Throw an awesome field day water party in your backyard! Set up is easy and inexpensive, and it’s fun for all ages!
It’s that time of year again…time to start planning my eldest son’s birthday bash. This is usually our biggest party of the year because we can keep it outdoors and spread out through the front and back yards.
I am getting super excited about planning this year’s party (theme TBA!), and then remembered that I have yet to share last year’s field day water party on the blog.
A year ago, as pictures of friends’ children at their school field days flooded my social media feed, I thought about how I could give our kids a similar experience this year. Thankfully, as they get older, there are field day opportunities with homeschool co-ops available too.
Once I came up with a handful of games for the kids to rotate through, putting the party together was simple. As per my usual, I didn’t spend a lot of time on decor, but put the majority of my efforts into the games and food.
My attempt at party favors was rather a flop. I tye-dyed white squares of fabric for the kids to use as bandanas at the party, different colors for the different teams. The bandanas turned out okay, but they weren’t as exciting as I’d hoped. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.
As the kids arrived, I explained the games to the parents and all the adults helped to get the kids into groups and take them through the different games. After everyone had a chance to do all the games, we let them free play and go back through whatever games they wanted.
In addition to the stations set out in the backyard, I filled up our biggest kiddie pool in the front yard for the younger kids to play in.
The party was a lot of fun, and a great way for the kids to have fun in the June heat. I can see us having another field day water party sometime again, birthday or not. As easy was it was to set up, it would just make a great get together with friends!
Keep reading for details about each game, and for the party menu.
As usual, I was rushing to put the finishing touches on everything before the party started. And during the party, I was busy coordinating the games and watching everyone have fun. So I wish there were more pictures of some things, but hopefully I got enough to show how each game was played!
Field Day Water Party
We split the kids into groups and let each group rotate through all the different stations. Because we had a big spread in ages, we opted to split the kids into “big kids” and “middle kids” and “little kids”. This way, we didn’t have older kids competing against preschoolers. More fun and less angst for everyone.
Marble Toe Grab
Set-Up: Fill up a kiddie pool with water and marbles. Set out two bowls next to the pool.
To Play: Players will take turns in the pool grabbing the marbles with their toes and dropping them into their bowl. They can race against a clock (how many marbles can you get in thirty seconds?) or against another player.
Human Ring Toss
Set-Up: Make several pool noodles into circles by taping the ends together with packaging tape. Use two different colors so two teams can compete at the same time. I made four of each color. Set out the pool noodle loops in the yard with plenty of room to spread out.
To Play: Pair up the players and have them stand across from each other in lines. You can use cones to keep the space between each pair even. (We had the older children stand farther apart than younger children). Each pair of players will take turns trying to toss the pool noodle loops over their partner’s head. The partners can move around, but arms need to stay at their sides. The pair with the most successful tosses wins.
Water Gun Cup Races
Set-Up: Cut a small hole in the bottom of two plastic cups. Pull a string through each hole, and then hang the strings side-by-side in the yard so that the tops of the cups are facing the starting line of the game. Set out water guns and a way to refill them next to the game.
To Play: Each player will take a water gun and race to get their cup to the finish line first by shooting inside their cup to push it along the string.
Set-Up: Draw a large box and divide it into four equal boxes. Label each box 1-4. Set out a four-square/playground ball.
To Play: Four players at a time can play the game. Everyone else will line up next to the box. See full rules here.
Set-Up: Fill up at least a dozen water balloons (more is great and will definitely be used!). Set out the water balloons and a couple of cones in the yard.
To Play: Pair up the players and have them stand across from each other in lines. You can use cones to keep the space between each pair even. (We had the older children stand farther apart than younger children). Each pair of players will take turns tossing a water balloon back and forth. After each catch, you can have the partners take one step backwards, creating more space in between them. When a balloon breaks, that pair of players is out. Last pair with an in tact balloon wins.
Slip and Toss
Set-Up: Set out a slip and slide. At the end of the slip and slide, place a basket with a few frisbees. Set out another empty basket or goal several feet away. (You can use a soccer goal, empty laundry basket or box, or hang a pool noodle made into a loop).
To Play: Players will run and slide down the slip and slide, hop up and grab a frisbee, and then try to throw it through/into the goal. Each player whose frisbee goes through/into the goal gets a point. The team with the most points wins.
We kept the food simple for this party. I set up a nacho bar in my kitchen and people simply streamed through to make their plates, then returned outdoors to eat. This allowed us to keep more seating in the carport for hanging out and eating, as well as allowed us to use part of the space in the carport for four square.
I also opted to take the easy route again for this party and ordered a cake from Costco. Having a newborn at home, I definitely didn’t want to feel pressured to make and decorate a cake for a crowd!
The birthday boy
- Pool noodles :: Dollar store
- Marbles :: Dollar store (or shop online)
- Water balloons :: Target (or shop online)
- Four-square ball :: Target (or shop online)
- Sports cones :: Target (or shop online)
- kiddie pools :: Walmart
- water guns :: Target