WARNING: The following will be absolutely killer on your lawn, but it's guaranteed fun for the kids (and adults!)
Create your own waterpark!
While you're working on the yard, getting things together, have your children come up with a name for the water park. Then, have them decorate a large piece of poster or foam core board with the name of the park and some water-themed illustrations. They can also make signs for individuals "rides" adding their own names to each. Stake these signs into the ground by attaching the posterboard to a yard sick and hammering it into the lawn.
Set up stations
If you have a small yard, keep it simple and lay out everything before you stake your lawn or fill your wading pool in order to make sure it all fits. Here are our ideas for some "rides." All require adult supervision.
1. Slip 'n' Slide Always popular, but if you don't have the store bought one, it's simple to make by buying a long blue tarp at a hardware store and staking it into the ground. Then, add your hose and voila!
2. The Sprinkler! Everyone's favorite. But add a twist to this and turn it into sprinkler hot potato. Play tropical music and have the kids jump through it one at a time. Whomever is caught in the sprinkler when you stop the music gets hit with a …
3….WATERBALLOON! Not only perfect for the sprinkler hot potato, but also fun for the kids to have a contest seeing who can break the most water balloons in a minute by sitting on them. This will require filling up a bunch of balloons, but if you get the kids to help, it goes faster!
4. Kiddie pool. For the toddlers, add a plastic backyard slide into their kiddie pool and hose it down with water to make the "slide" into the pool a little more exciting.
5. This activity is probably best to do first, while your kids are still dry. It's a "watered down" version of paint ball. Have your kids load up their water guns and have them throw on an old white or light colored shirt over their bathing suits. Set up some backyard items to act as barriers (chairs, backyard toys, etc.) and set the timer for five minutes. See who can "soak" the other person with water the most in the allotted time.
6. Bullseye! On pieces of posterboard, draw a giant bullseye. Secure the posterboard to a stake and stick it in the ground, at eye-level for your child. Fill small waterguns with a mix of water and a tiny drop of food coloring. Have your child stand several paces away from the target and shoot away. The food coloring will let them know how close they came to hitting their mark. But just be careful where they aim the water gun, food coloring will stain!