24 Wet and Wild Summer Ideas for Children’s Ministry
Published: July 13, 2021
Use these wet and wild summer ideas for your children’s ministry!
We’ve got plenty of mix-and-match summer ideas to help you keep kids shrieking in delight with wild, wet fun all summer long. Plan one big Summer Splash, or combine ideas for multiple events. You could use these ideas to have Wet and Wild Wednesdays in July or Saturday Summer Splashes.
Open up the fun to your entire community. Most of these activities are affordable and easy enough to do with big crowds of kids. If you want to, charge an “admission” of one bag of water balloons or a single sponge to creatively let the community know what kind of events you’re sponsoring.
5 Beachy Summer Craft Ideas
Sand Castle Clay
- a big kettle (check thrift stores for a throw-away)
- fine grain sand
- a large plastic bowl
In the kettle, bring 4 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add 3 cups of cornstarch and bring to a boil again. Gradually add 6 cups of sand, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Transfer the mixture into a plastic bowl, and let it cool. This is enough clay for about a dozen kids to make small sand castles or other sculptures. Air dry the finished creations.
Wash an old sheet in the washer and spin dry it. A blue sheet is best! Store it damp in a plastic bag until you’re ready to use it. When children arrive, hang the sheet in an area where it won’t catch too much wind. Keep it moist by occasionally spritzing it with plain water. Put one part tempera paint and two parts water into various spray bottles. Have the kids create an aquarium scene by spray painting fish and sea plants on the sheet. The imperfect form of the sea life makes it look as though you’re really looking through water!
Line the bottom of a small inflatable pool with butcher paper. Put tempera paint in pie tins. Have kids roll tennis balls in different colors of paint, then toss them into the pool. Have them work in teams to move the balls inside the pool, creating cool free-form paintings.
Water Shadow Art
After a dip in the pool, have kids lie down on a warm sidewalk, and quickly get up. Before the water shadows dry, have kids outline their bodies with sidewalk chalk and fill in their features.
- plenty of bags of ice cubes
Form groups and give each group a bag of ice and a box of salt. A tiny sprinkle of salt between ice cubes makes them stick together and allows children to form walls, towers, and lookouts. But work quickly before the supplies melt away forever. (This is a great craft to do during an indoor break.)
5 Yummerific Summer Snack Ideas
- Fruit Roll-Ups fruit rolls
- strips or packets of a fruit snack
- paper plates
- plastic knives
Have each child use a roll-up and contrasting fruit snacks to design and form a swimsuit.
Triple Slushie Snacks
- 3 flavors of juice
- 1 small resealable plastic bag for each child
- wooden blocks
- clear plastic cups
- plastic spoons
Pour the juices into the bags, keeping the flavors separate. Freeze these bags.
Form groups of three. Give each group a wooden block, three clear plastic cups, three plastic spoons, and three bags of frozen juice, making sure each group has all three flavors. Show children how to use the block to crush the juice. Then tell them to layer each of the three crushed juices in the clear cups to make this yummy refreshing snack.
For each child, you’ll need:
- a small paper cup
- a Tootsie Pop sucker
- about 4 ounces of a lemon-lime soft drink
Unwrap the suckers and place one in each paper cup. Pour the soft drink into the cups. Freeze the cups until solid. Children can tear off the paper cups and hold the Pop Drop Pops by their sticks to eat them.
For every six kids, you’ll need:
- a new, clean sand bucket (with a clean shovel)
- a quart of vanilla ice cream
- a 2-liter bottle of root beer
- (individual cups are optional)
Have kids use their shovels to scoop ice cream into their sand buckets, then pour root beer over the top. Add straws and enjoy!
Big Fish Snacks
- vanilla wafers
- vanilla pudding
- blue food coloring
- whipped topping
- chocolate wafer cookies
- clear plastic cups
- plastic spoons
Crush vanilla wafers to form a layer of “sand” in the bottom of each cup. Spoon in vanilla pudding made with a few drops of blue food coloring. Top with whipped topping “sea foam.” Create a big fish floating in the “water” by pushing a chocolate wafer cookie halfway into the pudding sea.
An Ocean of 4 Summer Devotion Ideas
Split Sea Soup
Put two bed sheets in the bottom of a small inflatable pool, bunching up one edge of each sheet in the center so you can grasp and separate the two. Fill the pool with water balloons. Have one child walk across the water balloons, lifting each foot high above the balloons between steps. Then read the story of God separating the Red Sea in Exodus 14:21-31.
Say: When the Israelites looked over the water, all they saw was how it would crash over them, like the water from the water balloons crashed over our friend’s feet. But God had a different plan. Pull back the bed sheets to separate the water balloons, leaving a path through the pool. Have the kids walk across the path.
Say: God did a miracle to keep his people safe. We remember this story because it helps us know just how powerful our God really is.
Use the sheets to remove the water balloons. Then form two teams for kids to use up the water balloons on each other.
Nowhere to Hide
Choose a child to be “It.” Arm this child with a water-filled squeeze bottle. Have children hide while It closes his eyes and counts to 40. It will hunt for the hiders and squirt them when found.
Afterward, gather the children and read aloud Jonah 1:1-17.
Say: God was counting on Jonah to carry his message. God counts on us to carry his message today, too. There’s no way to hide from God, even if you’re just a little squirt!
Squirt the rest of the bottle into the air, letting the water fall on your listeners.
Walking on Water
You’ll need two hoses hooked up and ready to go. Shoot the hoses toward each other, forming a “water bridge.” Perform these “walking on water” feats.
- Challenge kids to step onto a 1-foot-high water bridge with both feet.
- Form a 5-foot-high arc of water and have kids walk under it.
- Form a 1-foot-high bridge for kids to step over.
- Why couldn’t you walk on the water bridge, even though you could go over it or under it?
Read aloud Matthew 14:25-32.
- What do you think it took for Peter to walk out to Jesus?
- What has Jesus asked you to do that seems impossible?
Say: Peter had to keep his attention on Jesus to do what Jesus asked. We need to keep our attention on Jesus too! How can you do that this week? Once children have answered, squirt all of them.
- several aluminum pie plates
- water-filled spray bottles
- a water hose with a sprayer
- a loud air horn or whistle
Tell children that as soon as they hear your loud signal, they’re to instantly stop whatever they’re doing and run to a designated spot. Then have kids use the items to create a high-intensity storm. After a while blow the whistle.
Then gather children and ask:
- Why did you stop the storm?
Say: You stopped out of respect for me and the rules we established. Listen to what happened in Mark 4:35-41. Read the passage.
- How is the way the wind and waves stopped at Jesus’ command like the way you stopped when I asked you to?
- How is this Bible story different from what we experienced?
Say: Jesus has power over everything, even natural things such as storms.
- What does that tell you about Jesus’ power in your life?
Summer Publicity Pizazz Ideas
Use these aquatic ideas to attract children’s attention.
- Make glistening drops of water on invitations or posters by mixing one-half package blue gelatin with one 4-ounce bottle of gel glue. Drop a bit onto the paper and pull the nozzle up and away from the puddle to form a drop shape. Dry thoroughly.
- Create publicity posters on foam core board. Then set them in beach chairs under sun umbrellas all around your church.
- Loop the top of a butcher paper poster around a spongy swim noodle. Then hang the ends of the noodle from a rafter. Or write one detail of the event on each of a series of inflated arm floats, and string them in sequence across a hallway.
- Cut a beach towel into a fabric puzzle. Send a piece of the puzzle in each invitation, challenging your kids to totally reconstruct the towel on poster board by bringing their pieces to the party.
9 Splash and Dash Summer Game Ideas
Crossing the Sea
- a sprinkler
- a garden hose
Choose a child to be Moses. He or she will control the sprinkler by holding on to the hose with it “crimped” to stop the flow of water. Designate two “safe” areas with a large “sea” between them. Line up the rest of the kids along one of the safe zones. Moses will stand in the middle of the sea with his or her back turned to the other kids and crimping the hose.
When Moses says, “The Israelites are safe and dry. Now let the Egyptians try,” the rest of the children run to the other side before Moses squirts them with water.
- sponges or washcloths (two or three for each child who’s playing)
- a large tub of ice water
- a stopwatch
- a whistle
Form two teams. Choose one team to throw wet sponges or cloths while the other team dodges them. Blow your whistle to signify the beginning and end of each 1 1/2-minute round. At the end of each round, return all the “hailstones” to the bucket of ice water, and have teams switch roles. Keep this game moving at a fast pace!
- several pool floats (about 6 feet long)
- an air pump
- a hose
- a sprinkler
Inflate and line up the floats to form a straight “path” across a grassy area. Turn on the sprinkler and position it so it gets most of the float-path wet. To play, kids will crawl across floats without sinking. If they slip off the floats, they must start over. (Do not allow children to walk upright on the floats because the surface will be very slippery and could result in an injury.)
Big Fish Tug
- 2 pool floats (about 6 feet long)
- an air pump
- a hose
- a sprinkler
- a large beach towel
Inflate the floats and place them about 3 feet apart with their short ends facing each other. Turn on the sprinkler.
Form teams of four. Have each team’s players sit on their knees one behind another in a line on each float. The front person of each team grabs one end of the beach towel. The other team members put their arms around the waist of the person in front of them. On “go,” the teams tug until one team has pulled the other team off its float, or until one team has the entire towel.
- a small soft-sided child’s pool
- an air pump
- a hose
- an old bed sheet or blanket
Inflate the pool and fill it with about 3 inches of water. Form two teams. Line teams up on opposite sides of the pool. Stretch the bed sheet or blanket over the pool. Each team member grabs as much of the bed sheet or blanket as he or she can. On “go,” everyone pulls. The Tug of War continues until one person steps or falls into the pool or the “whale’s mouth.”
- 1 pool float (about 6 feet long) for each team
- an air pump
- a hose
- a sprinkler
Designate a start and finish line. Turn on the sprinkler in the open area between the lines. This is the stormy sea.
Form teams of three. Have each team choose one person to pull the float. The other two teammates sit on the float at a designated start line. On “go,” the teams race through the sprinkler area to the finish line. Each teammate must have a turn pulling the float before reaching the finish line.
- a soft-sided child’s pool filled with water and ice cubes
One at a time, kids step into the pool and try to remove as many ice cubes as possible with their toes, before their toes become numb from the cold. Let kids return to this event multiple times, each time striving for a personal best. If you’re playing this game indoors, set the pool on top of an absorbent blanket.
Have all the children sit around the shallow end of a pool. Form pairs and have partners choose which child will be the Shepherd and which one will be the Sheep.
Have all the Sheep jump into the pool and close their eyes. Then have the Shepherds switch places around the edge of the pool and place their feet in the water. Each Shepherd calls “Here sheep!” Without opening their eyes, the Sheep must grab hold of their Shepherd’s ankles. Then have pairs switch roles and play again.
- 2 tubs of water
- 2 inflated beach balls
Form two teams. Have each team form a line by standing one behind another. Place a tub of water about 4 feet in front of each line (vary the distance based on age). The first person on each team must take an inflated beach ball, walk up to the tub of water, and in one smooth motion, submerge the ball into the water and then throw it back over his head to his team. A point is given if someone on the team catches the ball. The first person then moves to the back of the line. Play to 15 points or for a predetermined amount of time.
- 2 bowls of water for each team of 8
- 4 sponges for every team of 8
Form teams of eight. Have team members line up one behind another. Place a bowl with water at the beginning and end of each line. Place four sponges in the bowl at the beginning of each line.
On “go,” the first person in line on each team grabs a wet sponge and, without squeezing, hands it overhead to the person behind him or her. The second person passes it through his or her legs to the third person, the third person hands it overhead to the fourth, and so on. When the sponge gets to the last person in line, she dips the sponge in the bowl, then returns it in the other direction. Meanwhile, the first person continues passing until the bucket is empty. The first team to have all four sponges back in the original bowl wins.
Water Game Safety Tips
While all these wet and wild summer ideas are fun, you need to make sure children remain safe around water. Follow these tips.
- Have plenty of adult supervision, especially with young children.
- Make sure all the children understand the game rules before starting.
- Have too-rough players sit out and watch the remainder of the game.
- Never leave a tub or pool of water unattended. Empty containers immediately after use.
Looking for more ideas for summer? Check out these posts!
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