Water Balloon Games for Kidsby Tiffany Silverberg
From launchers to hose adapters, the tools that exist to upgrade the water balloon experience are endless. Still, even with just a bag of balloons and a hose, nothing says "hot summer afternoon warfare" like a water balloon. Whether you are hosting a Memorial Day picnic, a summer birthday party or a Labor Day extravaganza, put together some water balloon games for splashing time.
To Pop or Not to Pop
There are the two main purposes of water balloon games. You can ask the kids to toss the balloons back and forth or among one another, trying not to drop a balloon. Alternatively, you can tell them to run relays or obstacle courses, with the purpose of popping balloons at certain intervals. No matter the objective, popping will happen, providing splashes of water, which is the main point of water balloons. No dropping or popping at all will lead to boredom quickly.
Despite their apparent innocence, water balloons can be dangerous for certain age groups. According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, balloons are among the leading cause of toy-related deaths and choking deaths for those up to age 6. If you are planning a party for children 6 and under, skip the balloons. You can use water-dipped sponges or foam balls instead. If you have a mixture of ages attending, provide plenty of adult supervision to prevent balloons from going into mouths.
Be sensitive to the ages and abilities of your guests when planning your water balloon games. It's easier to sit on and pop a balloon than to balance and toss without popping a balloon. Younger kids may enjoy an obstacle course that encourages lots of popping. Junior high and high school kids might enjoy a dodge ball or tag type of game that involves avoiding the splash of balloons being thrown near them.
Packs of water balloons, launchers and other accessories keep the fun going for older kids. Those under age 6 shouldn't be encouraged to enjoy water balloons by themselves. For younger participants, give out coupons to local ice cream shops or age-appropriate beach or pool toys.
Give yourself plenty of room, away from crowds, for these games. A field or backyard works well since the dirt is more forgiving when falls occur. Use brightly colored balloons that will easily stand out against the field around them. Ask adults to volunteer, or kids to help, pick up all the little pieces of balloon to avoid choking hazards to kids and animals.
- Mass of colorful rubber balloons floats in fountain water image by fotosergio from Fotolia.com