Wednesday, June 16, 2010

how to host a water balloon fight

I love having fun. And nothing says fun like a water balloon fight.

I know, I know. The mess. The trouble. The work. But stay with me for a minute. I don’t know about girls, but little boys and water balloons are a perfect match. It involves violence, throwing things, water, and making a mess all in one package. And they’re cheap!

Want to be the coolest mom on the block? Here’s the plan:

Buy a lot of water balloons. Start filling them up before guests arrive.

Fill a cooler with juice boxes or put a jug of water outside for kids to help themselves. You don’t want to be running in and out of the house during the fight. (Well, maybe you want to, but the importance of supervision cannot be overstated.)

Lay a thick towel on the floor for kids to walk on when they do need to go into the house and use the restroom. (And, for goodness sakes, don’t sweep or mop the floor before the kids come over. Do this after they’re gone.)

Set ground rules. No water balloons to the face is a good one.

And here’s my favorite tip. During our last water balloon fight, towards the end, I had the boys pick up the scraps of water balloons all over the yard by “charging” for the new ones. So, bring me ten popped balloons and get one full one. When we were fifteen minutes from the end, that number jumped to twenty.

And it worked.

As moms, we all want our kids to just help because they want to and jump in and say, “Wow, Mrs. Llama. You’ve worked really hard and I’m so grateful. Let me help you with that.” But they never will. (At least not at my house.) And so we teach the kids to help. That’s part of having a fun day—cleaning up at the end.

By the time the kids left, the water balloons were picked up. The yard was a muddy mess, but that’s another issue entirely. And as a wise friend once asked me, “Are you raising children or are you raising lawns?”

Someday, my lawn will look great. And I'll be sitting in the backyard sipping iced tea, remembering all the fun afternoons I spent with my boys. Having water balloon fights.

If you're looking for more fun household tips, check out We are that Family for more great Works for me Wednesday tips!


3XMom said...

Great idea! I am so doing this. How many balloons does each child get to start? Thanks.

Llama Momma said...

3x mom - in the beginning of a fight, I like to have the kids partner off and stand opposite eachother. Each "team" gets one balloon. Toss it back and forth, trying not to let it break.

By the end, it's an absolute free for all!! :-)

With a dozen kids, we easily blow through 300 balloons!

ChosenRebel said...

You are the coolest woman in the world (next to my wife). I love the idea. Only the next time you do this I want an invitation! I'll even help cleanup.

Teri Lynne Underwood said...

I just wanted to thank you for your kind comment on my post about public schooling. I am thankful it was an encouragement to you - as your words were to me.

And I noticed your post about writers' conferences ... I'm headed to my first one in July - She Speaks. I'm very nervous. And overwhelmed. And afraid. But also very excited.

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