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8 backyard water toys for summer

From the classic Slip 'N Slide to toddler water tables, this list has something for everyone in your household.
Ariel Skelley:Royalty-free:Getty Images
All the fun ways to cool off for the next few days.

It’s time for the few weeks a year when British Columbians look back semi-fondly on early June gloom.

With the thermostat rising (and wild temperatures expected this week), it’s advisable to splish-splash and water fight through this current heat wave.

There are plenty of kid-friendly outdoor water toys that technically don’t have an age restriction so if an adult wants to partake in an afternoon run through a mermaid splash pad or lay under the mist of an inflatable dinosaur sprinkler, now is the time. 

An entertaining toddler water table

Foam blaster

Who it's ideal for: Anyone with a toddler (2+) who wants a cool-down playtime station.

Why we're endorsing it: This Step2 water table includes a spiral slide and loads of detachable toys, a bucket (for self-dunks) and small balls with a springboard for hours of tactile play.

Where it could use improvements: This item can’t be shipped to your door but it can be sent to your nearest Canadian Tire.

Price (subject to change): $79.99 at Canadian Tire.

Water table x bubble maker x foam party

Little Tikes table

Who it's ideal for: Any kid who loves bubbles. 

Why we're endorsing it: A genius (or someone with a three-year-old) must have invented this Little Tikes water table/bubble maker with a motorized foam machine. Any soap can be used (which is great for little ones who might have sensitive skin). There’s even a hand pump so kids can control the bubble production.

Where it could use improvements: Assembly and batteries required.

Price (subject to change): $67.47 at Amazon.

A waste-free water fight

Waste free water fight

Who it's ideal for: Kids who love water balloon fights and parents who hate the plastic waste.

Why we're endorsing it: These splash soaking balls don’t break and can be used over and over for hours of water balloon fun. The best part is those tiny bits of balloon plastic won’t litter the yard or park. It take about five seconds to fill up these silicone balls and they are soft enough for kids over three.

Where it could use improvements: This is a newer product without reviews.

Price (subject to change): $21.99 (apply $2 coupon at checkout) on Amazon.

Splash pad with sprinkler

Mermaid splash pad

Who it's ideal for: For kids who love the water park and parents who work from home and can’t go to the water park on a Monday.

Why we're endorsing it: Fun to jump through and cool to sit in, this splash mermaid pad with a sprinkler has height and pressure controls and is shallow enough for small children to sit in.

Where it could use improvements: This is not non-slip.

Price (subject to change): $29.99 at Amazon.

A sprinkler made for kids

Sprinkler turtle

Who it's ideal for: Kids who love jumping through a sprinkler so much they deserve their own animal version.

Why we're endorsing it: Cute, kid-friendly design and multi-directional spray beats the old garden hose.  

Where it could use improvements: Requires a grown-up to attach the hose.

Price (subject to change): $24.97 (on sale) at Amazon.

Water blasters for playdates


Who it's ideal for: Preparing for a group playdate.

Why we're endorsing it: Water blasters are a great toy for kids who can play more independently and want to run around the yard or park playing with their siblings and friends.

Where it could use improvements: This is a fun toy that will get a lot of use in the summer, but probably doesn’t have a “keep it forever” shelf life.

Price (subject to change): $24.05 (on sale) at Amazon.

Inflatable dino sprinkler

Dino sprinkler


Who it's ideal for: Kids who love inflatable Halloween costumes and/or dinosaurs.

Why we're endorsing it: This standout sprinkler inflates into a dinosaur shape and shoots out water — what’s more fun than that? (Check out the elephant and monster options, too.)

Where it could use improvements: It’s about 29 inches tall so bigger kids might not be as enamoured with it.

Price (subject to change): $49.50 at Amazon.

Slip 'N Slide season

Slip and slide

Why we're endorsing it: Slip 'N Slides are a retro and popular backyard activity. Set one out and all the kids in the neighbourhood will suddenly find their way to your fence, hoping for an invite. This slide is 18 feet and includes anchors and repair patches. 

Where it could use improvements: Ages 5+. 

Price (subject to change): $36.99 at Amazon