Ultimate Water Balloon Fight!

They say go big or go home right!?  Well I say ... GO BIG AT HOME!!  I want the big fun to be had right here at home. So if I am going to do a water balloon fight, well, I am going to do a WATER BALLOON FIGHT!
This is just one of the restock buckets... 
 As this is not my first water war, I have found a few cheapskate ways to make the fun last a little bit longer!

First off, I am a big fan of the target dollar bins for my summer necessities.  During my last trip there I found bags of 100 count water balloons for $1 each!  I ended up purchasing six bags of balloons as I figured this would not be a one time event!  For this specific balloon fight I decided to fill up three bags worth of balloons, which was a total of 300 balloons!  So total amount spent on this activity was $3.00!!
300 Balloons!!  AM I CRAZY OR WHAT!?

Secondly -- we fill the balloons. What I do is attach the adapter to my sink inside so that I can set the kids up with a movie in the neighboring room or fill the balloons during quiet time. This way once we are ready to play I am not stuck blowing up balloons for anxious kids! This does take some time and that is the reason I have instituted some conservation measures into our water war!!

Third step  - we invite the neighbors!  Really, it is just so much more fun with more people. With just a few ground rules we are able to invite kids of all ages.
Ground rule one for playing with the small kids:  We can only throw the balloon at the ground near their feet. The kid still think this is really fun ( it makes a giant splash) and they don't get a balloon shot to the back or face.
Ground rule two: kids can wear goggles (we call this the just in case rule!)  The little ones think it is fun to be running around in the backyard with goggles!
This little chica in the picture below picked those goggles to wear! We had to downgrade her to normal goggles later so she could breath through her nose!!! HA!
Ground rule three:  You can't steal balloons from someone else's bucket!  We will get back to this one later!!
So... here is how we  play our game:

I have found that the older kids (we run up to about 9 or 10 in our immediate area) fly through their balloons but our 2 and 3 year olds tend to save them and throw them one at a time. So in order to protect the little guys we give each person a specific bucket to start.  I color code them to help the little ones. If I have to use two blue buckets I just put a stripe on one of them.

Then I take various buckets and put them throughout the backyard as restock buckets.  Each basket of balloons is put far away from the other so that the kids have to run from one place to another to get more balloons. This not only runs out some of their energy but also allows for the game to LAST LONGER!!

The final part is the largest restock bucket stays right in the driveway with me!!  The best part about this is that I get to splash kids at my discretion and also hand out the balloons relatively evenly. Please note that I have no problem with the older kids getting more,  they run faster, play harder, and most of the time the little ones don't notice!   The best part about being in charge of the final restock is that I get to send the kids on laps around the house to earn balloons. It sounds crazy but they love it.  One of the kids ran two times around the house purely to come back and say she deserved two times the number of restock balloons.  Love it.  Exercise can be fun.   I wish they had water balloons at my gym!

The last few things we added to our water fight were obstacles or challenges for our water balloon kids.  Our pool is not quite open so we have taken our pool float and tied it up between two of our trees as a target for the kids!  In addition to the pool float we also have repurposed a target from our suction cup bow and arrow game. It is great to be able to utilize their forgotten toys in new and fun ways!

Most of all I just love to see the kids have fun!  It is great to be in the action with them. The one word of advice I would give is to let them know when they start that everyone , including yourself, is fair game!

Oh, by the way... I forgot our last ground rule.... EVERYONE HELPS CLEAN UP!!

Here is what our after looked like...

Have fun and make memories~