If you grew up in the '90s, chances are you had your fair share of full-on Battle Royale-style Super Soaker wars in your neighborhood. Toy and water guns were as ubiquitous as candy cigarettes when we were little, and the consequences of mimicking violent acts was completely lost on all of us. Now, in an era of school shootings and mass violence committed by guns, many millennial parents are looking to curb their children's use of toy guns, water guns included. So I've compiled a list of water gun alternatives that are just as fun, and just as wet, without the violent connotations.
Psychology Today reported that the "weapons effect" is a real thing. Researchers wrote, "A review of 56 published studies confirmed that the mere sight of weapons increases aggression in both angry and non angry individuals." The idea that we let our children play with fake guns, pretending to injure or even kill their friends and family, in a time when there is record rates of mass gun violence across the country, is troubling, reported The New York Times.
That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of non-violent ways to play with water in the hot days of summer, it just means you have to be a bit more creative than perhaps we were as children.
1. Dunk Hat Game
2. Banzai Obstacle Course
3. Bunch O' Balloons
4. Aqua Blast Hockey
5. Stomping Splash Pad
6. Goliath Hydro Ball Game
This is a spinning ball of water that you tug back and forth and it sprays. It sounds simple, because it is, but that's what makes it so great. The goal is to keep it by your opponent so they're the ones who get completely soaked. Or, you could do what my siblings and I did, which is play it over your parent's head. (Crap, I'm the parent now.)