Introducing your toddler to the water in a safe and engaging manner is an essential life skill. Creating a safe and fun pool environment for your little one can help him or her feel more comfortable in and around the water. Used with adult supervision, this selection of toddler pool toys is not only a blast to play with, but can also help your toddler develop the strength and hand-eye coordination needed to swim. From a floating basketball hoop to a swimming support raft, these toddler pool toys provide a wide range of sensory activities that are sure to be a huge hit for the entire family.
The Best Toddler Pool Toys
1. Foam Water Squirters for Toddlers
(Best for the whole family — $)
Why it’s great: With four squirters included, the Foam Water Squirters for Toddlers can be enjoyed by multiple family members without having to take turns. This toddler pool toy is made of foam and plastic and is one of the safest and lightest toys that can be easily maneuvered by little hands. Simply pulling the handle fills the squirter up with water, allowing this pool toy to be used in or out of the pool. At only 14” long, it’s easy to bring these toys with you to the beach, pool, or lake.
Keep in mind: The attached heads on the squirter can pop off if pulled on too roughly.
Good for: Parents looking for a pool water toy that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
2. Big Summer Inflatable Fire Boat Pool Float
(Best ride-on toy — $$)
Why it’s great: Made from heavy-duty, high-quality vinyl that is nontoxic and BPA-free, the Big Summer Inflatable Fire Boat Pool Float is a sturdy and exciting ride-on toy for little ones. The squirter in the front draws water from the pool below it allowing for an endless water supply. Designed 40% thicker than comparable products, this inflatable toy is resistant to punctures and leaks. This toddler toy is sure to spark your little one’s imagination while in the pool.
Keep in mind: The valve to inflate the fireboat float is on the smaller side and may be difficult to inflate with air with a standard-sized air pump.
Good for: Toddlers who want a pool toy that keeps them out of the water.
3. Intex Floating Hoops Basketball Game
(Best budget option — $)
Why it’s great: Made from durable 10-gauge vinyl, this toddler pool toy caters to the littlest sports lovers. The inflatable ball and patch kit of the Intex Floating Hoops Basketball Game will provide hours of fun for the whole family without you having to break the bank. The wide base is stable on top of the water and the low height makes this toy accessible for even the smallest swimmers.
Keep in mind: The ball is small and lightweight and can easily be carried by the wind. Any small ball can be used with this floating basketball hoop.
Good for: Parents looking for a toddler pool toy while on a budget.
4. Underwater Swimming Pool Diving Rings and Sticks
(Best for underwater practice — $)
Why it’s great: Including a variety of dive sticks and dive rings, the Underwater Swimming Pool Diving Rings and Sticks are a motivating and engaging toy to help your little one build confidence by putting his or her head underwater. The safe, non-toxic plastic can withstand years of use while not fading or damaging. The diving sticks and rings are designed to stand upright, making the game accessible for early swimmers.
Keep in mind: The rings and stick sink best if the weight is firmly attached to the toy.
Good for: Toddlers working on putting their head underwater.
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5. Pool Boat Set
(Best for sensory play — $)
Why it’s great: Including a sailboat, fireboat, and speed boat, this boat enhances your child’s sensory play in the water. The FUN LITTLE TOYS Pool Boat Set is made with durable and thick food-grade ABS plastic, providing a safe and fun experience for little ones. Whether you’re swimming in a pool, lake, or even a bathtub these water toys are sure to spark your toddler’s imagination.
Keep in mind: The boats will turn onto their sides or sink if the top portion is filled with water.
Good for: Parents looking for toddler pool toys that encourage sensory play.
6. Splash and Play Inflatable Pool Float Swim Trainer
(Best for learning to swim — $)
Why it’s great: The Free Swimming Baby Splash and Play Inflatable Pool Float Swim Trainer allows your little one to float comfortably and safely in the pool. The soft, sponge-like front protects the chest while bottom support includes a safety buckle. The wide sides keep your toddler upright in addition to a set of shoulder straps keeping your child in place. You can easily inflate and deflate the swim trainer to take with you to the pool while at home or traveling.
Keep in mind: This swim trainer is not intended to be used as a life-saving device.
Good for: Toddlers getting comfortable in the water and could use extra support in the water while learning how to swim.
7. Magnetic Fishing Game for Kids
(Best for hand-eye coordination — $)
Why it’s great: Including various sizes of colorful sea creatures, this magnetic fishing set can help your toddler develop their hand-eye coordination as they work to hook the sea animals on their fishing pole. The CozyBomB Magnetic Fishing Game for Kids can help support color recognition as well as math skills. The waterproof design keeps the sea animals floating in the water while the durable fishing pole made from PVC plastic can withstand rough play.
Keep in mind: Due to the small part, this toddler pool toy is not for children still putting items in their mouths.
Good for: Toddlers developing their hand-eye coordination.
FAQs about Toddler Pool Toys
1. What should I look for in a toddler pool toy?
When looking for a toddler pool toy, select a toy that does not pose any risks for little ones, such as small parts that could be choking hazards if your child is still mouthing items. Choose toys that are designed to be used in and around water and don’t have any small, closed spaces that may grow mold if left wet.
2. How can I ensure my toddler is safe with his pool toys?
Toddler pool toys are designed for a fun and engaging experience while swimming in a pool under careful adult supervision. Toddler pool toys are not to be used as life-saving equipment and should not be viewed as a rescue device. Be sure the pool in use is up to code and an adult is always carefully supervising all activities in and around a pool.
3. Which toddler pool toy is best for my child?
Choose a pool toy that reflects your little one’s interests. If your child is still cautious entering water, opt for a water squirter or fishing set where they can safely play on the edge of the pool or on dry land. If your tot loves to swim, a floating raft might be the most fun for your toddler. Inflatable hoops are perfect for the sports-loving toddler while a ride-on fire truck is a blast for truck enthusiasts.
4. Can toddler pool toys help my toddler learn how to swim?
Toddler pools toys are not to be used in place of swimming lessons by a certified instructor. However, pool toys can help little ones feel more comfortable in the water and encourage them to get their heads wet. Floating devices can help them get used to being submerged in water while diving sticks can help motivate them to put their heads underwater.
5. How do I care for toddler pool toys?
Make sure your toddler’s pool toys are designed to be in and around water for long periods of time. When done playing, try to remove as much water as you can from your toddler pool toy to extend its life. Do not leave pool toys in the pool or laying around the pool deck as it may tempt a little one to play by the water when no one is supervising, posing a safety risk.
Designed with your toddler in mind, these pool toys are created to be fun and engaging for little hands and minds. Used under careful adult supervision, these toddler pool toys can help encourage your child to feel comfortable in the water while also building on the skills necessary to swim, such as developing strength and increasing hand-eye coordination. Whether you’re looking for an entertaining ride-on toy, or a collection of items to encourage underwater swimming, this selection of toddler pool toys has all you need and more for a safe and fun pool experience with little ones.