20 Kid’s Backyard Water Play Activities

20 Kid’s Backyard Water Play Activities

Summer is Here

With the weather warming up, we do a lot of outdoor cooking. Since our little one likes to hang out as we grill, we need to keep him active and away from the BBQ. Like most kids, he’s obsessed with anything having to do with water and cars, so this comes in handy. We keep a basket of items on that back patio for him to manipulate water with so he can conjure up all kinds of imaginings. Because we don’t want him to learn how to turn on the hose, we fill pitchers, buckets and the water table ahead of time. The nice thing about these 20 Kid’s Backyard Water Play Activities is that there’s no permanent markings and very little mess to clean.

In addition to lots and lots of water, these are some items you could use to experiment with when playing together. Most of these are found at our dollar store – you can’t go wrong there!

20 Kid's Backyard Water Play Activities

Kid’s Backyard Water Play Tool Ideas

  • Paint brushes – varying sizes
  • Measuring Cups
  • Ladles
  • Sand & Water Table w/ Cover or bowls, buckets, pitchers, cups to hold water
  • Egg Crates
  • Toy cars with different sized wheels
  • Varied sponges
  • Different sized balls
  • Rocks, sticks, blades of grass, leaves, bottle caps, plastic eggs, etc.
  • Paper (optional)

20 Kid's Backyard Water Play Activities

20 Kid’s Backyard Water Play Activities

  1. “Paint” with water only:
  • Concrete Floors (we announce what we’re going to paint to each other – shapes, animals, etc.)
  • House & Garage Door
  • Fence (try to paint the entire fence)
  • Rocks
  • Banisters
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Each other’s feet, legs, hands and faces (talk about what that feels like)

20 Kid's Backyard Water Play Activities

2. Pour water into egg crates & plop pebbles, sticks, small rocks into water filled spots – which made the smallest/biggest splashes & why that might have happened

3.  Talk about what animals live in water and why that may be

4. Talk about what animals can’t live in water and why that is

20 Kid's Backyard Water Play Activities

5. Dip different sized car wheels in water and roll across paper or floor

6. Pour into dump trucks & of course, dump it out

7. Pretend to wash toy cars or give toy animals/dolls a bath

20 Kid's Backyard Water Play Activities

8. Dip sponges in water and stamp floor, paper or fence

9. Squeeze water from sponge at different heights – which makes the biggest/smallest splash?

10. Stomp on water drenched sponge to see how big a splash is made

11. Capture water in plastic eggs & release it from different heights – which makes the biggest/smallest splash?

20 Kid's Backyard Water Play Activities

12. Rotate balls in water and roll them across paper or concrete floor (do this with plastic eggs too) & compare markings

13. Dip rocks, grass blades, leaves and sticks in water and stamp paper or concrete floor

14. Dip bottom and top of measuring cups and stamp ground / paper to compare their markings

15. Pour water into and out of different sized containers

16. See which containers hold the most/least amount of water

20 Kid's Backyard Water Play Activities

17. Share where water comes from and how it evaporates

18. Talk about how we use water (drink, water plants, clean plates, take baths, wash cars, etc.)

19. Hold hands in water until they wrinkle – see whose wrinkles the fastest & make guesses why this happened

20. Wet hands and feet and make footprints, hand prints, and fingerprints to compare

20 Kid's Backyard Water Play Activities

Simple Kid’s Drink

I’ve tried giving my son the fruit pouches and though he likes them, they can turn into a huge mess. The last time he enjoyed one was in his car seat. When I opened the door, I found the cutest smiling toddler smothered in a kale, green pea and carrot paste. He managed to rub it into his car seat belt too. Needless to say, those pouches have been swapped out for a simple 3/4 cup of water and a half squeezed tangerine. He loves that treat when playing outside. Check out these Mexican Frozen Hot Cocoa Popsicle and Ancho Avocado Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes as well.

20 Kid's Backyard Water Play Activities

What water activities keep your kids entertained while you’re grilling?




  1. Such cute ideas! Simple and cost effective too, love that. We will definitely be using some of these this summer, if the weather ever gets here!

  2. These are all such great ideas! Definitely flagging it for when our kids are older!

  3. Pinning to save for later

  4. This seems to be great idea to host a backyard party! It would be fun and sweet at the same time.

  5. My boy’s all grown up, but these will be great for the neighbor kids! Love the idea of “painting” with water because they can do it over, and over, and over…

  6. Great ideas! I can’t wait to try these out!

  7. Such a great list! Hopefully I can try some of these out with the kids I babysit!


  8. My son loves anything to do with water, so this list is perfect for him. We got him a water table and he loves playing with it.

  9. These are great ideas for summer. I am trying to make a list of activities for the kids to keep them busy and this is definitely getting added.

  10. These are such wonderful ideas. I cant wait to try them.

  11. Love all of these ideas. I think my little guy will especially love painting the house with water 💦

  12. We do the water and paintbrushes. The kids love it! It also helped us get our playset cleaned off a bit. 😀

  13. Awe how cute! All of these ideas are so fun and great for the kiddies!

  14. great ideas, I wanna try some with my toddler!

  15. So much fun to add to our summer list!

  16. can’t wait to try some of these!

  17. What fun ideas! Definitely Pinning for reference.

  18. These are great! My kids will love these!!

  19. tiffindrama

    These look like really great and simple ideas. My toddler LOVES playing with water so I can just set it up and watch her have a ball!

  20. these are all great. We just busted out the kiddie pool and water table!

  21. Oh I’m totally going to bust out some paintbrushes so my kids can paint! Thanks for the great ideas

  22. How fun is this list!! Will have to try some of these out with my son!!

  23. So many great ideas! We’ve done several with our toddler (who also loves water!) but will remember some of the others. I need to pick up some paint brushes!

  24. coffee with Addison

    We are all about painting the patio. I have taught him how to get more “paint” now too.


Comments, Suggestions, Ideas?