Updated on April 14, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
Summer is right around the corner, and with it the promise of sun-drenched days that include lots of pool time. Getting a suitable pool toy for your kids can be the difference between tears and smiles. Now is the time to start looking around and see what’s out there to ensure your kiddos are happy with their water time. There are many choices out there, so take a look at what products we recommend. Remember, these floats are not safety devices and should ALWAYS be used with close parental supervision.
Here are some of our favorite pool toys that will help make this process a whole lot easier. After all, summer should be fun and stress-free for parents too!
Best Toddler Pool Floats for Girls & Boys
(Best for traveling — $$)
Why it’s great: The SwimWay’s float has a broad base which is great when your child is first learning to get comfortable in the water. The design also allows for paddling with the arms, which is critical for understanding those all-important arm motions needed to swim. This pool float has fabric-covered inflation rings for added durability and comfort. It also has soft mesh for leg cutouts which really helps your toddler feel more comfortable. This float is also terrific because it quickly springs shut and fits into a carrying case. This float is recommended for ages 2-4 years.
Keep in mind: This model does not come with a sun canopy.
Good for: Families on the go!
(Best for older kids who ikle variety — $)
Why it’s great: This 3-pack of inflatable pool toys is great for ages 3-6 years old. They inflate easily and provide loads of fun for older toddlers who like lots of choices. The low price point is also a plus.
Keep in mind: Without care, these floats are more susceptible to wear and tear.
Good for: Kids who love animals AND the pool. 😉
(Best for kids that love fun sounds as they float — $$)
Why it’s great: This incredible pool float comes with a removable sun canopy to help keep those harmful rays off a baby’s delicate skin. With 3 colors and 3 sizes available, you can get the exact right size and color for your new pool lover. Using baby safety PVC material that has passed CPC standards, this float is 100% safe and non-toxic for your child. There is a double-layered air chamber, shoulder straps, and abdomen support for your child’s comfort. As an added bonus, tiny bells are located underneath to provide lots of ‘jingles’ as your toddler travels in the water. Included: 1 manual pump and 2 free pool toys to add to the fun. Made for ages 3 months to 3 years.
Keep in mind: Don’t overinflate or toy may pop.
Good for: Young toddlers who want to feel like a big kid in the pool.
(Best for toddlers hwo love to play pilot — $$)
Why it’s great: This fun pool float comes with a horn to announce your child’s arrival! With smooth leg holes and wings to keep balance on both sides, this float will be a big hit in the pool or beach. Suitable for ages 1-4 years with a max weight of 50lbs.
Keep in mind: The leg holes are on the smaller side.
Good for: A tiny toddler who has a big imagination.
(Best for older toddlers — $$)
Why it’s great: Well, it’s a unicorn! Beyond that, this float is made of non-smelling durable PVC material with extra thickness for kid’s delicate skin. Its rollover prevention design with 2 airbags on either side highly improves the balance, keeping your toddler more stable. Also, the water seat is inflatable, making the seat cushion extra cozy and helps prevent skin damage while playing and moving around the pool. BONUS: This float comes with a safety string to avoid far floating beyond parent’s sight. Best for ages 1-6 years.
Keep in mind: This toy will need to be inflated.
Good for: Toddlers who like to make an entrance.
(Best for families that like options — $)
Why it’s great: This fun float comes with a sun canopy that attaches and detaches easily. This is an excellent feature if your little one likes a little night swimming. This float also has two inflatable rings and a leak-proof air valve to improve safety. With a thick and inflatable seat cushion, this float is great for the little one that wants to be part of the action. Best for ages 6-48 months.
Keep in mind: Be careful not to overinflate.
Good for: A wide age range from baby to 4-years-old.
(Best for kids who love imaginative play on the water — $$)
Why it’s great: It had us at squirt gun. This fun pool float has smooth leg holes and lots of room in the seat to keep your child comfortable. Made of non-toxic, environmentally friendly PVC materials, this float will provide loads of fun in the water. Plus, it has a repair patch included, just in case.
Keep in mind: It’s best to blow this up with a foot or electric pump.
Good for: Kids who like a little extra with their pool float.
FAQ’s about Floats
1. Are swim floats safe for babies?
Most floats are suitable for children 6 months old and older. Although some floats require children to be at least twelve months old. Always check the age requirements when purchasing a pool float. Remember also that pool floats ARE NOT life-saving devices. Never leave your child unattended in a pool.
2. What kind of float is best for my child?
The best kind of float for your child is the float that helps make your child feel comfortable and safe. This varies depending on your child’s tastes and comfort level in the water. Any float that gets your child excited to enjoy the pool is the correct float for them. Of course, make sure the age and weight requirements match up as well.
3. How long can I expect my float to last?
Generally speaking, pool floats last for one or two seasons. If a child really enjoys the float and uses it frequently, you can expect one season. If the float gets used less use, then you can probably stretch that to two years.
4. Does my child need to know how to swim to use a toy float?
No. Your child doesn’t need to know how to swim. Please keep in mind, though, that floats are toys and not intended to be life-saving devices. You should always be within arm’s reach of your child. That being said, floats can be a great way to get your baby or toddler comfortable in the water before they learn to swim.
5. Is it ok to leave pool floats in the pool overnight?
Don’t leave your pool float in your pool overnight. The chemicals in the pool can cause the vinyl and plastic to break down over time. That means less time with your favorite toy in the long run.
6. What is the #1 rule regarding toy floats?
Always, always, always keep your child within reach. Toy floats are fun, but are not meant to keep your child safe. It’s essential to stay focused and aware when your child is in a pool.
Nothing says summer quite like pool time! What better way for your baby or toddler to enjoy the water than with a fun toy float. With so many to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the choices.
First, take into account what your child likes. Does he/she enjoy just floating around without a care in the world, or do they like to mix it up with the older kids? Is a sunshade vital to you? How much are you willing to spend? The answers to these questions should point you in the right direction.
Second, make sure to ask friends and family for their recommendations. Nothing beats an honest testimonial from someone you trust.
And finally, make sure your child is ready to join you in the pool. It takes some kids longer than others to gain confidence in the water. Be patient. Before you know it they will be splashing (and swimming!) along with the rest of the family.