Happy summer, friends! If you’re facing pool closures or limits in your neighborhoods this summer (gah!) then you’re likely looking for some fun backyard water toys to help your kids enjoy the summer months without melting while they’re outside. While we’re bummed that we probably won’t be able to enjoy our community pool the same way we did before, we’re all for smart, safe approaches this summer.
Luckily, we’ve found 10 outdoor water toys that make staying home extra fun, too. So you can enjoy the water from a proper social distance. Yay!
And hey, got a kid with a summer birthday? Any of these could definitely feel like an extra-special gift this year.
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More posts to check out:
7 crazy lawn sprinklers that will get your kids outside all summer long.
4 ginormous inflatable sprinklers that will make you desperate for summer
6 of the coolest backyard swings to turn your yard into a playground
8 of the coolest summer water activities for your backyard. (Pool? What pool?)
After staying in all spring, our kids deserve more than our boring, practical sprinkler outside. For a truly cool backyard water toy, this inflatable shark arch sprinkler from Pottery Barn Kids counts as anything but boring. They can run through it, ride bikes through it, put it over the top of their slide and whoosh through it. If anything will lure them outside to play, this is it.
My neighborhood seems to be dominated by kids who want to play sports, rather than just run around in the water outside. So I found a solution: this water-slide baseball diamond. How fun is that? It’s actually a pretty decent size, at 14′ by 14′ square, but may still be better for younger elementary age kids or preschoolers than, say, middle schoolers. But hey — I wouldn’t be surprised if an intrepid tween could figure out how to DIY their own version that’s bigger and better.
Whoa, this build-your-own backyard water park would have been my dream backyard water toy when I was a kid. We’ve seen DIY concepts for these on Pinterest but, as crafty as I may be, they seemed way too complicated to replicate. So I love that you can now buy a kit to recreate it in your backyard. It has six different stations, so your kids aren’t likely to get bored too quickly. Plus, you could set it up in the grass for them to run through or on your driveway for them to ride bikes through. It’s on the pricier side, but I think it would get a lot of use.
We’re big fans of Funboy’s wacky floats and pool toys, and we were excited to see this gigantic (7.5 feet tall!) rocket ship sprinkler this year. I mean, it’s huge — so huge, that parents have no excuse not to join. Even better, Funboy is making a donation for every purchase of this cool backyard water toy to Feeding America, to provide meals to people impacted by COVID-19. So it’s fun you can feel really good about too.
My youngest daughter received this Wet & Wild Light Show sprinkler for her birthday this year, and it’s been a huge hit. Here’s what I love about it: it’s small so it stores easily. It is simple for a quick backyard activity — just hook it up and you’re ready to go. But it still has elements of fun that our practical lawn sprinkler doesn’t have, like a rotating spout in the center, wild wiggly arms that squirt water in unpredictable directions, and a light-up feature for evening play.
If you’re trying to entertain toddlers at home this summer, oof. I get how devastating it can be to not have parks or pools open, especially if you don’t have a lot of outdoor space of your own. But this cooling AquaPod lagoon I spotted over at HearthSong looks awesome. It’s part blob, part baby pool, and it’s really compact. Kids can jump around on it, lie down in it to cool off, or play with the included wiggly-tail fish toys in the center pool area of it.
If you’re looking for a small water mat for a young child that doesn’t hold as much water as a pool, but one that does a little more than the AquaPod lagoon, then this alphabet splash mat is a good option. Plus, it’s great for those little kids who want you to play with them, but you’re not planning to get wet at that particular moment. Instead, you can say: “Jump on the K! Find the elephant!” and other commands that make their play more engaging…without getting you soaked.
I think these Mega Morphibian remote control cars can keep kids entertained and cooled off for hours, whether you have access to natural waterways near your home, or you simply set up a water-based obstacle course in your own yard. Parents, be sure to add a good book to read while they play — and your phone, of course, for taking great pictures.
This is a seriously fun, creative backyard water toy for your trampoline when that black surface gets too hot to be fun: turn it into a waterpark with this trampoline sprinkler accessory. Water will spill over the edges you as you bounce, making it way more fun than regular bouncing. (though I’d still keep an eye on my kids when they use it.) I like that this one fits any size trampoline, has an on-off valve, can be used apart from the trampoline, and has great customer ratings at Amazon. My only suggestion would be bouncing in a bathing suit, not long pants and a collared shirt like the model here. Hm.
Water tables are a great option for families with limited space…and for kids with limited mobility. They still want to get outside, get wet, and have fun, but it’s not as easy as sliding down a Slip & Slide. Of course, you can find tons of them in so many price ranges at toy stores or Amazon, but I wanted to include this sensory water play table because it’s fantastic for kids with special needs like my own daughter. First, it’s super durable. Also, that big clear bucket in the center means they can see what’s inside from any angle. Plus, you can use it for water for outdoor play, but also dry it off and fill it with many other things for sensory work, from play silks to toys hidden in rice to playsand.