We can feel you, it’s a long summer. And besides cool new hobbies and educational toys, every kid needs an excuse to play in the pipe. Or games for the pool. Or both. So here are the funniest cooling sprayers, floats and groundwater on the market today. Because at the end of the day, don’t you want to be remembered as the cool mom with the dinosaur squirting seven feet across her lawn? Pro tip: Since many toys are inflatable, save your lungs and get an air pump.
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There’s room for three people on this 13ft inflatable mega-yacht with bungee cords to secure your water toys.
$ 211 at Amazon
This 20 inch ball is filled with glitter because kids will appreciate something shiny in the sun.
Buy it ($ 30; $ 20)
We have a few sets of these to have on hand when the children’s friends come, so they can leave with a little keepsake … as long as they’re ready to dive for the gems.
Buy it ($ 30)
Playing hide and seek in the sand is fun with gems, coins, and something called a dinglehopper (aka pitchfork).
Buy it ($ 20)
You toss these weighted eggs into the pool and when the divers collect them, they open to reveal tiny turtles.
Buy it ($ 7)
Windy? Do not be afraid. This sprinkler has small pockets for sand to provide stability while spraying refreshing water on your kids.
Buy it ($ 68)
Be that neighborhood mom who sets up an inflatable dinosaur over six feet tall that spits water. It’s practically community service …
Buy it ($ 57)
This castle comes with its own blower, so it’s quick and easy to inflate, and it has a hose that creates a slide for splashing in a kiddie pool. (Bonus: It’s even a fun bounce and slide experience when you don’t have water flowing.)
$ 330 at Amazon
Three 30-inch foldable rings float underwater and turn your pool into a fun obstacle course.
Buy it ($ 24)
It holds a lot of water (900 cc) and has a powerful jet that shoots up to 35 feet. So by all means be careful when crossing the yard. (We’re buying a set for tweens to work out their disagreements with each other, i.e. a five-step water duel.)
$ 29 on Amazon
Little ones don’t need a pool to have fun in a boat: this inflatable ship is made for playing on dry land, with a built-in sprinkler up front.
Buy it ($ 103; $ 90)
The squirter has a line that directly feeds the pool so that it never runs out of water. (We are buying two to allow tweens to work out their disagreements with each other, i.e. a 5-step water duel.)
$ 24 on Amazon
They’re hoops with something extra: the hole your ball comes out of determines how many points you get for your shot. Since the water will swirl the hoop around, players will be surprised at how much luck kicks in.
$ 33 on Amazon
The rotating windmill feature really brings in the splash, which, let’s be honest, is what groundwater is all about.
Buy it ($ 158; $ 71)
Suitable for strong swimmers of grade school age and up, this four-piece set allows players to balance themselves on two inflatable logs, while toppling over with even more inflatable logs. So if you’ve always wanted to be a suburban lumberjack in a PVC jungle, you’re in luck.
Buy it ($ 58)
Place these two waterslides next to each other and with over 19 feet of trail you can really enjoy a heated water sport.
Buy it ($ 74)
With four miniature soccer balls and a small pump to keep them inflated, this game keeps kids moving to the other side of the pool. (As you get older, an added challenge will be treading water while passing the ball.)
Buy it ($ 40)
Those little tendrils on the flower? They twist wild and ticklishly as the jets of water come out, so expect a lot of screaming from the kids.
Buy it ($ 19)
We love that this low-profile inflatable volleyball setup is just the right height to challenge elementary school kids as well as adults.
Buy it ($ 60)
If a paddling pool and a water table had a baby, it would be this aquatic spectacle. It fills with water and has a splash slide, water sprayer, fishing bucket, ring float … and padded floor for added safety.
$ 40 on Amazon
This reusable film camera has a waterproof housing, so you can teach kids that photography existed before the iPhone.
Buy it ($ 24)
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