Our criteria. Water toys that are new for summer 2009, and need only water from a garden hose. With families in mind, we tested toys that would appeal to a variety of ages. Plus, we kept our eye on the budget. Our most expensive item was $60.
In our informal rating system, FIVE splashes indicate the highest mark.
Turbo Fill Blaster (Fisher Price)
This is our #1 product pick. The automatic refilling station is easy for kids to use, and solves a big problem for mom. No pumping required for these water shooters. $34-50
Super Soaker 50 (Hasbro)
It’s back to basics for this original super soaker water gun, re-released this year for its 20th anniversary. It requires pumping action, so it’s best for bigger kids. A classic that seems to hold its value.
Spring Pool, Swimways
Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? Collapsible. Portable. The old hard-sided kiddie pool is all wet compared to this convenient package.
Beach Ball Sprinkler, Little Tikes
Its best feature is a low price, since it probably won’t last. This sprinkler toy was tame overall. Two moms said they purchased this toy, but the internal sprinkler mechanism broke after about 3 uses.
Butterfly Beach Sandbox & Wading Pool, Little Tikes
Cute. But we say sand and water don’t mix. It took about 30-seconds to turn into a mud pool.
3D Shark Bite Slide, Banzai
The gimmick of sliding through a 3D shark’s mouth held little bite with our kids. They ditched the 3D goggles right away. It’s just a basic slide, really. But that, in itself, scored with the kids.
Skimboard Surfer, Banzai
This product requires space, athleticism and practice. Our kids looked forward to testing their skill, and imagined great surf action. They didn’t really ever get the hang of it, but still rated it highly. The product says for 8+, but we think it’s for much older kids. You need a super big, flat grassy space, and the dream of being a boarder…
**Note: Prices listed are averages from Amazon.com, and are subject to change. KSL does not guarantee these prices.