19 Backyard Water Balloon Games To Make A Splash At Summer Parties

Backyard water balloon games are the perfect way to keep kids and adults entertained while staying cool this summer. From hilarious water relay races to creative splashing target tosses, these water games will make your backyard party the ultimate summer fun zone. Whether you’re planning a backyard birthday party, a fun family gathering, or just a fun afternoon with friends, add these refreshing summer games!

Backyard Water Balloon Games 3 girls with water balloons on a background of blue water

Best Backyard Water Balloon Games To Splash Into Summer

Best water balloon games tip: Grab these balloons to make filling water balloons easy for your summer backyard party!

Traditional Water Balloon Toss

How to Play:

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  • Players form pairs and stand facing each other.
  • Start close together and toss a water balloon back and forth.
  • With each successful catch, take a step back.
  • The pair with the balloon intact after the longest toss wins.

Water Balloon Volleyball / Balloon Badminton

How to Play:

  • Set up a net or use a rope as a makeshift net.
  • Divide players into two teams.
  • Use towels or cheap butterfly nets like this to catch and toss the water balloon over the net.
  • The team that makes the balloon burst on the opponent’s side gets a point.

Water Balloon Piñata

How to Play:

  • Hang water balloons from a string.
  • Blindfold a player and give them a bat or stick.
  • The player tries to hit the balloons and burst them. You can also set a timer (like 20 seconds) to see if they can burst the most within that time.

PRO PARTY TIP: You can also hide small (waterproof) prizes inside the water balloons for kids to keep if they bust the balloon.

Water Balloon Relay Race

How to Play:

  • Divide players into teams.
  • Each player must carry a water balloon on a spoon from start to finish, pass it off to their teammate who goes back to start and passes it to the next teammate, all without dropping the water balloon. (The goal is to get through all the teammates before bursting a balloon.)
  • The team that finishes first without breaking their balloons wins. If the balloon breaks at any point, the team must start over.

Water Balloon Target Toss

How to Play:

  • Set up targets at various distances (e.g., buckets or hoops).
  • Players take turns throwing water balloons at the targets.
  • Award points based on difficulty or distance.

Water Balloon Baseball

How to Play:

  • Use a foam play bat a water balloon as the ball.
  • The pitcher throws the water balloon, and the batter tries to hit it with a bat. If the batter hits and breaks the balloon, they get a point for their team.

MORE FUN PARTY GAMES: Fun Summer Activities For Teenager Parties 

SUMMER TEEN PARTY GAMES teen female and teen male playing Twister summer game outside on lawn

Water Balloon Tag

How to Play:

  • One player is “it” and gets a water balloon.
  • “It” chases the other players and tries to tag them by bursting the balloon on them.
  • The tagged player (who got the water balloon busted on them) becomes the new “it.”

Water Balloon Capture the Flag

How to Play:

  • Divide players into two teams and give everyone flags like this.
  • Players try to capture the opponent’s flag while avoiding being hit with water balloons.
  • Players who gets hit by the water balloon (busted on them) or are out of flags, are out of the game. Last person/team standing wins.

Water Balloon Hot Potato

How to Play:

  • Players form a circle and toss a water balloon around the circle.
  • If the water balloon bursts, the player is out.
  • Continue until one player remains and wins.

Water Balloon Dodgeball

How to Play:

  • Divide players into two teams.
  • Use water balloons instead of traditional balls.
  • Players try to hit opponents with water balloons to eliminate them. The water balloon must bust for the player to be out.

FUN GAME TIP: Fill some of the water balloons all the way up and fill others just a little. This will vary how hard and easy it is to bust balloons on people.

Water Game Ideas For Backyard Party Games - text over water balloons hanging from a tree for a water balloon pinata game

Water Balloon Freeze Tag

How to Play:

  • One player is “it” and tags others with water balloons. The water balloons must burst on the person to make it count.
  • Tagged players must freeze in place.
  • Other players can unfreeze them by throwing a water balloon to burst on them.

Water Balloon Obstacle Course

How to Play:

  • Set up an obstacle course in the backyard.
  • Players carry a water balloon through the course in fun and challenging ways (like on a spoon, on their head, etc.).
  • The fastest player to complete the course without breaking the balloon wins or the fastest time without busting the balloon wins.

Water Balloon Ring Toss

How to Play:

  • Set up a series of rings or hoops at varying distances.
  • Players throw water balloons aiming to land them inside the rings.
  • Score points based on the distance of the rings.

Water Balloon Hide and Seek

How to Play:

  • One player hides while others seek.
  • The seeker has a water balloon and tries to find and burst it on the hidden player.
  • The hidden player tries to avoid being found and getting wet.

These games are sure to provide hours of fun and excitement in the backyard while keeping kids cool and entertained!

Hilarious Water Balloon Relay

How to Play:

  • Divide players into teams.
  • Place a water balloon between each player’s knees.
  • Players must hop or waddle from start to finish without dropping or bursting the balloon.
  • The first team to complete the relay wins.

Water Balloon Basketball

How to Play:

  • Set up a basketball hoop or use a large bucket.
  • Players take turns trying to shoot water balloons into the hoop or bucket without bursting the balloons.
  • Award points for successful shots. Team with most successful shots wins.

Water Balloon Duck, Duck, Splash

How to Play:

  • Players sit in a circle, like in the traditional game of Duck, Duck, Goose.
  • Instead of tapping players’ heads, the “it” player lightly touches them with a water balloon.
  • When “splash” is called, the balloon is broken over the player’s head where the “it” player is standing. That player then becomes “it.” Last dry player wins.

Water Balloon Bullseye

How to Play:

  • Draw a large bullseye on the ground with chalk.
  • Players throw water balloons trying to hit the center of the bullseye without busting their balloon.
  • You can also award points based on where the balloons land.

Water Balloon Bowling

How to Play:

  • Set up a row of empty plastic water bottles as bowling pins.
  • Players take turns rolling or throwing water balloons to knock down the pins.
  • The player with the most knockdowns wins.

MORE FUN SUMMER PARTIES: Creative Summer Sleepover Ideas For Kids

SUMMER SLEEPOVER IDEAS FOR KIDS DIFFERENT IMAGES OF SUMMER SLUMBER PARTY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS - text over different summer slumber party activities and decorations

Have fun with these backyard water balloon games!

DISCLOSURE: Affiliate links are used on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please refer to our DISCLOSURE.

About the author

Friends have called Jackie the "Midwestern Martha" [Stewart] because of her 20 years of over-the-top theme parties, super fun sleepover tips, fun theme recipes, DIY game ideas and awesome party tips! LEARN MORE

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