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20 awesome water toys your kids will play with all summer long

Keep cool and have fun with these backyard toys.

A boy shoots a Super Soakr Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

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Summer is here! It's time to get your splash on. Nothing says summer like some good water play to take you through the hazy and hot days. We love water toys. As the temperatures start to soar there’s no better way to beat the heat.

Whether they're the pool type, a Super Soaker aficionado, or readying for the ultimate water-balloon fight, it's time to get your kid off the computer and into some interactive water play. Turn up the fun with the 20 best toys for water play under the sun. All of these are available right now, for instant gratification.

1. A 3-in-1 sprinkler, splash pad, and wading pool

This toy is a sprinkler, a splash pad and a kiddie pool all in one.
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

This toy is a sprinkler, a splash pad, and a kiddie pool all in one.

Best for ages: 18 months to 6 years
If you have a small space and want to make a big impact this summer, a mini splash pad is a must-have. This super-versatile summer toy is a sprinkler, a splash pad, and a wading pool all in one. It’ll appeal to little ones who want to splash, and slightly bigger kids who want a sprinkler to run and jump through. We also like that even after the sprinklers are turned off, this toy holds about an inch or two of water, so there's still a place to play without leaving the sprinkler to run all day.

Get the SplashEZ 3-in-1 Sprinkler for Kids at Amazon for $19.99

2. A Super Soaker (or four)

Four kids with all kids of super soakers
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

It's time for an epic water war!

Best for ages: 5 and up
Call it a super soaker, call it a water blaster—whatever you choose to call it, a full-on water war is just what the blazing days of summer ordered. We tested ten water guns this summer. If we are to be honest, we loved almost all of them, but there were four that rose to the top of the heap: the Zuru X-Shot Water Warfare Epic Fast Fill, the Nerf Super Soaker DinoSquad Dino-Soak, the Nerf Super Soaker Twin Tide, and the Nerf Super Soaker XP100-AP. We'd love to go on, but we already did (read about them here)! Suffice to say, whether you buy the Zuru Epic Fast-Fill (our absolute favorite) or one of our three favorite Nerf Super Soakers, you'll have a blast.

3. A bounce house kiddie pool

Kids jumping and swimming in a bounce house with a wading pool
Credit: Bountech

Let's get this summer party started!

Best for ages: 2 to 9
Should you get a bounce house, a splash pad, or a wading pool? How about all three? There’s no need to make a grueling decision with this inflatable splashing pool. This all in one is basically the bounce house that fun built and it’ll keep them playing all summer long. When cool weather starts, fill the pool with balls and keep the party going.

Get the Bountech inflatable splashing pool at Amazon for $399

4. A tiny pool they'll be bananas about

The perfect size for the smallest pool lovers.
Credit: Pool Master

The perfect size for the smallest pool lovers.

Best for ages: 12 to 36 months
We did not forget the little ones. This cute inflatable play pool is designed with the littlest water babies in mind. The jungle-themed canopy offers a little bit of extra sun protection, allowing your little one to splash all day long. As if the jungle theme wasn't cute enough, it also features a matching inflatable monkey buddy to keep your kiddo company.

Get the Go Bananas Monkey Swimming Pool at Amazon for $22.75

5. A water table, for a little bit of STEM play

Two small children play with a water table
Credit: Step2

This water table is filled with fun water- and ball-play fun.

Best for ages: 2 to 6
This top-rated water table is good for hours of imaginative play with a side-order of STEM learning. The flippers, scoopers, and ball drops make for a variety of engaging activities for young learners, filled with cause and effect play. The mazes, funnels, and ball drops make for a fully mesmerizing play experience. And, because we are suckers for toys that are multi-functional, when the summer season is over simply move this toy inside for water-free ball play.

Get the Step2 Rise & Fall Water & Ball Table at BuyBuyBaby for $64.99

6. A shady pool for a long day of water play

Two children splash in a small pool with an umbrella
Credit: Step2

This pool is sturdy and just right for keeping little ones well-shaded.

Best for ages: 1 to 6
This kiddie pool is the perfect place for your little one to get in all their water play, while keeping excessive sun exposure at bay. We like the smooth hard sides of this pool: they are sturdy enough to stand up against little teeth or anything else that might puncture most inflatable pools, yet the soft design makes it just right for leaning teeny tiny ones against as they sit and cool off.

The fun water features will keep kids engaged all through preschool and the sturdy construction of this little pool will give you lots of mileage for years to come.

Get the Step2 Play Shade Pool for toddlers at Walmart for $64.85

7. An inflatable rocket ship sprinkler

The ultimate backyard sprinkler.
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

The ultimate backyard sprinkler.

Best for ages: 2 and up
This nearly 8-foot-tall sprinkler is sure to make your summer a blast. This rocket ship-inspired sprinkler shoots water in four directions, making this a 360-degree soaker. Kids can run through or under the streams of this big boy (perfect if you have bigger kids who love to get soaked, and smaller kids who just want to run around without getting sprayed in the face).

Get the Inflatable Kids Rocket Ship Sprinkler at Funboy for $55

8. A wacky sprinkler that gives a light show

Take running through the sprinkler to the next level with the Light Show Sprinkler.
Credit: Wet & Wild

Take running through the sprinkler to the next level with the Light Show Sprinkler.

Best for ages: 3 and up
The time-honored tradition of kids running through a lawn sprinkler just got a major upgrade. Once the water is turned on, there is no escaping the mini-hoses that spring up like crazed tentacles, tossing streams of water in every chaotic direction. We also like that this one lights up. Sure, sprinkler-running is typically a sunny-day sport, but with the light up action of this sprinkler the fun will keep going well past sundown.

Get the Wet & Wild light show sprinkler at Target for $15

9. A caterpillar patch sprinkler

A small sprinkler with tiny caterpillars
Credit: Melissa & Doug

These cute caterpillars shoot just enough water to keep things fun for little ones.

Best for ages: 2 and up
For little ones who might be intimidated by a wacky sprinkler/light show, this mellow option by Melissa & Doug is just the thing. Little kids will delight in the 12 adorable caterpillars popping out of the patch of grass. Each squirts a just-right stream of water out of their hats.

Get the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Splash Patrol sprinkler for $11.94

10. A cool coup car wash

A car they can wash all by themselves.
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

A car they can wash all by themselves.

Best for ages: 2 to 6
Half water table and half pretend car wash, there is so much imaginative play and fun to be had as kids splash, pour, and spritz their day away. This car wash play center lets your kiddo clean a car of their own with numerous interactive water play areas. Kids can fill up the gas tank, spritz-clean the windshield, and create cascading waterfalls from the hood.

Get the Step2 Car Wash Coupe at Kohl's for $139.99

11. Ingenious water balloon technology

Three girls look on with excitement on buckets filled with full water balloons
Credit: Zuru

Your water balloon game just got better.

Best for ages: 5 and up
Nothing beats a good water balloon fight, but filling and tying water balloons is a pretty tedious task and one that leaves you ripe for an attack. Zuru Bunch O Balloons is the ultimate in water-balloon-making technology that you never knew you needed. In less than 60 seconds, you can fill and tie 100 water balloons. Simply connect to a tap or a hose and instantaneously fill to make hundreds of water balloons with no hand-tying. Let the water war begin!

Shop Zuru Bunch O Balloons 280 balloon multipack at Walmart for $17.89

12. A new spin on a Slip N Slide

What could be more fun that sliding into a bunch of water balloons?
Credit: Bunch O Balloons

What could be more fun that sliding into a bunch of water balloons?

Best for ages: 4 and up
Once you’ve filled up all those water balloons, you can only toss them at your little brother so many times. This fun toy is a new, chaotic spin on a classic Slip N Slide, combining the thrill of a water slide with the mayhem of colliding into a pile of water balloons. Typical water balloon fights have nothing on the chaotic excitement of this toy.

Get the Bunch O Balloons Water Slide Wipeout at Walmart for $14.97

13. A dive hunter treasure chest

Who can resist a chest full of sunken treasure?
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

Who can resist a chest full of sunken treasure?

Best for ages: 6 and up
Argh, mateys! This is a treasure chest to dive for. If you’re like millions of other Americans, you probably bought yourself a back yard Intex pool last summer. Add a little excitement to your backyard play time with some fun diving toys. This one is a favorite, filled with sparkly gold coins and shimmering jewels. Adding to the imaginative play element is a mysterious chained-and-locked chest to keep all of the water treasures in after your little pirate has retrieved them from the watery depths.

Get the Splash Bombs Treasure Hunter 30-piece dive set at Target for $10

14. A terrific torpedo set

A bunch of torpedo toys and a boy diving for them
Credit: Hak Toys

You'll be surprised by how fast and how well these torpedos cut through water.

Best for ages: 6 and up
You’re going to be surprised at how well these mini torpedo toys cut and glide through water. An ultimate diving toy for bigger kids, these brightly colored torpedoes eventually sink to the bottom, making them a fun diving toy. Before they sink to the watery depths though, they glide and cut with amazing speed and precision. A super fun toy that seems simple, but ends up being wildly fun and surprisingly exciting.

Get the Haktoys 8-piece torpedo set at Amazon for $10.94

15. A scrambling fish set

This set of dive toys has different weights for more challenging pool fun.
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

This set of dive toys has different weights for more challenging pool fun.

Best for ages: 5 and up
For kids who prefer marine life to torpedoes, we this fish and net set makes for calming poolside play. This toy is as good for little ones as it is for bigger kids. For smaller kids, they’ll love being imaginative with all of the toy marine life and the net they can use to retrieve them. For older kids, the aquatic creatures are of different weights and have different buoyancies, so they skim and sink through the water at different speeds making for a fun and challenging game of chase and scoop.

Get the Play Day Dive 'N Grab 12-piece Scrambler Fish Set at Walmart for $8.88

16. A tiny water park arcade

Kids will love using their water blaster to aim at the various targets on the Water Park Arcade.
Credit: Step2

Kids will love using their water blaster to aim at the various targets on the Water Park Arcade.

Best for ages: 3 to 7
A fun way for kids to get a little competitive during water play, the Step2 Water Park puts a bit of excitement into hand-eye coordination. They’ll have no idea they are learning when they take aim and fire with the accompanying kiddie-sized water blaster. Kids can aim at a bunch of different targets including a spinning paddle, pinwheel, and several knock-down flaps, making this a winning combo of water fun and exciting entertainment.

Get the Step2 Water Park Arcade at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $49.99

17. A water powered tee-ball set

Sporty kids will love this T-ball sprinkler.
Credit: Banzai

Sporty kids will love this tee-ball sprinkler.

Best for ages: 3 and up
Batter up—but don’t get too wet while you’re at it. In this version of tee-ball, a surge of water is the tee. Kids swing at the ball with an inflatable bat as it hovers on a steady stream of water. For a game that is fun, wet, and limits the inevitable summer shiner from rogue bats and balls, this is a fun way to cool off and mix things up.

Get the BANZAI Grand Slam N Splash at Amazon for $13.99

18. A ball with a bit of hydro zoom

You never know who's going to get splashed with the Hydro Zoom ball.
Credit: Goliath

You never know who's going to get splashed with the Hydro Zoom ball.

Best for ages: 8 and up
It’s all fun and games until a water balloon explodes at you. Think of this as a water-soaked version of hot potato. Two players put a water balloon in the Hydro Zoom, sending it back-and-forth until BOOM, it bursts on the unlucky player. This game is wet, wild, and loads of fun.

Get the Goliath Hydro Zoom Ball at Amazon for $15.15

19. Tropical Palm Kiddie Pool

This chic inflatable pool has plenty of room for all of their friends.
Credit: Funboy

This chic inflatable pool has plenty of room for all of their friends.

Best for ages: 12 months to adult
Not all of us have the room for an expansive swimming pool, but a 66-inch diameter makes this pool the perfect size: small enough to squeeze into your back yard but big enough to fit all your kids in at once. This three-layer pool lets you fill it up just a little bit deeper for bigger kids and doubles as a perfect place for you to recline during hot nights after the kids have gone to bed.

Get the Tropical Palm kiddie pool at FunBoy.com for $44

20. A unicorn sprinkler

A little girl runs through water sprayed by a unicorn sprinkler
Credit: Jasonwell

This sprinkler sprays unicorn magic!

Best for ages: 3 and up
Bring a little unicorn magic to your back yard with this sprinkler that is the stuff of little kid legends. We are used to unicorns spreading glitter and rainbows, but this summer, this is one unicorn that's all about keeping kids cool. The super cute outdoor water toy shoots water from its magical horn to bring joy, delight, to your kids—which truly is magical.

Get the Jasonwell unicorn sprinkler from Amazon for $38.99

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