In our modern world, we are all so caught up with our phones, laptops, tablets, and all things “tech”. It becomes easier and easier to forget how to really play like we did as kids. But isn’t it tempting to get outside and throw some water around?! The Summer months are an ideal time to get your friends and family together, throw on some old clothes or bathing suits, and get strategic with one of the most classic, yet versatile backyard tools…the water balloon.
We have crafted some awesome water balloon games for adults. Some are total classics with a few new twists, some maybe less familiar, but just as fun!
Fill the vessel
This is a great game for those who aren’t in the mood for too much running around, but want to practice their aim and hopefully get to soak their friends!
How many people: at least 4
What you need: water balloons, water, 2 buckets, baskets, or anything that can be used as a vessel, (the smaller the vessel, the harder to play), some friends, and of course, a wicked aim
How to play:
Split your group into 2 even teams. Place a “vessel” on either side of the yard. Place an imaginary line, or a marker to indicate the maximum distance a player can get when throwing the balloon. Basically, this just means that you can’t cheat and go right up to the vessel and simply place the balloon inside. Each team member has a go at throwing a balloon into the vessel on the other team’s side of the “court”. If you get the balloon in the vessel, great! Then the next team gets a turn. But if you miss…then one member from the other team gets to throw a balloon at you, after you get a 3 second “run allowance”! Run as far as you can in 3 seconds, and see if you can dodge the incoming balloon. Keep playing until all the balloons are done, and then see which team has sunk the most balloons into the vessel. The winning team gets pick one person from the losing team to pour the vessel’s contents onto.
Soak-tag with a twist
The classic game of tag endures for a reason…it’s fun and gets your energy pumping! This watery version is great for hot days…you just have to keep your eyes peeled and your reflexes sharp.
How many people: at least 4, but the more the better with this game
What you need: water balloons, water, at least 1 bucket, friends, and some swift dodging skills
How to play: Decide on the boundaries of the space for the game, the bigger the space, the better the game. Have a bucket of filled water balloons handy around the perimeter of the “court” you have mapped out, place 2 buckets if you can. This is just so you can easily restock your ammo as you play. Nominate one person to start as “it”. This person loads up on balloons, (holding them in your shirt can work well) then everyone starts to run. The “it” person mentally chooses someone to tag, (by hitting them with a balloon of course) and goes for it. Once the target is hit, they are then “it” as well. So now there are 2 people as “it”, (the second person can have a few seconds grace to grab a supply of balloons). Now the people who are “it” can communicate with each other about who they will target next. They can say it out loud, or they can surreptitiously nominate someone by pointing or mouthing. They try to hit this person, and when they do, that person becomes part of the “it team”. So, now there are 3 “it” players, and they continue to target people and add them to their team. The person who is last to be hit is the winner!
- The game can go for much longer if you really get physical and dodge the balloons at any cost. Otherwise, the game can be over pretty quickly, especially if there aren’t many players
- Remember, it doesn’t count as “tagging” the target player if the balloon doesn’t burst!
- By concealing who is the target of the “it” team, the suspense rises and everyone becomes edgy and even more swift
- If you shout out who you are targeting, the other team members can protect them, which makes for an interesting team dynamic too
This is another cool game for when it’s too hot to run around, or you simply don’t have the energy to be running and dodging! It’s also great for hand-eye coordination practice. Since it’s one-on-one, it’s a good one to choose when you feel like chatting and catching up with your friend while you play.
How many people: this game is done in pairs, so at least 2
What you need: water balloons, water, one friend
How to play:
Get a few balloons filled and ready to go; stash some in your shirt or in a nearby bucket to have handy for when any balloons burst. Stand facing your partner. One partner starts with the balloon, they pass it to their partner. Each person then takes one step backwards. After each step, pass the balloon once between you (one person throws it to the other, and they throw it back, so each has a go at catching it). It might sound easy, but the further apart you get, the harder it is to gently catch the balloon without it bursting. When the balloon bursts, whoever caught it is the loser and they can get pelted with one balloon from their partner.
- You can off-put your partner by giving an extra hard throw, which is more likely to burst the balloon when it is caught
- If you want to make it really hard, you can add more rules as you go, such as: only one hand is allowed for catching and throwing, you have to spin once before you catch the balloon, or you have to catch the balloon while on your knees
Some extra tips and tricks
Tip: Filling water balloons can be really time-consuming, but thankfully, there are some great options on Amazon to get the prep done fast. This is an awesome one: Zuru Bunch O Balloons
Trick: get an old t-shirt, make a cut on each side, along the seam. Take the back half of the t-shirt and tie the corners to the front half, folding them up so you’ve got a “pouch” on your front to store balloons in.
No matter your age, water balloons are a fantastic way to get your friends out of the house and into the sun for some silly fun and bonding. You can get super strategic, really physical, or just have a nice, quiet game to play when lazy days arrive and you want to catch up without too much exertion. Get some balloons and get out there!