We’re in the thick of summer and that means it’s hot outside. One of the only ways my kids survive the hottest day of summer is by getting some time outside with their favorite water toys. Water play is the best way to pass a summer afternoon, and we’re always on the lookout for great outdoor water toys and pool floats.

I thought today it would be fun to round up some water play ideas for your kids this summer. I’m sharing 24 adorable and unique water toys for the backyard, the sprinkler, or the pool! If you ask me, these are especially good for toddlers who need some water play activities to keep them busy. They’re great for fine-motor skills (all that water scooping and pouring!), and preschoolers can be so hard to keep busy, too!

Water Play Ideas in the Backyard

First up, let’s start with some kids outdoor water play ideas that don’t require a pool. Because, we don’t all have access to one! Here’s a roundup of all of the best outdoor water toys that can be used with just a sprinkler or a big ol’ bucket of water.

Collage of outdoor water play toys for kids
  1. Turtle Sprinkler Toy
  2. Water Blasters
  3. Bunch-O-Balloons
  4. Sprinkler Splash Pad
  5. Water Launch Rocket Sprinkler Toy
  6. Reusable Water Balloons
  7. Little Tykes Water Table
  8. Slip & Slide
  9. Watermelon Sprinkler Mat
  10. Slip & Slide with Bodyboards
  11. Water Park Sprinkler Toy
  12. Inflatable Splash Pad/Pool

Pool Toys

If you have access to a backyard pool or a neighborhood pool, you know the kids love to bring some toys and floats along! Here are some ideas for things they’re sure to love playing with at the pool.

collage of pool toys
  1. The Ultimate Skip Ball
  2. Shark Underwater Ball
  3. 30-Pack Diving Toys
  4. Floating Basketball Hoop & Ring Toss
  5. Ride On Racer Inflatable
  6. Vehicle Pool Floats
  7. Water Lacrosse Set
  8. Pizza Float
  9. Fishing Pool Toys
  10. Hammock Pool Float
  11. Pool Volleyball Set
  12. Swim-Through Rings

Of course, if you need a few FREE or super cheap water activity ideas, here’s a few thoughts:

Water Play Ideas With Common Household Items

  • Fill the sink with water and some soap, let the kids “wash” their plastic toys
  • Put on a bathing suit and let them play in the tub!
  • Play with ice cubes in the driveway
  • Fill a large bin or some bowls with water and some toys to create some super simple sensory bins. Add a few spoons, some measuring cups, and you’ve got yourself the simplest water sensory bins around.
  • Make an ocean sensory bin with some fish toys in the bathtub
  • Have them draw on the driveway with chalk, then use the hose to rinse it off. Bonus points if you let them spray some dirt to play in the mud with some trucks.

Keeping the kids busy and happy in the summer doesn’t have to be hard or complicated! Hopefully these ideas can get you started.

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