Cooling off in the yard is a memorable childhood pastime at any age. A trip to the water park may not be in the cards this year, but hook up a hose to any number of fun accessories and kids will hardly care how they get wet. The best part? No need to pack up the car or transport soggy sleepyheads to and fro. Although water slides and above ground pools are selling out like hotcakes, we’ve found a few that are still available. From simple toys for toddlers to more advanced splashy entertainment, here’s what’s needed to transform any backyard into a summertime oasis.
GrowGreen Heavy Duty Expandable Garden Hose (starting at $42.99; amazon.com)
First things first: Get a hose that’s long enough to stretch across the yard and easy to handle. This expandable hose from GrowGreen is sturdy and easy to store in the off season.
SplashEZ USA 3-in-1 Splash Pad ($25.99, originally $34.99; amazon.com)
Nobody said we can’t sneak in a little learning during recess. This popular splash pad comes printed with a map of the world or alphabet letters. Suitable for ages 12 months and up.
Wet & Wild Light Show Sprinkler - Sun Squad ($15; target.com)
A simple combination of water and light in motion. Watch their eyes and limbs try to keep up.
Jasonwell Unicorn Sprinkler ($38.99; amazon.com)
Life isn’t all unicorns and rainbows, until it actually is. This popular inflatable delivers joy even before it’s hooked up to the sprinkler.
Inflatable Play Center Wading Pool with Slide for Kids ($88; amazon.com)
For ages 24 months and up, this inflatable hippopotamus pool comes equipped with a wading area and a mini slide.
Wow World of Watersports Super Slide ($229.99; amazon.com)
A slide across the lawn is a rite of passage. This one from Wow World of Watersports comes with inflatable sleds for a smooth and cushy ride.
Costzon Inflatable Water Park, 7 in 1 Jungle Castle ($599.99; amazon.com)
To make this a summer the kids will never forget, this inflatable water park from Cotzon is a must. It fits up to five kids, so it’s great for big families, and is best for those 36 months to 10 years old. This play center has two slides, a bounce zone, a ball pit, a water sprayer, climbing wall and comes complete with a blower, water hose and carrying bag.
Lunvon Family Inflatable Swimming Pool ($129.99; amazon.com)
Sometimes a simple dip with floaties will do just fine. This inflatable wading pool is for kids ages 6 and up — and even adults can float around in its luxurious 22-inch depth. If isn’t quite hitting the mark, check out our guide to above ground pools for every backyard and budget.
Max Liquidator Water Blasters 6-Pack ($20.55; amazon.com)
For a good old-fashioned water fight, everyone needs their own instrument of mischief.
Bunch O Balloons Instant Water Balloons ($9.99; amazon.com)
Summer just isn’t complete without water balloons. Self-sealing and recyclable, these balloons from Zuru can be filled in batches of 100 in 60 seconds. Just enough time for parents to take cover.
Wowmazing Giant Bubble Wands ($14.95; amazon.com)
Gaze long enough at the surface of a glistening wobbly bubble and it’s easy to forget reality altogether.
Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion - 3oz ($14.97; amazon.com)
One study found that less than 0.01% of zinc oxide sunscreen is absorbed into the skin, according to the Environmental Working Group. This zinc oxide, mineral SPF 50 sunscreen from Sun Bum doesn’t stay white on the skin and lasts up to 80 minutes in the water. The coordinating face stick makes it even easier to apply and reapply with a swipe. Wearing sunscreen isn’t just for outside anymore. Check out these dermatologist recommended sunscreens for wearing all day, even indoors.
Kaufman Striped Beach & Pool Towel 4-Pack ($34.99; amazon.com)
Eventually, drying off will be essential. These 100% cotton velour, bold-striped towels are oversized (30 by 60 inches) to keep everyone from dripping in the house.
Coleman 48-Quart Performance Cooler ($24.99; amazon.com)
Keep cold beverages on hand for kids and adults with a classic cooler. Pop the plug at the base to drain out the melted ice at the end of the day.
Outer Banks Deluxe Folding Adirondack Chair ($299.99; amazon.com)
Watch over the mayhem in style with a timeless Adirondack chair. This one from Outer Banks comes with a footrest and folds away easily.
Sunnyglade 9’ Patio Umbrella ($49.99; amazon.com)
Pitch an umbrella, keep the cooler nearby and everything is set. This 9-foot umbrella from Sunnyglade tilts near the top to provide flexible shade. The beige color will turn any yard into a makeshift South Beach cabana.
Blissun Outdoor Living Patio Umbrella Base ($52.99; amazon.com)
Keep the umbrella upright with a sturdy base that can also weather the wind and the rain.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.