Some of my most fondest moments watching my son grow up have always been outside play. Like so many other little ones, he loves the outdoors and if you add some water into the mix well, it’s game on.
So as he advances, every summer I go on the hunt looking for the latest and greatest water toys for toddlers and preschoolers.
The official start of summer is in June while National Learn To Swim Day is in May. Outdoor water toys for toddlers are a great way to introduce your littles to water play leading up to these two days.
In this post, you’ll find some fun water toys for toddlers including outdoor water toys for a 1-year-old and beyond. Some of these water toys for kids you can find within my Instagram stories under “outside play”. We use them every summer with friends or for some good family fun.
Outdoor Water Toys For Toddlers
Intex Dinosaur Inflatable Play Center- We’ve had the Intex Dinosaur inflatable play center for about three years. It’s a perfect outdoor water play set for toddlers on hot summer days. This play center is big enough for more than one child, so if you have multiple, they can enjoy it together.
- Comes with a water slide.
- The palm tree is a sprinkler.
- (6) colorful balls are included to throw in the dinosaur’s mouth.
- Capacity 57 gallons.
- Recommended for ages 24 to 60 months which makes it a cool water toy for kids 2 years old to 5.
Water Blasters- Use this six-pack water blaster set for some good ole backyard water play. We did the hide-and-seek game with these and whoever gets caught gets blasted. LOL. The blaster is wrapped in foam making them soft and lightweight.
Recommended ages- 6 years old to 18. We’ve been using these since my son was 2 years old under our supervision. You can see us in action on Instagram.
Mushroom Sprinkler- No pool no problem. Kids can have a blast for hours with sprinklers. The colorful mushroom sprinkler is 5 feet tall and sprays from both sides. Once the base is filled with water, it remains upright.
Inflatable Rocketship Water Sprinkler- In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 let their imagination run wild with this Rocketship water sprinkler. Dress them up as an astronaut or put them in their favorite rash guard. Either way, they will have fun with this giant rocket ship.
Set it up for the next birthday party or backyard bbq.
- (4) Water sprayers.
- Over 7.5 feet tall.
- Comes with four stakes so you can secure it in place.
Private Jet Float- A baby or toddler float for the swimming pool is a great way to get your little one used to the pool. Floats are not swimming safety devices though.
The private jet float is great for sensory play because it is interactive. There’s a horn to honk and a steering wheel turn to keep the fun going while in the pool.
There is a backrest that makes for some extra comfort while playing and leg holes.
Related: Creative Summer Preschool Worksheets
Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table- This truly might be one of the best water toys for toddlers. They can spend hours in the driveway, the backyard, or even the garage if the sun is beaming. Let them play for hours with this splash pond water table.
My son was a 1-year-old when we purchased this and three years later it’s still in perfect condition. Now I can’t say we still have every single piece or that I even know where each piece is. LOL The accessories may have been used to dig up mulch to look for worms, wash a toy car or we’ve taken them to the beach.
FYI, you will need a constant water flow to keep the rainfall effect going.
- All the accessories are included.
- Easy to clean and to drain the water out.
- Enough space for multiple children.
- Awesome for motor skills.
- Recommended for ages 18 months to 10 years old.
Trampoline Sprinkler for Kids- I just couldn’t resist because how many neighborhoods can you ride around and not see a trampoline in the yards of homes? Few. This makes this trampoline sprinkler for kids one of the best backyard water toys.
Some assembly is required. The sprinkler kit comes with adjustable zip ties, a hose strap for attachment, and a rotating sprinkler.
Baby Beach Portable Pop-Up Pool- The little ones want to have just as much fun as the bigger toddlers, The portable pop-up pool is a great way for kids to enjoy some much-needed outdoor water play especially if you’re headed to the beach or the lake.
It provides UV protection, is lightweight, portable, and comes with a carrying bag. And if you are not quite comfortable putting your baby in the water you can bring the ocean to them. Let them splash around and stay cool in their tent.
- Recommended for ages 3 years old and under.
Related: A Fun Summer Bucket List For Kids
Reusable Water Balloons- I spotted these reusable water balloons last summer at the pool being used by another family. My son was intrigued, and they gave him a few to play with. I ordered a set once we got home.
They are available as 4-pack, 6-pack, 12-pack, and 16-pack.
- Made of silicone.
- Take them to the pool or have some fun in your own backyard.
- They’re easy to fill with water.
- Comes with a mesh bag to keep them all together.
- Recommended for ages 3 and up.
Sunset Glow Baby Pool- There’s nothing better than a good ole fashion kiddie pool for outdoor water toys for kids.
Indoor Water Toys For Toddlers
Color Changing Kitchen Sink- This color-changing kitchen sink is an awesome water toy for a 3-year-old. There are so many reasons this is such a good one. One is, it teaches practical life skills, hello Montessori toddler. It’s a cute little kitchen sink with plates, cups, utensils, and dish soap with running water.
I mean how often do our little ones want to do everything their parents are doing around the house? All the time, right? They want to do everything we do.
The kitchen sink is also excellent for sensory play. They can play with warm and cold water. As the water gets warmer, it turns the dishes from pink and blue to white—another opportunity for kids to work on their colors.
Set it up on the kitchen counter next to you so they can use their kitchen helper. They are at the same height as you and safe. You can also put it on the floor or take it outside if you like.
Soap Slime- An all-time favorite in our house that our son can’t get enough of is the Pacha soap slime. I’ll start off by saying we do not use this in place of bar soap. We don’t wash his body with it he only plays with it in the bathtub.
Depending on the flavor you choose its starts off as blue or green slime like what you’re used to seeing on Nickelodeon and as it gets wet, it turns into soap. He thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. LOL, The soap slime has a pleasant gentle fruity smell to it.
Bath Crayons- Some other awesome water toys for preschoolers are bath crayons. Use them all year round as indoor water toys for toddlers. They are a fun way to practice ABCs and 123s with your preschooler without them feeling any pressure.
They can scribble all over the bath in a variety of colors, and the cleanup is easy peasy.
Honeystick bath crayons are jumbo so it makes it easy for them to hold onto. And without even thinking about they are actually working on their pincer grasp which at this age they will start buttoning and zipping their clothes.
- Plant-based crayons.
- Made of beeswax and soy wax.
- Environmentally friendly.
Fishin Baby and Toddler Bath Toy– A toddler water toy that you can use both indoors and outdoors is this Munchkin Fishin baby and toddler bath toy. It’s the right size for their little hands and has no complicated pieces to carry or put together. So if you are looking for something that will enhance hand-eye coordination this will be a good choice.
The set comes with one magnetic rod and three colorful characters to fish for. Recommended for ages 24 months and up.
Nuby Floating Purple Octopus- Let’s talk about a few baby water toys you’ll love. A cute and interactive water toy for babies is the floating octopus. While they may not actually throw the rings that are included they can still work on motor skills and hand-eye coordination by simply working on placing the rings on the octopus.
The Nuby floating purple octopus is also a great way to introduce color identification.
- Recommended for ages 18 months and up.
- Comes with three rings.
3 Bees & Me Bath Toys- Another set of water toys for babies that can be used indoors or outdoors is this pack of four boat set for toddlers. And if you love purchasing toys for your kids that are both educational and fun these are labeled 1-4 and are colorful to practice both numbers and colors.
Leave them in the bathtub or take them outdoors for the pool or play in the kiddie pool at home.
Turn your summer into the best time of the year and have a blast with your kiddos. After a long school year, take them outdoors to find and explore nature and have a few water balloon fights. Get them used to water, help them feel comfortable, and have fun while doing it.
I hope you find this post on indoor and outdoor water toys for toddlers and preschoolers helpful. There’s a wide variety of options for some summertime fun for the whole family. Lots of these summer water toys you can use both indoors and outdoors to keep the fun going if you’re headed to your neighborhood pool or the beach.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best water toy?
The best water toy is the one that is developmentally appropriate for your child and fits your child’s needs. As well as the space available to you.
How do I get my 2-year-old comfortable with water?
First, build up trust and understanding that water won’t hurt them. Start with a little splashing in the bathtub. If you have a garden or a flower bed let them help you fill the canister with water and then go on to help water the flowers or vegetables.
Another is something a lot of children love to do including my own and that’s playing with the water hose. But remember, when you’re not using the water house keep it in a shaded area and test the water before allowing your kids to play with it.
Do 5-year-olds play with water tables?
They certainly may continue to play with water tables at this age. But more often than not they are ready to move on to water slides, pools, water balloons, and toy water guns.
It is also child dependent. Determine whether your 5-year-old will have an interest in a water table or will they easily get bored with it.
Are water tables for kids worth it?
Water tables for kids are worth every single penny and I guess most parents agree. You can’t go to many homes without seeing one. First, it feels their bucket with joy and helps with fine and gross motor skills and sensory activities.
If other kids are involved, it is a great opportunity for socialization. And if you don’t have access to a pool a water table is great for hot summer days. They are made of hard plastic so they will last you for some time.
How do you make water play more fun?
You can make water play more fun by adding in some of their favorite water toys, using water tables, and water slides, filling up balloons with water, washing dishes, and playing with the sprinklers.
What do children gain from water play?
Water play is a sensory activity, it ignites all of their senses. It also helps with fine and gross motor skills.
Why do toddlers love playing with water?
Toddlers love playing in water because it’s exciting. They get to get wet, splash around, and shock themselves when the water gets in their face. Making messes is what toddlers do. Water makes it that much more fun.