Play a Game of Splat
Fill a dozen water balloons and take turns throwing them high into the air over the driveway. Make sure they pop on impact because you're competing to see who can make the biggest water splat. Use chalk to trace the outline of the watermark and determine who won.
Bob for Apples and Other Bucket Fun
Fill a large container with water and apples and have the kids hunt for them with their mouths. Once each kid has claimed an apple, play a game of sink or float. Gather household objects that can get wet (a shampoo bottle, a Matchbox car, a soup ladle) and make predictions about whether or not each object will sink or float. When things sink, kids can go in after them and cool off even more.
What's great about this aquatic adaptation of musical statues is that everyone's a winner and everyone gets wet! Ideally, you'll need a rotating lawn sprinkler (alternatively, you can make a sprinkler by poking holes in a plastic water bottle and attaching the hose pipe to the opening).
Someone is then appointed to man the tap. Start the game with the sprinkler turned off. Players must move around the sprinkler area, jumping, dancing or striking funny poses.
When the sprinkler is turned on, they must freeze in position and get drenched until the sprinkler is turned off again.
You'll need plastic cups, water and a long skipping rope. One at a time while holding their cups filled with water, players must jump into the skipping rope and complete 6 jumps. The player with the most water left wins.
Fill It Up
Divide a group into teams of two. Have teammates stand 2 metres from one another, one holding a small cup with a Ping-Pong ball in it and the other a water-filled spray bottle. On "go," players with bottles try to be the first to squirt enough water into their teammate's cup to float out the ball. Keep a bucket of water nearby for refilling. If teammates get closer than two metres, they must dump out the water in the cup and start over.
1 to 10 players is required for this game, as well as a pair of loose-fitting sweatpants for each team. Then line up the teams side by side, set a bucket of water between them, and position a folding chair about 6 metres away. At the signal, the first child in each line dunks his team's sweatpants in the water, puts them on, and then runs around the chair and back to the starting line. There, he peels off the sweatpants (like a banana) and gives them to the next runner to dunk and don (inside out or right-side out), and so on. The first team whose members have all completed the task wins.
Painting with Coloured Ice
This is a fun way to cool off and a great project to do outdoors! Coloured ice is easily made using a few drops of food colouring in the ice tray, and even more interesting if you have novelty ice trays, such as stars or other shapes!
These can be easily made from kitchen sponges that are cut up and tied together, and they last longer than water balloons and are softer and splashier than regular balls. Tip: Use new sponges, and be sure not to wet them ahead of time; they are easier to cut straight out of the package.
You will need three 1.3cm x 7cm x 10.8cm sponges. With a pen and a ruler, make five lines lengthwise on a sponge, each 0.5 inch apart. Then cut the sponge, using the lines as a guide, into six rods. Repeat with the other two sponges. Finally, lay strips on top of each other in three layers, five to six to a layer. Cinch them across the middle with a piece of string; knot it tightly. Fluff pieces out into a ball.
DIY Slip and Slide
For this you'll need heavy duty plastic (about 1.5m x 90cm). If possible, this should be placed on a slight incline, fixing it in place with garden stakes (or tent pegs) on both sides, every 120cm or so to keep it in place. Then proceed to wet it with the hose-pipe, or place a sprinkler close by to make it slippery.
Tin Foil River and Mini Ice Boats
Fill some ice cube trays with colored water, cover them with cling wrap, and poke toothpicks through. When they freeze, you can make the paper sails. Then you can use tin foil for the river (it helps to position it on a slope!). Unroll the foil and curl up the sides a little and then aim the garden hose in the middle and place your ice boats in the stream!