water toys
Bring poolside fun home with our pickings of the best outdoor water toys. Image Credit: Unsplash/Steward Masweneng

Beat the heat! Summer break is nearly here and it’s the perfect excuse to transform your backyard into a waterpark for the kids. While it may be tempting to lounge in air-conditioned indoors, children should ideally engage in fun outdoor activities under the sun. Playtime in warm temperatures can take place anywhere – at the beach, in the park or in the yard.

To keep the boredom at bay, we came up with a list of versatile toys suitable for water play, from water blasters to sprinkler pads. Take this opportunity to explore more toys on sale, some up to 40 per cent off on Amazon. If you liked our selection, check out our list of the best trending toys of 2022.

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1. Best Overall: Bestway Pool Splash 'N Shade

Let the children make a splash with their very own kiddie pool party. Our choice is the Bestway pool splash ‘n’ shade, available for nearly half its original price. Thanks to this deal, you can snag a 1,688-litre pool fitted with a sunshade that has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 40+. The shade comes with a water sprinkler for more fun under the sun. If you’re worried about the durability, the walls of the pool are constructed in three layers – a polyester core sandwiched between heavy-duty PVC fabrics – making it puncture-resistant, while the frame is made of corrosion-resistant steel.

Suitable for: Ages 3 and up

2. Best Value Water Slide: Giant Double Lawn Water Slide

Add a two-lane water slide to your makeshift waterpark. The children can sprint to the finish line in cool water on particularly hot days. Made of thick PVC, the slide sheet measures 16 feet in length and rolls up easily when not in use. All you have to do is connect the water hose to the inlet and let the nozzles on the edges drench the surface sufficiently. Your order comes with inflatable crash pads that the kids can run and slide on to prevent friction burns.

Suitable for: Ages 5 to 12

3. Best Water Blaster: LUVONI Water Gun (2-Pack)

There’s nothing like a water squabble to get the kids up and running, while simultaneously keeping them cool in the summertime. Luvoni's squirt guns up the competition with stream jets that shoot up to 40 feet and an instant dunk-and-refill technology to put you back into the tag game in seconds. In this pack of two, each blaster has a water tank capacity of 1,400ml. This is a great carry-along for beach days or family picnics.

Suitable for: Ages 5 and up

4. Best Activity Pool: INTEX Rainbow Ring Play Center, Multicolour

Consider another kiddie pool, but with added features to keep the little ones busy and engaged. Intex’s Rainbow Ring Play Centre is a mini waterpark in itself – it comes with six balls, four inflatable rings, a sprinkler, a water slide and two pools. The children can challenge each other to a game of ring and ball toss or splash around in either the 175-litre wading or 206-litre main pool. Though it looks deceptively compact, reviewers say the pool is surprisingly big, enough to accommodate four children.

Suitable for: Ages 2 and up

5. Best Splash Pad: VISTOP Non-Slip Splash Pad

Here’s a space-saving solution, if a pool is not feasible – invest in a non-slip splash pad with sprinklers. The toy comes in three different sizes, from 67 to 87 inches across, so you can pick whichever splash pad will best fit your small garden. It has plenty of room for your pet dog or cat to join in on the fun on the 0.55mm thick PVC material with anti-skid lines. Do make sure, however, that furry friends have their claws trimmed.

Suitable for: Ages 3 and up

6. Best Game: Hasbro Twister Splash Water Game

Spread out a mat of multicolour dots with sprinklers and try to get as many combinations as possible. Everyone knows a bit about the classic game of Twister, but not many will recognise this summertime version. Each colour dot on the splash mat shoots out water when pressed, distracting you and your opponents in the best way possible. To get started, you will need a garden hose and a couple of competitive players.

Suitable for: Ages 6 and up

7. Best Family Pool: Bestway Pool Steelpro Safari 305X66cm

Snag Bestway's discounted pool for nonstop fun for the whole family. This simple, no-fuss pool setup is framed with corrosion-resistant steel and supports a three-ply liner that doesn't puncture easily. You and your kids will be swimming safely at a depth of 59cm in 4,062 litres of water - the pool size is roomy enough to fit at least 10 children, according to reviews. The young ones will also love the colourful safari illustration on the walls. During the off-season, it can be taken down in minutes and stored inside the box it came in.

8. Best Float: Intex Mega Swan Island White Inflatable Swimming Pool Float

What's some pool fun without a float? Let the older kids lounge on Intex's swan island with two heavy-duty handles for grip. The long neck of the float works great for support as well, and many reviewers are impressed with how sturdy the inflatable is, withstanding jumping and rough play. It has double valves for inflating and deflating quickly and measures 76 inches across, making it comfortable for two adult riders.

Suitable for: Ages 14 and up

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.