How to Have a Water Gun Target Practice With Your Kids

Do your kids need to burn off some energy?

Want a fun activity that’s both cool and crafty?

Have a water gun adventure with your family.

Make targets, practice shooting and then stage a water fight as a family. It’s good creative and physical play and it’s lots of fun.

In this article I’ll share how to have a have a water gun adventure that’ll keep everyone cool all summer long.

Want a summer activity that's cool and crafty? Have a water gun adventure with your kids. Make targets, practice shooting, have a water fight. It's a blast!

Why Have a Water Gun Adventure?

Kids love playing in and with water. It’s one of the staples of summertime. Whether they run through the sprinklers, play water balloon games or take part in a good old-fashioned water fight, they’re bound to have a good time, no pool or beach required.

Join your kids in the fun with a water gun adventure. This activity combines crafts and target practice while you prepare for the ultimate water fight.

Nothing beats a water fight to keep kids cool and amused on a hot summer day.

girl with water guns

Water play is fun for kids of all ages.

You can purchase water guns (super soakers or something smaller) or make your own. Create targets for shooting practice, squirt them down and then take aim at each other.

The physical play that comes from a water fight is a wonderful way to bond with your children and it’s good exercise, too.

Have a water gun adventure at home, at the park or at a friend’s house. The materials are portable and so is the fun. Just add water!

You Will Need

  • Water pistols (or materials to make your own)
  • Sturdy disposable plates
  • Permanent markers
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pen and paper to keep score (optional)

Preparation Time

A few minutes to gather materials

Activity Time

30 minutes+



This adventure could go for a half hour or all afternoon. Create spy personas and backstories to mix it up and add drama to your adventure.

First, you have to train.

#1: Gather Supplies

It’s a water gun adventure, so you’ll need to get some water pistols from the store.

For those who are more ambitious, make squirt guns out of water bottles, use PVC for a water gun or build a waterzooka.

girl squirting water gun

Buy a water gun or build your own—one for each family member.

Next, gather the supplies you need for the targets: paper plates and markers. While you’re at it, grab the string, scissors and tape.

#2: Make Your Targets

Color in your plates with whatever creative thing you want. Anything goes. Draw shapes, pictures or even a target with a bull’s eye. Be sure to add point values if you go the target picture route.

Target Themes

Come up with a theme as a family. Then everyone draws a picture within that theme.

  • For an entertainment twist, draw pictures from a favorite book, summer movie, video game or cartoon.
  • Do a sports theme, where each image is a piece of equipment.
  • For a spy theme, draw characters that look like villains.

Take a photo of your artwork before you have at them with the squirt guns.

Another option: Draw a face and then cut out holes for the eyes, nose and mouth. When you get to target practice, the goal will be to shoot the water through the holes. Assign point values for this version too, if you’d like.

decorated plates

Decorate the plate targets any way you’d like. This batch has a face, a rainbow and a design.

Once everyone decorates a plate or two, use scissors to poke two small holes, a couple of inches [5-10 cm] apart, in the top of each plate.

#3: String up Your Targets

Scope your outdoor area and decide where to hang your line of targets. Tree to tree, tree to house or tree to fence usually works best. How high to hang the string should depend on the age and size of your kids.

To make it a fairer contest, make a rule that older kids and adults need to shoot at the targets from their knees, so everyone’s the same height.

Cut a piece of string, however long you need with a little extra for safety. Thread the string through your decorated plates, in one hole and out the other, so they’ll hang flat. Use the tape to secure each plate in place along the string.

Hang up your line of plates, tying each end to a different secure spot.

string of decorated plates

Thread the string through the targets then hang up your target line from tree to tree, tree to house or tree to fence.

Want to make target practice more of a challenge? Add a second row of targets at another height. Cut short pieces of string (less than arm’s length) and tie one end to the plate and the other to the main line. The second row will be harder to hit, especially if there’s a breeze and your targets start to move or spin!

#4: Practice Shooting

Once you have your targets up, fill your water guns. Now enjoy some target practice. Play for fun or keep score. If you are keeping score, make sure everyone stands the same distance away from the target.

boy practicing with water gun

Ready, aim, fire!

To keep score, assign point values for your decorated plates or even for different sections of the plates. For example rim gets 5 points, just inside gets 10, bull’s eye gets 25.

practicing at a distance

From a reasonable distance, try to shoot as many targets as you can.

Try to hit as many plates as you can. And if you hit each other, oh well.

#5: Have a Water Fight

Before too long, your game of shooting pictures will no doubt turn into a full-fledged water fight. No worries. That was kind of the goal.

kids having water fight

At some point target practice will turn into a water fight.

Set ground rules if you have kids who get overanxious. But mostly use this time to have fun with your family. While shooting each other, you’ll cool off and laugh a lot.

After your water fight adventure, leave the plates up, if you can, and come back to play again sometime soon. Or put the supplies in a handy place, so you can grab them and have a water fight any day, anytime, anywhere.

Some Final Thoughts

A water gun adventure is the perfect activity to cool off with your kids on a hot summer day. Play with or without targets, and enjoy your adventure for as long as you want to play.

Be creative. Design other targets and create other games to play with your water guns. Work with your family to build on each other’s ideas. You’ll be amazed by what you come up with.

Keep your water gun adventures in the family or invite friends and neighbors over to join in the fun. It’s a great activity for a summer party. The best thing about this adventure: it appeals to both the young and young at heart.

What do you think? Do you have water fights with your kids? Who usually wins? Have you tried target practice? What other things can you shoot with your water pistols? We’d love to hear your suggestions. Please share them, along with a picture of your target art, in the comments below.

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About the Author, Jane Aubrey

Crafting ought to be my middle name. For me, nothing beats crafting for an easy, relaxing, calm and sociable means of entertaining my children. Check out my projects at Fun With Jane. Other posts by »

  • Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks Jane! This looks like lots of fun. A row of targets would be a great addition to an obstacle course, too.

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