Best Water Toys for Toddlers to Check Out

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
April 9, 2023
best water toys for toddlers

Toddlers love to splash about in the water. Sunny days and warmer temperatures make getting wet an enjoyable summertime activity for the whole family. However, it’s important to choose the appropriate water toy for your toddler, one that is both safe and fun to play with.

Younger toddlers love to dump, push, pull, pile, knock down, empty, fill and carry their toys. They are entertained by toys that have mechanisms that move or things that can be stacked. They are just beginning to sort things into categories.Water and sand play are absolute delights for kids this age. Choose toys that are lightweight and colorful. Balls should be at least 44 mm in diameter if not larger. Toddlers should be able to grasp floating toys with one hand.

Toddlers that are 2-3 years old love jumping, throwing, exploring textures, matching, fantasy play, and doing things themselves. They are drawn to moving parts, bright colors, and toys that seem realistic. Building blocks and puzzles are no longer as frustrating as they were to younger toddlers. Children this age love running through sprinklers, tub toys with removable parts, bathtub activity centers, and water or sand mills.Of course, as parents, we want our toddlers’ toys to be educational as well as entertaining. Look for toys that encourage imaginary play which stimulates social and emotional development. Toddlers are still working out their fine motor skills. Age-appropriate toys would inspire them to manipulate objects without becoming frustrated. Their gross motor skills are also still developing. Toys that they can push or pull or jump on or run through will boost those abilities.

How We Chose Our Ratings

We want the best for our children. So when we looked at the best water toys for toddlers, we considered the manufacturer’s age recommendation, whether the toy was made with safe and non-toxic materials and satisfied customer reviews.

Top 15 Best Water Toys for Toddlers

Whether it’s bath, pool or playtime, your toddler will love these fifteen safe and educational water toys.

Green Toys My First Tug Boat

Your toddler will love sailing the oceans, pool or tub with the Green Toys My First Tug Boat made from 100% recycled plastic milk containers. It’s BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free and comes packaged in recycled materials with labels printed with soy inks.

It is dishwasher safe and easy to clean. Its bright colors and large handle make it an attractive water toy. Children 6 months and older will love submerging the boat so that it fills with water, then pouring it out of the prow. Moms and Dads will love that feature during bath time too!

Hape Kids Little Splashers Happy Buckets Set

The Hape Kids Little Splashers Happy Buckets have bottoms that range from shower holes to dropping balls and water wheels. These three bright and colorful BPA free plastic buckets are perfect for bath or pool time for your little one 12 months of age or older. Durable child safe paint finish and solid construction make these toys that last.

Meland Baby Pool Float

The Meland Baby Pool Float is intended for children aged ten months to 3 years with a maximum weight of 35 pounds. This durable, non-toxic silicone PVC pool float is designed for you and your toddler to swim together. Your toddler fits nicely into the inflatable seat with protective backrest and two leg holes. Mom or Dad can maneuver the float by two sturdy handholds or with the 12 x 10.5 inch in diameter swim ring.It has a make-believe steering wheel so your toddler can “drive” his or her little boat around the pool. It comes with a versatile and removable sunshade to protect your little one’s sensitive skin from the sun. It should be deflated and stored in the accompanying drawstring bag after use.

Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Water Table


Children 18 months and up can play along with Dory and her friends with the Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Water Table. Each character is squeezable for water squirting fun. The table has a center whirlpool spinner. The characters can swoosh down the water slide or fly through the air with the side flipper. When summer’s done, this water table can be taken indoors to be filled with rice or beans to create a sensory table.

Step2 Play and Shade Pool

Sized just right for toddlers, the Step2 Play and Shade Pool features two molded-in seats and designs at the bottom of the pool to provide traction for little feet. It comes with a 40” umbrella to protect your little one’s skin from too much sun. Children ages 2 to 6 will love the three funnel cups and a fun spinning water wheel.

Whale Automatic Spray Water Bath Toy

The Whale Automatic Spray Water Bath Toy is cute little spray water whale that not only takes a bath, but can also play in the pool, which can add more swimming time to the baby. This bath toy senses water and starts spraying a fountain with flashing lights.

Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set

Made from high-quality, durable plastic the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set will entertain your toddler for hours. The set includes three measuring cups in the form of shells, a whisk shaped like an octopus, a mixing spoon that resembles a crab and mixing bowl with a turtle-shaped lid that can be used to sift sand. Toddlers three and up will love making sand pies and scooping water. The bright colors and sturdy materials encourage imaginative play while focusing on hand-eye coordination improvement.

3 Bees & Me Bath Toy Basketball Hoop & Balls

Time for a little bathtime basketball fun with the 3 Bees & Me Bath Toy Basketball Hoop & Balls. The basketball hoop uses the SecureStay design to attach to the bathtub faucet with velcro straps rather than using suction cups.Both the hoop and balls are easy to clean with no sealed spots for mold to grow. The balls and hoop are certified BPA, Phthalate and lead-free. Children 2 years of age and up will love shooting hoops and improve their hand-eye coordination at the same time.

Intex Dinosaur Play Center

What toddler doesn’t love dinosaurs? The Intex Dinosaur Play Center comes with a set of 6 balls children can “feed” the big, blue, hungry dinosaur. Small steps lead to a volcano water slide that ends in a soft mat. Attach a garden hose, and you have a palm tree sprinkler and waterfall for wet and wild summertime fun. It has a repair kit and drain plug. Imaginative play, gross motor skill development, and a fabulously good time are assured for children 3 and up.

Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table

This interactive, colorful water play table will provide hours of fun for your toddler. The Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table is loaded with hand-eye coordination activities. Your little one can plonk balls down the spiral, turn the wheel to scoop up them up and pour water into the funnel to make the pair of water wheels go. The play table comes with a cup for scooping water and five accessories that squirt water when squeezed.

Tolo Toys Funtime Fishing Bath Toy

Hook and reel in these three bright and bubbling fish with the Tolo Toys Funtime Fishing Bath Toy for improved dexterity and hand-eye coordination. The “fishing” experience will inspire imaginative play and develop perseverance and patience in toddlers 18 months to 3 years of age.

Step2 Waterfall Discovery Wall Playset

The Step2 Waterfall Discovery Wall Playset includes four maze ramps, two water wheels, and four water buckets making it a great water toy for several children to play with at a time. The maze pieces are movable, so kiddos never get tired of watching the water rush through the spinners and funnels. It’s designed for children 18 months to 6 years of age.

Banzai Sprinkle Splash Play Mat

Just connect your garden hose and start the summer water fun with the Banzai Sprinkle Splash Play Mat. This durable PVC water mat is designed for children 18 months of age and up. Your toddler will have a ball jumping, squashing, stepping and walking over this mat as parts fill with water and other parts squirt.

Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

Hours of imaginative fun to be had with the Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table. One side holds up to 10 pounds of sand while the other holds up to 3 gallons of water. A roadway separates the sand and water while the molded road on the lid adds even more travel space.It has a drain plug for the water, and the sand lid has elastic straps to keep it in place. It also comes with an umbrella to keep your toddler cool and comfortable while playing. Children ages 18 months to 5 years will love sailing boats, making sand castles and digging for treasure.

Wader Sand and Water Mill

Your toddler will love to watch the gears go on the Wader Sand and Water Mill either indoors or outdoors. This easy to clean, sturdy, high-quality plastic toy is made with UV filter protection to keep the colors from fading. Children as young as 12 months can pour the water or sand that turn the gears, improving their fine motor skills in the process.

Buyer’s Guide

Our children are precious to us. We want them to grow and explore the world as safely as possible which includes determining what toys are best for them. Considering these simple safety recommendations while you shop will help you find the best water toys for toddlers.When buying water toys for toddlers, you should be sure that the toys are:

  • Not a choking hazard
  • Age-appropriate
  • Non-toxic, lead-free and easy to clean
  • Safe

Choking Hazards

Toddlers explore with their hands and their mouths. Make sure any toy you purchase is sturdy and does not have small pieces which could choke your child. United States government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long. Make sure the toy is larger than your child’s mouth.


Be sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines and pay special attention to the recommended ages listed for each plaything. Toys that are too complicated for your toddler will be frustrating. Those that are too simple will be ignored.

Non-toxic, Lead-free and Easy to Clean

You better believe that every single toy will be licked, bitten, and sucked on by your toddler. Plastics should be BPA and Phthalate-free. Paint used on children’s toys must be lead-free.Water toys especially are prone to mold build up if not properly cleaned after each use. Make sure to empty all water before storing the toys in a dry location. Look for drainage plugs or dishwasher safe labels on toys.

Take Safety Precautions

Make sure the toy has no sharp points or pieces that could pinch your toddler. The presence of water toys can be especially dangerous for young children. Nearly 500 children under the age of 5 die from accidental drownings every year. It’s essential to remove all toys from the pool and tub so that children will not be tempted to retrieve them. Never leave your toddler unattended in the bath or pool even when they are wearing a safety device. Empty buckets and water tables when they are not in use. Toddlers trying to play in the water could fall in head-first and drown in just a few inches.Looking at this list of fifteen best water toys for toddlers with education and safety in mind will help you choose just the right plaything for your little one.

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