I don’t know how it is at your house, but at my house the summers used to be filled with “I’m bored” and “It’s too hot.” When I thought I couldn’t take one more complaint, I decided it was time to get some toys that could keep the kids entertained and cooled off at the same time. We invested in some great water toys, and there has been much less complaining.
All of my kids enjoy being refreshed in cool water in the backyard. It’s something we can do together to beat the heat and have fun making memories. Our summer plans have been drastically altered this year, so I know we’ll be spending a lot more time playing in the water at home.
With a wide variety of water toys, there is something everyone can enjoy. In this article, we’ll explore several different types of toys to keep your family splashing all summer!
Choosing the Right Water Toy for Your Family
Here are some important things to consider before shopping for an outdoor water toy.
- The age of your kids. Keep in mind the age group you’re shopping for. Don’t forget the neighborhood kids who are bound to end up at your house too! I often find that one water toy can span multiple age groups in kids (and adults!).
- The area you must work with. It’s important to consider how large or small your yard is and what size water toy it can accommodate. Thankfully there are options for every yard size!
- Consider your water source. Make sure you have a good quality water hose that is the right length for your needs!
- Remember to keep it safe! Always have extra first aid supplies on hand in the event someone gets hurt. Also, keep beach towels handy to dry off your loved ones before they run inside onto slippery kitchen floors!
- Always supervise young kids. Drowning can occur in less than one foot of water, so please be diligent and always supervise your young kids during water play!
Top Outdoor Water Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers
|Heavy Duty Double Water Slide|
|Team Magnus Slip and Slide|
|Wham-O Slip N Slide|
|Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Sprinkler|
|Inflatable Pineapple Sprinkler|
|Beach Ball Sprinkler|
|Spinning Turtle Sprinkler|
|Inflatable Rainbow Sprinkler|
|SplashEZ Splash Pad|
|Jasonwell Splash Pad|
|Toddler Splash Mat|
|Outdoor Play Centers|
|Doctor Dolphin Water Park|
|Intex Surf 'N Slide|
|Intex Inflatable Activity Pool|
|Inflatable Swimming Pools|
|Rectangular Inflatable Pool|
|Intex Crystal Blue Pool|
|Other Water Toys|
|Step2 Water Table|
|Bunch O Balloons|
|Step2 Play and Shade Pool|
|Fireman Water Gun Backpack|
|Super Soaker AlphaFire|
So, you’re ready to shop for a water toy for your family! There are so many different options to choose from when shopping for water toys that it can feel overwhelming at first. I have compiled a list of several types that are time tested and proven to be hits with kids of all ages! Listed are reviews of water toys that would be best for toddlers and young kids, but as you’ll quickly find out, big kids and adults will join in on the fun too!
Water slides are a classic summer outdoor water toy. Gone are the days of laying a shower curtain or tarp on a downhill slope with a water hose. Today’s water slides have racing lanes, sprinkler fountains, wading pools, and so many different configurations! Below are some of the best-selling water slides in the market now.
1. Heavy Duty Double Water Slide
This inflatable lawn water slide will keep your kids playing outside all summer long. It has two water slides right next to each other. Two inflatable body boards allow you to race down the slides incredibly fast and you don’t rub against the ground. At 20 feet x6 feet, these slides allow for an extra long slip ‘n slide race. The sides of the water slides are a few inches high so that children are protected when they go down the slides. A sprinkler that arches across the middle both water slides which makes for a fun, water-soaked experience.
Kids love the bright colors of this water toy, and parents love that it is made of safe PVC material. At only 3-4 pounds, this water slide incredibly lightweight, which makes for easy storage and transport. Included stakes help hold it down. Repair stickers come in the packaging, so the water slide can easily be fixed if there is a rip or a tear.
The inflatable lawn water slide will give your children endless hours of summer fun. This activity helps children to exercise, have fun, get comfortable with water, and connect with other kids. Enjoy this amazing water slide and all its awesome features.
2. Team Magnus Slip and Slide
This water slide boasts an extra-large design and two rows measuring over five feet wide to provide room for two kids to slide at once! Set up is easy with air inflation and a water hose. However, you may need an adapter to get it to fit your hose.
This slide is wider than most others, and the pool at the end of the slide is larger than you will find on most others as well. If you find it difficult to slip on this slide, try putting down a little dish soap. It makes the slide more slippery and kids love the bubbles it makes too! Choose the 18-foot or 31-foot option.
3. Wham-O Slip N Slide
The Wham-o Slip N Slide is a classic design that can accommodate many age groups. For this model, just hook up the water hose and enjoy slip sliding fun! Water sprays from the side of the slide and at the end. Kids love zipping along and ending with a refreshing splash of water!
This water slide has three lanes, so up to three kids can slide at once. It also includes three boogie boards. This slide is compact when stored and ideal for smaller yards, as it doesn’t take up too much space! The material isn’t really thick, but what do you expect for this price.
While running through the water hose can still be fun, consider adding a sprinkler toy to ensure your kids will play for hours! These innovative designs with water hose inserts create sprinkler fountain fun for your kids.
4. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Sprinkler
The Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch sprinkler is a great way to help toddlers get used to water by getting their feet wet. This sprinkler is small, but it puts out a lot of water because it has twelve mini sprinkler heads that all shoot out water. It connects directly to the hose and can be set out for kids to run around and play with. It can also be used to water the garden and lawn if needed. This sprinkler is made out of durable materials that are specific for outdoor use.
Offering opportunities for kids to develop hand-eye coordination and comfortability with water, this sprinkler is a great way for kids to avoid screens. The little characters are cute and whimsical, which children will love playing with and using their imagination while playing. This water toy for toddlers will give your children hours of uninterrupted, splashing fun while they run through the water.
5. Inflatable Pineapple Sprinkler
This inflatable pineapple sprinkler is perfect for your next luau! Inflate the base and tree, attach your water hose, and watch as water shoots from four different holes! The product manufacturer recommends weighing the base down by filling it with a small bit of water. This makes the sprinkler stable and durable.
At 35″ tall, this palm tree is the perfect size for kids of any age. It sprays water out of the top of the palm tree. Set up is quick and easy, and kids will find hours of fun with this exciting water sprinkler for kids.
6. Beach Ball Sprinkler
This Sprinkler Ball toy is a great way to take your run-of-the-mill beach ball to the next level! Simply fill the outdoor water sprinkler toy with some water to secure the base, inflate with an air pump and attach your water hose! Water sprays from holes in the balls, and kids love jumping over the ball and playing in the water.
Multiple reinforced sprinkler ports ensure hours of use don’t wear on the holes. Parents said the ball can be detached from the water hose and used as a regular beach ball as well! The vibrant colors and fun design will make this a hit with young kids! The Toy Sprinkler Ball comes with a 12-month warranty.
7. Spinning Turtle Sprinkler
This hydro-powered sprinkler is perfect for a smaller yard and has a cute turtle theme. With water pressure from a hose, the middle turns in circles and sends the “arms” swinging in all directions making for a great chasing effect for the kids! Water sprays up from six different colorful tubes.
Like many of the other sprinkler toys for young kids on this list, the spinning turtle is easy to set up. Just connect it to your hose and turn the hose on. Then sit back as your kids enjoy playing in the water. Our dog was also a huge fan of this toy.
This is an inexpensive option, but it is also not as durable as other options on this list. You can assume this kids’ water toy will likely last only one summer.
8. Inflatable Rainbow Sprinkler
This inflatable rainbow sprinkler stands at 67” inches, tall enough for parents to duck under and kids of all ages to run through! The bright colors and fun design will add excitement to any backyard party, pool, or even indoor decoration!
Due to its size, you will want to use an air pump to inflate the Inflatable Rainbow. Once inflated, you simply attach your garden hose and a shower of water will sprinkle from the beautiful rainbow. There are 20 different holes which spray water from the rainbow. How fun!
Splash pads are a great way for kids of all ages to cool off in the summer sun, right in their own backyard (without the grassy mess)! Most splash pads are designed with ease in mind. Just hook up a hose and you’re ready to go! Splash pads are a very economical choice as most are under $25.00! Here are some of the best splash pads on the market today.
9. SplashEZ 3-in-1 Sprinkler and Splash Pad
This bestselling splash pad is a summer hit for a reason! The interactive mat features fun alphabet graphics for the youngest learners while offering tons of water play. No air inflation is required. Let the garden hose do the work! As the water fills the rim of the splash pad, it will inflate and eventually sprinkle out of pre-cut fountain holes. The shallow depth of the pad will ensure that your littlest kids have the perfect amount of water to splash and play in as well! The plastic is BPA and Phthalate free.
This toy is recommended for ages 12 months and up, and it is a summer favorite water toy for toddlers! The size is compact as well for easy storage.
10. Jasonwell Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat
The Jasonwell Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat is a popular outdoor water toy for young kids thanks to its size and durability. The expansive 68” mat is perfect for multiple kids (or even pups!). This splash pad is also a convenient choice, as all you must do is hook up a hose and go! The sprinkler style rim ensures that young kids have just the right amount of water to cool off and enjoy.
The fun shark print is a hit with boys and girls, and the surface area is large enough to accommodate everyone. The included instructions can be somewhat difficult to understand, but assembly is pretty self-explanatory.
11. Toddler Splash Mat
This splash mat is like other designs but offers fun ocean animal themed graphics so your littles can really pretend that they’re on the beach! No air inflation is necessary on this design, as the water hose will do the work. The 67” inch square design is perfect for multiple kids. Or you can choose an 87″ diameter round option. Once your children begin to play through the fountain sprinklers, you can count on being the hit of the neighborhood!
This splash mat is a breeze to put together and store away when not in use. The water pressure can be adapted by simply adjusting the water flow from your spigot. Overall this is a great design and the price point is perfect for hours of play!
Outdoor Play Centers for Young Kids
Is there anything more exciting than a great water park? You can have one in your own backyard for less than you might think. Here are two of our favorites.
12. Doctor Dolphin Water Park
If you want your kids to have some serious fun this summer, invest in a doctor dolphin Inflatable Water Park. Yes, it is considerably more expensive than the other products on this list, but this inflatable water slide for young kids is sure to be a favorite for years to come. It can be used either dry or wet.
Made with high quality nylon polyester, this toy comes with a limited warranty. Inflated it measures 10 feet long x 9 feet wide x 6.5 feet high. Included are the slide, a heavy duty blower to inflate the slide, and stakes to hold the unit in place. It can hold up to 300 pounds and is a good choice for kids ages 2-10. Set up is easy and takes only a few minutes.
This unit has a slide, a bounce house, a climbing wall, and a pool at the bottom. Kids love the sprinkler at the top of the slide and the water gun the end of the slide that keep them wet.
13. Intex Surf ’N Slide Inflatable Play Center
The Intex Surf ‘N Slide is a literal “slide” that amps up the fun for kids six and over! It comes with two rafts to make sliding a breeze. It takes the entire slide under 20 minutes to inflate with an electric pump (not included). If you don’t have a grassy area to put this slide, put a tarp underneath the slide. At over 15’ feet long with a fun shark design, you can bet kids of all ages will enjoy this water slide!
14. Intex Inflatable Activity Pool
The Intex inflatable activity pool is perfect for children who aren’t ready for a big pool but want to play in the water and grow comfortable with it. Ideally, this activity pool is for babies, toddlers, and young kids ages 2-5 because it is on the smaller side. The high edges of the pool will hold water in and protect your children from falling out of it.
Measuring 6 ft 7 in x 5 ft 7 in x 2 ft 9 in, this pool is truly the perfect size for children to play in. About 42 gallons of water can be held in the pool. It comes with a repair patch in case a rip or tear occurs. The bottom of the pool is cushioned so that if children fall it won’t hurt their little bodies.
This pool has a mini slide, characters on the pool sides, a mini umbrella, and a large animal sprinkling water into the pool. You can connect a hose to the animal sprinkler if you decide you want the sprinkler on.
Children will love the bright colors, interesting features, and animal spraying water into the pool. A pool floatie, a ring toss game, and an inflatable bucket come with this inflatable pool, which will make it even more fun for children. This all-inclusive activity pool will have your children playing for hours discovering the delights of water play.
Inflatable Swimming Pools
Nothing says summer like splashing around in a pool. It’s even better when it’s in your backyard. These inflatable pools are great for any size yard and will provide hours of wet, clean fun!
15. Rectangular Inflatable Pool
This pool is perfect for the whole family. Measuring 92″ X 56″ X 20″, this option can fit 2 adults and 3 kids or a host of children (with adult supervision, of course).
Made of high quality, safe PVC material, this inflatable pool for families is thicker than similar pools and will last longer. It can hold up to 20″ of water totaling 162 gallons of water.
Inflation takes only a few minutes, although you’ll definitely want to use an electric pump (sold separately). The 3 separate air chambers not only make it easier to inflate and deflate, they also make the pool more durable.
It is easy to drain the water from this plastic kiddie pool. Simply pull the 2 drain valves and the water will come out on its own.
This is a great outdoor water toy. Kids of all ages (and adults) will have a great time in this pool!
16. Intex Crystal Blue Inflatable Pool
For a very basic pool for small kids, the Crystal Blue from Intex is a good option. It measures 66″ in diameter and 15″ tall. The maximum fill level is 11.5″ (127 gallons).
This pool for toddlers is great for outdoor summer play for young kids. It is quite inexpensive and includes a repair patch. Like most other budget friendly kiddie pools, this Intex isn’t great quality. It will likely last one summer. However, it will give hours of fun to kids who like to play in the water.
Pump up the pool either with your mouth or with a hand pump. Either method will take a little time. Although there are 3 rings around the outside of the pool, there is only one air valve to fill all 3 air chambers.
There is no water drain on this pool. The easiest way to drain the water is to put pressure on the side of the pool so the water spills out.
Other Great Outside Water Toys
Here are a few other outdoor water toys for kids that my kids have loved and I found to be a great value!
17. Step2 Rain Showers Water Table
Outdoor water tables are perfect for toddlers and young kids of all ages. This model is the Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table. This water table is perfect if you have multiple kids of varying ages. The water table base reaches 17.5” inches, perfect for your little ones just beginning to walk and explore. With the top tier reaching an impressive 32.11” inches, it’s perfect for your older toddlers to show their little brother or sister how it’s done!
This versatile water table comes with multiple accessories and can be configured several different ways to offer hours of entertainment. The improved drain plug ensures that water stays in the table during play and can be popped open when it’s time to dry up. Parents say their children love the rainwater feature and some have even put this in the bathtub on rainy days for their kids to play with. This water table is a proven hit with young kids of all ages!
18. Bunch-o-Balloons Instant Water Balloons
These water balloons are guaranteed to create outdoor fun and memories! Simply connect the balloons to your water hose, fill them up, and they will automatically fall off and tie themselves! You literally can fill a hundred balloons in under a minute.
I found that occasionally I would have a balloon or two pop off and not fill, but it still left me with plenty of softball-sized water balloons to play with. These come in multiple colors and are a great idea for parties or summer camps! Parents love that these cheap outdoor water toys can be filled quickly and easily, and kids love that they don’t have to wait to start playing!
19. Step2 Play and Shade Pool
This darling wading pool is the perfect option for young kids. It is 50″ in diameter and comes with a colorful umbrella that measures 40″. The molded hard plastic is very durable and will not crack due to sun exposure. With designs molded into the bottom of the pool, the Step2 Play and Shade Pool provides good traction for little feet. It’s like playing in the water under a good beach tent.
Kids love play with the detachable water wheel and funnel cups that come with this pool. Parents love that there is hardly any assembly required and that this pool provides shade. While this toy is more pricey than many on this list, the shade, durability, and fun aspects make it well worth buying!
20. Fireman Water Gun Backpack
Young kids love pretending to be firefighters. This fun water gun is good for kids of all ages. Simply fill the tank with water (more or less depending on the age of the child), put it on your back, and start spraying. This water gun shoots up to 13 feet and holds up to 80 ounces of water. The straps on the backpack are adjustable, and the pump action is easy for kids to figure out.
If you find your little one can’t or doesn’t want to hold the backpack on her back, you can fill the tank and place the backpack on the ground while she uses the water gun. This water gun is fun for a birthday party or just for playing outdoors.
21. NERF Super Soaker AlphaFire
If you are looking for a good outdoor water toy for preschoolers, check out the Super Soaker AlphaFire. This water gun for toddlers is easy for small hands to hold and fire. It is sold in a set of two and comes with the quality you would expect from NERF.
With this gun, you can expect to fire up to 20 feet. The AlphaFire only holds 3 ounces of water, so expect to refill it often. It is quite easy to fill; simply pop the blue lid up and pour water in. Younger kids will likely need help filling the AlphaFire.