Stress-Free, Mess-Free: 6 Easy Water Activities for Kids

The school year is coming to an end and the temperature is rising. Soon it will be unbearably hot, and that’s okay with me! I love summer. I love the heat. I love the extra time with my family. I especially love not being on a schedule. But, there are things about summer I don’t enjoy.

I don’t enjoy setting up water toys (pools, slip-n-slides, inflatables) just to have the kids complain about the heat and want to go inside. I don’t enjoy getting kids into swimsuits and slathered up in sunscreen only to have them need to use the restroom the moment we are ready to play. I don’t enjoy pulling out the sprinkler, then watching as one kid runs around the yard just outside of the water’s reach while another is crying from stubbing their toe on the sprinkler.

I definitely want to spend our summer outdoors, but I need some fun ways to stay cool that don’t require any extra planning or elaborate setup. So, I’m sharing with you 6 stress-free, mess-free ways to keep your kids cool this summer, while you kick back and relax.

6 Stress-Free Water Activities for Summer:

Paint the Deck (or sidewalk)

Supplies: Water and paint brushes

This is embarrassingly simple, but once my kids started doing it, it quickly became one of their favorite outdoor activities. Painting with water is cooler (and less messy) than chalk. Plus as it dries it disappears, allowing for endless hours of creating.

water activities summer

Break the Ice

Supplies: Container, water, small toys

This is one of the only activities here that requires a little planning, but you could make a bunch and then just pull them out of the freezer when you need a quick activity. Simply put some small plastic toys in a Tupperware container and fill with water. Freeze until solid. Let your kids pound it, drop it, pour water on it, do whatever they can to break the ice and ‘save’ their toys!

water activities summer

Spray Silhouettes

Supplies: Spray bottle and water

Have your kids lay flat in different poses on the sidewalk while you spray around their body.

water activities summer

Tubs of Suds

Supplies: Mixer, Container, and bubble mix (or approx. 1:3 dish soap to water)

Pour about ½ cup bubble mix into mixing bowl and whip until fluffy and stiff. Transfer to container for outdoor play. These suds make great clouds for My Little Ponies, or get out all the Hot Wheels for a car wash.  

water activities summer

Target Practice

Supplies: Water guns and targets

Tape targets around the yard or encourage kids to set up their own obstacle course incorporating targets. Bonus – the targets may keep your kids from squirting you…or not.

water activities summer

Science Experiments/Kitchen Recipes/Magic Potions

Supplies: Bowls, utensils, measuring supplies, water

This is by far my daughters’ favorite thing to do outside. It’s also why so much of my Tupperware goes missing in our back yard. They will gather up some kitchen equipment, collect some water, and usually pick some weeds or flower petals they find around the yard and mix it into magic potions. This is usually just the beginning of the game, and soon their imaginative play will continue as they develop characters and an entire story line.

water activities summer 

This summer I am going to try to be more engaging with my children. This means I will let them lead as we play and I will spend less time trying to prepare for activities or construct what I think is fun. Let your children’s imaginations guide them while you step back and relax.


Michele Langseth
Michele is a wife and a mother of three girls (7, 4, &1). She is originally from Sioux City, IA but has lived with her husband in North Liberty for almost 9 years. She works from home as an in-home childcare provider as well as a mompreneur making specialty desserts as well as children’s accessories and apparel. She spends her days creating all types of artwork and food while constantly learning new skills. She began her blog this year as a way to document her journey to rediscover her passion for art.


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