Water balloons provide some serious fun in Summer but water balloons are single-use items and once popped, the litter is difficult to clean up. I don’t want to be responsible for the local wildlife or my chickens accidentally ingesting this litter (latex rubber) before it biodegrades, so I’ve made a simple switch from single-use water balloons to homemade reusable water bombs and avoided packaging as well!

I came across crochet water balloons about six months ago and only just remembered them now that I’m planning for Christmas and boxing day shenanigans at our house.

The problem with the yarn in most of those options is that it is 100% polyester and I want to avoid bringing new plastic into our home. I thought about purchasing natural yarns to try, but in the end, decided it was best to do what I always do which is to use what I have already.

So I examined the contents of my small yarn basket for something that might work. I still have some balls of yarn clearly labelled 100% cotton and 100% wool but for the left over yarn that I’ve chosen for the water bombs, there are no labels – it might be acrylic.

The other problem I had was that I have never crocheted before and I didn’t want to use my limited time in the lead-up to Christmas learning how, so I used my basic knitting skills to figure out a way forward.

Blue knitted water bomb

All I did was cast on 25 stitches and continued to knit until it reached the desired height. Then I began to decrease the number of stitches a few at a time for each row until i was down to 10 stitches. I continued knitting the 10 stitches until a nice ‘bottle neck’ had been achieved and then cast off. To finish off, I used a yarn needle to stitch the sides together, draw in the bottle neck further, and draw in the bottom before tying off.

The final size of the water bomb is influenced by the size of your yarn and needles and the tension you use, so just add more or less stitches to get your desired size. And don’t stress about getting it to look perfect. Kids aren’t going to notice, and the bombs are going to get banged around a bit and probably dirty whilst in use.

Knitted water bombs

So, to use the water bombs, fill a container with water, throw them in to soak, then bombs away! They don’t hurt and it’s just like throwing sponges at each other. Simply wash them out when you’re done and hang up to dry.

My kids LOVE these water bombs! In the words of a six year old “These are awesome because they won’t break and get wasted when I miss someone, we won’t run out and have to go to the shops to buy more, we don’t have to wait at the tap to fill them up and we don’t have to pick up all the little pieces.” I was pretty happy to know she thought the benefits were greater than for actual water balloons, which by the way, we haven’t used for a few years.

Knitted water bomb

Anyone else going to give these a try?

17 thoughts

  1. As a kid we used to make origami ones, so while you do still have the litter issue and single use issue, you can use old scraps of paper, that will break down and add carbon to the soil. Gives the kids have something to do when the weather isn’t appropriate for water bombs, as they are busy making their origami ones, and then they can let loose with them when the weather is right.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Specific shape. Specific instructions for the folding, then you tear a little bit of paper off at one end, blow it up and fill with water. Voila! We made these when we were kids. I’m now in my 60s.

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  2. Quick tip for testing fibre content – a synthetic fibre will burn fast and usually leave a hard substance behind – be careful – the issue of burning plastic building materials has been well publicised. Wool – you’ll be able to tell by the smell – burning hair… & it will not catch fire so easily; cotton, linen, and probably rayon as cellulose based fibres etc will leave ash.
    Put a small amount of the fibre on a concrete path or something like that and add a match. Keep the kids away.

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  3. Wow, what an awesome idea Tammy! I don’t know how to knit, nor do I have kids, but I’m impressed at the ingenuity of these zero waste water balloons. It’s wonderful to be constantly reminded that there’s an ever-growing list of things that can be made zero waste!

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  4. Am trying to do better but have hit a hurdle. I was getting the local chicken shop, butcher and deli places my items directly into clean containers. At first they were surprised but did it. Last time I went to deli and chicken shop they refused saying “cross contamination risks”. Anyone got ideas for Brunswick Victoria region.


  5. Oh how awesome! I banned water balloons years ago but these would be so much fun and so easy to “fill” and reuse. With the drought and water restrictions this could only require one bucket of water for some Christmas Day antics!

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