water from it
into the container. Then they must run back and tag the next
person in line and that person picks up a leaky water balloon. The
first team to fill their container wins.
Milk Jug Catch
Cut the top and some of the sides off of milk jugs leaving the handle.
Have the kids throw the balloons back and forth trying to catch them in
the mild jugs.
Mud Clean Up Game
This is messy, but fun! Ask 2 adults to get really muddy - make
sure their body, clothes and hair are covered in mud. Divide the
kids into 2 teams and give them plenty of water balloons. Have
them stand about 15 feet away from the muddy adults. The
object is to be the first team to clean off their person by throwing the
water balloons at them. For safety give the adults a face mask and
/ or eye protection.
Play catch with the balloons using large nets to catch them with.
Give each player a water balloon and see if they can roll it across the
yard using only their nose.
Set up an obstacle course that the kids will have to go through while
holding onto a water balloon. Some fun ideas are - crawl under
ropes or a table, jump on the trampoline, follow a hose trail, slide
down a slide, crawl through empty cardboard boxes, walk over a small
kiddie pool on a board (suspend board on both sides of the pool with
cement blocks), etc. When the kids master the obstacle course have
them do it again only backwards, holding the balloon on a spoon or
crawling. If their water balloon pops they have to run back to the
start, get a new one and start again.
Paper Towel Tube Relay
Set up a relay race where the kids must balance a water balloon on the
end of an empty paper towel tube.
Plastic Fork Relay
Have the kids divide into 2 teams and then them line up one
after the other in line. Make turn around points at the other end of the
field or park that the kids will have to run around and then run back to
their team. Give each team a water balloon and two plastic forks
to hold the balloon with. They can only use the forks to hold the
balloon. If a balloon pops the player must run back to the
the starting point and get another balloon. First team that has
all their players finish wins.
Play basketball in the swimming pool using a water basketball net and
water balloons for the ball.
You'll need plastic containers in different colors and water balloons.
Players form a large circle in the pool and scramble to collect water
balloons and place them in their container.
Dump a large
container of water balloons in the middle of the players circle.
Whoever collects the most water balloons
wins! Have them collect them in
different colored laundry baskets, tubs or buckets that are placed on the edge
Great for individual or team play. Variation: laced on the edge
Great for individual or team play. Variation: Before
the party use a permanent marker to give each balloon a different point
value - 5, 10, 15, 20 25, etc. The team or individual that
collects the highest points wins. Or place
a small colored dot on each ball in different
colors. Teams must
only collect the balloons with their color. More
swimming pool games for kids.
Shaving Cream Clean Up Game
You'll need water balloons, shaving cream and 2 large play balls.
Cover the play balls with shaving cream and set on a stand so they don't
move. Divide the kids into two teams and give each team a tub of
water balloons. The two teams throw their water balloons at the
balls and see which team can clean off the shaving cream first.
Like the Egg Toss game but with a twist. Before the game
starts have children soap up their hands with dishwashing soap.
Sweat Pant Relay Game
A really silly game and lots of fun. You'll need water balloons
and two pairs of XXXL men's sweat pants - the kind with elastic at the
ankles. Divide into two teams and the players choose who
will wear the sweat pants. The object of the game is to get as
many water balloons across the field in the shortest amount of
time only by carrying them in the sweat pants. The teams will fill
up the legs of the player with the pants on and that player will have to
run across the field - careful not to pop any of the balloons - and
place them in a container on the other side. Then run back for
more balloons. You can also have the kids change out who is
wearing the pants each round.
Draw different targets on the sidewalk or driveway with sidewalk chalk.
One at a time let the kids try and hit the targets with the water
Target Throw Game
Set up targets such as a pyramid of cans, hula hoops or bottles.
The kids try and knock over or hit the targets with water balloons.
Give the kids water balloons and see how far they can throw them.
Use orange cones to mark where they land.
Tic Tac Toe
Draw a large tic tac toe board on the ground with sidewalk chalk.
Two players take turns trying to get three in a row using water
You'll need a trampoline and lots of water balloons. Place the
balloons on the trampoline and see if the kids can bounce them off by
jumping on the trampoline.
The object of the game is to throw water balloons into the opposing
teams tub. Divide kids into two teams and give each one a
large plastic tub. Have them stand in a line and place the tub
behind them. Give each team an equal amount of water
balloons. They must try and throw their water balloons into the
other teams tub without them breaking.
Under the Chin Relay Game
Divide children into two teams and have them stand one behind the other
in a line. Give each team a water balloon and have the first team
member place it under their chin. On "go" each team must then pass
the water balloon to the next team member under each others chins.
No hands can be used. If a water balloon breaks the team must
start from the beginning. First team to pass the balloon to every
member of their team wins. rt from the beginning. First team to pass the balloon to every
member of their team wins.
Played like regular volleyball except instead of hitting the balloon
over the net it is thrown underhand and the other team must catch
it without breaking it. If the balloon is caught then the
team throws it back over the net. If it breaks, is not
caught or goes out of bounds then the other team gets a
Water Balloon Bowling
Set up ten empty plastic bottles and try to knock them over using water
Water Balloon Egg Toss
Divide kids into teams of two. Have them stand in two lines with
the team members across from each other. Give each team a water
balloon and have them back up so the lines are 3 feet from each other.
One team member takes the balloon and tosses it to their team member.
After everyone is done the teams each take a step backward and toss the
balloon again. If the balloon is dropped or broken then that team
is out. Keep increasing the distance until there is only one team
with a water balloon.
Water Balloon Fight!
Before the fight fill up lots of water balloons and place them
in two plastic tubs. Set up two forts and several
obstacles. The forts can be made of a table on it's side,
picnic table, cardboard table, sheets strung on rope across the
backyard etc. Have teams throw water balloons at each
other. Whoever is the dryest after all the water balloons
are gone is the winner.
Water Balloon Juggle
Try and juggle with water balloons.
Water Balloon Musical Chairs
Played like regular musical chairs except with a wet twist for the slow
players. Place a pile of water balloons in the yard - one less
then the number of children playing. Play music and have the kids
walk around the balloons in a circle. When the music stops they
must run and grab a water balloon. The person who didn't get a
balloon gets a 10 second head start before the other players throw their
water balloons at them. Restart the game with new balloons.
Water Balloon Painting
Fill water balloons with water and a few small drops of
different food coloring colors or a little water based paint. Hang
them on a board using thumbtacks. Place canvas or paper under the
balloons and have the kids throw darts at the balloons to break them.
When the balloons break the color will splatter onto the canvas and make
Water Balloon Pick Up - the most
After the games are over give each child a sack or container and whoever
picks up the most balloon pieces gets a nice prize.
Water Balloons vs. Squirt Guns
Fun game for a hot day! Divide kids into teams and give one team
large squirt guns and one team a tub full of water balloons. Let
them battle until the water balloons are gone and then switch teams so
teams so that everyone gets a chance to play with both.
Water Baseball Game
Divide into two teams. The outfield team is given one water
balloon per person. The batting team lines up in back of the home
plate. The pitcher tosses a water balloon to the batter - if the
batter hits the water balloon they try and run to first, second, third
and home without getting hit by the outfield teams water balloons.
Fun game and everyone gets wet!
Play Dodgeball using water balloons instead of playground balls.
If someone gets hit with the balloon then they are out until another
team member catches a water balloon.
Divide children into two teams and give them each an equal number of
water balloons. The teams must pop the balloons by sitting on
them. The first team to pop all of their balloons wins.
WB Relay Game
You'll need 2 wooden spoons. Fill several water balloons and set
them in a bowl. Divide kids into 2 teams and have them line up. Give each team a wooden spoon and a water
balloon and have them balance the balloon on the spoon. One
person from each team must take the water balloon on the spoon and run
to a turn around point about 20 - 30 yards away (mark with an orange
cone or chair), run around the object, run back to their line and hand
off the balloon to the next person in their line. The winning team
is the one who has all of it's members complete the relay first.
If a balloon is dropped or popped the person must run back to their team
and start again.
Who Am I / Twenty Questions
One person thinks of an object, person or thing. Give them a tub
of water balloons to set next to them. One at a time the other
players ask them questions trying to figure out what item they are
thinking of - if they ask a question that is wrong the players get a
water balloon thrown a them. If they ask a question and the answer
is "yes" they don't get a water balloon thrown at them. The first
person to guess the right item gets to be the next player to think of an
Wrap it Up Volleyball
Net, beach towels or sheets
Divide into teams and give each team a bowl full of water balloons.
Teammates pair up and hold the ends of a towel or sheet between them.
The serving pair places a water balloon in the towel and throws it over
the net to the other team. The receiving team catches the balloon
with the towel and tosses it back across the net. If the water
balloon goes out of bounds, breaks or is not caught by a towel then the
other team gets a point. Play to 21.
Splash and Water Games
For more summertime fun see our page of
Party games for ages 7, 8 and 9
Party Games for 5 and 6 year olds
Birthday games for ages 10, 11, 12