Free Water Games and Activities | ESL English for Summer Schools and Camps

Fun Water Theme Unit Vocabulary for Children in PreSchool, Nursery, Kindergarten, and International School Classrooms. Fun Water Sports for Summer Camp and Summer Schools. Educational Resources Written, Tried and Tested by English Language Teachers Working With Students in Japan. © The Magic Crayons

  • 1. Wet Relay


    How To Play

    REQUIRES: 1 paper cup per team, bucket/bottle with a "fill" line for each team, a couple large buckets of water for students to use to fill their cup with

  • SET UP: Each team lines up. A meter or so away a water bucket is placed. several meters from there a container of some sort is place on the ground (the container should NOT be one that will easily tip over.

    PLAY: The referree shouts "go" the first student on each teams runs to a bucket of water, fills their cup as full as possible, puts it on top of his head and walks/runs (while holding it on the top of his head with his hand) to their teams container, pours the remaining water into the container, runs back to his team, passes the cup to the next person and then runs to the back of the line. Once all students have gone once (some teams might neeed to have acouple students go twice to make it so each team has the same number of people pour water into the collection container. When all students have gone then crown the team with the most water the champion and the fastest team as the runner up!

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  • 2. Splash Tag


    How To Play

    1. One person is designated as being It. Players run away from It, who tries to tag them by throwing a wet sponge.

  • 2. Once tagged, that person becomes the new It. The great thing about this game is that there's no bickering about whether or not someone got tagged. The splatter on his or her back says it all.

  • Kids Water Soaker

    Foam Water Shooter Pack. Being cased in foam they are less prone to damage by excited children when they are dropped or packed up. Plastic super soakers damage easily.

    Water Soaker (Amazon #Ad) 
  • Buckets

    12x7" Buckets for Kids with Handles. Essential for the classic How Much Cold Water Can I Pour Over My Teacher Game!

    Buckets (Amazon #Ad) 
  • Inflatable Pool for Kids

    Thicker than most pools, reducing the risk of punctures and ensuring a long service life. You want the pool to last a week so go for sturdy! Remember that it will take a whole morning to fill up!

    Inflatable Pool (Amazon #Ad) 
  • Big Bubble Wand

    So much fun! Buy a large container of bubble solution too!

    Bubble Wand (Amazon #Ad) 
  • 3. Soak The Teacher


    How To Play

    REQUIRES: ziploc bags-one for each student, buckets of water

    SET UP: Students play in their teams from the morning. a large circle is drawn on the ground and an x is drawn in the middle. the order of the teams is chosen in some way, junken, etc...

    PLAY: Each team takes a turn. The first team to play comes up and fills their zip loc bag with water and seals it. The students then stand on the circle and the teacher stands in the middle on the x. A signal is given and the students can throw the bags of water at the teacher. Each bag that hits the teacher wins the team a point and each bag that breaks on the teacher and soaks the teacher wins them 2 points. The points for the team are recorded and then that teams sits down and the next teams takes its turn. Once all the teams have had their turn the champion is crowned!

  • 4. Shaving Cream Shoot Off


    How To Play

    REQUIRES: a water gun for each team, a bucket of clean water to fill guns up at (several teams could share one), shaving cream

    SET UP: Students play in the team from the morning classes. The team lines up at one end of the play area and the teacher stands some distance away. The water source should be placed between the teacher and the place where the teams will shoot from. a shooting area (a circle scratched into the ground or something of the like) for each team should be made. Each teacher should be covered in a shaving cream design on their shirt (a circle, a letter, etc.... but it should be the same for each team to make it fair)

    PLAY: The first student from each team runs to the water source, fills the water gun and runs to the shooting area to shoot the teacher. When the gun is empty he runs back to his team, passes the gun to the next student and goes to the back of the line. The first team to remove the shaving cream from the teacher's shirt is the champion team.

  • 5. Water Revenge


    How To Play

    REQUIRES: a clothesline -one clothesline for 2 or 3 teams, clothes pegs (2 per team) a paper with a picture of each team (a picture of a fish for the fish team, etc...) one squirt gun for each team. a laminated headband for each team

    SET UP: Students play in the teams from the morning classes. Set up the clotheslines and hang the team pictures on it (with space in between them ) using the clothes pegs. Fill a couple buckets with clean water (several teams can share one bucket. Draw a line about 1 m away from the clothesline and make sure students know that they can't go over that line. (If they do a referee might shoot them with a water gun or some such penalty

    PLAY: The first person on each team puts on his teams headband. The referee yells "go" and the first person on each team runs to the water bucket, fills the gun and then runs to the shooting line and shoots any OTHER teams sign (NOT their own). (since they are wearing the headband the other teams can see which team they want to get revenge on!) When the gun is empty they run back to their team, pass the gun to the next person and go to the back of the line. Play continues until their teams sign gets so wet that it falls from the clothes pegs onto the ground. At that point their team is finished. The team with their sign up when all the others teams signs have fallen is the champion team and should get sprayed with water or some other fitting celebration!

  • 6. Rainy Relay


    How To Play

    Two teams with an equal number of players per side. Two buckets per team, one empty and one full of water
    For each team, a plastic cup with 3 holes punched into the sides

    1. Provide each team with one empty and one full bucket, as well as a plastic cup.

    2. Set the empty buckets at one end of the school ground and the full ones at the other near the kids.

    3. At the word "Go," the first player on each team dips his cup into his water bucket and holds it over his head as he dashes to the other end of the yard. (No covering holes with fingers, please!)

    4. When a player reaches the second bucket, he dumps what's left in his cup into it, runs back to the start, and passes the cup to the next player.

    5. The game continues until the formerly full bucket is empty.

    6. The team with the most water in the second bucket wins.

  • 7. Splatt


    How To Play

    Time: 10 minutes
    Receptive Language: instructions, directions
    Productive Language: forward, back, left, right, stop, etc
    Game Explanation: Take the students outside & divide them into teams. Each team is assigned a watergun & the waterguns are scattered around the playing area. One student from each team is blindfolded & brought to the middle of the playing area (try & make sure that the waterguns are all equally equidistant from this beginning point). On your command, each team begins yelling directions (in English) to their blindfolded teammate in an attempt to get him or her to the team’s assigned watergun first/ The first student to find his team’s watergun can take off his blindfold & squirt (or ‘kill’) the other blindfolded students. Repeat until all of the students have had a chance to hunt, blindly & awkwardly, for their team’s plastic & water-shooting replica of a death-dealing machine.

  • 8. Don't Be A Drip!


    How To Play

    Poke a hole in a balloon using a safety pin. Then fill it with water and tie the end to create a time bomb with a slow leak. Players stand in a circle and toss the balloon around. The idea is not to be the one holding the balloon when it runs out of water. The focus really isn't on winning or losing, it's on how much fun you have while cooling off!

  • 9. Fill The Bottle Race

    Resources - For each team

    How To Play

    REQUIRES: plastic pet bottle for each team, a paper cup for each team a bucket of clean water (could be shared by several teams)

    SET UP: Students play in their groups from regular morning classes (fish team, lobster team, etc...) Teachers sit on the ground at one end of the play area (holding the teams empty pet bottle on top of his head) and students line up with their team at the other end of the play area

  • PLAY: The first student takes a paper cup to the bucket of water, fills it and runs to his teacher trying not to spill much water while going as fast as possible. When he arrives at the teacher he pours the water into the pet bottle trying not to spill it all over the teachers head. He runs back, hands the cup to the next person who repeats the entire process. The first team to

    COMPLETELY fill the PET bottle is the champion team! The team with the wettest teacher might get a special cheer as well!

  • 10. Foot Freeze


    • Ice Cubes

    How To Play

    Divide the guests into two groups. Fill up with water two kiddie pools for each team and prepare several trays (or a huge bag) of ice cubes (this is one of the "coolest" kid water games...)! Then put a big bowl in the middle of the pool so that it floats around (or if the kiddie pool is too big give each kid their own little bowl). Kids then need to sit around the edge of the little pools with their feet positioned over the water. When you say "go", pour in the ice cubes, and the players race to move the cubes out of the water, only with their FEET, and into the bowls within a designated time period. The team with the most ice cubes in their bowl wins.

    NOTE: It's very typical for Japanese kindergartens to have ice machines for te schools iced tea. The nearby convini will sell ice by the bag too.

  • 11. Water Limbo


    • None

    How To Play

    "How low can you go without being completely soaked???" Put on some great limbo music and then take a hose and blast on the water. The water from the hose will serve as the limbo stick. Hold up the hose and have everyone limbo by facing forward and leaning back. Each time lower the stream of water so that it becomes harder.

  • 12. Water Based Over And Under Game


    How To Play

    Divide the group into two teams. Have them form a single file line facing the person’s head next to them. At the head of each line put a bucket of water. At the other end put another bucket with a line drawn on it. Give a sponge to the person at the head of the line where the water bucket is. That person has to dip the sponge in the water to soak in as much water as they can. They have to then pass the soaking wet sponge over their head to the person behind who then passes the sponge to the person behind them through their legs. The sponge makes its way back over the head of one person and between the legs of the next till it gets to the person standing next to the bucket with a line. That person must squeeze whatever water is left into the bucket and run the sponge back up to the head of the line. When this occurs, everybody moves back one position and the person who was at the back of the line now is at the head of the line. Continue process till the bucket is filled to line.

  • 13. Sponge Me


    How To Play

    REQUIRES: a large sponge for each team, a bucket of clean water for each team and a container marked with a "fill" line for each team

    SET UP: Students play in their teams from the mornig. Students stand in a line with the fill bucket at the back of the line and the sponge and clean bucket full of water at the front of the line.

    PLAY: The first player on the team dunks the sponge in the water and passes it over her head to the next player and so on down the line. until it reaches the last player. The last player then runs to the "fill" bucket and squeezes as much water as they can out of the sponge before running with it to the front of the line, dunking it in water and starting the passing process all over again. The team that reaches the "fill" line first is the champion team!

  • 14. Head Shape


    How To Play

    Class size: Whole
    Set Up:
    Split the class into groups convenient to the size then say a shape, the kids then have to make that shape. First team to finish wins. For a dash of spice incorporate colored paper to make a red square for example.


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