What it is: A toss-and-catch game played outside with water balloons

Best for: At least 4 players

What you need

  • Players will form pairs, and each pair needs a beach towel
  • A good supply of water balloons, because hopefully a lot of them will pop and get your players wet (because where’s the fun if that doesn’t happen?)
  • Optional: A volleyball net or homemade volleyball net (e.g., a line strung across the yard)

How to play: So first let’s cover a basic water balloon toss. Two players toss a water balloon back and forth with just their hands, trying not to miss or they’ll get splattered with water.

With this version, players don’t use their hands but a beach towel instead. Players form pairs of two, and each pair holds a beach towel. Players hold the short ends and spread out the beach towel between them like this:

If you put a water balloon in one pair’s beach towel, they can lower their beach towel and, by lifting their hands quickly, pop the water balloon into the air. If they aim towards a second pair of players, that pair can catch the water balloon by cradling it in their own beach towel.

So that’s one way to play, if you only have four players. Two pairs of players toss a water balloon back and forth to each other, catching it in their beach towels, trying not to let it pop.

You can also play with more people and set up your game more like a traditional volleyball game, even over a real volleyball net. Put an even number of pairs on each side of the net to form two teams. Then play just like normal volleyball. Instead of trying to pass the water balloon to someone, the players who pop the water balloon into the air will try to land it on the other team’s side and make it pop.

If a water balloon lands on the ground or pops on a team’s side, the other team gets a point. If a pair of players tosses a water balloon out of your pre-set game bounds, the other team gets a point. It is legal to toss the water balloon to another beach towel on your own side, as long as you don’t let it drop. You can play to a max point value or until you’re out of water balloons. Switch up the teams or pairs every now and then if you want!

It’s a less skilled version of volleyball with hopefully more laughs, and a good chance to practice teamwork, with players working in both pairs and teams. Also, hopefully you’ll get wet. Best played on hot, sunny days. Have fun!

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