Top Picks for Staying Cool and Having Fun in the Summer
The best way to stay cool and have fun with your kids in the summertime? Water play! From water tables to mini splash pads to slides and so much more — we’ve got awesome picks for babies, toddlers, older kids… and yes, even you moms and dads! (Come on, what parent doesn’t love a good inflatable pool or slip ‘n slide?) Without further ado, here are our top water play picks organized by category. Enjoy!
Water Squirters ~ $35
Kids can use this 6-pack of colorful water squirters at the beach, pool, or in the backyard (fill ‘em up in the sink or a bucket). Just don’t get in the line of fire without having a squirter to retaliate with! BTW, one thing we love about these squirters is that they’re not actual “water guns.”
Reusable Water Balls ~ $39
Disposable water balloons are on their way to becoming a thing of the past — and that’s a good thing since they are so bad for the environment. These reusable water balloons are more environmentally friendly and don’t leave a latex mess behind for you to pick up. The set-up is as easy as can be: simply soak these super soft water balls in water, and you’re ready to play! This set comes with 50 red, green and blue balls, plus a carrying case for easy transport to the pool, beach, a friend’s house, etc. Made of water-absorbent cotton, these balls are soft enough that they won’t hurt when kids pelt them at each other.
Ahoy, Matey! Your little ones’ imaginations will soar as they splash “aboard” this pirate ship-themed water table. Includes a waterfall mast, water cannon, steering wheel, drop anchor, action figures and more!
Doesn’t get much simpler than this — just fill one side with sand and the other with water, and your kids will be set for hours of splashy and sandy fun. Bonus: Unlike all those other big, “plastic play” items, you won’t mind displaying this beautifully constructed metal and wooden table in your yard. Bonus, bonus: after the dog days of summer are over, you can bring this table inside and convert it to any type of play and/or sensory table.
Sprinklers & Splash Pads
Bonus: Splash pads & baby pools can be used as ball pits in the winter months!
Elephant Splash Pad ~ $22
This is a sprinkler and splash pad in one! Not only does water spray from the rim of the pool, but it also shoots out from the elephant’s nose.
Similar to the above pick, this cute dino-themed inflatable is a sprinkler, splash pad and baby pool all in one. It’s big enough to fit about 3-4 small kiddos… or maybe two parents and some margaritas! 😉
Together rain and sunshine make… a rainbow! Your kids will love running through the colorful archways of this rainbow as water sprinkles down on them from above.
Baby Pools & Floats
A note — remember that even kiddie pools are a drowning hazard, so keep that in mind if you set one up.
Also, a tip — this is *NOT CDC-approved, but adding a little bit of bleach to your pool water will keep the water clean and fresh WAY longer.
Baby Pool Float ~ $28
My kids loved this float when they were smaller. It’s such a fun, easy and stress-free way to swim with your little one. I also love the overhead canopy which helps protect baby’s sensitive skin from the sun. Bonus: it includes an activity center with a rattle, teether, squeaker, stacking rings and soft touch star. Your kid won’t ever want to get out of the water!
Minnidip Inflatable Pool ~ $varies
These Minnidip kiddie pools are as adorable as they are fun! You should check out this cute fruit slice sprinkler splash pad, too! These are seriously perfect for those sweltering hot days! Oh– and they can also definitely fit two adults with margaritas.
Up to 3 kids can race down this slip n’ slide and land in the splash pool at the end! Gets extra slippery due to the slide’s built-in sprinklers. I may or may not have raced my kids on this one last summer…
Intex Inflatable Water Slide ~ $139
This safar-themed inflatable water slide comes with two surf riders for added slippery fun!
This Rainforest-themed water slide, obstacle course & bounce house will keep kiddos (and adults?!) entertained for HOURS! From the giraffe entrance to the zebra tunnel to the pop-up jungle-themed obstacles and climbing wall, to the splash pool landing, what kid wouldn’t have a blast playing with this? Includes air blower for easy and convenient inflation. Something to note (and be prepared for!): at 7.5 feet high and 9 feet wide, this bad boy takes up some space. Just make sure you have the room for it before you purchase.
Miscellaneous Water Play
Waterfall Discovery Wall ~ $69
This one’s for the little water lovers. This is a double-sided water wall that multiple kiddos can play with at once. Comes with 13 different toys, including little buckets for kids to scoop up water, and send it down the water wall maze; they’ll love watching the water cascade through the spinners, funnels and cups. Bonus: to keep things interesting, you can rearrange the water maze pieces so the water takes different paths each time.
My “mom friends” and I were obsessed with this thing last summer. Fill the blob with water to create a slippery, bouncy surface to jump around on or lay on. You can also connect it to a garden hose so water will spray all over the blob making it extra slippery!
That’s it! We hope you found some water play toys and activities here to keep you and your kids cool and having fun during those sizzling hot summer months. If all else fails, just pull out the hose and spray. HA!
On that note, ready, set… splash!