The Best Pool Toys to Splash the Days Away

Submarines, diving rings, and more toys extend kids' water fun

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Verywell Family / Danie Drankwalter

Pool toys are a great way to make pool time more engaging, especially if your little one is just learning how to swim or is looking to further their swimming skills. The best pool toys are durable, easy to clean, and are safe enough to match your child's swimming level.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick is the Waboba Splash Water Bouncing Ball due to its affordability, durability, and ability to entertain kids of various ages. If you're looking for toys for advanced swimmers, try the Intex Underwater Diving Pool Balls.

From splash balls to squirters to noodles to diving rings, there's a pool toy out there for every child. Finding the perfect one can be difficult since every kid's swimming abilities are different. We considered price, design, durability, and safety when reviewing pool toys.

Based on our research, these are the best pool toys for splish-splashing fun.

Waboba Splash Water Bouncing Ball

Waboba Splash Water Bouncing Ball

Courtesy of Amazon

In terms of affordability, durability, and versatility, this classic pool toy takes the top spot. Available in a single or double pack, this ball can inspire many fun ball games like simple catch, a competition to see who can bounce it the highest, pool lacrosse, and more. It's recommended for ages 6 and up, so it's great for the whole family to use. It's made with the brand's signature gel core, so it's soft, squishy, and safe for kids to throw and bounce around in the pool, ocean, and lakes. However, it's important to note not to try and bounce the ball on hard surfaces as this could tear the outer fabric since they are for water use only.

For cleaning, just simply ring them out and set them out in a well-lit and dry place, and let them dry completely to prevent mold from forming on the inside.

Price at time of publication: $15

Intex Underwater Diving Pool Balls

Intex Underwater Diving Pool Balls

Courtesy of SwimOutlet

For kids as young as 6 years old who can safely swim underwater, these diving balls always make for a good time. They come in a set of three brightly colored balls attached to streamers that sink quickly and are easy to grab onto.

Price at time of publication: $10

3C4G 3D Unicorn Confetti Beach Ball

3C4G 3D Unicorn Confetti Beach Ball

Courtesy of Amazon

We love that this beach ball’s design is nothing short of magical with its colorful unicorn friend inside. Once inflated, the ball is beautiful to watch, as the confetti flies every time it's hit. Simply deflate it for easy storage or wipe down clean with a cloth.

Price at time of publication: $67

Frontgate World’s Finest Pool Noodle

World's Finest Pool Noodle
Courtesy of Frontgate.

One pool toy that will never go out of style is the noodle. This one is available in several color opinions and is made from durable vinyl and foam. It has a 7.5-inch diameter and measures 46 inches long, is designed to float in both saltwater or chlorinated water, and it won’t sink even if it’s punctured. 

As great as this toy is at providing some floating support, Emily Samuel, program director of Safe Kids Worldwide, warns: “It is important for families to keep in mind that swimming aids and toys, such as pool noodles and inflatable water wings, do not help prevent drowning” and should not be used as a replacement for a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for your child.

Price at time of publication: $79

Aqua LEISURE Aqua Stingray Underwater Glider

Aqua Stingray Underwater Glider

Courtesy of Amazon

This stingray toy is perfect for a game of chase, or for just keeping your kids entertained. It can glide up to 60 feet underwater, where it will turn, spin, and even boomerang back based on how its adjustable wings are configured. It measures 8 inches long and 10.75 inches wide and is best for kids 5 years old and up.

Price at time of publication: $15

FUNBOY x Barbie Malibu Private Jet

FUNBOY x Malibu Barbie Luxury Private Jet Summer Pool Float

Courtesy of FUNBOY

Kids 14 years old and up will have a blast floating along on this raft that measures 95 by 90 by 26 inches. Designed for one person, the brightly colored float is modeled after the iconic Malibu Barbie jet. Equipped with two handles and a cup holder, your teens and tweens can sip on a juice pouch while they float around all afternoon.

Price at time of publication: $99

Melissa & Doug Spark Shark Fish Hunt

Melissa & Doug Spark Shark Fish Hunt

Courtesy of Amazon

This game comes with eight pieces, including two sharks and six fish (three orange, three yellow). Each of the fish quickly sinks to the bottom of the pool and then it’s a race to see which swimmer can scoop up all of theirs with the shark net first. Kids who are able to safely swim underwater and who are at least 6 years old can safely play this fun game.

Price at time of publication: $28

What Experts Say

“Parents and caregivers should choose a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for their child's weight and water activity.” —Emily Samuel, Program Director, Safe Kids Worldwide

BANZAI Spring and Summer 3-Piece Magical Mermaid Dolls

Banzai Magical Mermaid Dolls

Courtesy of Amazon

Who doesn’t love a good mermaid toy? This set is available with either three or four dolls which measure around five inches tall. Unlike most dolls, these mermaids have plastic hair that won’t get debris in it or become a tangly mess when wet. Kids as young as 5 years old can play with dolls in the pool, and if they’re able to swim underwater they can also use the dolls for diving games.

Price at time of publication: $7

JOYIN Inflatable Pool Float Set Volleyball Net & Basketball Hoops

JOYIN Inflatable Volleyball and Basketball Set

Courtesy of Amazon

With two options of play, we think this inflatable volleyball net and basketball hoops set is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Safe for children ages 3 and up, kiddos can play basketball or volleyball, but keep in mind an electric pump is needed for inflation first. Once inflated, you can weigh the pieces down with bags (that are included!) to keep anything from flying out of the pool.

Price at time of publication: $35

Stream Machine Water Sports Swim Thru Rings

Water Sports Swim Thru Rings

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

Use these rings to create an obstacle course underwater. Each pack comes with three rings that are collapsible and have a 31-inch diameter. They have adjustable air chambers in them so that you can change how much the rings float/sink and have cute little sea animals on them for a little extra fun. This set of rings is great for kids who are at least 8 years old and can safely swim underwater.

Price at time of publication: $22

What Experts Say

“Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development, and how often they are around water.” —Emily Samuel, Program Director, Safe Kids Worldwide

Toyssa Swimming & Diving Toys Pack

Underwater Swimming Diving Pool Toy

Courtesy of Amazon

In this pack, you get four diving rings, four water torpedoes, five diving sticks, 16 diving gems, and one bag to collect and carry the toys when they’re not being used. The toys are safe for kids as young as 3 years old to play with above water, or underwater once they are able to do so safely. The durable and brightly colored toys are packed full of endless fun and can keep a group of kids entertained.

Green Toys Submarine

Green Toys Submarine

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether they’re in a kiddie pool or venturing into something larger, kids as young as 6 months old will have a ball playing with this toy submarine. There is a little spinning propeller on the back of the boat, it has a flat bottom for sturdy floating, and it is designed with a handle and an opening in the front for kids to scoop and pour water to their heart’s content. You can opt to purchase this boat on its own or in a pack with either a seaplane or tugboat.

Price at time of publication: $15

SwimWays COOP Hydro Lacrosse Game Set

SwimWays Hydro Lacrosse

Courtesy of Swimways

Engage in a little friendly competition with this water lacrosse set. It comes with two catcher nets and a foam ball that floats for easy retrieval while playing. The catchers have a foam-padded handle for comfort and grip and the set available in three color options. The best part is that this game can be played either in the pool or in the backyard and it’s safe for kids as young as 5 years old.

Price at time of publication: $19

FUNBOY Tie-dye Giant Inflatable Tube

FUNBOY Giant Inflatable Tie Dye Tube Float

Courtesy of Amazon

With a 50-inch radius, this oversized one-person tube is the perfect place for a teen (14 years old or older) to lounge for an afternoon of sun. In addition to its brightly colored tie-dye design, the tube also features a reinforced cup holder and can be inflated or deflated in only two minutes.

Price at time of publication: $39

COOP Hydro Football

COOP Hydro Football

Courtesy of Amazon

You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy tossing a football in a pool. This one measures 9.25 inches and is made from durable, waterproof materials, and features double-tuck laces to help you get a good grip. It’s great for kids as young as 5 years old and is available in three fun color options.

Price at time of publication: $15

Plasmart Watermelon Ball

Plasmart Watermelon Ball

Courtesy of Amazon

This ball may look and feel like a real watermelon, but don’t let it fool you! After the ball is filled with water, you can push it back and forth underwater up to 10 feet, bounce it off the pool’s walls, or dribble it on the pool floor. Children ages 8 and up can safely play with this pool toy for some summer fun.

Price at time of publication: $30

GoSports Splash Hoop Pro Basketball Game

GoSports Splash Hoop PRO Swimming Pool Basketball Game

Amazon

This water basketball set comes with a hoop, two balls, and an air pump so it is ready to be set up right out of the box. The high-quality, sturdy backboard measures 31 x 23 inches and features a 14-inch rim that is strong enough to survive outdoor weather and heavy play. The base of the hoop is weighted with water for stability and can easily be drained/refilled at the turn of the season.

Price at time of publication: $130

Final Verdict

The Green Toys Submarine (view at Amazon) is a great toy for toddlers and younger kids, whether they’re in a kiddie or large-sized pool. For older kids who are able to swim underwater, you can’t go wrong with the Stream Machine Swim Thru Rings (view at Walmart).

How We Selected the Best Pool Toys

We chose the best pool toys by researching reviews from customers and competitors, and we studied the features of dozens of products on the market. We considered price, design, features, ease of cleaning, age recommendations, and material when deciding our picks. We also consulted with a pediatrician for any considerations or product recommendations while reviewing guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on toy buying safety.

What to Look for in Pool Toys

Safety

When you're looking for a pool toy for your kids, do your due diligence and ensure it hasn’t been recalled and/or there haven’t been reports of major safety issues. Additionally, Emily Samuel, program director of Safe Kids Worldwide, reminds parents and caregivers to invest in “a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket [that is] appropriate for their child's weight and water activity.” When you’re looking at pool toys, be sure they do not compromise your child’s safety or interfere with their life jacket. 

Durability

A lot of outside toys ironically can’t stand up to outdoor weather and quickly fall apart. Consider whether or not you have a place to store pool toys when they’re not in use; if not, invest in high-quality and/or weatherproof products. 

Age and Swimming Ability

Brightly colored pool toys can be very appealing to little kids, even if they aren’t quite big or skilled enough to use them yet. Consider your child’s age, size, and swimming ability when you’re looking for fun toys for them. Samuel stresses the importance of teaching children how to swim to ensure safety in the pool.

“Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready," she says. "Consider their age, development, and how often they are around water.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What pool toy is the most popular?

    Because it’s such a classic, the pool noodle is a popular, top-selling pool toy. The flexible, foam float offers many different ways to have fun, and it can be used by both children and adults. Whether the kids are having a pretend lightsaber fight or the parents are using them as u-shaped pool seats, they provide a versatile way to stay entertained in the water. 

  • What is a pool toy?

    A pool toy is a toy specifically designed to be played with in the water. There are a variety of different options, including balls, floats, sports toys, dolls, and diving toys. Most pool toys are made of plastic or foam and can be used for relaxing or to help children learn how to swim.

  • Can splash balls float?

    Splash balls are made in a variety of materials, including foam and plastic. No matter which one you choose, they are designed to float on top of the water, even when they are filled up. This kid-friendly design eliminates the need to dive to the bottom of the pool to retrieve them. 

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a parenting writer and mom to a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. She has personal experience in researching and purchasing a variety of children’s products. Key considerations she used when selecting these recommendations include expert advice, age appropriateness, and user reviews.

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. How to buy safe toys. HealthyChildren.org.