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The Best Water Toys for the Outdoors

Water balloon slingshots for the win.

We love water toys. As winter recedes, skies turn a brighter blue, and the days get warmer and longer, few activities with kids are more fun than running around in the backyard. Whether hitting a ball, building a fort, or getting sprayed by a ginormous dinosaur sprinkler, there’s just nothing better than an afternoon of exhausting outdoor play, especially if water toys are involved — ideally ones that can be tossed back and forth or launched gleefully at your kids. Projectile play helps kids to hone their hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness and also gives them a crash course in gravity and other principles of physics. To help you enjoy the fun, here are some of the best water-based toys for some wet fun in the sun.

The Best Water Toys for the Backyard and Great Outdoors

Inspired, naturally, by the blaster used in Fortnite, this pump-action water cannon holds up a liter of water, so you can seriously soak your friends before having to reload.

As with all great water toys, the concept here is simple: shoot streams of ice-cold water at your backyard frenemies. Four pump-action foam-noodle — with monkey, hippo, dog, and ducky heads for handles — can blast water up to 30 feet.

The concept of turning on a sprinkler in the yard and running through it has been practiced by overheated youths for generations. The Tidal Storm spinning sprinkler maxes out this discipline, sending water in all directions: Connect the unit to any standard garden hose and the Hydro Swirl shoots a column of water from its center while six neon tubes wave outside with secondary streams. It’s chaos. The kids will love it.

A kiddie pool that doubles as a mini water park with circular fountain and sweetly decorated with marine plants and friendly sea creatures.

Two big pump-style blasters and two smaller pistols allow you to project some serious water pressure at your enemy and/or child. With a concept simple enough for young children, they offer a ton of benign fun on or near water. The original Super Soaker was a ’90s revolution in aquatic armament. No longer were you limited to the feeble strength of your fingers; you now used a full-body movement to build up enough pressure in its tank to send a stream through a brick wall. The Supersoaker SOA harkens back to the halcyon days of all-out hydro-heavy warfare — and in a quantity to start your own armory.

It's a baseball bat that's also a water gun. How does it work, you may wonder? You just place the top of the bat into the pool and pull back on the handle to fill it. Then you put the ball on top of the bat and push the handle up, releasing a stream of water. And the foam-covered ball flies out.

This inflatable water blaster looks cool and works in and out of the pool. Great for kids 5 and up, this hybrid spaceship blaster shoots water up to 15 feet holds 1.5 ounces of water for shots taken outside the pool. In the pool, just keep shooting.

Is this a bounce house? Is it a water slide? Why, it's one badass hybrid of both. Which sort of makes it a no-brainer for outdoor backyard fun.

We honestly cannot think of anything more fun than hurling water balloons at one another, except for doing it faster and farther. This water-balloon slingshot sends your cargo soaring 100 feet. You've been warned. The balloons are biodegradable and recyclable.

This inflatable kids pool is perfect for kids 2 and up — the rainbow lives up to its name, once attached to a garden hose, and sprays a cooling mist into the colorful pool.

Summer is funner when you’ve got a friend to play with, and the Goliath hydro zoom ball is designed for besties to have a blast. We think of this as a wetter version of hot potato. Stash a water balloon inside, have two kids grab the respective handles, and their own arm movements send the payload back and forth. It’s all fun and games until time runs out and someone gets a balloon’s worth of water down his or her front.

Launching things into low orbit is as much a part of summer as the sound of cicadas. All you need is the Aquapod launcher, a bicycle pump, and a 2-liter bottle from the recycling bin. Find a safe area, and get to pumping while you explain to your son or daughter how forcing more air into the bottle builds pressure. Once the water inside is released via a 15-foot pull cord, the bottle rockets up to 100 feet in the air, and then floats gently back down to the ground. It’s a ton of fun and also offers valuable lessons in physics. As you might expect, this requires close adult supervision for any child under 14, so it’s import to explain the potential risks to kids and keep it out of reach when you’re not around.

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