One of the coolest things we do in the summer, and I mean that literally, is an adaptation of a favorite birthday party game. On the hottest days of the season, nothing beats a water-filled piñata slung over the branch of a tree. A dentist's dream, this candy-free version will flood your kids with fun -- and a generous amount of cold water.
COST: about $4.50
Using your backyard hose, fill a medium-sized plastic trash bag with one to two gallons of water. Knot the top of the bag.
Tie one end of the rope tightly beneath the knot. Toss the free end of the rope over a tree branch (a parent's job) and either tie it securely or have the adult stand by to raise and lower the piñaqua.
To play, each child takes a turn getting blindfolded, getting spun around three times, and then taking three whacks at the piñaqua with the broom. The winner is the one who manages to break the bag and unleash the tidal wave.