Best Pool Toys & Accessories for Kids in 2018

As the summer temperatures heat up, the need for pool toys rises. The long summer days turn into times that the kids need to get out and engage. Sometimes just swimming laps around the pool, drifting around on a pool float, or laying by the pool will do, but over time as the summer days pass, this becomes more and more boring for the kids. That is when they will start to crave more excitement from pool time.

Whether you are trying to entertain your kids, their friends, or hosting a party, pool toys are a must. They keep things fun and keep the kids involved plus they can prevent boredom. Pool toys are also a great way to liven up a party and keep people entertained while enjoying the pool. No need for the kids or guest just to be aimless swimming around when there are great toys on the market that are designed especially for the pool.

The pool toy market is vast and there are a lot of toys out there. So we decided to put in the work for you. We have selected the best pool toys in the market and created a list of the top toys. Selecting is easy, buying is fun, and the best is when it arrives.

Last Updated: October 5, 2018
By Amanda Milewski:

Pool toys supplement the basic fun of a swimming pool and ratchet it up a notch. Our list of the best pool toys has something for everyone...from toddlers to teens. We have recently updated our page to include a number of new products and all product information--specifications, sizes, age ranges, cost and availability--has been reviewed for accuracy.

Our Top 3 Picks

Green Toys My First Tugboat
  • Green Toys My First Tugboat
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Navigate Wading Pool
  • Price: See Here
Green Toys Submarine
  • Green Toys Submarine
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Phthalate & BPA Free
  • Price: See Here
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch
  • Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 10 Turtles & Eggs
  • Price: See Here

Criteria Used to Evaluate The Best Pool Toys & Accessories for Kids

Safety

The swimming pool toys we selected come with a variety of functions for kids of all different ages to enjoy, but one essential priority for each featured toy is that it is safe for children. Pool toys are often made with plastic materials or foam. Many plastic and foam toys actually contain harmful chemicals such as BPA and other phthalates that can seep from the plastic, exposing children and others. All of the pool toys on this list have been thoroughly checked over for any harmful materials, and we made sure that each one is safe in that regard for your kids.

Additionally, safety in the pool can be tied in with toy design. When it comes to smaller plastic toys for toddlers, we made sure to recommend toys that don’t have any rough edges or sharp corners. Floating toys such as noodles and rafts can be made with a variety of materials with different qualities of buoyancy and durability. We only selected toys that can support children and stay afloat given each product’s weight capacity and sturdiness of the materials used. Although many of the toys do provide assistance in staying above water, none of them are designed to be life-saving floatation devices.

Developmental Benefits

All of the pool toys we included provide a range of developmental benefits for kids. For example, most of the toys on our list encourage physical activity through swimming, jumping, catching and throwing, and more. Physical activities in the pool help kids develop strong, healthy bodies and encourage an active lifestyle. In an age where many children prefer screen-time activities such as using the computer or playing video games, it is always excellent to find activities and toys such as these pool toys to encourage exercise and physical skill building.

Gender Neutral

All of the toys we included on the list are gender-neutral, which means that they are not decorated or designed to target boys or girls specifically. Gender-neutral toys are not marketed for specifically one gender or the other. Many toys are marketed for boys or for girls by including “feminine” or “masculine” colors and designs, and using only boys or only girls for advertising purposes. This sends the message to children that they are “supposed” to have certain interests based on gender-based stereotypes, and might even limit a child’s exploration of the world. Instead, gender-neutral toys send the message to children that they can play with whatever toys they want and they can be whoever they want to be.

Hygienic

All pool accessories get wet in one way or another when used, whether it be a huge inflatable floating raft or a small floating tugboat for toddlers. That means that pool toys tend to be at higher risk for mildew, mold, or rust over time. We tried to select swimming pool toys that are relatively easy to dry out and clean, such as not having too many small unreachable parts. We even selected a couple items that are dishwasher safe, providing the opportunity for a deep clean and drying as a preventative against mold or bacteria build-up.

The larger floating toys such as the Shootball and volleyball game are all made with non-toxic materials that can be placed in the sun to dry out before storing. As with all toys and products, they will uphold quality best over time with proper care. This includes not leaving pool toys in the pool when they aren’t in use. These types of precautions ensure the longevity of your pool toys, and we made sure that the toys on this list aren’t high-maintenance in terms of promoting cleanliness.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do any of the plastic pool toys contain BPA?

A: Absolutely not. None of the toys included on this list contain any BPA, a chemical which has been shown to be harmful when exposed to children. We always pick toys with safety and health in mind.

Q: Do these toys require parental supervision?

A: Although the toys are considered safe for children, it is important that there is always a responsible adult, parent, or lifeguard supervising kids in the pool.

Q: Can I leave the toys in the pool when my kids aren’t using them?

A: Leaving water toys in the pool, usually in chlorinated water and in the sun, can degrade the pool toys at a faster rate than storing them in a dry, shady place.

Q: Is swimming considered a physical activity?

A: Swimming is absolutely a physical activity that involves movements of the entire body and changes in the heart rate. The level of intensity of physical activity depends on what a child is doing in the pool, but it is absolutely a great activity to promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

Q: Do the toys by Green Toys degrade over time since they are made of recycled milk jugs?

A: Nope. The milk jugs are recycled and then processed into a durable material called high-density polyethylene that displays the same sturdiness as other similar hard plastic toys.

Sources

  1. Parents, Gender Nuetral, Informative Article,
  2. Safbaby, The Shocking Truth About Children’s Plastic Toys. Read This Before You Buy Another Toy!, Informative Article,
  3. Melissa Willets , Are Gender Neutral Toys Really Better for Kids?, Study Discussion,
  4. Real Simple, The Definitive Guide to Cleaning All of Your Summer Items, How to Guide,
  5. MELISSA HOPKINS , What Are the Benefits of Swimming for Kids?, Informative Article,