Cincinnati Family Magazine

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March 31, 2023

Cool Down!: Beat the Heat with Backyard Water Fun

As it gets hot, the best thing you can imagine is a cool spot and a cold drink. These energizing outdoor activities will provide your family with hours of fun without any mess in the house! Try a few of these ideas every month, or go crazy and have a water party where you try them all!

Get everyone in their bathing suits (including Mom and Dad), and use lots of sunscreen. Fill up the kiddie pool, hook up the sprinklers, and let’s go!

Rain Contest

Fill big and small buckets with water, toss the water up to the sky, and enjoy the “rain.” Have a contest to see who can throw theirs the highest, make the most rain or cover the biggest area.

Sprinkler Fun

Play a game of frisbee through the sprinkler. Set up a badminton or volleyball net over the sprinkler and play. Or put the sprinkler under the swingset, and turn the slide into a waterslide with the hose. Roll out some big tarps or a Slip-And-Slide for water-sliding fun.

Kiddie Pool Madness

Play softball with the kiddie pool as homebase for a big splash ending. You can also make paper boats and sail them in the pool. For more excitement, make motor boats out of soda bottles. Using 16-ounce plastic bottles, wrap a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda in toilet paper, place in the bottle and pour in some vinegar. Screw the lid on partway and have a race as the chemical reaction powers the boats!

Have a “diving excursion” by tossing small prizes in the pool and using sieves, chopsticks and spoons to scoop them out.

A Freezer-Full of Ideas

Freeze a big bowl of water with coins and other prizes in it ahead of time. Dump it out on a picnic table and let everyone go at it with spoons to chip out the prizes, or float it in the pool. Crush some ice and see if anyone can make an ice castle or any other creation before it melts. Have a contest to see who can melt an ice cube the fastest and compare techniques.

Don’t Forget the Pets

Make sure you get the family pets wet, too. Try throwing your dog’s favorite toy (make sure it floats!) into the kiddie pool or sprinkler. Give your kids waterproof, disposable cameras to capture all the fun on film!

A Slushy End

Everyone will be quite thristy after all this activity. You can end the day with a slushy: just freeze some juice, lemonade or iced tea in an ice cube tray and run it through the blender. Or freeze watermelon, strawberries or grapes on skewers for an ice treat. Ask your kids to come up with their own hot weather diversions – make a contest out of it – and enjoy your summer!

Brette McWhorter Sember is a freelance writer and author of 15 books for children and adults.

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