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Turn your backyard into a fun, stay-at-home waterpark for littles with our ideas for the best outdoor water toys for toddlers.

For my family, the summer of 2020 is most likely going to be the summer of staying home.

We traveled with our baby-turned-toddler a tonne in 2018 and 2019 (she’s been on 20+ flights!), and were definitely hoping to do a lot more in 2020. But we’re also so grateful that the area we live in has very few COVID cases. Despite this, we’re being quite cautious, and are following the advice of the public health department in our area. And that means this summer will involve social distancing visits outside with only very close friends and family. Fewer faces, bigger spaces is the health guideline in our area, and we plan to stick to it.

With that in mind, we’ve been researching different ways to make staying at home really fun for our toddler.

We’ve already gotten a few new ride-on toys for our 1 year old (almost 2!) to accompany her tricycle with push handle. We’ve loaded up with a few climbing toys, including a slide (and a swing!). We’re making tonnes of play dough, are going big with sensory bottles, and have lots of new books. Last night, we even built a playhouse out of a massive cardboard box our lockdown exercise bike was delivered in!

However, we also know from our own childhoods that there’s nothing like a summer spent outside, running through sprinklers, and digging in the garden.

And so we decided to add some outdoor water toys to our backyard!

While there are plenty of outdoors toys for kids that are a bit older, finding water toys for older babies and toddlers is a bit more challenging. You need to make sure it’s safe, age appropriate and engaging – and, of course, fun!

While everyone knows water play is fun, you might be surprised to learn it’s also educational, helping toddlers with their development.

“If I splash Mama, she gets wet!” teaches them cause and effect. And many water toys also help with motor skills, too!

If you’re ready to add some fun outdoor toys for kids to your backyard, keep reading – you’ve come to the right place!

The Best Outdoor Water Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Best Outdoor Water Toys Reviews

Best Inflatable Sprinkler Pad

The super-simple setup of this sprinkler splash pad is something parents will appreciate on a sweltering day, and even the littlest kiddos will enjoy the safe, interactive water play.

This splash pad hooks up to the water hose which inflates the outer ring with water. Once it’s full, the sprinklers will start squirting water out of the ring and fill the inner pad with just enough water to splash and play.

It doesn’t require any inflating or assembly and it comes in three different designs, two of which are educational. You can make up fun water games with your little one based on either the alphabet mat or the world map mat. Even the fun party balloon design could help your kiddo learn colors while playing.

This splash pad is made of completely BPA- and phthalate-free materials and is resistant to mold. It is ideal for kids aged 12 months and up.

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Best Water Table

This water table is the perfect solution for water play without getting too soaked. It features an array of accessories to keep the fun going and to keep your little one learning.

It has two different levels that are connected. The lower consists of a large basin full of water with various accessories and the upper is a smaller tray that, when filled with water, will rain into the lower level, activating fun contraptions like a water maze and interconnected water wheels.

A great way to teach your kiddo cause and effect, the waterfall connections can be changed around and manipulated, altering the results of the water flow.

There is also a flipper to launch toys into the basin and a water wheel attached to one side. It comes with various buckets, scoops and squirt toys and is ideal for kids aged 18 months to eight years.

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Best Sand and Water Table Combination

Functioning as two different play elements in one, this table features both water and sand play for a multi-sensory experience.

The different dimensions of this table make it perfect for many kids to play at once, creating a fun social environment that encourages imaginative play.

It comes with an umbrella to provide a bit of shade and it is removable for convenience. It also has a heavy-duty lid that features stretchy straps for extra security so that you can keep the sand and water clean and free of debris when it’s not being used.

It is about two feet tall and is ideal for kids aged 18 months to five years.

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Best Sprinkler

There’s a lot of power in this deceivingly tiny sprinkler. It shoots streams of water up to eight feet high for the perfect refresher on a hot summer day.

Kids will be drawn to the excitement of running through streams of water for a safe way to get wet and cool down. And this cute sprinkler is in the shape of a little red fire hydrant with a friendly face.

Setup is effortless. Simply screw in your water hose and turn the water on. The sprinkler shoots out water while spinning to keep the kiddos running.

It stands about eight inches tall and is appropriate for all ages.

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Best Aqua Drawing Mat

Spark your little one’s creativity with this mess-free solution to painting and drawing. Once the pens are loaded with water, your kiddos will be able to magically draw and paint all over the mat.

This set comes with six pens and brushes that can be loaded with water, two alphabet stencils, one math stencil, eight tracing shapes and a drawing guide for ideas.

The mat measures 40 x 28 inches, providing room for more than one child at a time. And the kiddos can create over and over again. Once the drawing is done, it will last a few minutes and then magically disappear.

This is a great toy to promote fun learning, creativity and fine motor skills. It is completely non-toxic and can be folded up for easy travel. You can use it indoors or out!

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Best STEM Toy

Perfect for playing at the beach or even at the pool, this funnel features different mechanisms that will teach cause and effect, and it can be used with sand or water.

Your kiddo can pour sand or water in the funnel on the very top and watch it flow through the different levels. It will tip a see-saw, then spin the wheels and finally sift through the bottom.

This toy is a great size for traveling and even features a convenient handle on top. It is brightly colored and made of lightweight plastic. You can also use it in your backyard with a few buckets of water.

It is ideal for kids aged two to five years.

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Best Inflatable Sprinkler Arch

Big enough for a crowd, this colorful sprinkler is perfect for outdoor gatherings, birthday parties and barbeques.

Once inflated with air, it measures 65 inches tall and 95 inches across. The little clouds on each side fill with water to function as anchors, and once they’re full, the rainbow will start to squirt out streams of water that the kiddos can run under and through.

It comes with two inflatable toys, a sun and a flower, for additional fun. And it is both BPA-free and phthalate-free for peace of mind.

It is easy to set up and tear down and is ideal for kids aged three years and up.

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Best Inflatable Pool for Kids

Functioning like a mini water park, this set includes two inflatable wading pools that are connected by a slide and surrounded with fun accessories.

Fill both basins with water and your little ones can splash in the pool, slide down the inflatable slide and play water games with the included water toys. There is a sprinkler right above the slide to keep it wet and slippery and add an extra exciting element.

It also features a ring-toss game with four inflatable rings, a ball roller game and a ball-toss game. Six balls are included.

There is a convenient repair patch included, just in case it springs a leak after hours of play. It measures 117 x 76 x 53 inches and is ideal for kids aged two to seven years.

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Best Giant Sprinkler

This giant inflatable unicorn magically sprays water from its horn for the perfect way to stay cool outside in the sun. Available in a range of animals/creatures.

Standing over six feet tall, the unicorn will not only keep everyone refreshed with its mist-spraying horn but also makes a fun, giant addition to the yard. Your kiddos can run around it and crawl under it for additional gross motor play.

It is incredibly easy to set up. Once it is inflated, simply hook it up to the garden hose. It’s great for toddlers and kids of all ages.

If you don’t love unicorns, it comes in plenty of other shapes and animals!

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Best Trampoline Sprinkler

The only thing more fun than a trampoline is a trampoline with a water feature. This clever idea combines two of the most exciting outdoor activities into one.

This sprinkler system attaches to the trampoline net at two different levels, ensuring that everyone will get a good soaking. It wraps completely around the circumference of the net, leaving only one water-free zone where kiddos can safely get up and down from the trampoline.

Adding the sprinkler will lower the temperature of any trampoline by up to 25 degrees, making it fun to jump on even the most scorching summer days.

It comes with video setup instructions for easy assembly and connects directly into the hose.

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Final Thoughts on the Best Outdoor Water Toys for Toddlers

Once the weather turns warmer, let your little one move their water play out of the bath tub and into the backyard – although feel free to take your bath toys along, too!

I think we’ve rounded up some great choices in this post, and hope you find a few outdoor water toys that will make your backyard even more fun this summer!

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