A child with water on his face.

Make a splash! How to have a water fight


We’ve all been there. It’s a sweltering summer day and the kids are restless, but it’s too hot to go for a long walk or play sports. What could be a more perfect time to play some kids’ water games – or better yet, have an all-out family water fight? 

Of course, neither of these things can happen without some crafty parental planning. Here’s our guide to setting up the ultimate day of water fight games for kids this summer, from prep to play ideas.

The four golden rules for any water games for kids

  • Bring plenty of things to play with. Water pistols are probably first on anyone’s wish list for water fight games, but you don’t need to limit yourself to them. Water balloons, buckets, hoses, sponges, and rags can all be used to soak an opponent. 
  • Make sure you can always top up your water supply. It’s the water fight to end all water fights, and you’re about to drench your opponent in a game-winning move. But then the worst happens: you’re out of water. 

Nothing shortens the lifespan of any water fight game quicker than running out of ammo. That’s why all good water fights have buckets of water, a tap, or a hose nearby. Choose your location (battleground?) with this in mind. 

  • Dress for mess. This is one case where water won’t make your clothes cleaner. Dress in light, casual clothing that you don't mind getting dirty. If you do end up getting a few mud stains, don’t worry: Persil liquid can handle them.
  • Watch your water use. Give a little back to the planet and keep water waste down. Have a set time limit for your games, and remember that you’ll be giving the lawn a good soaking while you play – so there’s no need to water for a while. Discover more water-saving tips here.

5 of the best water fight games for kids 

You’ve got your players kitted out and you’re ready to go. But what are the rules? Here are some ideas for separating the winners from the losers.

  • Split into teams and set a timer: See which team is the most wet when time’s up. The driest team wins.
  • Dodgeball: Fill balloons with water and play a game of dodgeball. Last person or team left standing wins.
  • Chase: If you only have one water pistol, play a game of chase to decide who has it. Whoever gets hit by the water first becomes ‘it’ and takes hold of the pistol.
  • Catch: Ideal if you’re looking for gentler kids’ water play ideas. One player throws water balloons into the air, while another tries to catch them in a colander held over their head. The winner is whoever catches the most balloons.
  • No rules: Let’s face it, a water fight doesn’t need rules to be fun! Your one rule? Get your opponents as wet as possible – however you can.

Top tip: These games are perfect for kids aged seven and over. If you’re looking for some quieter water play ideas for younger siblings, try our easy water experiments

Keep safe while playing water games for kids

Water can make surfaces slippery, so make sure everyone in the family is wearing comfortable shoes that grip well. Keep buckets and other easily-tripped-over objects out of the way. Finally, avoid throwing objects (even water balloons) at someone’s face or head.

That’s it: now you know how to have a water fight in a way that’s both fun and safe. So prepare for battle!

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