10 Best Water Toys for Kids Reviewed in 2020
Kids are always fascinated by toys that you can play with in the water. This is for a good reason. It is a great way to get out of the heat and adds lots of fun to an already fun activity. There are so many different kinds of water toys on the market. Some are designed better than others, and some simply are designed to entertain them while they enjoy cooling off in the water.
Picking the best water toys for kids can be a decision that leaves your head spinning. We have done the guesswork for you and compiled this list of water toys that are entertaining, offer developmental benefits and are safe. The goal is to have fun and we hope we can help with that.
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Awesome pool or beach toy.
So much fun for kids to play with interactively.
These use water, which is safe for kids to play with.
Can you say, “Water Wars?”
Set contains 2 blasters so your child can play with a friend.
10 Best Water Toys for Kids Reviewed
1. Little Tikes Spiralin' Seas
Comes with a cup and 5 squirty balls.
Table has moving toy parts so kids can learn what effect water has on them.
The ferris wheel can pick up and drop off balls just like a real ferris wheel does for people.
Encourages strong muscles as kids have to stand up to play in the water.
Put and take actions strengthen hand-eye coordination
Hard to clean around raised area in the bottom of table, but that may be true of all of the brands.
Putting the screws in while building the play table can be a bit frustrating.
Little Tikes’ Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark includes an incredible 3D whirlpool tower. Children drop the included balls into the funnel at the top and watch as they spiral down into the pool below. A Ferris wheel adorns the side and can lift balls up through the air and then cycle them back down into the water table. The funnel on the side is a great tool for sensory stimulation and each cute little ball is actually a sea creature that squirts water as well!Read more
As your child uses the character balls to squirt water they will be stimulating their fine motor skills. The funnel and twin wheel will give your child a better understanding of cause and effect. Water play. As your child engages in water play with other children they will increase their social skills.
Children love playing in a water park. Now, they can operate their very own waterpark with the Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Playtable that comes with a Ferris wheel that doubles as a waterwheel.
It also has a water funnel that channels water into 2 paddlewheels. The center tower consists of a spiral tube that kids can drop balls and watch roll or simply pour water with the accompanying water scoop. It can hold up to 7 gallons of water.
2. Super Soaker Tidal Tube Blaster 2-Pack
Awesome pool or beach toy.
So much fun for kids to play with interactively.
These use water, which is safe for kids to play with.
Can you say, “Water Wars?”
Set contains 2 blasters so your child can play with a friend.
Must be submerged to fill.
Salt water may gum up the works.
There is no greater way to really enjoy beach or backyard fun than slugging it out with friends. For sure, your kids will love the Nerf Super Soaker Tidal Tube Blaster. This water blaster comes in pairs making it ideal for cooperative and competitive play. The blasters can push water out about 23 feet so kids can do a lot of running around, getting exercise. With this set you get 2 blasters and double the fun.Read more
The set comes with 2 blasters so this should be perfect for your kid and his or her friend. It helps stimulate creativity, imagination, competitiveness, and love for physical activity.
Kids love water play, and these blasters are so great for them to engage in play that is competitive or even cooperative. They can have lots of fun in the pool or at the beach or even in the yard with a big bucket to hold the water. Adults love these too for water games, canoe trips, or chasing annoying squirrels away.
It can squirt water up to distances of 23 feet. The canister can hold up to 10 ounces of water making it the perfect solution for blasting your kid’s opponents; albeit in a very friendly yet competitive way.
3. SwimWays Fish Styx 3 Pack
The bright colors make these fish easy to spot in the water
The wiggling motion of these toys make them look like real fish swimming
Stimulates fine motor skills
Retrieval of the toys provides your child with exercise
The colors of the toys will fade over time
These beautiful pool-diving toys look just like tropical fish! The gradient paint design makes them seem extra incandescent and they wiggle and jiggle when you set them loose in the water. Each package includes three flexible fish. Recommended for ages five and up, the SwimWays Fish Styx are a great way to get children excited about swimming.Read more
Your child will get plenty of exercise as they dive into the pool to retrieve the fish.The bright colors make these diving toys easy to spot in the water. As they grasp the toys they will increase their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Children love to splash around! But their attention spans also wander and wane. Having engaging accessories and toys on hand can be a great way to keep them occupied in the water. These fish encourage children to be active swimmers. They’ll love showing you how deep they can dive to pick the fish up from the bottom of the pool, or how fast they can go to catch up to the fish before it sinks all the way.
This particular listing is for a pack of 3 brightly colored fish. As they are thrown into the water the fish wiggle towards the bottom in a swimming motion.
4. Bees & Me Bath
Set of four boats, two twin sets
Each boat has a number--one, two, three, and four
Constructed from environmentally safe and BPA-free materials
Feature magnets that allow the boats to connect to each other
Enhances fine-motor-skill development
Small in size, intended for smaller children
Water gets inside of boats, hard to get out
Created from environmentally friendly materials, this set of boats is a fun playset. The toys have been made from BPA-free materials. In the set you will find four boats, two twin sets that all float just the same. The magnet on each of the boats allows them to connect to the next boat in line. It is even fun to line them up 1, 2, 3, 4. These boats have been created and are safe for kids over the age of 18 months.Read more
Toys for kids at any age are considered fun and a way to pass their time, but more importantly, they are created to promote and enhance their developmental skills. This set of boats is ideal for helping to enhance their fine-motor-skill development.
They feature a small design that has no sharp edges and are easy to grip for kids of all ages. Playing in the tub is fun when these boats are along. They can be dunked, lined up, pushed along, and even flying in the air if they wish. Their imaginations can go wild with this set. Plus they have been specially designed for water play. No worrying about them breaking or deteriorating when they are wet. Start a new toy collection for their water play time with this set of four boats.
Boats are fun outside of the water, so when this set meets the water the fun is on. The magnets that allow them to connect, making it fun to line them up and pull them along.
5. Melissa & Doug On The Go Water Wow!
Books work well for no mess traveling
Just color over the page to reveal hidden colors and pictures.
Children can start to learn how to trace and print numbers and letters.
Storage area for the water pens are built into the books.
A #1 Bestseller on Amazon
It’s a little hard to trace because the pen tips are wide.
Do not leave water in the pens as they will leak when not in use.
Not all water toys need a backyard or a pool. This little trio of Melissa & Doug books includes a magic marker that is water-activated. Children ages three to five will be enchanted by the ability to color with just a little bit of water in their pen. These workbooks additionally help keep them abreast with their ABC’s, animals, and early learning numbers! And to top it all off? These books contain reusable pages so your little ones can enjoy them again and again.Read more
This set helps children develop motor skills, dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and develop early academic skills. Children are prompted to color inside the lines of their favorite animals, to trace and draw the alphabet, and to trace and count numbers. This will help them with their penmanship but also with the ability to recognize basic numbers, letters, and animals when they see them on the page or out in the world.
With your purchase, you will receive a set of three activity pads that will introduce your child to numbers, letters, and animals. The boards are sturdy and chunky which makes it easy for tiny hands to grasp. Your child will never have to worry about sharpening a pencil, or their marker drying out because these boards use a water pen. Simply fill the pen with water and watch as it helps your child bring the pages to life.
The pages are reusable and durable so your child will be able to enjoy countless coloring sessions in the water. The pages are composed of fine black lines for your child to color in. Once the pages dry the colors disappear, so you won’t have to worry about any messy cleanup. The pen can easily be emptied and refilled when ready to use.
6. SwimWays Toypedo Bandits
Great for kids learning to dive.
Strengthens arms, legs, and lungs.
Great for playing games and encouraging play with others.
While they don’t glide very far, that could be good for beginner swimmers.
These toypedos seem a little small, but there are 4 of them.
Color may fade
Get ready to dive deep with SwimWays Toypedos. This set includes four brightly colored torpedoes that zoom through the pool and sink towards the bottom. Children will then have to retrieve them and the game begins anew! If you want to exercise little minds as well as bodies, each torpedo has a different number on it. Children can add up how many points they’ve gathered each round or just enjoy chasing and retrieving these diving toys!Read more
Is your child learning how to swim and dive? Let the SwimWays Toypedo Bandits help your child’s arms and legs strengthen while playing with this toy. And your child can learn competitive and cooperative play while retrieving the toypedos. All the while they have fun in the pool. Comes in a 4-pack in four bright colors.
There are no batteries or assembly necessary with this set. Each toypedo can soar up to 20 feet underwater, which is quite a distance for young swimmers to follow or throw. The torpedos feature funny faces to complement the number of points they represent: a one-eyed face for ten points, two eyes for twenty, three for thirty, and four for forty.
This set of 4 colorful torpedo-inspired water toys can efficiently glide submerged under water for up to a distance of 20 feet. The set is color- and number- coded to help reinforce numerical and coor recognition skills. The toypedoes are very easy to grab and are excellent underwater companions.
7. Liberty Imports Bath Squirties
Set of squirting animals for water playtime fun
Included with the set are 15 different animals
Featured along with the set is a scooper, perfect for play and clean up time
Soft rubber characters that float and squirt
Improves coordination development skills
Holes in some of the animals are too small making it hard to squeeze
Net is not durable, handle breaks easily
Make bath time a splashing good time with this set of 15 animal squirters. The set includes 15 different squirters and a net to scoop them up with. This makes bath time clean up easy with all these floating around in the water. When it comes to fun, these toys have a way of making the kids smile. Simply place down in the water, give them a squeeze, pull out of the water, and squeeze again.Read more
Playing in the bathtub is an excellent way to relieve stress from sometimes a time of the day that your little ones don’t like. Playing is also a great way to provide a time in the water to practice some of their developmental skills. These squirters are a wonderful way to improve their coordination.
Great set of water toys that really gives a fun touch to water play time. They are simple enough to allow the kids to have some imaginative fun, but action-packed enough to engage them for hours of play.
Watch their little faces light up as the water comes streaming out of each of the toys. They add a fun playtime element to what otherwise could be a stressful time for your little one. The toys are colorful, bright, soft, and fun. Included in the set are a starfish, a shark, hammerhead shark, dolphin, duck, turtle, seal, crab, frog, clownfish, octopus, seagull, a teddy bear, and a submarine. All these fun squirters are ready for some bath time fun.
8. Sensory Jungle Growing Jelly Beads
Beads have a calming effect on a child with autism and/or special needs
The beads are composed of a non-toxic polymer
You don’t have to worry about any burst, break, or odor
The beads aid in color recognition and stimulate fine motor skills
Some parents received a batch with mostly black and clear beads
These sensory toys allow children who might not want to be too involved with water yet to still enjoy an aquatic toy. The water is inside all of these little marbles which come in a whole host of bright, beautiful colors. Made for stimulation, this Sensory Jungle bundle is great for children who need assistance calming down or who benefit from having sensory toys handy. The beads arrive small but grow once placed in a jar of water for a few hours, so there’s even a fun little science experiment component for families to enjoy together!Read more
These beads are great for children who have special needs, autism, or a sensory disorder as they provide a calming effect. Since the beads are multicolored you can get creative and come up with games to play with your child. Teach them color recognition or work on counting. As they grasp the beads they will improve their fine motor skills.
Bath time just got more fun, thanks to the Kids Water Beads. These tiny beads arrive in a pack of 20,000. While they are super small upon arrival, once they have been in the water for at least 3 hours they expand. Along with their size, their texture also changes. The water takes the hard beads and makes them soft and squishy.
Composed of a non-toxic polymer, these beads are completely safe for your child. They don’t break, burst, or have an odor. Take them out of the water and they will shrink to their original size. Your child can reuse these beads as much as they want.
9. Munchkin Little Boat Train
Boats stack on top of each other for compact storage
Bright colors and numbers promote learning
Super lightweight which makes it easy for children to play with
They can scoop up water and be linked together
It may be difficult to link the boats together in the beginning
Row, row, row your...boat train? That’s right! These Munchkin bath boats hook together to great a colorful train of tug boats trailing through the water! The boats can scoop and strain water when turned upside down. Each boat is a different color, is numbered, and has a funny face! Children can count the boats, put them in the right order, name their colors, and enjoy the sensory stimulation that comes with scooping and splashing with these little guys.Read more
Children spend more time in the bath than probably either of you would like. (And yet still--they always seem to be a collage of various messes; how?) Bath time can be enjoyable with the right toys and routine. These toys give kids a challenge: they’re always excited to show you what they’ve learned and the train of boats gives them ample opportunity to do just that. How high can they count? Which colors do they recognize? Can they match the boats’ silly faces? There’s room to get creative with your bath time games!
The boats are made to scoop up water and can strain when turned upside down. When your child is not playing with them, simply stack them into each other for easy storage.
The Munchkin Bath Toy is a set of six tiny boats. Each brightly colored boat features a face and a number. You can use the numbers to work on counting and ordering with your child. They are lightweight and can easily be grasped by small fingers. Your child can even link the boats together to create a mini boat train.
10. Green Toys Ferry Boat with Mini Cars
Made from 100% recycled plastic
BPA, Phthalate, and PVC-free
Durable enough for bathtime and outdoor play
The boat can easily sink with cars onboard once it has taken on water
Nooks and crannies of boat shape can be very difficult to clean and can mildew to form
Your little one can become the captain of their very own ship with the Green Toys Ferry Boat and Mini Cars Bathtub Toy! This delightful little boat features a two-color design and is made with lightweight, child and environmentally friendly materials that easily float in water. Along with the ship you also receive two cars decorated in bright primary colors.Read more
These cars can float alongside the ferry, fit side by side on the boat’s deck for docking, or even transition out of the tub for playtime! The ship’s pontoon style shape helps to keep it steady in the water and stop it from rolling over, even with the added weight of the toy cars.
A ramp extends from the front of the boat to allow your child easy access to the interior to dock the mini cars. It can also be used to transport small figures or even matchbox cars so get ready for an all-out toy water war!
The pure versatility of this toy is fantastic. Boat for bathtime, cars for playtime, and eco-friendly materials make everyone happy! Green Toys focuses on its desire to make child-appropriate, safe, and earth-friendly toys. This ferry and the two accompanying cars are all USA made and crafted from 100% recycled plastic, specifically from old milk jugs! The eco-friendly materials are not only entirely free from BPA and other harmful chemicals but the creation of each of these ‘green’ toys can actually minimize transportation emissions and supports the local economy. The boat can easily pull apart and both it and the cars are entirely dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and to prevent the formation of mold.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Water is a wonderful source of play, sensory, and physical development opportunities. When you extend water play with toys, you can expand that source for further learning. The toys extend the fun for children and also for parents who watch these little tikes discover all that they can do with water.
We chose toys based on the number of ways they can offer opportunities for learning and fun. Kids can learn new language and communication skills, social skills while playing games, increase strength and coordination, balance, and other physical skills.
Water play presents children with the opportunity to learn new words and develop their communications skills. Playing with water toys such as a basketball or in a toy pool that includes games helps little ones learn how to play with others, playing fair, and sharing their toys and space in the pool. They find that they can have fun with other kids and improve social skills.
Of course, playing in the water, especially with other kids, can become wild and raucous, in which case, the children expend a ton of energy. Kids expend energy, and they sleep well at night. The more exercise they get, the better they tend to sleep. It’s good for them and good for parents.
Checking the materials used in toys and kids’ accessories is a matter of muscle memory for many parents and we understand why. You don’t want to expose your little one to anything that’s riskier than it needs to be. That’s why we fill our buying guides with products that are honest about the materials they use. This allows you to gauge durability, ease of maintenance, safety, and more.
For water toys, we recommend buying products that don’t retain mold or mildew easily. Bath toys especially have a knack for getting gross pretty fast and it can be a pain to try to dig all the nasty out of every nook and cranny. Look for products that wipe down easily or else can be thrown in the wash if you’re concerned about dirt collecting!
Water toys offer little kids opportunities to expend lots of energy, which is good for sleep and good for behavior. When little ones are tired and offered the opportunity to sleep, they do it. Then they are ready for more play the next day and are just waiting to explore their world even more. They will probably ask to go swimming again. Kids have so much fun in the water that they can’t wait for the next day.
Playing is a very important part of being a child. In fact, it is through playtime activities that very young children first learn about themselves and their immediate surroundings. When they grow older, playtime activities with their favorite toys help lay the foundations for a healthier, better, and more successful individual. It is through play and toys that children are able to reach their fullest developmental potentials.
Other Factors to Consider
The look and feel of water can be mesmerizing and exciting for a child because it is vastly different than their dry everyday life. Water play helps children develop their small and large motor skills as muscles get stronger with swimming and water play. Water toys can increase muscle development as there are muscles in use that aren’t used as much in just swimming.
Watching toddlers discover the water is fun for adults, too. We want to join in the fun when a little one splashes and plays then squeals in delight. How inviting! When adults join in the fun, it can initiate teaching moments. Parents can teach kids about how water works, talk about how it feels and discuss what to do with water. Start a rhyme or story about a runaway boat or a pirate ship. The possibilities are endless.
When kids are big enough to play in a pool, they can wade or swim through the water, helping their bodies strengthen even more. They learn about coordination and increase their ability to balance without the fear of falling on a hard surface. They learn that water is a soft landing. Cannonballs off the diving board tend to follow. It’s fun and maybe competitive when swimming with others.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I clean tub toys that harbor water?
You could soak in diluted bleach water or even rubbing alcohol. Just be sure and rinse them really well and allow to dry before giving them back to your child. Eventually, though, the mold may defy cleaning and you would be better off just throwing the toy away and buying a new one.
q: My little one loves playing in the water. How can I use water to get them interested in science?
Well, it could take a book to answer that question, but let’s just get you started. One of the best ways to get your child started in science is to engage him with questions. This engages his curiosity if he’s old enough, and if he’s not quite to the point of understanding, then keep repeating questions until he is old enough. And come up with new questions as well.
Water is an amazing material, and the water toys can make water do curious things. A water pistol can put the liquid in a situation where there is pressure put on the water and it shoots out the opening. Then ask questions about why it shoots out so far.
You can discuss with your child about buoyancy, water pressure, density (like why it’s harder to walk through water than it is through air) volume, and other properties. In school, they will likely fill a glass with water and add an ice cube and watch it melt. The water volume stays the same. Why? This is something you can start at home.
When kids play in the water, they use their sense of touch, so their brains are gathering sensory information. Keep asking questions about what the water feels like in different situations. What does the warm water feel like vs. cold water, for example? You can come up with lots of questions of your own. Perhaps do some research on learning with water or water experiments.
q: What if I can’t answer my child’s questions about water and water toys?
First, you probably will be able to answer at least the simpler questions your child has about water. But if you feel really out of your depth, try doing some research. You can tell her, “Let’s look it up together!” You can make it a fun research project that your child can take part in.
Try not just the Internet, but perhaps books about water or an encyclopedia. Make it a fun trip to the library. You can ask the librarian, too, giving your child an example of requesting help. Make it fun for your child and you’ll encourage your child to keep asking questions. This is a good thing and supports his sense of curiosity.
q: My child isn’t old enough for lakes and rivers yet so I let her play in the kiddie pool in the backyard. How do I include teaching about nature in this safe environment?
There are lots of ways to teach about nature in and around your kiddie pool. Can you take your little one for a walk around the yard and point out objects of nature like flowers and bugs? When you do that you can use water play in the pool as a reward for learning. Your child can test the buoyancy of parts of nature by sitting in the pool and seeing if they sink or float. Compare flower petals, leaves, and grass to pinecones and even small stones. And don’t forget a bug or two!
Or talk with your child about what water is and it’s properties. That is nature at work. Teach him the words even if he doesn’t understand the concept yet. Contrary to what they teach in the lower grades, memory is a vital tool in learning. When children learn and memorize words and concepts, it helps them remember when talking about it at a later time and even helps them pass the tests in school.
q: How do I keep my child safe when playing with toys in the water?
The first thing to do is make sure you purchase water toys that are appropriate for her age. Don’t purchase a toy that is clearly for an older, more mature child. This, of course, is based upon your judgment as to your child’s age and maturity.
No matter where your child plays, it’s up to you to keep her safe. Whether it’s in a big pool, a kiddie pool, or the bathtub, you need to be there every minute she is playing. Never leave your child alone near a source of water.
When outside in the sun, make sure they have sunscreen on, a bottle of water nearby to drink from so they don’t get dehydrated and check the water temperature to be sure the water isn’t too cold.
Also, make sure to teach your kids the rules of being around water. This includes no running on the deck, where it’s safe to jump in, how deep they are allowed to go for their size, and no pushing other kids into the pool. Your kids can still have fun when obeying the rules, and when everyone is safe, your child’s water play won’t become a disaster.
q: I have a small pool that has had several holes. I’ve used the patch kit that came with the pool. How do I patch the pool now that I’m out of patching material?
This may depend on the type of pool you have, but there are patch kits you can purchase at hardware or department stores like Home Depot or Walmart. If you happen to have duct tape and some super glue, give that a try. Just clean the area, cut the patch, apply super glue to the patch and the pool, if possible, and seal.
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