Water Toys to Make a Splash This Summer

When the temperature soars and the days stretch longer, there’s nothing quite like the cool, refreshing fun of water toys to make summer unforgettable. As someone who loves the joy of summer play, I’ve found that water toys are more than just a way to beat the heat—they’re essential for creating lasting memories and supporting growth. Let’s dive into the world of water toys and discover how to make the most of them this summer!

Why Water Toys Are Essential for Summer Fun

Water play is not only incredibly fun, but it’s also beneficial for children’s development. Splashing around in water helps kids develop their motor skills, coordination, and balance. It’s also fantastic for their sensory development, as the feel of water, the sound of splashes, and the visual stimulation all contribute to a rich sensory experience. Plus, water play encourages social interaction and cooperation when kids play together. Lets look at each of these in a little more detail.

Water Toys and Physical Development

Enhancing Motor Skills

Water toys are excellent for developing fine and gross motor skills in children. Activities such as pouring water, squirting water guns, and manipulating small water toys like ducks or boats help refine fine motor skills, which are crucial for tasks like writing and buttoning clothes. Gross motor skills get a boost from larger movements, such as running through sprinklers, climbing inflatable water slides, or paddling in a kiddie pool. These activities engage various muscle groups, promoting strength, coordination, and balance.

Improving Coordination and Balance

Engaging with water toys often requires children to navigate slippery surfaces, balance on floating devices, or aim and shoot water squirters. These activities challenge their coordination and balance, essential for overall physical development. For instance, running and sliding on a slip ‘n slide enhances their ability to control their bodies in motion, a skill that translates to better performance in other physical activities and sports.

Water Toys and Mental Development

Boosting Cognitive Skills

Water play encourages children to think critically and solve problems. When kids experiment with water toys, such as figuring out how to make a boat float or sink, they engage in scientific thinking. They learn about cause and effect, water displacement, and basic STEM principles through hands-on experience. This kind of play fosters curiosity and encourages a love for learning and exploration.

Enhancing Creativity and Imagination

Water toys provide a blank canvas for imaginative play. Whether they’re pretending to be pirates on a water adventure, creating stories around their floating toys, or building water obstacle courses, children use their creativity to invent scenarios and roles. This imaginative play is vital for cognitive flexibility and problem-solving skills, as it allows children to think outside the box and develop original ideas.

Water Toys and Emotional Development

Promoting Social Interaction

Playing with water toys often involves group activities, which are excellent for social development. Children learn to share, take turns, and work together to achieve common goals. For example, coordinating a water balloon fight requires communication and cooperation, while playing in a communal splash pad can lead to forming new friendships. These interactions teach important social skills such as empathy, negotiation, and teamwork.

Encouraging Emotional Regulation

Water play has a calming effect on many children, helping them regulate their emotions. The sensory experience of water—the feel of it, the sound of splashing—can be soothing and help children unwind. Moreover, physical activities involving water can be an excellent outlet for pent-up energy or frustration. For instance, splashing in a pool or running through a sprinkler can help children release stress and return to a more balanced emotional state.

Water Toys and Sensory Development

Enhancing Sensory Integration

Water play is a rich sensory experience that engages multiple senses simultaneously. Children experience the tactile sensation of water, the auditory pleasure of splashing sounds, and the visual stimulation of moving water and colorful toys. This multisensory input is crucial for developing sensory integration, helping children process and respond to sensory information more effectively. Activities like playing with water beads or feeling the different temperatures of water further enhance this sensory development.

Supporting Sensory Processing Disorders

For children with sensory processing disorders, water play can be particularly beneficial. The predictable yet varied sensations of water can help these children become more comfortable with different sensory inputs. Gentle water play, such as in a calm pool or with a soft sprinkler, can provide a soothing environment that encourages exploration and reduces sensory-related anxiety.

Choosing the Right Water Toys

Selecting the right water toys can make all the difference in ensuring a fun and safe experience. Always consider safety first—look for toys that are free from small parts that could be a choking hazard and are made from non-toxic materials. It’s also crucial to choose toys that are appropriate for your child’s age and developmental stage to ensure they are both fun and safe.

Top Water Toys for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Splash Pads

Splash pads offer a safe, engaging, and accessible way for children to enjoy water play without the risks associated with deeper water. These pads are typically flat, non-slip surfaces equipped with various sprinklers, fountains, and interactive water features, making them perfect for toddlers and young children. They are easy to set up and maintain, requiring minimal water depth making them a stress-free option for parents.

SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad

Time for a splish-splashin’ bash in SplashEZ’s educational water splash pad! Created by loving parents, with the aim of making learning easy and fun. SplashEZ innovative pool has a learning mat for a base, so your little squirt soaks up some knowledge during play

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07/18/2024 10:46 am GMT

Inflatable Pools

Inflatable pools provide a safe, convenient, and versatile environment for children to enjoy water play right in their backyard. These pools come in various sizes and designs, catering to toddlers, preschoolers, and even older kids. Easy to set up and store, inflatable pools offer a hassle-free solution for beating the summer heat without the need for a permanent pool installation. They promote physical activity, sensory exploration, and social interaction, making them an excellent choice for family bonding and creating joyful summer memories.

Intex Inflatable Jungle Adventure Play Center

This Jungle Adventure Play Center pool is the perfect summer oasis for young kids ages 2+ learning to swim. Includes water slide, inflatable arch, flamingo, monkey, ring toss game, and 5 balls that fit the wall.

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07/17/2024 08:14 am GMT

Foam Water Squirters

Water squirters combine simplicity, excitement, and endless play possibilities for children of all ages. These toys are easy to use, requiring just a squeeze or pump to shoot water, making them perfect for energetic water battles and imaginative games. Water squirters promote physical activity as kids run, dodge, and aim, enhancing their motor skills and coordination. They also encourage social interaction and teamwork during group play, fostering communication and cooperative skills.

MAX LIQUIDATOR 6-Pack Water Blaster Set, Multicolor

Max Liquidator Water Blasters Look Like Ordinary Pool Noodles But Have A Competitive Twist.

Pull Back The Handle To Load The Cannon With Water, Take Aim, And Force The Handle Forward To Blast Water At Your Opponent Or Target

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07/17/2024 08:19 am GMT

Water Tables

Water tables provide a versatile, interactive, and educational play environment for children. These tables are designed at the perfect height for toddlers and preschoolers, allowing them to stand and engage with various water activities comfortably. Water tables often come with multiple features like pouring cups, spinning wheels, and floating toys, promoting fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as kids manipulate and explore.

Step2 Rain Showers Water Table

Let your little ones splash, pour, and explore with thrilling rain showers that spark imagination, fill with sand for even more playful possibilities.

Watch water pour down from the top creating realistic rainfall sights and sounds, teaches STEM principles, 13-piece toy set included for endless fun

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07/18/2024 05:48 pm GMT

Cool Water Toys for School-Aged Kids

Water Balloons

Water balloons offer a thrilling and interactive way for children to enjoy outdoor play while staying cool. The anticipation of the balloon bursting adds an element of surprise and excitement, keeping children engaged and entertained. With eco-friendly options like biodegradable balloons available, they can be a more sustainable choice for outdoor fun. Easy to fill and use, water balloons are a perfect addition to any summer day, creating lasting memories and providing hours of refreshing entertainment.

Rapid-Filling Self-Sealing Water Balloons (Amazon Exclusive 10 Pack) by

Fill and Tie 100 in less than 60 seconds with these self-tying water balloons! With innovative O-ring technology and rapid fill capabilities, say goodbye to the stress and mess of filling individual water balloons and say hello to never ending splash out loud fun!

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07/17/2024 08:19 am GMT

Slip ‘n Slides

These long, slippery tracks allow children to slide at high speeds, creating an exciting, laughter-filled experience. Slip ‘n Slides promote physical activity as kids run, dive, and glide along the surface, enhancing their coordination and balance. The setup is simple, requiring only a hose to create a continuous flow of water that keeps the surface slick and inviting. Slip ‘n Slides can turn any backyard into an instant water park, providing endless entertainment without the need for complex equipment.

JOYIN 22.5ft Water Slides and 2 Bodyboards

This high-quality water fun inflatable slide has sprinkler holes specifically built on middle to provide maximum wetness and maximum wheee! The incredible water coverage on this outdoor play will keep kids sliding quickly and eager to enjoy the water fun.

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07/18/2024 09:25 am GMT

Water Guns

Water guns come in various sizes and designs, from small handheld squirters to large, high-capacity blasters, catering to different age groups and preferences. They promote physical activity as kids run, dodge, and aim during water battles, enhancing their motor skills, agility, and hand-eye coordination. They also encourage strategic thinking and teamwork, as children plan their moves and collaborate in friendly competitions.

X-Shot Water Fast-Fill Medium Water Blaster (2 Pack)

The Fast-Fill allows you to refill in 1 second. Just dunk fill and close with our rapid seal technology. The X-Shot Water Fast-Fill can hold 700 ml/ 24 Fl OZ. of water inside the blaster. Blast water up to 34 feet/ 10 meters- leaving your opponents drenched from a distance with the pump action firing mechanism.

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07/17/2024 08:19 am GMT

Inflatable Water Parks

For the ultimate backyard water adventure, inflatable water parks offer an all-in-one play experience. These large, inflatable structures typically include a variety of elements like slides, splash pools, climbing walls, and sprayers, offering a comprehensive play experience that keeps kids engaged and active. Inflatable water parks promote physical activity as children climb, slide, and splash, enhancing their strength, coordination, and motor skills.

Sunny & Fun Slide ‘N Spray Inflatable Water Slide Park

Climbing Wall, Water Slide & Splash Down Pool Provide a Variety of Watery Activities. Inflation is Speedy & Convenient with the Included Air Pump; Blows Up in Minutes with Electric Blower Then Stores in Matching Carrying Case After Use.

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07/17/2024 08:19 am GMT

Water Toys for Family Fun

Inflatable Kayaks and Boats

Inflatable kayaks and boats provide a perfect way for the whole family to enjoy water adventures together. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a great example, offering a durable and stable design that’s easy to set up and transport. It comes with adjustable seats and backrests for added comfort, making it ideal for a leisurely paddle on a lake or calm river. The bright yellow color enhances visibility, ensuring safety while on the water. This kayak is built to accommodate two people, making it perfect for parent-child bonding or a peaceful outing with a friend.

Pool Volleyball Sets

For families who enjoy friendly competition, a pool volleyball set like the GoSports Splash Net PRO Pool Volleyball Net is an excellent choice. This set includes a durable, adjustable net that fits most in-ground and above-ground pools. The set comes with two water volleyballs and a pump, so you’re ready to play right out of the box. It’s designed for easy setup and provides hours of active fun, promoting teamwork and physical fitness in a lively, social environment.

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07/17/2024 08:19 am GMT

Water Trampolines

For a unique and exhilarating water activity, a water trampoline like the RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bouncer is a fantastic option. This inflatable water trampoline offers a large bouncing surface, providing endless fun for kids and adults. It’s easy to set up and can be used in lakes or large pools. The Bongo Water Bouncer is made from high-quality materials, ensuring it can handle plenty of jumping and rough play. It’s an excellent way to combine physical activity with water fun, making it a hit at family gatherings.

RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bouncer, Blue/Yellow, 13 Foot

This product is made of a heavy-duty commercial-grade material, and most of our customers anchor them for the season on their lakeshore | Treated with a UV treatment to prevent sun fading

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07/17/2024 08:20 am GMT

Combining Water Toys with Learning

Water toys aren’t just for fun—they can also be powerful tools for learning. Integrating educational activities with water play provides a unique, hands-on way for children to develop various skills while staying entertained. From counting and sorting games to science experiments and cooperative play, water toys offer endless opportunities to blend fun with education. Here’s how you can make the most of water toys to support your child’s development in a playful and engaging way.

Educational Water Games

Counting and Sorting Games

Using water toys for educational games is an excellent way to combine fun with learning. For example, you can use floating toys like rubber ducks, boats, or even colorful balls to create counting and sorting games. Ask your child to count the number of each type of toy in the pool or sort them by color or size. This simple activity helps enhance their counting skills, number recognition, and understanding of categorization, which are fundamental math concepts.

Learning Resources Dive into Shapes! Geometry Set

The Learning Resources Dive into Shapes! Geometry Set is a fantastic product that combines water play with geometry learning. This set includes foam shapes that can float or stick to the side of the pool when wet, allowing children to explore different shapes and create various structures. It’s a great way to introduce preschoolers and early learners to the basics of geometry in an engaging and interactive way.

Alphabet and Word Games

Water play can also be a fun way to introduce literacy skills. Use foam letters or water-safe letter tiles to create games that involve spelling out words, matching letters, or even constructing simple sentences. Floating letters in the bathtub or pool encourage children to interact with the alphabet in a playful setting, reinforcing letter recognition and early reading skills.

Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers

The Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers set is perfect for these activities. These foam letters and numbers float in water and stick to the bath tub walls when wet. You can use them to spell out simple words, practice letter sounds, or even introduce basic math concepts like addition and subtraction in a way that feels like play rather than study.

Science Experiments with Water Toys

Sink or Float Experiments

Water toys provide an excellent opportunity for simple science experiments. One of the easiest and most engaging experiments is testing which objects sink or float. Gather various water-safe items and have your child predict whether each one will sink or float before testing their hypotheses in the water. This experiment teaches children about density, buoyancy, and the scientific method of making predictions, conducting tests, and observing results.

Learning Resources Primary Science Sink or Float Activity Set

The Learning Resources Primary Science Sink or Float Activity Set is specifically designed for this type of learning. It includes a variety of objects to test, a clear plastic tank, and activity cards with different experiment ideas. This set makes it easy to turn a simple concept into an interactive learning experience.

Water Cycle Demonstrations

Another great way to combine water play with learning is through demonstrations of the water cycle. Using a clear container, some plastic wrap, and a sunny spot, you can create a mini water cycle model. Fill the container with water and place it in the sun, covering it with plastic wrap to simulate evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. This hands-on activity helps children understand complex processes in a simple, visual way.

Green Science Clean Water Science Kit

The Green Science Clean Water Science Kit allows children to explore concepts related to the water cycle and water purification. This kit includes materials to create a water filtration system, demonstrating how water moves through the environment and becomes clean. It’s a fantastic way to introduce environmental science concepts in a tangible and engaging manner.

Closing Thoughts From Me

Water toys are a fantastic way to enhance your summer, offering endless opportunities for fun, learning, and family bonding. Whether you’re splashing in a pool, sliding down a water slide, or engaging in a water balloon battle, these toys provide a perfect blend of excitement and development. So, gear up, stay safe, and make a splash this summer with the best water toys!


What are the safest water toys for toddlers? Splash pads and inflatable pools are great options as they provide a safe environment for young children to enjoy water play.

How can I make water play educational? Incorporate counting games, science experiments, and other learning activities that involve water to make playtime both fun and educational.

What are some eco-friendly water toy options? Look for reusable water balloons and biodegradable water toys made from sustainable materials to reduce environmental impact.

How do I clean and store water toys properly? Rinse toys with clean water after use, dry them thoroughly, and store them in a dry, shaded area to prevent mold and mildew.

What should I do to ensure water play safety? Always supervise children, ensure they wear sunscreen, and create a safe play area free from hazards to prevent accidents.

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    Stevie Harper

    I have 2 beautiful children and a passion for all things positive parenting. I created this website to share information and recommend products and services that have helped me as a parent.

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