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Splash and Play – Big Summer Fun

July 10, 2017 / no comments, on Toys

by Raul A.

Summer is here, and high time to hit the beaches, enjoying the waters or relax in your backyard playing water games with your kids. We tested some of the inflatable pools, lounges and water toys for kids and the entire family, and here are the results:

Our Top Ten Inflatable Pools, Lounges and Toys for Kids and Family Joy.

# 10. Intex Swim Center Clearview Aquarium Inflatable Pool, 62.5″ X 62.5″ X 19.5″, for Ages 3+. Price at time of writing: $20.49

This inflatable pool shows a beautiful aquarium design, has a convenient drain plug, room for the whole family and an amazingly low price.

Pros:

  • good quality
  • inflates and deflates easily
  • can fit around 6 people
  • comes with a patch in case of a hole
  • perfect size for small decks and patios
  • makes a great ball pit

 

Cons:

  • needs good pump or air compressor to inflate
  • the area for the pool needs to be flat and clean
  • some people reported slow deflation, noticed after 4 to 24 hours (We didn’t have this experience, so we can’t comment)

See it on Amazon…

 

# 9. Intex King Kool Inflatable Lounge, 63″ X 33″. Price at time of writing: $5.21

The classic pool lounger. With its comfy back and arm rest and a drink holder, you may never want to get out of the pool.

Pros:

  • very comfortable and great for parties
  • great mobility and easy to navigate
  • easy portability
  • durable
  • comes with a patch in case of a hole

 

Cons:

  • of the 2 items we tested, one began slowly deflating after 1 hour of heavy use (kids jumping on it). The second one was fine.

See it on Amazon…

 

# 8. Intex Swim Center Inflatable Family Lounge Pool, 88″ X 85″ X 30″, for Ages 3+. Price at time of writing: 37.82

This Lounge pool is 30 inches deep and holds 169 gallons of water. We had 4 adults comfortably in it. The build-in bench and the back support are robust. It has 2 air chambers and a drain plug. 2 comfortable cup holders.

Pros:

  • good quality
  • comfortable, lots of space, robust, great price
  • Plenty of leg room
  • perfect for relaxing
  • great for kids parties

 

Cons:

  • cup holders shallow, not holding longer glasses/cans/bottles
  • drain plug is directly on the bottom, if you put foam mats underneath, it won’t drain without deflating

See it on Amazon…

 

# 7. Intex Inflat-A-Bull, Inflatable Pool Toy, 96″ X 77″ X 32″, for Ages 5-65+. Price at time of writing: $86.98

Enjoy a fun bull-riding experience on water! Host competitions with family and friends and see how long you can stay mounted on the bull. Great accessory for pools, lakes, or rivers. Provides families and friends with hours of challenging wet fun. Durable 17.5 gauge vinyl, 3 air chambers, durable grab handles Dimensions: 96″ x 77″ x 32″.

Pros:

  • good quality
  • huge fun
  • for small kids, teenagers, adults
  • sturdy, made of thicker rubber than typical pool inflatables

 

Cons:

  • not easy to mount – you just glide off the first time
  • important to not over inflate (no relieve valve)
  • some people found leaks (we were lucky)

See it on Amazon…

 

# 6. Banzai 54in-Diameter Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat, for Ages 18 months to 3 years. Price at time of writing: $18.99

A beautiful play mat for the little ones, aquatic life themed. You don’t need to blow it up, it just fills up with water through the fountain holes. Great value for the price.

Pros:

  • safe for kids 18 months and up
  • 3 toddlers have plenty of room
  • the water that comes from fountains is gentle and perfect for little ones

 

Cons:

  • needs a constant supply of water for the “fountains” to work
  • not non-skid, sort of slippery
  • some pop along the seem

See it on Amazon…

 

# 5. Dinosaur Play Center, 95 x 75 x 43 inches , for Ages 24 months – 5 years. Price at time of writing: $33.45

Slide down the volcano and splash into the pool to feed the hungry dinosaur with colorful fun balls. Attach a garden hose to keep kids cool with the palm tree sprayer and waterfall. The water flows to palm tree sprayer and the waterfall adjusts with a control valve. There’s a landing mat for extra padding, a drain plug in the pool floor. It holds 57 gallons, and comes with a repair patch. We used it with a 14 months old. She loved it!

Pros:

  • for use outside and inside
  • sturdy, good size
  • kids love it

 

Cons:

  • bottom of the pool is slightly slippery
  • we noticed a slow deflation process that goes on over the course of a few days that mainly affects the slide and dino
  • after leaving it under the sun for a few days it did get a couple of small splits and we duc taped them

See it on Amazon…

 

# 4. Intex Pool Volleyball Game, 94″ X 25″ X 36″, for Ages 6+. Price at time of writing: $10.60

A well made inflatable pool volleyball game that is just great fun to use. (It says “pool”, but we used it in a quiet river, too). For the price you really can’t beat it if you want a volleyball net for kids and you’re not taking things too seriously. Is it perfect? No, there are some small things (see below). But the kids are having huge fun, and so do the grown-ups.

Pros:

  • ease of construction – just blow it up
  • it’s actually a pretty good size in terms of width between poles and height of net
  • The ball is especially cool for water volleyball for some reason it is easy to hit for kids it doesn’t go very far so you’re not chasing it all over the place on miss hits
  • sturdy but includes repair kit, just in case

 

Cons:

  • directions unreadable so we used the pictures on the box and it worked
  • if you want it to not float around the pool you’ll need to use the ‘anchors’ (little green bags that you fill with some kind of weight (pebbles, etc)
  •  the ball is really just a beach ball not a true volley ball

See it on Amazon…

 

# 3. Intex River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2″ x 62″. Price at time of writing: $32.99

Have fun relaxing and floating in the pool or at the lake with the Intex River Run II. Includes: Built-in backrests. Two built-in cup holders. Built-in cooler with lid. Two heavy-duty grab handles. All-around grab rope. Mesh bottom. Five air chambers. Easy to use connectors. Repair patch.

Pros:

  • sturdy (18 gauge vinyl) and well made
  • large cooler in center section is 11″ round and 8″ deep, holds 12 pack and 4 more bottles
  • doesn’t flip when only one person uses it
  • comes with a rope, so you can tie it to other rafts or attach an anchor
  • does not contain latex
  • rubber material with a nice mesh in the seats
  • my 4 year old daughter can sit in there comfortably

 

Cons:

  • Cupholders are small, fit only canned and small-bottled drinks
  • too big for an above ground pool
  • can’t be used for sledding because of the netting on the bottom

See it on Amazon…

 

# 2. Lazy Fish Inflatable Baby Pool, 49″ X 43″ X 28″, for Ages 1-3. Price at time of writing: $17.98

A great and fun swimming pool for the little ones, shaded, with a back window. Fits 14 gallons at 6″ wall hight. Kids (and dogs) love it!

Pros:

  • soft inflatable floor
  • no drain but easy to flip over to dump the water
  • can be used inside and outside
  • sturdy but includes repair kit, just in case
  • great for shading your kid at the beach
  • can float in a pool
  • can serve as a great ball pit for small children
  • easy to clean

 

Cons:

  • you need a pump
  • filling with air takes longer then we’re used to with this size – many sections to fill
  • if played rough it can rip at the seem
  • plastic smell when just unboxed, takes a few days to disappear completely

See it on Amazon…

 

And Our Top Choice For This Summer (Drum Roll…, Ta-ta!):

1. Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center, 117″ X 76″ X 53″, for Ages 2+. Price at time of writing: $38.26

Our personal favored, this is a great pool and fun play center for small kids. It includes water slide, wading pool, water sprayer in the middle of the top of the rainbow to keep the slide wet, and a ring toss game with 4 inflatable rings. Also included is a ball roller game and toss ball game, with six plastic play balls. The water sprayer attaches to a garden hose to keep kids cool on hot summer days. Water capacity: 77 gallons.

Pros:

  • roomy – fits 5 toddlers easily
  • multiple air valves, including 2 for the slide
  • each of the 2 pools has own drain plug
  • easy to deflate
  • can be used as a ball pit

 

Cons:

  • needs pump to blow it up, preferably an electric one
  • inflatable bottom not very thick – can still feel the ground
  • as with most inflatables, some people report deflating and ripped seams (we were lucky though)

See it on Amazon…

 

Hope you enjoyed the post. Have a great summer!

 

 

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