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7 summer activities for kids that use less water!

7 summer activities for kids that use less water!

kids playing with hoses and water guns in the garden

Since discussing water scarcity, it’s fair to say that a few eyes have been opened to the importance of conserving water. Have you started thinking about ways you can save more water? We’ve got plenty of tips on our blog. But, when the weather gets warmer, sticky and somewhat insufferable – water is our go-to. Wet flannels to cool our brows. Paddling pools to dip our toes in. But last week we learned that that isn’t possible in many countries. So, what can we learn from them? Instead of talking about water activities for kids that limit the fun, here are 7 activities for kids that bring all the enjoyment of summer, without the heavy strain on precious resources. 



Efficient water activities for kids 

Do you remember our blog from a few months back that talked about functional gardens? We spoke about how important a water butt can be, but now is the time to utilise that water. If you are left with any water in your water butt after watering your plants, here are some ideas for some fun water activities for kids. 

Water activites for kids: balancing games! 

We love this idea and you don’t need to have any specific pieces of equipment to play along. It’s just a game of balance. One idea is to pop a cup of water on the top of a Jenga tower. The person who tips the tower risks getting wet. You might try and balance a cup of water over a broomstick and play limbo. If you have older kids, you could get them balancing a cup of water on top of a pair of chopsticks and run lengths up and down the garden to see who is the fastest. Like an egg and spoon race! 

Reusable water balloons 

There’s nothing worse than those tiny pieces of plastic covering your lawn after a good water balloon fight. So why not check out reusable water balloons. We’ve found a wide selection online and ones you can even make yourself if you’re an avid crochet fan!  

Check out these self-sealing and explosive water balloons, creating quite the splat! But also, these reusable water balloons made from yarn. The fibres of the material soak up a lot of water. But when it is released and hits something, it expels it all, just like a water balloon. Use your water butt to fill these up and use them over and over again. A water-saving activity with no waste – perfect! If you want to remove the water altogether, use flour instead. It works just the same. 

Recycled water slip n slide 

Still using water from your water butt, create yourself a recycled water slip n slide. You could even reuse your bath water for this idea as it has a lot of soap suds perfect for the slide. Alternatively, you can make your own soap for this idea too! A lot of people will use bin bags when it comes to making their own slip n slide. But this often leads to ripped bags that can’t be reused.  

So, what can you use instead? An old PVC shower curtain or some tarpaulin can be ideal depending on the age of your kids. They’re both items you can reuse every summer and they won’t cost you more than £20 – you might even have some already lying around! Of course, be sure to make your own dish soap to make your slip n slide extra slippery without creating bottles of plastic waste.  

Water gun fun with recycled water 

Of course, this one is relatively self-explanatory, but it’s another way you can reuse water. From your water butt or allowing old cooking water to cool down before using it. Grab whatever water guns you already own or treat yourself to a new one – you may even find a couple of pre-loved ones for sale on the Facebook Marketplace. Fill them up and go! 

Activities for kids that involve no water 

You’ll notice that the activities mentioned above all allow you to easily pour a little bit of water from your water butt. Very rarely will you be able to fill an entire paddling pool from a water butt, plus it’s not exactly the nicest water to be bathing in. There’s no need to grab the hose pipe just yet though, we have a few more summer activities that don’t use any water at all! 

The sun is lava! 

You may have heard of the game ‘the floor is lava’ where the idea is to not touch the floor. It’s time to bring it outside! Set up several shade spots in your garden and areas to stand on and then lay down the rules. Whoever stands in the sunshine gets squirted with the water gun or has a reusable water balloon thrown at them. You could even remove the water idea altogether and just say the person to remain in the shade the longest win. Remember with this game, you have to move every minute, so no cheating by staying in one spot! 

Paint splatting 

Poster paints or watercolours are the best for this one, mainly because they’re fairly thin paints so are perfect for splatting. Grab yourself a canvas, it can be as small as a piece of paper or use an old bed single colour bed sheet that’s seen better days.  

Get various pots of paint, water them down if you need to, then get splatting. You can use paintbrushes if you have them or dip your hands in the paint and get flicking. Be creative, dip and flick your hair back and forth or use old socks and fling them about. This is a great activity for using up old useless items around the home, having fun, and also letting off a bit of steam! 

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plastic bag floating in tropical waters surrounded by colourful fish

Cup on a string 

Another cheap DIY game that you can adapt in a variety of ways. The one thing you will need is a long piece of string to tie across the garden – you might even be able to use an old washing line. You can make the string go straight across, or under chairs, perhaps over swing sets and up slides.   

Now, what you attach to the string is up to you, but it needs to be relatively lightweight. It might be some old plastic cups that you’re still trying to find a way to use. Perhaps a ping pong ball? You need to be able to pop a hole in it though so you can fix it to the string. 

Once on the string, it’s time for a relay race! Who can get the items to one end of the string first, without using hands! You can fan it across with a piece of card or blow on it (although remember not to blow too hard in the heat or you might end up a bit dizzy).



While there are plenty of ways to enjoy the summer heat using water, there are so many games that can be just as fun with little to none at all. Just remember to try and recycle water as much as you can and stay away from the hose pipe. Using water wisely in the garden doesn’t mean your summer needs to be boring and dry!

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