Backyard Summer Games: Fill a Cup Relay

A Fun and Free Water Game for Kids and Teens

Boys (8-10) pouring water over heads, close up
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Backyard water games are fun for summer birthday parties and those sunny afternoons when the kids are bored. You don't need to spend hours filling up water balloons to have a fun and wet activity, instead choose an easy game like this fill-a-cup relay.

What is the Fill-A-Cup Relay?

The fill-a-cup relay is a fun and cheap game for kids to play during the summer. Kids love it because they get wet and have a little competition with their friends.

From young kids to teenagers, this is an activity that all ages can enjoy.

Parents love this game because it is cheap and can keep a group of kids busy for hours. The game can last as long as the kids want to keep going. Everything you need for the relay activity is probably right there in your house.

During the relay, the kids will be split up into two or more teams. The goal is to be the team that fills and dumps their cups the fastest. The trick is that water can only be transported with a sponge!

What You Need:

  • Plastic cups
  • Large bucket of water
  • Sponges
  • Two or more groups of friends

Set Up the Game

  1. Set a bucket full of water about 10-20 feet away from the starting line. Adjust the distance for the age group, moving it closer for younger kids and farther away for older kids.
  2. Divide the kids into two or more teams and have them stand in a straight line.
  3. Give each team a plastic cup and a sponge.

    You can use a single bucket for all of the teams or give each team their own bucket.

    Game Play

    Once everyone is ready to begin, it is time to play. On 'go' each team will:

    1. The second player on each team places the cup on top of their head.
    2. The first player runs to the water bucket with the sponge and soaks up as much water as they can.
    1. They return to the starting line and squeeze all of the water into the cup, then return to the water bucket to fill the sponge again. This process repeats until the cup is full.
    2. Once the cup is full, the second player dumps the water onto the first player's head!
    3. The first player goes to the back of the line to wait their turn with the cup and the second player now has the sponge and continues the relay.

    The relay continues until each of the team's players have a chance with both the cup and the sponge. The first team to complete the cycle wins!

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