Outdoor Water Fun

SUMMER IS HERE and it’s time for kids to have fun!  Try these for those hot summer days.  There are also a couple water games on the main page of Family & Fun Games.



One of the coolest things we do in the summer, and I mean that literally, is an adaptation of a favorite birthday party game. On the hottest days of the season, nothing beats a water-filled piñata slung over the branch of a tree. A dentist’s dream, this candy-free version will flood your kids with fun — and a generous amount of cold water.

What You Need:
  • Medium-sized trash bag (we used a clear, 10-gallon bag)
  • Water
  • Rope
  • Tree limb
  • Bandanna or scarf
  • Broom
  1. Using your backyard hose, fill a medium-sized plastic trash bag with one to two gallons of water. Knot the top of the bag.

  2. Tie one end of the rope tightly beneath the knot. Toss the free end of the rope over a tree branch (a parent’s job) and either tie it securely or have the adult stand by to raise and lower the piñaqua.
  3. To play, each child takes a turn getting blindfolded, getting spun around three times, and then taking three whacks at the piñaqua with the broom. The winner is the one who manages to break the bag and unleash the tidal wave.


Have team members line up across from each other and compete in a water balloon toss to see who will be the last dry one standing.  Winning team gets 25 points.


The Deluxe Kid Wash

 On a sweltering summer day, few kids can resist running through the cool spray of a lawn sprinkler (and shrieking, of course). The Deluxe Kid Wash continues that great, time-honored sprinkler tradition, but with a creative new twist. Follow our simple directions on the next page or customize your own version. The Kid Wash is crafted almost entirely from PVC pipe, a material we love not just for its low cost (about $30 for all the pieces shown here) and durability, but also for its ease of use (with all those interconnecting pieces — it’s like Tinkertoys for grown-ups). The Kid Wash may not offer wax or rust inhibitor, but it’s sure to provide a summer’s worth of good clean fun.
Kid Wash diagram
Eight 10-foot lengths of 3/4-inch PVC pipe
The following 3/4-inch PVC fittings: 12 T’s 2 crosses 7 elbows 4 caps one 1-inch to 3/4-inch T 1 straight fitting 1 female hose adapter (threaded)
For the special details: 1 pool noodle craft foam permanent markers string 3 large sponges about 40 feet of nylon lawn chair webbing paper fasteners adhesive-backed Velcro
Kid Wash diagram 2
1. Cut the Pieces and Make the Waterholes
Using a hacksaw or PVC-pipe cutter, cut the pipe into the lengths shown at right (twenty-two 2 1/2 feet length; one 5 foot; four 3 foot; two 1 foot; three 6-inches). Be sure to sweep or vacuum up the plastic dust. Use a 1/8-inch bit to drill waterholes: 12 holes each in crosspieces X and Y, spaced 2 to 3 inches apart; 3 holes, all on the same side, in each of the 2 side pieces shown, and 3 holes at the tops of 2 of the caps.2. Assemble the Frame
Connect the fittings and pipe sections as shown in the diagram at the top of the page. Use a mallet to pound the pieces firmly together for extra stability.
3. Add the Special Details
Entry Arch and Sign
A) Entry Arch and Sign. Push a pool noodle with holes in the ends onto the capped pipes to form an arch (the holes may need to be cut or widened with a knife), as shown at the top of the page. Use craft foam and permanent markers to make a sign. Punch holes in the sign and hang it from the arch with string.
B) Kid Scrubbers. Thread varying lengths of string through 3 large sponges and tie them to crosspiece Y.
Kid ScrubbersC) Body Buffers. Cut the lawn chair webbing (available at most hardware stores) into 8 or so 4 1/2-foot lengths. Loop each one over crosspiece Z and secure with a paper fastener.
Body Buffers
D) Stop and Go Gate. Attach the swinging gate arm by slipping the larger T fitting over the straight fitting as shown.   Make the Stop and Go signs from craft foam circles, 8 1/2 inches in diameter. Label with markers.
Next, use adhesive-backed Velcro to attach the Stop sign at the end of the swinging arm (D1). Align the Go sign on the upright piece so that it sits directly behind the Stop sign (D2) when the gate is closed and affix it with Velcro.
Stop and Go GateStop and Go Gate
E) Water! Attach the hose adapter and the hose, turn on the water, adjust the pressure, and let the fun begin.
Stop and Go Gate
Do you speak PVC (polyvinyl chloride)? Here’s a quick tutorial. Note: prices vary by store, but each piece generally runs from 20 cents to $1.50.
T fitting
T fitting
Cross fitting
Cross fitting
90-degree elbow fitting
90-degree elbow fitting
Female hose adapter (threaded)
Female hose adapter
Straight fitting cap
Straight fitting cap
Tube cap
Tube cap

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