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At a loose end this summer? Get out the water balloons! Find out how to make water balloons, fill them, and discover our top kids' water balloon games here.

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A close up image of colourful water balloons.

How to make water balloons

and what to do with them

When the weather is at its scorching best, water balloon games are the perfect thing to tempt the kids outside and away from any screens. And let’s be honest – not many parents can resist the call of a water balloon fight, either. 

So without further ado, here’s how to make, fill, and use water balloons with your kids. Just be warned: once the balloons are in their hands, all bets are off.

How to make water balloons

How to find (or create) water balloons

Most toy shops carry purpose-made water balloons for kids these days. If you’re out of luck, regular party balloons will do: just bear in mind that these won’t pop as easily during your water balloon games.

Feeling crafty? Check out our kids’ origami guide to find out how to make water balloons out of paper. The key thing is to fill them and use them fast!

How to fill water balloons

Need to know how to fill water balloons without a hose? This can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make it easier:

  • Attach the water balloon’s neck to a funnel, and fill it up from the tap. You can cut the bottom off a plastic bottle to create a makeshift funnel if you need to.
  • Use an empty soap dispenser with a pump. The bigger the better. Fill it up with water, attach the balloon neck to the pump nozzle, and squirt water into the balloon. 

How to seal up water balloons

When you’re filling a balloon, make sure you leave plenty of room at the top for tying it up. If a traditional knot is hard work, try twisting the neck and securing it with a paperclip or clothes peg until you’re ready to throw it. It’s a little less secure, but getting soaked is part of the fun!

Got your missiles ready? Then it’s time for the games to begin.

Water balloon games for kids

  1. A water balloon fight! A classic for a reason: all you need to do is give each team an equal number of balloons and set them loose. The victors are those who are driest after the last water balloon has been thrown. 
  2. Water balloon painting. Put a few drops of food colouring in each water balloon and hang or lay out a big piece of paper on a flat surface outside. Then take it in turns to throw the balloons at the paper to create beautiful – and satisfyingly messy – splash patterns. 
  3. Duck, duck, sploosh! It’s the old favourite “Duck, duck, goose”, but with a twist: the person who chooses the “goose” has to try and hit them with a water balloon before they make it back to their place in the circle!
  4. Target practice. Create a target range using big hoops or paper “bad guy” silhouettes. Players can then take it in turns to hit as many targets as they can before their time is up – or they’re out of ammo.
  5. Create a water balloon slide. Lay out a plastic sheet to slide on and cover it with water balloons. Who will be brave enough to go first?
  6. Free play. Sometimes a little bit of chaos is exactly what kids need. Try giving them the balloons and letting them create their own water balloon games. 

Ground rules for any water balloon games

Before you get started with any of the water balloon games above, it’s a good idea to establish a splash-free area (or ‘safe zone’) for anyone who wants to take a break. 

A few rules can also keep things friendly: no throwing balloons at anyone’s head or face, no unequal teams, pick up your used balloons, and respect the safe zone. Don’t worry about mud stains, though: Persil liquid can take care of them for you later. 

These are just a few great ideas for whiling away a sunny afternoon. Check out our guide to having an amazing water fight for more! Now have fun, and watch your back – no parent is safe once their kids have water balloons to play with.


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