Swimming is fun until you’ve cannonballed until you can’t cannonball anymore and you need more stimulation. This is where the pool toys come in. And we’re not only talking about pool floats (though they are pretty cool).
If you’re having difficulty finding some good-quality toys for your pool this summer, we’ve got your back. We spent our spring rounding up all the best pool toys for kids. These toys are unique, fun, safe, and durable.
Check out our top picks to help your kids fill their swim time with fun instead of fighting — so you can relax and enjoy those sunny days by the pool.
- Less than 20 seconds to assemble
- All-in-one package
- Brightly colored
- Can be dribbled underwater
- Easy to fill and play
- Great for swim training practice
- Each character floats at different depths
- 6-piece set
- Includes a repair kit
- Sturdy 10-gauge vinyl
- Comes with a shelf box
- 12 vibrantly colored dive gems
- 100% non-toxic materials
- Very affordable
- 8-piece set
- Easy-grasp handle
- Twist-n-fold design
- Unmatched material fabrication
- Includes portable storage bag
- Durable grab handles
- Comes with a repair patch
- 3 air chambers
- Wide base
- Made of 10-gauge vinyl
- Bold and sleek design
Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, we understand the importance of finding the best pool toys for kids, so we conducted an in-depth analysis and hands-on research to evaluate their performance, safety, and durability. Our experienced team compared various products using a set of criteria, including design, material quality, and user satisfaction. We assessed key decision-making factors such as age-appropriateness, educational value, and fun factor, ranking each toy based on their scores. Our data-driven evaluation provides evidence for our recommendations, highlighting what sets our top picks apart from competitors. Trust our expertise and quantitative measurements to help you make informed decisions when selecting the ideal pool toys for your children.
The Best Kids Pool Toys of 2023
Here are our favorite pool toys for kids.
Bulzi Bucket Beach & Pool Toy
A Versatile Game
Kids can play this game in pools and on land, making it versatile and providing maximum fun. It’s very similar to cornhole. You toss the balls at your bucket to get a certain amount of points, depending on which bucket it lands in.
It’s easy to break down for storage and has a convenient carrying case to hold everything in. This game is great for groups but would be the most fun for children ages 6 and up.
Heytech 25-Pack Dive Toys
For the Seasoned Swimmer
This is a great option if you’re looking for a standard set of diving toys. It comes with 25 pieces, including torpedoes, dive rings, and water batons.
The toys are made of soft, flexible material and are recommended for children ages 4 and above. For those who aren’t confident swimmers, this set also includes foam guns for use in the pool or on land.
Watermelon Ball Swimming Pool Game
Best Pool Ball
This unique pool toy combines aspects of football, basketball, and rugby for water play. Kids can dribble the ball under the water like a basketball, and players score points by taking it to their side of the pool.
It’s made of durable material to help withstand intense play, which makes it great if you’re looking for something that will last. This pool toy is recommended for children aged 8 and over and also comes in a “junior” option for younger children.
SwimWays Mr. Ray's Dive and Catch Game
Perfect for Beginner Swimmers
If you’ve got a little Disney lover, this “Finding Nemo” catch game is a great pool toy to have in your arsenal.
This game comes with a net in the shape of Mr. Ray and five other “Finding Nemo” characters for your child to find and catch. Some of the characters float while others sink, so this pool toy is good for children learning how to dive and swim. Recommended for ages 5 and above.
Intex Pool Volleyball
Best Pool Toy for Pool Parties
If you’re planning on hosting pool parties this summer, this blow-up volleyball game could provide a great deal of fun for the crowd. The net is grommeted, so you can anchor it down to keep it more stable.
It also comes with a repair kit and a box you can store it in when not in use. This pool toy is recommended for ages 6 and above.
Boley Sinking Gems Dive Toy
Great for Treasure Hunters
These sinking gems could be a great addition to your pool toy collection. This set comes with 12 gems in several bright colors. They are entirely non-toxic and child-friendly.
They are recommended for children ages 3 and above. While most 3-year-olds won’t be diving to the bottom of a pool, they can use them in a bathtub, on land, and later on in the pool when they’re ready for a challenge.
Melissa & Doug Spark Shark Fish Hunt
Best Pool Game for Kindergartners
If your children love to race each other, this is a great way to put a new spin on the classic swimming relay. It comes with two handheld shark nets and six sinking fish for you to catch.
This is generally a two-player game, but it comes with ideas to play with up to seven players. It is recommended for ages 6 and above.
COOP Hydro Spring Hoops
For the Aquatic Lebron
Let your children channel their inner Lebron or Curry with this floating hoop and ball. The game floats on the water as you and your kids try to score points by throwing the fabric-covered ball through the net.
This set is easy to set up and take down and includes a storage bag for easy cleanup. Suitable for children ages 5 and up.
Intex Inflat-a-Bull Novelty Float
Most Unique Pool Toy for Kids
On the larger side of things, this rodeo toy is sure to bring hoots and hollers when the family gathers around. One individual sits on the bull while the others pull it from side to side. The goal is to stay on top, much like in the rodeo.
This pool toy is best for kids ages 9 and above. We like the unique spin this option takes, and we have a feeling the adults will want to join in, too.
Intex Wave Rider Ride-On
Best Ride-On Pool Toy
This pool toy is made to look like a jet ski and is the perfect size for older toddlers and preschoolers. It has a broad base to make it more stable in the water and provides good balance for your child.
This pool float is recommended for children ages 3 and above. Although the base is wide, your child should still have close supervision riding it, especially if they aren’t a confident swimmer yet. The durable handle up top should provide some support as well.
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Kickboards
Best Pool Toy for Learning to Swim
These kickboards are a great investment if your child is a new swimmer. They’re buoyant and provide your child with balance and stability as they learn to move their arms and legs in the water.
Not only will this toy make your child a more confident swimmer, but it will also encourage the use of their gross motor skills. Melissa & Doug products are known for being durable, and these kickboards are no exception. They hold up to rough play and plenty of swimming practice.
This set comes with two kickboards: a dolphin and a shark. These pool toys are suitable for ages 4 and up.
Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float
Best Pool Float for Girls
Unicorns are all the rage right now, and this giant unicorn is recommended for children as young as 3 years old and up. It also comes in a larger size for bigger pools and older kids.
While this is a bigger float toy, it’s easy to inflate and deflate thanks to its rapid-valve system. No passing out from blowing too hard or too fast.
Intex Great White Shark Ride-On
Best Pool Float for Boys
This inflatable shark ride-on toy is designed with heavy-duty grab handles for your child to hold onto, keeping them afloat — we hope.
This pool toy measures 68 inches long and 42 inches at its widest and comes with a repair patch for small punctures. It’s suitable for children ages 3 and up.
COOP Hydro Lacrosse Game Set
Great for Physical Activity
This is an excellent toy for families with a wide age range because its design makes it easy to use for everyone. The set comes with two sticks and a ball, and the colors may vary. Scoop, catch and throw your way through the summer.
Suitable for children ages 8 and up, this toy can be used in the pool and on land, making it a versatile option.
SwimWays Gobble Gobble Guppies
Best Game for Toddlers
If you’re struggling to find good pool toys for your toddler, this fishing game may be your saving grace. It’s recommended for children from 2 years old and helps teach counting and color recognition.
Your toddler will use the trigger on the whale’s belly to open and close its mouth to gobble up the four numbered guppies. The guppies float, which makes it easier for little hands to figure out.
Joyin Water Blasters
Best for Water Combat
If you’re a gaming family and you like a little play combat, these water guns could be a fantastic option. This set comes with two easy-to-pump water guns that can hold up to 25 ounces of water and shoot up to 36 feet.
They’re made from durable, non-toxic plastic and come with a 90-day money-back guarantee. These water blasters are recommended for children ages 6 and over.
Halovin 12 Pack Inflatable Drink Holders
Best Refreshment Floats
This multi-functional drink holder can be used in the pool and on land. This set includes 12 drink floaties your child or even you can enjoy.
This can serve as a pool toy or a beverage holder capable of carrying up to 15 ounces of beverage. However, if you don’t want spills in the pool, we recommend using sippy cups for younger children.
We’ve even used these handy tools to hold baby bottles so our little ones can top up their tank while enjoying a little swim time.
Wave Runner Soft Foam Water Ball
Best Multi-Use Pool Toy
Measuring 3.5 inches in diameter, this brightly colored water-skipping ball can be skipped, bounced, and more because of the unique HyperBounce technology. It makes for hours of pool fun.
The mega ball is recommended for children ages 6 and above, but since it’s very soft and made from non-toxic materials, younger children could also use it with adult supervision.
SwimWays Baby Spring Pool Float
Best Pool Float for Babies
Babies need fun pool toys too, and with this pool float, your baby sits inside by inserting their legs into the provided holes so they can float leisurely. The great thing about this float is that it also has a canopy to protect your baby from the hot sun. Furthermore, it includes an interactive play station with six toys.
No need to worry about storage and transportation. You can fold this pool float easily, and it also comes with a carrying case for convenience. Choose from an octopus or lobster design.
This pool float is recommended for ages 9 months to 2 years.
Intex Stingray Ride-On Baby Float
Best Pool Float for Toddlers
If the sea calls to your baby as it does to Moana, this stingray float is a must-have. It comes in a dark blue stingray design and includes a durable handlebar. It’s also equipped with two air chambers for added safety.
The only downside to this is that it doesn’t have a sunshade. This float is suitable for kids 3 years old and can safely hold up to 88 pounds.
SwimSchool Rainbow Baby Boat
Great for Pool Introduction
This pool float comes with a 3-ply safety seat and measures at an optimal length for stability. The seat will keep your baby comfortable as it keeps them upright while they play.
It has an adorable cloud design and a rainbow-shaped canopy for babies aged 6 to 18 months, ensuring your baby is adequately covered. To give you plenty of options, there are four designs to choose from.
Inflatable Emoji Beach Balls
Best Beach Balls for the Pool
If your child is into emojis, these beach balls are an affordable pool toy to add to your collection.
This set comes with 12 themed beach balls, so you won’t have to worry if one gets a hole. The beach balls each have one of three common emoji face designs, so you can play according to your mood.
These balls are super compact and easy to blow up.
Joyin Giant Inflatable Pizza Float
Best Pool Float for Teens
This pizza float is made of super-durable raft material and can hold up to 300 pounds, clearly made for more than one to hop on board!
It’s both UV- and fade-resistant and comes with directions to ensure the valve is correctly sealed to prevent air leakage. It is appropriate for children ages 8 and above.
There’s no question that swimming is one of the most popular summer activities among children. Nothing feels better than being able to cool off in the water and have fun while you do it. But as fun as swimming is, safety should always be the number one priority.
There are several precautions you can take to ensure your kids stay safe in the pool (1):
- Never leave a child unattended.
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Use lifejackets on beginner swimmers.
- Set family rules about water safety.
- Don’t consume alcohol when supervising swimmers.
When shopping for pool toys, be aware of any safety information provided, and follow any guidelines established by the company. Using too many pool toys at once can pose a threat if a child starts to panic and can’t clearly see their way around the objects.
Types of Pool Toys for Kids
When we think of pool toys, we often think of the generic pool “noodle” or a themed float toy. While those are great pool toys, there are many others to consider, especially for kids who are more active in the water.
There are many sports games, like volleyball and basketball, that are specially adapted for water play. These make a great addition to your pool toy arsenal, especially if you like to host pool parties for a group of children.
These pool toys are made to last and are great for a wide range of ages, making them the perfect addition for families with multiple little ones.
Diving toys are another option if your kids enjoy being underwater and are competent swimmers. These usually come in the form of rings, batons, or other weighted shapes. Once they sink, your kids can dive to the bottom and retrieve them.
A classic option, pool floats have evolved immensely. What used to be generic blow-up circles has evolved into giant floats in the shape of flamingos and other animals. You can even buy floats that look like your favorite foods.
These are great when you need a quick break from all that swimming and diving. They come in designs for any age, so you should easily be able to find suitable options for all your kids.
While these toys are meant to keep kids afloat, remember that any child who isn’t a confident swimmer should still wear a proper safety vest. Children should also be supervised at all times while swimming (2).