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What are the best backyard water toys for kids?

While summer is one of the most wonderful seasons of the year, parents have the challenging task of entertaining kids. Our tester is a mom of two elementary-aged children, so limiting screen time during the summer and getting them outdoors is always a top priority. Luckily, the promise of playing with refreshing water toys is always a sure way to get the kids outside.

Since the summer aisle at any store is overflowing with options, we wanted to see which backyard water toys are best for kids of all ages. So, we tested three unique water toys: Bunch O Balloons Instant Water Balloons, Water Bomb Splash Balls and Bestway H2O GO! Blobster Giant Splash Mat. Here’s what we found.

What are Bunch O Balloons Instant Water Balloons?

Kids will never experience the nostalgic task of slowly filling up and painstakingly hand-tying hundreds of water balloons in the backyard, thanks to Bunch O Balloons. These self-sealing rapid-fill water balloons come in bunches of 35 that all fill simultaneously. Simply attach a hose to the O-ring on each bundle and shake the balloons loose when they’re full. As a bonus, the stems and caps are made from 100% recycled plastics, while the balloons are made from natural rubber derived from plants.

Our experience with Bunch O Balloons Instant Water Balloons

Water balloons always elicit joy from kids young and old, so we were intrigued by this unique mechanism and appreciated its small size. The package claims to fill 100 balloons in 60 seconds, which our tester found to be fairly accurate. For instance, it took us less than 30 seconds to fill each bunch of 35 balloons. The best part is the fascinating and reliable self-sealing technology, allowing the full balloons to slide right off. They could even be used with a water balloon launcher for more fun. Based on our experience, we recommend Bunch O Balloons to anyone looking for backyard fun, even those without kids. No technical knowledge is involved, and it truly does take about a minute to prepare 100 water balloons.

It’s important to note that a hose is needed to fill the Bunch O Balloons, as an outdoor fixture or sink won’t work. The only downside is that these balloons seem to be made of thinner material than individual water balloons. As a result, most balloons pop on contact or if they’re accidentally dropped. However, since they’re so effortless to fill, we didn’t mind losing a few fallen balloons.

Where to buy Bunch O Balloons Instant Water Balloons

Best Bunch O Balloons Instant Water Balloons

Bunch O Balloons are available on Amazon.

What are Water Bomb Splash Balls?

Water Bomb Splash Balls are designed for those who want the water balloon experience without the hassle of cleaning up. One package comes with 12 self-sealing silicone balls in various colors. To play with the Splash Balls, users dunk them in a bucket of water for rapid filling, throw them at a target and repeat. They’re a pain-free way to have a water balloon fight.

Our experience with Water Bomb Splash Balls

When we received the Splash Balls, they were oddly shaped but seemed to be made of a durable material that would last through many summers. The best part about the Splash Balls is that they’re actually quite soft and don’t cause any pain when they hit a person, making them safe for old and young kids.

Unfortunately, we did have an issue keeping them filled. The self-sealing tab rarely closed completely, so the water would fall out while holding or in midair. We ended up carrying them at a certain angle with the self-sealing tab at the top to prevent water from draining out. For this reason, our tester doesn’t recommend the Water Bomb Splash Balls to those looking to have a serious water fight. However, they make a fun pool toy, as they can be refilled easily. Also, the environmental factor is a huge plus. Those who want to be eco-friendly may want to opt for these Splash Balls over water balloons. 

Where to buy Water Bomb Splash Balls

Best Water Bomb Splash Balls

Water Bomb Splash Balls are available on Amazon.

What is the Bestway H2O GO! Blobster Giant Splash Mat?

The Bestway H2O GO! Blobster Giant Splash Mat is a combination of a slip ‘n’ slide, splash pad and water blob, allowing kids to slide, lay down or bounce. One end of the Blobster is a small pool with sprinklers, while the rest is designed to be a 15-foot long slip ‘n’ slide and water blob. It holds up to 238 gallons of water.

Our experience with the Bestway H2O GO! Blobster Giant Splash Mat

Our first thought after opening the H2O GO! Blobster was that it’s much bigger than anticipated — in a good way. Our tester could fit up to four children on it at a time. Despite its size, however, it folds up very compactly once it’s dry, which is handy for storage. The kids enjoyed the ability to play on it and get wet or stay dry by turning off the sprinklers. Even when the Blobster is dry, the water in the blob still feels cool and refreshing on a hot day. 

There were a few issues with the Bestway H2O GO! Blobster. Our tester noticed the first obstacle when setting it up, where they discovered that the splash mat has to be put on completely flat ground, or it will topple over itself. Because it has to be on flat ground and is only wet on one side, it’s nearly impossible to use the Blobster as a slip ‘n’ slide. Also, it took us almost two hours to fill it up, so don’t expect to use the splash mat immediately. Overall, we enjoyed the H2O GO! Blobster and had fun doing gymnastics or trying to walk on the blob. However, we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for a lawn water slide but rather to use as a fun water mat in the backyard.

Where to buy Bestway H2O GO! Blobster Giant Splash Mat

Best Bestway H2O GO! Blobster Giant Splash Mat

Bestway H2O GO! Blobster Mat is available on Amazon.

Other products worth considering

Best SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad

SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad

Kids young and old will enjoy this splash pad, which provides a shallow pool and sprinklers to run through. It’s 60 inches in diameter and fits several children at once. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Max Liquidator 6-Pack Water Blaster Set

Max Liquidator 6-Pack Water Blaster Set

While they look like pool noodles, these water blasters will suck up water to shoot at any opponent. They float in the pool or can be used with a bucket of water. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Joyin 20-Foot Slip and Slide

Joyin 20-Foot Slip and Slide

Nothing is better than a slip and slide in the backyard on a hot day. This option is 20 feet long and has sprinklers along the entire slide. 

Sold by Amazon


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Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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