For some of you, summer can’t come soon enough. If you’ve been stuck indoors, counting down the days before warmer temps arrive, we feel your pain. The only thing worse than being stuck inside all winter or braving the cold is being trapped indoors with bored toddlers. I know you’ve broken out all the arts and crafts, puzzles, blocks, and indoor games you could think of.
With springtime upon us, it’s time purge the old and broken toys and think about which ones you want to bring in. If your kids are anything like ours, they love getting to soak up some television and screen time. So, we’re sure you want them to put the screens down and get some play in too. So, what are the best engaging water toys for young kids?
Don’t worry; we know how important it is to choose toys that will help kids engage for more than a couple of minutes at a time. But we also threw in a few toys adults could enjoy with their little ones too. If you’re ready to beat the rising temperatures, check out our perfectly curated list of the best water toys for babies and toddlers right here!
How We Chose Our Favorites
Water toys for toddlers and babies are all over the place. Here’s what we looked at when we picked the best of the best!
- Revamp of the classics
- Quality over budget-friendly
- Budget-friendly second to quality
- The age range of use
Seriously, if we added all the money up that we’ve spent on “budget-friendly” toys as opposed to just waiting to buy the more quality item, we’d be embarrassed about how much money has been wasted.
Instead of focusing solely on the cheapest toys, we decided to try to include a range of budgets and plenty of toys that have good budget-friendly alternatives. Aside from that, the best water toys based on ranking, personal experience, and safety.
Here Are Our Top Picks to Get Your Summertime Fun Under Way!
Splashin’ Kids Inflatable Tummy Time
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Let’s start this list out for the littlest members of your family. Babies are encouraged to get tummy time each day to help them develop their strength, muscles, and coordination. Even though we want them to be out enjoying the water, they may need a little more time to get there. This inflatable tummy time is the perfect in-between.
Filled with water to keep cool without getting wet, this super cute playmat will engage even the youngest of your littles. There are graphics and brightly colored floaties to help keep baby’s attention and draw in active engagement. The mat is large at 26 inches wide by 20 inches tall and 2.5 inches thick.
Halofun Sprinkle and Splash Playmat
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Parents with younger babies who are just able to sit, stand, and maybe start toddling about may worry that there’s not too much for their little ones to do amid a heatwave. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Younger babes were thought of when this gem of a splash pad was made. Perfect for a little outdoor fun and break from the heat, you don’t want to pass up this mini splash pad.
About 39 inches across, this playmat hooks up to your water hose to keep one to three smaller babes entertained as long as you need. Babies can sit in about one inch of water or stomp around on the mat as water lightly sprays upward for added fun.
Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center
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Are you looking for a kiddie pool that puts the usual ring pool to shame? Don’t get us wrong, we love the classic kiddie pool, but sometimes you need just a little more than that. Whether you regularly have multiple grandbabies over or you want a bigger pool for playdates, the Rainbow Ring Play Center is definitely for you.
This awesome pool has a small slide, water spray area, built-in ring toss game, and it’s open to view from all sides for safe supervision. Big enough for an adult to play along or several little ones to be entertained for hours yet perfect for easy cleanup and storage.
If you’re going to go for this one, be sure you have enough room for it your yard or where you plan to use it. At 117 inches by 76 inches by 53 inches, it’s slightly bigger than you may expect. The manufacturer states that the product should be used for toddlers aged two and up.
Step 2 Cascading Cove and Water Table
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There’s no shortage of water tables for kids on the market that’s for sure. We love this one in particular for a couple of reasons. This little table has two sides, so you add water to one side and sand to the other side or just have water in both. For parents with multiple babies or toddlers at various ages, you know how important it is that enough space to go around.
This water table also comes with an umbrella for shade and a cover to keep animals and other pests out without having to dump your sand or water after each use. Easy drain spout makes emptying and refilling the water a breeze.
Egolife Animal Pool Noodle
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We know what you’re thinking, it’s a pool noodle, why’s it making a top picks list? Well, if you’ve ever had a child that desperately clings to just one toy or item no matter how many other choices are given, then you’ll know why we picked this fun pool noodle.
Equipped with a seat in the middle and complete with an animal head and tail, this awesome noodle will add fun to any pool day. Toddlers who love to sit in the water but aren’t fond of being in an inflatable will get a kick out of this perfect water seat.
Kemuse Baby and Toddler Inflatable Motorboat
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Speaking of babies and toddlers in the pool, how sick are you of buying inflatables for your young children that just don’t pan out? Uhm, us too. That’s why we’ve found the perfect, durable inflatable that’s suitable for kids aged one to five. Of course, your child may fit well at just above or below the suggested age range.
Ditching the typical ring shape and small flimsy size, this slightly larger motorboat will keep your babe afloat and entertained. Enjoy being in the pool with your little one(s) while giving your arms a break from holding them.
Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Bright Sprinkler
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If you’re looking to make a splash and provide hours of fun for your tiny tots but don’t have access to a pool or the room for bulky water toys, this is our go-to. This little sprinkler set up encourages babies who are only sitting/crawling up to older toddlers to let their imagination run wild and engage in active play.
You can adjust the water pressure on your hose to make the flowers spray higher or lower as you and your babes prefer. Let the kids run wild for hours and cool off in the summer heat. Bonus, your garden will get a good watering!
Bestway Water Slide
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Have you seen the amount of different slip n’ slides on the market today? It’s a little bit overwhelming. We’ve got to tell you this. You’ll want to skip all the fancier, cartoon laced, ones full of promises. This simple slip n’ slide is 18 feet long and fully powered by your home water hose. It’s lined the whole way down with water shoots and has a custom-designed drench pool at the end.
Best of all, it’s got two lanes for all your littles and their friends to join in the fun without having to wait their turn for too long. This is made out of a heavy-duty material that you shouldn’t have any issues with, but the package does include a heavy-duty patch, just in case. This super fun slip n’ slide is the only one you’ll ever need.
Rapid Refill Water Balloons
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If you haven’t been made aware of these yet, we’re so sorry you’re just being let in on the secret now. We’ve been using these for the past two summers, and they’re the best invention known to any parent with young kids. Okay, full disclosure, they’re the most expensive water balloons you’ll ever buy. But they are worth every penny!
These water balloons come attached to a nozzle that hooks right on to your hose and fills all of the balloons in just a couple of minutes, no more filling them one at a time and no more tying a million knots! Once these are full, they fall right off ready to go!
The secret to making them last a little longer is to only fill half of the pack at a time. Kids love these. Most of the time, toddlers make them last a while since they’re not great at breaking them open. The best part, in our opinion, is making it a fun game to collect all the colorful pieces for clean up after. Your little ones will have a ton of fun and not even notice that they’re cleaning up their mess!
Prextex Water Shooter with Easy Grip
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Love the idea of squirt guns but not sure your youngest kids will be able to get in on the action and fun easily? Squirt guns are a favorite of ours too, but babies and toddlers can find it tough to use them easily. These cool water squirting toys are where it’s at for your littlest of littles!
They’re big enough to grip easily and use with the handle, but small enough for babies and toddlers to manage and handle. Take them to the pool, play in the bath, or use them for fun around the yard. They’re sure to help keep everyone cool without making too much of a mess!
Keep an Open Mind When Choosing Baby and Toddler Water Toys
Let’s just get one thing out there. There’s no wrong way to have water fun with your little one! Whether it’s getting wet in the hose, running through sprinklers or making a DIY slip n’ slide, there is always fun to be had. But if you were looking for new ideas and great products, we hope you found them here.
Keep your mind open when thinking about how to make some outdoor fun for your baby or toddler. Yours might surprise you with their ability you didn’t realize they had quite yet, their fondness for being in the water, or even in their interest for something you didn’t know they’d be into doing.
If you’ve got an older toddler, one of our favorite ways to get their thoughts on something before-hand is to look up videos of other kids using the product. You’d be surprised at whether your toddler has an opinion on the product, but this trick can also get them excited about even the simplest of purchases!
Always Keep Safety in Mind
There’s no one more vigilant about your child’s safety than you. We took a look at the safety ratings of each of these toys. We also took a fine-toothed comb and poured over the hundreds (and thousands for some) of reviews trying to make sure none of these had any hazards that weren’t blatantly obvious.
But the truth is, you know your child best, your typical environment and so on. If you don’t feel that any of these products are for you and your little ones, definitely skip them! Now get out there and start making some splashin’ memories!