There's no better way to beat the heat and bring the family together than by engaging in a full-fledged water balloon battle. Even better, this type of roughhousing with your kids is a perfect learning opportunity, allowing them to test their limits and control in a safe and fun setting [source: Kamenetz].
While a simple selection of water balloons can help cool everyone off and allow you to let off a little steam, the latest water toys and accessories can transform your water balloon fight into a battle for the ages -- complete with plenty of water, games and fun for participants of all ages. Check out our countdown of the hottest water toys to learn how to ensure your next summer adventure is a big splash.
Soak family members and friends from a distance using a slingshot or catapult. Craft your own version using surgical tubing and scrap lumber, or pick up a store-bought model from your favorite toy store. Slingshots and catapults are great devices for protecting your territory in a wet and wild game of capture the flag. If you're playing with younger kids, consider using the slingshot in other ways -- have a contest to see who can use it to fling a balloon the farthest, or have pairs of kids use a towel to try and catch water balloons slung from across the yard. You also can use chalk to create a target or bull's-eye on your driveway or patio to give participants something to aim at.
9: Easy Filler
Everyone knows that the worst part of a water balloon fight is the seemingly endless work required to attach each balloon to the hose, fill it and tie a knot, but what if you could breeze through this part of the process instead of wasting so much time on work? Thanks to the Bunch O Balloons, you can get to the fun much faster. In 2014, a Texas dad to eight kids -- he's probably filled a lot of water balloons in his day -- came up with an invention that eliminates the hardest part of the water balloon battle. His device resembles a 37-legged octopus, which hooks to your hose, allowing you to fill 37 balloons in about 20 seconds [source: Stump]. Even better, the balloons are self-sealing; just give the hose an easy shake and the balloons plop off, filled, tied and ready to be lobbed at your friends and neighbors.
8: Wiffle Bat
If you'd rather not pelt one another with balloons, a Wiffle bat provides countless opportunities to engage your friends in slightly gentler water balloon games. Combine two favorite summer pastimes with a wet and silly game of baseball; just swap your traditional ball for a water-filled balloon and enjoy the splats as each player makes contact. You can even place the balloons on a tee-ball tee to help younger kids get in on the action. Have players start running 'round the bases once they break the balloon, and let other players use balloons or water guns in an attempt to tag them out. You can also play for fun, finding out who can make the biggest splash, or who's able to make contact with the balloon while under fire from a sprinkler or a water gun brigade.