With school summer holidays approaching and the UK seeing record breaking heatwaves, we’re looking for cheap and fun ways to stay cool when playing outside (when the temperature is safe to do so of course). No paddling pool? No problem. These outdoor water games are full of splash but much cheaper, saving plenty of money and water down the drain! Let us know ‘water’ you think if you try them. 

1) Reusable Water Bombs

Water balloon fights are an all-time classic! This remix makes them reusable (and potentially free if you already have these around the house) by using sponges or creating a cloth ball rolled up and dunking them in water instead of filling actual balloons. These can then be used as a normal water balloon would, dunk and throw! This also avoids the little plastic scraps that are left from traditional water balloons bursting, that would mean an annoying clean up, or remain littering the area and eventually be washed into water ways!

2) Plastic water bottle guns

Water guns can be expensive, and cheap ones can break often! Want a free alternative with less plastic waste? Grab some empty bottles from the recycling. Ones with squeezy lids such as sports drinks or washing up liquid make the perfect water gun replacement as they can shoot a decent stream of water, and will also remind the kids to stay hydrated in the sun!

Make it double the activity by getting the kids to decorate their bottles first, so they look more exciting than a bottle of washing up liquid! And when all the funs over, decorations can be peeled off and chuck them back in the recycling.

3) Homemade water table

Do you have a spare plastic box somewhere in the house? If so, you can fill this up with water and use it as a water table for your kids to learn and play in. The size of the box doesn't matter too much, as long as there is enough space for your kids to get creative as they play with their toys – make sure all the toys taken outside for this are waterproof and not electric!

At the end of play time, this water can be used to water any plants.

4) Water pong

You’ve probably heard of beer pong, but what about water pong? This fun summer activity is family friendly twist on a classic drinking game, making it perfect for all ages to play in this heat. Set up the cups at either end of the table and fill them with water. You play just like beer pong, trying to throw a ball into the other team's cups, but if you sink your shot, you get to throw the cup of water over a person on the other team! The winning team is the team that has thrown all their opponent's water over them. Of course, we would always recommend using reusable cups, no need to buy paper or plastic ones just for this - raid the kitchen!

Looking for more outdoor activities for kids? Check out these 10 ideas to connect to nature.

Find out more

Shocked at the heatwaves this year? The weather has been strange, jumping straight from extreme heat to thunderstorms. You might have guessed it’s climate change, but what exactly is going on? Check out our blog on why the weather is being so weird.

Learn why here