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Water dodgeball

Get into the outdoors and play this watery version of a classic team game. Can you cause a splash without getting hit?

You will need

  • Access to water
  • Buckets
  • Something to mark lines (for example, chalk, masking tape, or rope)
  • Water balloons (at least two for each player)

Before you begin

  • It’s a good idea to tell people about this game in advance, so they can come wearing clothes they’re happy to get wet, and suitable shoes.
  • Prepare the water balloons by filling them with water and tying them.
  • Fill each bucket until it’s about a third full of water – this will help stop the water balloons breaking. Put half of the filled balloons in each bucket.
  • Mark out the playing area with cones, masking tape, or rope, using the diagram above to guide you.
  • Put the buckets in the central zone.

Play the game

  1. Split into two teams. Each team should stand in their team area.
  2. A few at a time, players should run to the central line, and pick up a water balloon. They should throw the water balloon, aiming to hit members of the other team, or throw the balloon so any team members in the return line can catch them.
  1. The game is finished as soon as one team’s players are all out, or after 15 minutes has passed.
  2. Everyone should pick up the pieces of balloon left on the floor – this is really important, as leaving them behind would be harmful to the environment.

Being out:

  • If a water balloon hits a player on their body, they’re out. They should go to the return line.
  • If a player steps out of their area (into the return line, or the central zone), they’re out. They should go to the return line.

In the return area:

  • Players should try to catch the balloons their team is throwing – they’ll have to get them over the heads of the opposition.
  • Whenever someone catches a balloon, whoever’s been in the return line the longest can return to their team area.
  • It doesn’t matter if the balloons burst when you catch them in the return line, it still counts.


This game was a great chance to be active. Did you enjoy playing? How did you need to move in this game, and did you need to be fast? What about agility? Did you need to react quickly? Was this a fun way to be physically active? What other ways do you like to be active? Why is being active important?

This game also helped you to value the outdoors. Does it feel different doing games outdoors to indoors? How is it different – what differences can you notice with each sense? Is it important to you that you have outdoor spaces to use? How did you look after the outdoors once the game was finished?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.

Contact games and activities

Make sure everyone understands what contact is acceptable, and monitor contact throughout the activity.