Taking a dip in the pool can be a great way to keep cool as temperatures rise. And to help enhance your pool activities this summer, you might want to stock up on toys, floats, games and other fun accessories. There are plenty of pool toy options that the whole family can enjoy, ranging from large inflatable balls and basketball hoops to water guns and pool noodles. To help you sort through the many options out there, we’ve compiled some highly rated pool toys for kids and families to help escape the summer heat.
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Top-rated pool toys for kids and adults in 2022
If you’re ready to ramp up your pool activities this summer, we sifted through some highly rated pool toys that the whole family can enjoy and compiled a few options we think are worth considering.
With this inflatable hoop, family and friends can show off their basketball skills without ever leaving the pool. The hoop sits at 40 inches tall when fully inflated and contains large bore valves that allow you to inflate and deflate it quickly, the brand says. It comes with an inflatable basketball that has a textured finish to maintain a better grip even when the ball is wet, according to the brand. This toy has a 4.2-star average rating from more than 1,800 reviews on Amazon.
This 6-pack of water-shooters can be used by the whole family — you simply pull back the handle to load the cannon with water, aim at your target and push the handle forward to blast a stream of water (don’t worry, it’s all in good fun). At just a little over 14 ounces for the whole set, these polyethylene foam water blasters are lightweight enough for easy portability, the brand says. The toy, which has a 4.6-star average rating from more than 7,000 Amazon reviews, is recommended for kids ages six and up.
An inflatable twist to a classic outdoor lawn game, this cornhole set comes with a cornhole board and eight floating bean bags made from durable PVC fabric and filled with water-resistant plastic pellets. It also comes with a mesh carry bag to keep your bean bags in one place when stored. The set has a 4.1-star average rating from more than 700 reviews on Amazon.
Recommended by the brand for ages six and up, this set of three diving pool balls can be a great option for a fun diving game. The balls — which have a 4.3-star average rating from more than 1,600 reviews on Amazon — quickly sink to the bottom of the pool and the colorful neoprene streamers attached to the balls are easily visible underwater, the brand says.
A classic toy for the pool or beach, these rainbow-colored inflatable balls can be used for a casual game of catch or a volleyball match. According to the brand, the balls are designed for long-term use and have durable and well-sewn seams so they don’t fall apart. The balls can be blown up with a hand pump or, if you don’t have one, you can just blow them up by mouth, the brand says. This 3-pack has a 4.3-star average from more than 3,400 reviews on Amazon.
For kids and families who prefer to casually float and lounge around, this inflatable tube might be the ideal pool accessory. According to the brand, the vinyl tube measures 36 inches in diameter and is recommended for ages nine and up. It’s offered in a pack of two or four and has a 4.4-star average rating from over 2,300 reviews on Amazon.
For Disney fans, this “Finding Dory”-themed diving game includes one Mr. Ray net and five characters that each float at different depths. This can be a good option for keeping kids engaged while also practicing their diving skills and building their confidence to go underwater, the brand says. This family-friendly game has a 4.7-star average rating from over 4,600 reviews on Amazon.
For a more active pool day, these rings can be swum through underwater in a makeshift obstacle course. Each hoop is 31 inches in diameter and has adjustable air chambers that the brand says allow you to choose how deep it should go. They’re also collapsible, which can make them easy to store and take on most trips. The Swim Thru Rings have a 4.5-star average rating from over 4,700 reviews on Amazon.
This water-resistant remote-controlled car can drive smoothly on land and in water, the brand says. The car features a 200-foot remote control distance and can reach a maximum speed of 7.5 mph, according to the brand. This toy has a 4.4-star average rating from more than 2,200 reviews on Amazon.
The Intex Wave Rider features a wide base and a durable grab handle for stability, according to the brand. Intex says the float has an 88-pound limit and recommends it for kids ages three and older. It has a 4.5-star average rating from more than 2,500 reviews on Amazon.
This stingray-shaped glider can propel forward underwater up to 60 feet, according to the brand. Recommended for ages 5 and up, this glider measures 8 inches in length and approximately 10 inches wide, and you can adjust both wings on the sides to customize the flight patterns so it’ll glide straight or at an angle. It has a 4.2-star average rating from over 3,800 reviews on Amazon.
This 8-piece set, which boasts a 4.7-star average rating from more than 1,700 reviews on Amazon, can help young kids develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination, according to the brand. It features two shark nets, an easy-grip handle and six colorful fish that kids can try to capture. The brand recommends this game for kids ages six and up.
With a 4.2-star average rating from over 12,600 Amazon reviews, this highly rated floating volleyball set can be a fun option for pool parties and multi-player games. The inflatable net is approximately 8 feet long and about 3 feet high and comes with an inflatable volleyball to complete the game. It also includes a repair patch for any unexpected punctures and two anchor bags that you can fill with rocks or other heavy materials to keep the net in place, according to the brand.
Complete with a 3D T-Rex head and tail, this inflatable dinosaur float can be an exciting addition to your pool toy collection. The float — which has a 4.5-star average rating from over 2,300 reviews on Amazon — is lightweight at just over 5 pounds and equips handles at the side of the neck to keep yourself upright.
Another floating game to try is this ring toss, which comes with a lightweight foam base and four durable, vinyl-coated rings — two blue and two green. The vinyl coating also makes the rings easy to disinfect, according to the brand. The toy has a 4.2-star average rating from more than 100 reviews on Amazon.
Pool toy safety tips
While different types of pool toys can enhance your summer swimming sessions, you should always consider appropriate safety precautions, especially when children are involved. Floats, inflatable toys and even pool noodles “aren’t intended to help prevent children from drowning,” said Emily Samuel, program director for Safe Kids Worldwide. She recommended that parents and caregivers assign a Water Watcher to “keep an eye on kids in the pool – especially weak or non-swimmers – and ensure young kids stay within arm’s reach of an adult.”
In addition to supervising kids and reading the manufacturer instructions before using a toy, you should consider a few more pool toy safety tips.
- Inspect toys before using them: Make sure there aren’t any signs of wear and tear like holes and cracks, which can cause the toy to sink, according to the Hubbard Family Swim School. You may also want to check for bugs, especially if the toy has been stored away for a while.
- Clean toys: Disinfecting your pool toys can be an efficient way to ensure germs and bacteria don’t spread. According to Pool Store Inc., you should combine about a gallon of water with 16 ounces of bleach and scrub the toy with a brush while wearing gloves and protective eyewear.
- Securely store toys after use: Not only does storing toys properly help them from getting damaged due to weather and sun exposure, but it can also prevent a drowning risk if a child decides to play with it in the moment.