4 fun water activities to keep cool on hot summer days

The lazy days of summer can get very hot and humid. So much so, it may be tempting to stay indoors where the air conditioning can offer relief!

But water activities can help you stay cool while still allowing you to enjoy summer sunshine and outdoor activity. Visiting a water park, going to the beach, as well as splashing around in a pool (your own, a friend’s, or at a community centre) are all great options to stay active and cool off!

If you don’t have easy access to any of the above, here’s how to get creative, mix in some water, and enjoy a day of activities and fun outdoors. 

1. Visit your neighbourhood splash pad

This is a perfect way to keep cool on a hot summer day—especially for you parents with toddlers, preschoolers, and younger-aged school children. Most splash pads have play structures adjacent to them, so as the kids are climbing, jumping, and sliding, they can “cool” off by running through the splash pad afterward. Make a day of it by packing a picnic and snacks. Don’t forget to bring buckets and sand toys!

2. Create your own splash pad

Speaking of splash pads, why not create your own? You can organize this in your front or backyard, depending on the room you need. The first thing you want to think about is the space required, and functionality. How many kids will be enjoying this (will you invite friends/neighbourhood kids over)? Other factors to consider are the effort you want to put into this project and your budget.

DIY backyard splash pads can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. There are plenty of examples on the web that you can look up. Splash pads can be made in-ground or splashers can be placed above ground. 

Plastic splash pads can also be bought at big box or toy stores and require minimal set-up. These aren’t exactly built to last, so you’ll likely only have them for one season. Still, if you don’t have a pool, a DIY splash pad is the perfect water activity for when you’re stuck at home with nothing to do on a hot summer day.

And if you’ve got younger ones, you could even start by building your own water table and then later on graduating to your own DIY splash pad.

3. Time for a car wash

This is ideal for the tweens and teens in your life! Imagine them telling you that they’re “bored” in the midst of a summer heatwave. Why not get them to wash your car? It’ll keep them active and cool. They can even pull out the bikes and give them a good clean, too. 

4. Water tag

Think paintball tag, but with water. You can do this in your backyard or front yard, depending on space, or head to the local park (with a splash pad nearby to “reload” water guns, if needed). 

Invite some friends along to join in on the fun. If you do leave the house for this water activity, don’t forget to pack drinks and plenty of snacks. Running around can stir up an appetite! There are a variety of different water guns that can be purchased at a dollar, toy, or big box store.


Check out more water activities for kids:

15 ways to keep kids cool (while having fun!) this summer

8 ways to get outside and have fun with your kids this summer

Day Camp at Home: Fun water-themed games

Try these sprinkler games for some cool summer fun

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class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_date'> <input name='input_1' id='input_10_1' type='text' value='' class='datepicker mdy datepicker_no_icon gdatepicker-no-icon' placeholder='mm/dd/yyyy' aria-describedby="input_10_1_date_format" aria-invalid="false" aria-required="true"/> <span id='input_10_1_date_format' class='screen-reader-text'>MM slash DD slash YYYY</span> </div> <input type='hidden' id='gforms_calendar_icon_input_10_1' class='gform_hidden' value='https://activeforlife.com/content/plugins/gravityforms/images/datepicker/datepicker.svg'/></div><div id="field_10_13" class="gfield gfield--width-full gfield_html gfield_html_formatted gfield_no_follows_desc field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><p>Only one kid per email address.</p> <p>Active Start is for children 4 and younger.</p></div><div id="field_10_4" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_hidden" ><div class='admin-hidden-markup'><i class='gform-icon gform-icon--hidden'></i><span>Hidden</span></div><label class='gfield_label' for='input_10_4' >Age When Submitted</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_10_4' type='text' value='' class='medium' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></div><div id="field_10_5" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_hidden" ><div class='admin-hidden-markup'><i class='gform-icon gform-icon--hidden'></i><span>Hidden</span></div><label class='gfield_label' for='input_10_5' >1st Birthday</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_10_5' type='text' value='' class='medium' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></div><div id="field_10_6" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_hidden" ><div class='admin-hidden-markup'><i class='gform-icon gform-icon--hidden'></i><span>Hidden</span></div><label class='gfield_label' for='input_10_6' >2nd Birthday</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_6' id='input_10_6' type='text' value='' class='medium' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></div><div id="field_10_7" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_hidden" ><div class='admin-hidden-markup'><i class='gform-icon gform-icon--hidden'></i><span>Hidden</span></div><label class='gfield_label' for='input_10_7' >3rd Birthday</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_7' id='input_10_7' type='text' value='' class='medium' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></div><div id="field_10_8" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_hidden" ><div class='admin-hidden-markup'><i class='gform-icon gform-icon--hidden'></i><span>Hidden</span></div><label class='gfield_label' for='input_10_8' >4th Birthday</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_8' id='input_10_8' type='text' value='' class='medium' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></div><div id="field_10_9" class="gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_hidden" ><div class='admin-hidden-markup'><i class='gform-icon gform-icon--hidden'></i><span>Hidden</span></div><label class='gfield_label' for='input_10_9' >5th Birthday</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_9' id='input_10_9' type='text' value='' class='medium' aria-invalid="false" /> </div></div></div></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_10' class='gform_button button' value='Submit' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_10"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_10"]=true; ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_10"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_10"]=true; 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