The Best Water Toys to Keep Kids Cool This Summer

Our favorites from Poolmaster, H2OGO!, Hasbro, and more

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The Spruce / Lecia Landis

Beating the heat can be difficult, especially if you don’t live near a beach or have access to a swimming pool. Fortunately, there are plenty of water toys that can cool kids off while providing hours of fun.

We researched the best backyard water toys, considering age recommendations, material, and entertainment. Our favorite picks include Sunny Day’s bubble machine that doubles as a boombox, H2OGO’s triple lane water slide, and a wet and wild take on Hasbro’s classic Twister game.

Here are the best water toys to keep kids cool and entertained all summer long.

Our Top Picks

Poolmaster Splash and Spray Beach Ball Sprinkler

Poolmaster Splash and Spray Beach Ball Sprinkler

Amazon

What We Like
  • Multiple waterspouts maximize water play

  • Easy to set up and deflate

What We Don't Like
  • Bottom spouts may lead to overwatering lawn

The Splash and Spray Beach Ball takes sprinkler play to a whole new level. As with most sprinklers, this inflatable attaches to a standard hose. But rather than shooting water from one or two spouts, the Splash and Spray beach ball utilizes multiple spouts for maximum water play. And we do mean maximum—the sprinkler sprays water up to 15 feet in multiple directions.

One thing to keep in mind is that some of the spouts may face the ground if the ball is not positioned correctly, which could cause lawn damage over time. To avoid this, make sure to rotate the ball and move locations if possible. The sprinkler is also available as a caterpillar ($22) and a standard play mat ($32), which may do less damage to your lawn over time.

Dimensions: 33 inches︱Material: Vinyl︱Age Range: 6 years and up

Sunny Days Entertainment Bubble Party Bluetooth Speaker

Sunny Days Entertainment Bubble Party Bluetooth Speaker

Amazon

What We Like
  • Plays music via Bluetooth connection

  • Easy to travel with

What We Don't Like
  • Machine holds limited solution and runs through it fast

Sunny Day’s machine doesn’t just blow bubbles: It plays music like a real boombox. All you have to do is connect the machine to your Bluetooth, and music will play from the built-in speakers. The boombox bubble machine also has an LED light display, with colors changing between day and night. There’s even a  handle that makes it easy to bring the party wherever you go.

You’ll want to be sure to stock up on bubble solution, as the machine only holds 8 ounces and depletes pretty fast.

Dimensions: 13 x 3.75 x 6.7 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Age Range: 3 years and up

H2OGO! 16' Triple Water Slide with Sponge Soakers Toys and Three Riders

H2OGO! 16' Triple Water Slide with Sponge Soakers Toys and Three Riders

Walmart

What We Like
  • SplashBoost Sprinkler technology ensures a slick slide

  • Multi-person toy

What We Don't Like
  • May only last one season

The H2OGO water slide cools kids off while providing some friendly competition. The 16-foot slide is divided into three lanes that kids can race down on the color-coordinated boogie boards. And thanks to SplashBoost™ Sprinkler technology, which provides targeted water coverage to optimize sliding, spraying, and splashing, no one will get stuck on the way down.

When kids reach the splash pad at the end, they can “attack” each other with star-shaped sponge soakers. To avoid getting gushed with water, kids can turn their boogie boards into protective shields. For younger kids or those waiting their turn, the slide features two side sprinklers for them to run and jump through.

Although customers say this is a sturdy slide, a few note that it isn’t the most durable. But at such a low price, it may be worth getting, even if it only lasts one summer season.

Dimensions: 16 feet︱Material: Not listed︱Age Range: 3 years and up

Prextex Fireman Backpack Water Shooter and Blaster

Prextex Fireman Backpack Water Shooter and Blaster

Amazon

What We Like
  • Spray distance of 30 feet

  • Holds one gallon of water

What We Don't Like
  • Pump action may be difficult for younger children

Prextex’s water blaster allows kids to play pretend while keeping cool. The backpack, which resembles those worn by firefighters, connects to a water blaster that can spray water up to 30 feet. And since each backpack holds about a gallon of water, your child can enjoy hours of play without requiring a refill every few minutes.

Some customers note that despite the 3 and up age recommendation, the pumping action may be difficult for younger children to master.

Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 5 inches︱Material: Not listed︱Age Range: 3 years and up

Hasbro Twister Splash

Hasbro Twister Splash

Amazon

What We Like
  • Quick setup

  • Great for kids and adults

What We Don't Like
  • Slippery surface increases risk of falls

As with traditional Twister, players of Twister Splash Game follow hand and feet placements directed by the included spinner. But when the spots aren’t covered, they spray you with water. The extra slippery surface adds a whole new challenge to this mind- and body-bending game. It also adds a potential safety risk, so be sure to err on the side of caution when it comes to the age and number of players.

And, just like with traditional Twister, it doesn’t take long to get the fun started. Simply connect the mat to a hose, and it’ll fill up in a minute.

Dimensions: 68 x 52 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Age Range: 6 years and up

SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad

SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad

SplashEZ

What We Like
  • Easy to set up

  • Room for three kids or one kid and one adult

What We Don't Like
  • Hose and backyard space required

This shallow wading pool’s alphabet pattern improves cognitive development while sprinkling your youngster with refreshing water. If your child has already mastered their ABCs, you can opt for one of the other varieties, which include the solar system, world map, or U.S. map. And there’s enough room for you to join your little one as they soak everything up.

Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.3 x 2.6 inches︱Material: Polyvinyl chloride︱Age Range: 1 year and up

Beetoy Reusable Water Balloons

beetoy Reusable Water Balloons

Amazon

What We Like
  • Included mesh bags make for easier drying and carrying

  • Environmentally friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Must be dried thoroughly to maintain quality

Beetoy’s water balls are a great, reusable alternative to traditional water balloons. These 2.5-inch balls soak up water in seconds and then release a cool splash when they hit a person. And because of their soft cotton material, they won’t hurt someone if thrown too hard.

Each pack comes with 48 balls in four bright colors, making them easy to spot from a distance and allowing groups to divide into teams for a true water battle. Just make sure to thoroughly dry the balls before storing them to maintain the quality and prevent mold.

Dimensions: 2.5 inches︱Material: Cotton︱Age Range: Not listed

HearthSong Inflatable Volleyball Sprinkler

HearthSong Inflatable Volleyball Sprinkler

Amazon

What We Like
  • Multiple ways to play

  • Vinyl repair patch kit included

What We Don't Like
  • Pump not included

HearthSong’s volleyball sprinkler keeps kids cool while allowing them to engage in a variety of play. In addition to serving as a volleyball net, the inflatable can act as a sprinkler soccer goal or a sprinkler archway for kids to run under. You can even use the net in the cooler months by disconnecting the hose.

Setting up the net is easy—just note that an air pump is not included, so you will have to provide one. Once assembled, keep it in place by filling the base with extra water and installing the included ground stakes.

Dimensions: 118 x 10 x 46.46 inches︱Material: Vinyl︱Age Range: 3 years and up

Step2 Waterpark Arcade

Step2 Waterpark Arcade

Amazon

What We Like
  • Adjustable target keeps the game fresh

  • Encourages sensory exploration and motor development

What We Don't Like
  • Water blaster attachment may come off easily

Step2’s water table brings the excitement of the arcade to your backyard. The table features multiple targets that kids have to knock down with their water blaster, which attaches to a standard garden hose. The main goal, however, is to fill up the spill bucket by hitting the center bullseye with your blaster.

You can keep the game fresh by moving the orange side targets for different height challenges. We also love that you can turn the single-player game into a multi-player by using water blasters you may already own.

Dimensions: 17.52 x 23.5 x 32.36 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Age Range: 3 years and up

Little Tikes Slam 'n Curve Slide

teal inflatable pool slide

Amazon

What We Like
  • Multi elements keep kids entertained for hours

  • Made of puncture-resistant vinyl

What We Don't Like
  • Large, flat outdoor space required

Little Tikes’ water slide is the ultimate backyard toy. The slippery slide has a gentle curve at the end to add a little excitement to the ride. But that’s only one of the cool features: This inflatable also has a rock wall and basketball hoop to provide hours of entertainment for multiple kids at once.

Built of puncture-resistant vinyl, the inflatable activity center is sure to last through several summers. A heavy-duty blower keeps the slide inflated for hours, so you don’t have to worry about stopping the fun. It also has stakes to anchor it to the ground, though some tipping may occur if it’s not set up on a completely level yard.

Dimensions: 168 x 108 x 84 inches︱Material: Polyvinyl chloride︱Age Range: 5-10 years old

Gazillion Bubbles Tornado

Gazillion Bubbles Tornado

Gazillion Bubbles

What We Like
  • No pump needed

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • Batteries required, but not included

This battery-operated bubble machine keeps the fun going even when your kid gets tired of blowing. Simply attach the auto-feed valve cap to the solution bottle, insert the bottle into the spout, push the button, and watch as thousands of bubbles fly straight into the air. Because it creates so many bubbles in such a short time, you’ll want to buy your bubble solution in bulk.

Dimensions: 13.38 x 8.66 x 9.45 Inches︱Material: Not listed︱Age Range: 3 years and up

Childyo Water Blaster Set

Childyo Water Blaster Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Four blasters to a pack

  • Spray distance of 30 feet

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive for the quality

Unlike other water blasters, Childyo’s version has four hose outlets, allowing kids to spray in multiple directions at once. The lightweight toy also has a large oval-shaped handle, making it easy for even tiny hands to operate. Each pack comes with four blasters: an octopus, a puffer, and two crabs—making it perfect for families with multiple kids or a group of friends.

Dimensions: 16.3 x 8.6 x 2.59 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Age Range: 3 years and up

Zuru Bunch of Balloons (350, 10 Pack)

Zuru Bunch of Balloons, 10 Pack

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Balloons are divided into packs so you don’t have to use all at once

What We Don't Like
  • May burst if filled too fast

Nothing says summer quite like a water balloon fight, but getting enough to battle with can take time. Fortunately, with Zuru's innovative O-Ring technology and rapid fill capabilities, all you have to do is attach the stem to a tap or hose, and within a minute, you’ll have dozens of filled and sealed water balloons. Just make sure to fill the balloons slowly, so they don’t burst.

The 350 balloons are divided into 10 packs of 35, so you don’t have to use them all at once. Unless, of course, you're heading to a water war.

Dimensions: N/A︱Material: Latex and rubber︱Age Range: 3 years and up

FÖM MANIA Fömalanche

4.5
FÖM MANIA Fömalanche

FÖM MANIA

What We Like
  • Nontoxic foam solution safe for kids and lawn

  • Lightweight for travel

What We Don't Like
  • Batteries required, but not included

Perfect for birthday parties or backyard battles, the Fomalanche makes piles and piles of light, airy foam for kids to run through, jump in, and toss in the air. Setting up the machine is super simple. After putting in 6 DD batteries, add the included foam solution and water to the machine, push a button, and watch the foam flow.

According to former customers, this tiny machine manages to make mountains of foam for hours. Cleaning up is just as easy as the nontoxic solution disappears on its own. To maintain your lawn, however, it's recommended that you wash the foam away with a hose.

Because the machine is battery-operated and weighs a mere 5 pounds, it’s easy to take the foam fun on the road.

Dimensions: 8.5 x 8 x 13.25 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Age Range: 5 years and up

BigMouth Inc. Ginormous Dinosaur Yard Sprinkler

BigMouth Ginormous Dinosaur Yard Sprinkler

Amazon

What We Like
  • Available in six styles

  • Made of durable material

What We Don't Like
  • Inflating pump not included

Easy to use and larger than life, Big Mouth’s sprinklers are a fun addition to any backyard. Made of durable PVC vinyl, the inflatable sprinkler provides hours of fun by unleashing a steady stream of water—but not so much that it will destroy your lawn, as one customer noted. 

Setting up the sprinkler is simple but does require your own pump. The manufacturers recommend a standard air mattress pump or shop vac attachment. Once inflated, the sprinkler can be attached to any standard hose. When you’re done, turn off the hose and twist the wide mouth cap for easy deflation.

Dimensions: 85.04 x 45.67 x 75.98 inches︱Material: Vinyl︱Age Range: 3 years and up

Step2 Fiesta Cruise Sand & Water Table

Step2 Fiesta Cruise Sand & Water Table

Step2

What We Like
  • Umbrella included to protect kids from the sun

  • Secure lid keeps table dry and clean from potential critters

What We Don't Like
  • Sand not included

Although it’s not a water-only toy, this activity table provides plenty of cooling fun. Kids can float boats in the swimming pool or take their figurines for a swim. We appreciate that the table is easy to assemble, though some buyers warn that it’s difficult to drain.

Dimensions: 28 x 39.5 x 2.59 inches︱Material: Not listed︱Age Range: 2 years and up

H2OGO! Beach Bounce Water Park

H2OGO! Beach Bounce Water Park

H2OGO!

What We Like
  • Multi elements keep kids entertained for hours

  • Storage bag makes packing away easy

What We Don't Like
  • Large, flat outdoor space required

Your child will have plenty of room to slip, slide, and stay cool in this large bounce house.  Kids can hop around in the mesh-secured bouncer and then slide into the giant splash pool, which holds almost 300 gallons of water. The water park can be assembled in two minutes, though you will have to provide your own 110-120V blower to inflate it.

Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 15 feet︱Material: Polyvinyl chloride︱Age Range: 3-8 years old 

WOWMAZING Giant Bubble Wands Standard Kit

WOWMAZING Giant Bubble Wands Standard Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight for young children to easily use

  • Environmentally friendly, nontoxic bubble solution

What We Don't Like
  • Bubbles may deflate if wand is used too quickly

This bubble wand uses a two-handle design to create long, giant bubbles that’ll make the neighbors’ jaws drop. But don’t let the large, durable contraption fool you. This big bubble maker is lightweight enough for small hands to operate.

In addition to the bubble wand, each kit comes with two pouches of environmentally friendly, nontoxic WOWmazing Bubble Concentrate. It also includes a nifty tips and tricks book that help kids create more elaborate bubbles during play.

Keep in mind that this toy does require a bit of skill. Several customers note that you have to slowly take the wand out of the solution to prevent the bubble from popping. But once players master the skills, the bubble wand is sure to provide hours of fun.

Dimensions: 17 x 2.76 x 1.46 inches︱Material: Plastic︱Age Range: 6 years and up

Max Liquidator 6-Pack Water Blaster Set

Max Liquidator 6-Pack Water Blaster Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Six blasters to a pack

  • Spray distance of 30 feet

What We Don't Like
  • Foam exterior may tear away easily

Without extra features or a cumbersome shape, Max Liquidator’s water blaster is light enough for kids to run around with for hours. Each of the colorful water toys can shoot water up to 30 feet, making it perfect for large backyards. Though the material is durable, you will want to keep these water blasters away from pets and younger children, who may be tempted to chew on the foam exterior.

Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 12.5 inches︱Material: Plastic and foam︱Age Range: 5 years and up

Little Kids Fubbles No-Spill Big Bubble Bucket

Little Kids Fubbles No-Spill Big Bubble Bucket

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes three wands so multiple children to play at once

  • Works with any refill solution

What We Don't Like
  • Bubble solution not included

While the older kids are sprinting through sprinklers, you can keep the youngest occupied with Little Kids’ no-spill bubble bucket. The bubble solution sits in the base of the bucket and is secured with a lid that has an opening for wands. Unfortunately, bubble solution isn't included, so make sure to purchase before you plan on using it.

Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 11.5 inches︱Material: Not listed︱Age Range: 3 years and up

What to Look for in Water Toys

Age range

Laurie Schacht, president and chief toy officer of Adventure Media, emphasizes the importance of looking at a toy’s age range, as that will indicate if it is safe for your own child. If, for example, a package says 3+, chances are there are small parts that can pose a choking hazard to children younger than that age bracket.

Material

Schacht tells The Spruce that you want toys made of material that won’t get smelly or moldy. This often means looking for materials like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyethylene (PE) instead. This material is also easier to clean, which will help keep any odor or mold at bay.

Child’s interest

Schacht says it’s important to think about what your child likes before making the purchase. If they are the type who can’t sit still, then you may want to consider a toy that encourages movement, like a water blaster or sprinkler. For kids who prefer more creative play, a water table or bubble machine may be a better option.

FAQ
  • What’s the best way to clean a water toy?

    Cleaning water toys is easier than one might think. Schacht suggests using some dishwashing detergent with warm water and rinsing the mixture off with a hose. For toys that haven’t been cleaned in a while or are a bit more worn, she advises combining vinegar and baking soda.

  • What can you spray on toys to quickly disinfect them?

    There are a number of cleaners that are safe for toys, but Schacht tells The Spruce that bleach is best. She recommends mixing half a cup of bleach per gallon of water. You can spray the solution on the toy, let it sit for five to 10 minutes, and then either air dry or wipe dry.

  • Can you bring water toys to Great Wolf Lodge?

    Alison Hoesli, a PR rep for Great Wolf Lodge, tells The Spruce that the resort does not allow outdoor water toys, such as inflatable water blasters. This is to ensure the safety of the guests.

Why Trust The Spruce?

For this article, Leah Rocketto, a writer who has spent years covering parenting content with a focus on kids’ toys, performed hours of research on products and consulted Laurie Schacht, the president and chief toy officer of Adventure Media. Schacht has spent more than 20 years evaluating and selecting the top toys on the market. Leah also spoke to Alison Hoesli, a PR rep for Great Wolf Lodge to learn about the resort’s toy policies.

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