If you don’t have a pool, it’s especially important to have the backyard stocked with some really fun water toys for the kids. I’m always surprised at how many hours of fun we’re able to get out of our water toys. In this post I’ll go over the best water toys for kids of 2021!
I’ve been adding to my stockpile, since we’ve been spending a lot more time in the yard lately. I wanted to share the types of water toys we’ve had the most luck with, as well as a few that I have my eye on!
Finding fun things to do in the summer with kids always take a bit of planning, but it’s nice when you know you have enough on hand at home to make the most of a hot day. And this year a lot of us are home much more than usual.
In some ways it’s really nice. Our neighborhood feels a lot like the 1980s right now, and I’m loving that.
Kids are playing on the street more, and just kind of….hanging out. The way a lot of us did when we were kids.
So this year my focus is on improving the backyard, and on having enough fun features (including a heavy array of water toys) at our disposal to keep the kids happy and cool while they enjoy an old-school summer.
With that in mind, here are my picks for the best water toys of the year.
Best Water Toys for Kids of 2020
If you want a sprinkler, you could of course just – use a normal sprinkler. But if you want to be a hero to your children, you can go all out with this Unicorn Sprinkler! I guarantee delight here. I mean, I don’t, like, financially guarantee delight. But if I had a ton of extra money I’d bet on it.
This adorable unicorn sprinkler will be a hit with the kids. I mean, who would want a normal sprinkler to run through when you could have a giant unicorn hosing you down?!
One clutch item you’ll probably want to get for the yard is a kiddie pool. Intex makes excellent quality products, and their pools come in different sizes. So whether you’re looking for a small pool for your toddler to splash in, or a larger pool for your older kids to play in, they have you covered.
Our friends have the larger sized Intex pool (see photo below) and it can keep the kids busy for a surprisingly long time. It’s deep enough that kids can really submerge themselves, and it would actually be comfortable for an adult to cool off in as well.
The sides are reasonably high, which is comforting if you’re worried about a really young child trying to get in. (You’ll still need to keep an eye out for the little kids of course!)
If you plan to head to the beach, I highly recommend these surfer toys! They look simple enough. But they are very sturdy and they work unbelievably well in the ocean.
You can toss them really far into the water, and the waves send them “surfing” back to you on the shore. The kids go nuts. Trust me on this. Get a few spares, otherwise you’ll be dealing with siblings fighting for control of the surfers when all you want to do is read your magazine in peace.
These surfer toys are a blast at the beach! Kids love tossing them out into the ocean and watching as they "ride the waves" back to shore.
This shark slide might be the greatest summer toy of all time. I love it so much I wrote a whole post about what a game-changer it’s been in our yard.
I cannot overstate the fun of this thing. Kids act like rabid animals while playing on it, but who cares! At least they’re acting like wild animals outside of your house instead of inside your house.
The slide comes with two inflatable surf boards which hold up to heavy use. You’ll want to make sure to get the Coleman QuickPump if you don’t already have a pump handy! You’re certainly not going to want to blow this guy up on your own steam.
Note: It says “Ages 6+” but in my experience it’s perfectly fine for kids starting around age 4.
Water guns for kids are a simple water toy to have on hand, and most (though not all!) kids love to get squirted by their friends. I like the set shown here. They’re soft to the touch which is nice for younger kids, and I appreciate that they aren’t realistic looking weapons.
The Little Tykes Beach Ball Sprinkler is something I really want to add to our yard for my younger kids. It’s an award-winning toy and it looks super fun and not hard to set up or store, which are all pluses.
Awarded Parents' Choice Award by Parents' Choice Foundation.
If you have toddlers, a splash pad is a must. You don’t have to worry about water safety in the same way you do with a kiddie pool, but they still give your child plenty of chance to get wet and splash around. I find these splash pads so easy to use and enjoyable for the littler kids.
All you have to do is hook the kiddie pool with the sprinkler to your outdoor garden hose, and you are ready to go.
One final recommendation for toddlers or preschoolers is to get yourself a good water table!
The Step2 line of water tables is excellent and durable, and this particular water table also made my list for the overall Best Toys for 4 Year Old Boys. If you’re able to store it indoors in between uses I would recommend it. This isn’t essential, but keeping it inside a garage or shed will definitely keep it cleaner!
Even if your kids are older, you’re still going to want some water toys for the yard.
You can of course get a cheap slip and slide (and I have been known to do so!) You can also go all out and get a more durable and hard-core slide, which I would recommend if you have older kids and you want it to be able to stand up to heavy use.
Slip and slides have been a backyard favorite for decades, and for good reason. Kids can’t resist them, and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck here.
I hope this list of the best water toys for kids helped you find some additions for your yard! You might have to make a small investment to have a few really good toys on hand, but once you do you’ll be setting yourself up for a much more fun time at home with the kids.
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