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8 Water Games for Kids at Church

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8 fabulous water games to shower your community and kids at church with laughter and love this summer!

Certain things are synonymous with summer, and one that’s a sure hit with kids is water! Cool, refreshing, and fun—water is the perfect element when the sun scorches on a mid-summer afternoon. And the Bible is brimming with stories that reference water—so it’s a great tool to drench kids’ faith growth!

Whether it’s an all-day water event at your church or a single activity to help kids cool off on a hot summer day, use these wet-and-wild activities to help kids have fun and refresh their faith.

Raindrop Relay

leaky cup copy

Age Level: 5 to 12

Bible Connect: Noah and the Flood (Genesis 7)

Materials: Two buckets per team, a plastic cup for each child, a permanent marker, water, and a sharp-tipped object such as scissors or a letter opener

Use this activity to help kids imagine the Great Flood.

Before the game, poke holes on the bottoms and sides of the plastic cups.

Draw a line with a permanent marker to indicate the halfway point on both the outside and inside of two buckets. Form two teams, and have kids sit on the ground in straight lines. Place one bucket filled with water at the front of each line. Place a lined bucket at the back of each line. Then give each child a leaky cup.

On “go,” have the first child in line fill his or her cup and carry it over the heads of the other kids sitting in line before dumping the remaining water into the bucket at the end of the line. Then the line shifts forward and the cup carrier sits in the back of the line. The game continues until teams fill their back buckets to the halfway marker.

Dry-Off Debrief:

Ask:

  • How did it feel to be constantly rained on during the game?
  • How is this game like or unlike what Noah and his family may have experienced when it rained for 40 days and nights?
  • How do you think Noah and his family felt when they saw God’s rainbow?
  • Tell about a time you experienced that kind of hope.

 

Ice Cold Toes

ice cubes copy

Age Level: 6 to 12

Bible Connect: The Parable of the Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13:44-46)

Materials: A kiddie pool, ice cubes, water, ice cube trays, and green food coloring

This game will help kids understand the value of the kingdom of heaven.

Prior to the game, freeze a dozen ice cubes dyed with green food coloring.

Fill the bottom of the kiddie pool with ice cubes and mix in the green ice cubes.

Have kids remove their shoes and socks. Challenge them to retrieve the green ice cubes—which represent the treasure—out of the pool using only their toes.

Dry-Off Debrief:

Ask:

  • What, if any, obstacles did you face when trying to get the treasure?
  • To what lengths would you go to pursue your treasure? Explain.

Read aloud the Scripture.

Ask:

  • What do you treasure?
  • Why does Jesus compare heaven to a treasure?

 

Dodge the Stones

sponge copy
Age Level: 6 to 12

Bible Connect: David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

Materials: Various large obstacle items, such as plastic garbage cans, tables, and chairs; boundary markers, such as orange cones; buckets; large sponges; and water

Play this game to help kids re-create the battle between David and Goliath.

Create a play area using boundary markers. Place large obstacles kids can hide behind within the boundaries.

Choose several kids to be “stone throwers,” and station them just outside the boundaries. Give the stone throwers buckets of water and sponges. Tell the other kids that the object of the game is to run from one end of the play area to the other without being “stoned” by wet sponges. Play several times, and have kids switch roles so everyone has a chance to cool off by getting “stoned” with the wet sponges.

Dry-Off Debrief:

Ask:

  • How did it feel to throw “stones” at kids?
  • Was it easy or difficult to hit kids with stones? Explain.
  • What helped you dodge the stones?
  • How do you think David felt when he stoned Goliath?
  • What are some “Goliath’s” that you have to defeat daily?
  • How does God help us in these situations?

 

Swim, Jonah, Swim!

pool ball copy 2

Age Level: 6 to 10

Bible Connect: Jonah and the Big Fish (Jonah 1)

Materials: A swimming pool

This is a great game to play at camp or at a church pool party. You’ll need a lifeguard and extra volunteers to monitor safety.

Select one person to be the “Big Fish.” Have everyone else jump in the pool and swim around, but tell kids they aren’t allowed to be within 3 feet of the sides of the pool. When the Big Fish shouts, “Big Fish!” he or she tries to tag others in the pool before they can touch the sides of the pool. The first person tagged is the next Big Fish. If no one is tagged, the Big Fish starts over.

Dry-Off Debrief:

Read aloud the Scripture. Ask:

  • Was it easy or difficult to get away from the Big Fish? Explain.
  • How is this game like or unlike how Jonah felt when swallowed by the fish?
  • What did Jonah do when he was captured?
  • What can you do when you’re afraid?

 

Seed, Seed, Grow!

watersprinkle copy

Age Level: 3 to 5

Bible Connect: The Parable of the Growing Seed (Mark 4:26-29)

Materials: A watering can and water

This game will teach preschoolers about growing in their faith.

This game is a wet version of Duck, Duck, Goose. Have kids sit in a circle on the ground and choose one child to be the “Gardener.” The Gardener taps kids on the head as he or she says, “Seed!” When the Gardener says, “Grow!” and sprinkles a child’s head with the watering can, the Gardener puts down the can and runs from the selected child. If the Gardener is caught, he or she starts over. If the Gardener makes it to the empty spot, the child who was sprinkled gets to be the Gardener.

Dry-Off Debrief:

Ask:

  • What does a seed need to grow into a plant?
  • What happens to a seed if it doesn’t have water?
  • What does God give us to help us grow closer to him?

 

Our Cups Runneth Over

summer-fun
Age Level: 6 to 12

Bible Connect: God Cares for Us (Psalm 23:5)

Materials: One cup for each child, an oscillating sprinkler, and a garden hose with access to water.

Kids will discover a visual example of God’s desire to bless them.

Have kids each choose a spot around the perimeter of the sprinkler’s path. Challenge kids to fill their cups with water from the sprinkler—but tell them they’re not allowed to move from their spot. If children move, they have to dump the collected water over their heads and start over in a new spot.

Dry-Off Debrief:

Ask:

  • What made it easy or difficult to fill your cup?
  • Is this how God showers us with blessings? Why or why not?
  • What are some blessings God has given you?
  • How is this game like or unlike the blessings we receive from God?

 

Catapult

balloon copy
Age Level: 6 to 12
Bible Connect: Judging Others (John 8:7)

Materials: Water balloons, a beach towel for every pair of kids, and water

This game will give kids a visual picture of what it’s like to judge others.

Fill the water balloons before the game. Have kids form pairs with each child holding one end of a beach towel. Then group two pairs of kids 10 feet apart. Place one water balloon in the center of one pair’s beach towel, and have the kids launch the balloon to the other pair of kids. Tell kids to catch and launch the water balloon using only the towel. Continue tossing the water balloon back and forth between pairs until it falls and breaks.

Dry-Off Debrief:

Have kids stay in pairs to discuss how the game is like or unlike when they judge others. Have kids share a time they felt broken because someone judged them. Have pairs pray together and ask God to help them not judge others.

Protecting the Flock

spraybottle copy
Age Level: 8 to 12

Bible Connect: The Good Shepherd (John 10)

Materials: Garbage cans, shaving cream, two colors of plastic barrier tape, scissors, squirt bottles, and water

This game is the water version of Capture the Flag, and it works great with a lesson teaching kids about God’s love for his flock.

Form two teams and place a garbage can topped with shaving cream behind each team. Have each group tie one color of plastic barrier tape around their forearms to designate teams. Give each team an equal number of squirt bottles filled with water.

Each team tries to protect its “flock” of shaving cream from getting squirted off by the other team. When one team squirts off all the opposing team’s shaving cream, the game’s over.

Dry-Off Debrief:

Ask:

    • Was it easy or difficult to protect your “flock”? Explain.
    • How did it feel when your flock was attacked by the opposing team?
    • How is this game like or unlike how God protects us?

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 28 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as co-director of the KidMin Conference. She’s led teams in the development of leading innovative resources, including Buzz Instant Sunday School curriculum, Grapple Preteen Curriculum, and the new Dig-In Sunday School curriculum. Follow Christine on Twitter @ChristineYJones

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