Water Balloon GameWater balloons are a heap of fun on a hot summer’s day. But how do you avoid the chaos of a free-for-all? (Although that has it’s place, too.) If you’re looking for a water balloon game that has a little bit of structure and control, but still a whole pile of fun – here’s a water balloon game that is sane, safe, and yes, very soggy.

This game has its origins in a camp setting, so I’ll explain it in that context – though you can easily adapt it to fit your situation.

First, organize everyone in small teams. In a group of 50, go 10 teams of 5. For a group of 100, try teams of 6 – 7.

The rules are simple. There is one person who is in charge of throwing the balloons. One by one he will toss a balloon to each team. The team then attempts to catch the balloon. If the catch it, they get a point and are then allowed to ‘get’ anyone on their team (or a designated target such as the camp speaker). If the team doesn’t make the catch, they get no points, and are likely quite wet.

Even though not everyone is always catching the balloons, everyone has fun watching the other teams trying to catch the balloons and getting gushed.

Catching Water Balloons

Typically, you start with the normal water balloon sized balloons, and after throwing about a dozen or so balloons to each team, move onto some bigger balloons (worth more points of course.)

Save the biggest balloons to the end to use for “penalties”. Kids love these. Pick the “Driest Guy” or “Most Vicious Girl” or “The kid that looked at me funny” and sit them in the center of everyone and burst the most giant balloons on them. Of course, be sure to pick people who will take it with a good attitude.

Then, wrap up the game by awarding bonus points to the team that collects the most balloon pieces.

If you’re still not quite sure how this all works, check out the pictures below to see the water balloon game in action.

Catching a water Balloon
Trying to catch a balloon
Not catching the water balloon
Not catching the balloon
Water Balloon Penalty
Yours Truly Getting a Penalty
Kitchen Staff Penalty
Moments before the penalty…
The Penalty in Action
The Penalty in Action