If there’s one thing kids like to fancy themselves, it’s underwater explorers. Whether searching the ocean floor for seashells, touching the bottom of the deep end, or investigating every contour of the humble bathtub, there’s something about diving underwater that makes kids feel adventurous. We’ve rounded up an array of toys, from underwater diversions to remote-controlled submarines, for kids who love exploring what’s underneath the surface.
READ MORE: The Fatherly Guide to Bath Time
SZJJX RC Submarine
For the record, this finned toy submarine is not big. It measures only four inches and fits in the palm of your hand. But who cares? All the better for it to explore the bath tub on a rainy day. And explore it can. The remote-controlled toy submarine rocks twin propellers for forward and reverse movement, a streamlined aerodynamic design, and can dive to the bottom of the pool’s shallow section, assuming that’s no more than three feet deep.
eSmart R/C Shark
Submarines are cool, but you might be in the market for a remote-controlled submersible that will let you recreate Jaws in your bathtub. This nine and a half inch long shark from eSmart does the trick. Its rear fin moves back and forth to propel it forward, and the remote control makes it easy to turn and surface menacingly. You’re gonna need a bigger tub.
You might be content to just hang out in or around the pool, but your kids’ might need a toy or two to keep themselves entertained. Aqualiens were the only pool toy that made it to our list of the best new toys of the year. The reason? They’re a clever twist on dive toys that expand into bug-eyed fish or seahorses as they sink to the bottom.
Swim Along Manta Ray
The cool thing about this submergible Manta Ray pool toy — other than that won’t sting anybody — is that the remote control is also waterproof (up to three feet) ⏤ so you can control it while swimming underwater. The Manta can dive up to eight feet deep and uses thrusters to glide, barrel roll, and perform underwater loops. It glows phosphorescent thanks to three LEDs and the battery gets about 30 minutes on a single charge.
Toypedo Bandits are five-inch, colored torpedos that kids throw underwater and then chase down. Simple as that. Sleek and lightweight, the pool toys reportedly glide up to 20 feet and are emblazoned with numbers so kids can keep score. They come four to a pack and cost $5.
Rover Land & Sea
The beauty of this amphibious vehicle is that it’s not limited to the pool ⏤ you can drive it right out of the water and around the yard, too. Also, it’s got a built-in camera that rotates 90-degrees and shoots HD underwater footage. While technically not a full submersible (it rides on top of the water rather than on pool floor) the Rover is controlled using a tablet/smartphone and app (both iOS and Android) and has a range of 150 feet. So said tablet never risks getting wet. The underwater toy rocks headlights, underwater LEDs, and two speeds.
Green Toys Submarine
Green toys makes some of our favorite, simple playthings for kids. And they just so happen to be excellent for the environment. Take this submarine, which is made of 100 percent recycled plastic milk jugs. The colorful craft features a spinning propellor and is well built for exploring all the natural wonder of the tub or shallow end. It’s also safe to be used in another soggy location: the dishwasher.
Playmobil Submarine with Underwater Motor
On it’s own, this toy, which features grab arms and a gripper and has a seat for one brave figure, is a deep sea lover’s dream. But paired with a sold-separately battery — and thanks to the included ballast weight and air pipe with pump (that’s right) this bright orange submersible is able to dive and resurface on its own.
Udax Mini R/C Submarine
This rechargeable, bright-yellow U-boat measures 10 inches long and, with the help of its included remote, can not only move forwards, backwards, left, and right, as well as dive and float upwards. It lasts for roughly minutes per charge and comes in two different colors.
Aqua Mini Stingray Underwater Glider
Adjust the wings and press these finned, foam gliders down to the bottom of the pool and, upon rising, they’ll shoot forward performing a variety of tricks. They’re more or less underwater paper airplanes that work better depending on how you bend the wings, but what’s wrong with that?
When you fill this ball with water, it becomes nearly neutrally buoyant in the pool. That means that you can play with it — dribble, pass, kick, whatever — underwater. But even beyond the magic of physics, the Watermelon Ball is fun toy that encourages active pool time. You can use it to play underwater versions of pretty much any sport that uses a kick and can be used to play underwater versions of pretty much any sport that can be played with a 9-inch diameter ball.