Water Wars, Part 2

64 Arts

Have you ever been part of an epic water balloon fight?

Growing up we lived with my grandmother (and at other times lived right across the field from them, or so I’m told–I was a little too young to remember that part) before moving to Florida when I was 6. The house was built for them, their retirement house, Maw-Maw’s dream house.

It had the massive double doors that let into an entryway with a formal sitting room to the left and a beautiful staircase to the left leading to the second floor Maw Maw never wanted but Paw Paw found this staircase at a hotel that was being torn down and, basically, brought it home. I think that’s kinda cool.

The point of that little digression was to point out that we had the major front entrance that no one ever used. Except Mom when she’d go out the mow the lawn. We always used the door off the driveway, through the breezeway that led into the breakfast nook.

But outside the real front doors was this massive yard, studded with very tall trees dripping with moss, pretty much the perfect look for a southern home. It was there we had our war.

Mom doesn’t remember this. She swears that Maw Maw must not have known about this, either, because there’s no way she would have allowed it. But I know I didn’t hallucinate it–I remember it vividly and I never hurt myself in my imaginary lives, so, yes, this happened.

It was all the cousins (they’re older than me) and various others. There were hundreds of water balloons pre-filled and stored in coolers around the yard. One, in particular, was on a tree stump sorta in the middle of things. I remember this because I was going for a refill and the lid clunked me on top of the head–see? If I hurt myself it really happened.

Now, I don’t remember why we were doing it. I remember having long sleeves and long pants on, so maybe it was chilly outside? I don’t remember if there was a goal or teams or what. It was probably just a free-for-all.

The thing was, though, it happened. And it was fun.


Some tips for launching your own epic water balloon armada:

  • Choose your balloons based on their use: games you could use a thicker balloon to make it last longer, but if splash value is high on your list, go for the thinner balloons made for this purpose.
  • Fill a BUNCH of balloons ahead of time. I think the cooler idea was inspired (not to mention might keep them nice and chilly–extra nice on a really hot day. Mesh bags, laundry baskets and wagons also make good containers for transport.
  • Consider asking everyone to wear white or light-colored clothes (that they don’t mind ruining) and tinting the water in the balloons with food dye–it’s like a paintball fight without the guns!
  • Be careful not to overfill your balloons or they’ll pop even before you touch them!
  • Have a game at the end of the day’s activities to collect all the little bits and pieces of busted balloons with a prize for the person who collects the most. You could count the pieces or use a digital scale to weigh them out to save time. Prizes could be anything from a package of new balloons, a special beach towel–embroidered or appliqued with the date of the event?–or a paper-mache balloon trophy!