12 Best Pool Toys in 2018

Summer is coming! As the days are drawing closer and closer to the time of year full of pool parties and beach trips, you have probably started to think about what the kids need for all that swimming time.

Bathing suits? Check!

Sunscreen? Check!

Pool toys?

It looks like you need to do some shopping, but what types should you buy? What do people usually buy these days, anyways?

No worries, we have done the work for you and found the best pool toys available that are sure to keep your kids entertained over the hot summer months.

Below, check out our selection of our 12 favorite pool toys!

Top 12 Pool Toys Comparison Table

DesignNameTypeStyleRating (1-5)
  1. Green Toys My First Tug Boat Boat Floating 4.7
  2. Intex Giant Gator Ride-On Alligator Floating4.5
  3. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Undersea Treasure Hunt Pool Game Treasure Hunt Game Part Floating, Part Sinking 4.4
  4. SwimWays Toypedo Bandits Torpedoes Floating
(below the surface of the water)
  5. Emoji Universe: 12″ Emoji Inflatable Beach Balls Ball Floating 4.2
6. Water Sports QF-2000 Stream Machine Water gun Floating 4.2
7. 4PC UnderWTR Fun Ring Rings Sinking 4.2
8. Intex – Jumbo Glossy Panel Ball Ball Floating 4.1
  9. BigMouth Inc Gigantic Donut Pool Float Donut Floating 4.0
  10. Intex Floating Hoops Basketball Game Colors May Vary Basketball GameFloating 4.0
  11. Water Sports Inc 861790 Swim Thru Rings Swim Through Rings Floating
(below the surface of the water)
  12. Swimline 9078 – UFO 45 Spaceship Floating 3.7

Important Details

As you look through the toys, there are a couple of details you should keep in mind as you search so you can decide on the absolute best pool toys for your kids out of the options.

  • Size – The size of the toy can greatly affect how your little one plays with it. If it is a giant blow up pool toy, your child can use it as a floatation device; this is especially helpful if your child is not yet a strong swimmer.
  • Style – This leads us to There are different types of pool toys. Some are blow up, as mentioned, and some won’t even float. Look below for a more in-depth explanation of styles of pool toys.
  • Appearance – Also, be sure to pay attention to the appearance of the pool toy. Children will be especially excited to play with a toy that’s their favorite color or related to a book or movie they enjoy.

Understanding Pool Toy Styles

If your child isn’t a confident swimmer yet, different toys can give them that little boost of confidence they need as well.

  • Floating – Floating toys are some of the most common ones, and they are also quite helpful for children who still have a little fear of the water. Floating toys, many of which are blow up, come in countless shapes and sizes.

Some toys are big enough for your child to ride on, while others are far too small. Even for small toys though it is helpful if they float if your child isn’t used to diving yet. If it’s a toy that sinks and your child drops it, you’ll have to get it unless your child can reach the bottom. Floating toys can be quite helpful!

  • Sinking – From what we just talked about, you might be about ready to run out and just buy floating toys…but, not so fast. Sinking toys also have their place. We mentioned diving earlier. Some children aren’t comfortable with the idea of going under the surface of the water at all, and going to the bottom of the pool can be quite frightening.

If you want your child to grow in their confidence and enjoyment of the water, a great way to help them can be to get them sinking toys and come up with games using them. If you have several children, you can toss the toys into the water, and have the children compete to see who can collect the most.

Before you know it, your children will be much more used to the water, and they will start tossing the toys out themselves for their diving and treasure hunting games!

  • Floating Below the Surface of the Water – It would seem like floating, and sinking toys would cover all the options, but there’s one more option that might come across sounding a bit contradictory at first. There are some toys that float below the surface of the water.

No, they don’t float because they are under the water, but they also don’t sink since they don’t make it all the way to the bottom of the pool.

This type of toy is often a favorite of children who like playing games of hide-and-seek with toys. This type doesn’t make them go all the way to the bottom of the pool to collect it, and it offers more of a challenge than toys do that float on top of the water.

As you can see, there are lots of different toy options for lots of different types of children! To add some excitement to pool days, you may even want to consider buying toys in several different styles.

We couldn’t decide on our very favorite toy, but there were several we felt deserved a bit more attention than the others. Here are our five favorites that we know your kids will love!

Top 5 Best Pool Toys Reviews

1. Green Toys My First Tug Boat

This darling little tug boat is a perfect child’s pool toy! It’s small enough for a young person to carry the boat around easily, and it is light enough that it won’t cause them any problems as they play. Water fills the hull and pours from the spout, adding another layer of fun to any pool party.

The boat is a floating toy, so no need to do any diving after the toy. Also, it is made from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs, so you are taking care of the environment whenever you buy one!

It comes in several different colors and is sure to delight your children!

2. Intex Giant Gator Ride

The Giant Gator Ride is a bright, exciting way to bring some extra fun wherever you bring it! It is a large floating alligator big enough for several children to ride it together. It comes with a handy repair patch kit so no worries about your big floating friend popping!

It also includes a limited 30-day manufacture’s warranty. It doesn’t easily tip over so kids shouldn’t feel nervous on its back.

It’s perfect for a birthday party! Any kids would get excited coming up to a pool with this big guy floating to greet them, or if you have problems with ducks settling in your pool, this is a great way to scare them off!

3. Melissa & Doug Treasure Hunt Pool Game

This option is a unique choice in that it is a toy that is part floating, part sinking. It includes several treasure pieces that sink to the bottom for diving fun, and the treasure chest floats on top of the water waiting for the treasure to be returned to it.

It is a great toy to improve motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and water confidence. It’s also just a fun toy children will enjoy! It’s wonderful when both learning and enjoyment can mix.

The colors on the toy are fade-resistant and made to stand up to chlorine and sun exposure.

4. SwimWays Toypedo Bandits

These torpedoes are another fun option to add to your family’s pool time. They’re one of the types of toys that float under the water. These are brightly colored and shaped perfectly to easily be seen and grabbed as they are shooting under the water.

These are a great way to encourage children in their swimming practice. It is much more exciting to be told to swim off to catch a toy rather than just to be told to swim laps.

These are sure to bring bright smiles to your kids! This purchase comes as a pack of four so you will have enough for several children to play with.

5. Emoji Inflatable Beach Ballk

This last choice is another excellent toy! It is a pack of 12 (12!) Emoji beach balls. With the use of Emojis growing around the world, these balls will no doubt be a highlight of any party they attend.

These can easily be blown up by mouth, so no need to buy a special pump and they are very light, so children won’t have any problems picking them up and tossing them around. You could even use them for dodgeball games outside of the pool once people are done swimming! Overall, this is another excellent choice.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many different choices of pool toys to choose! If you’re looking for a toy for young children, in particular, the first choice of My First Tug Boat would be an excellent choice. It provides a fun way for children to be involved in a pool party without having to deal with an overly large, heavy, or sinking toy.

If you want a toy to excite several children at once, the Giant Gator Ride is a wonderful way to keep several kids entertained. You could even join them on the gator for a ride around the pool. It’s sure to be a highlight of the party!

The Treasure Hunt Pool Game and SwimWays Toypedo Bandits are excellent choices for helping your children improve their swimming skills. The Treasure Hunt Pool Game provides a way to help children become more comfortable with diving. As they get into the spirit of the game, they’ll grow in confidence in the water. The SwimWays Yoypedo Bandits are another excellent way to encourage children to swim by giving them a goal to “swim” toward, no? Both will meet with happy faces!

Last but not least, the Emoji Inflatable Beach Balls would be a highlight of any party. Emojis are a popular choice in online conversations around the world. Any child would love to see them bouncing around at a pool party!

Enjoy picking out your favorites!