The Best Sprinkler for Kids

Has there ever been a child who didn’t delight in running through sprinklers on a hot summer day, or enjoying the cool water spewing from a broken fire hydrant? Unlikely. Sure, pools are great, whether above or below ground, but there’s something about playing in the streams of water from a sprinkler on a green lawn that screams idyllic childhood. You can give your own kids or grandkids that same feeling of joy and freedom that comes with breaks from school and beating the heat of those dog days of summer.

The question is: Do you have to buy a particular sprinkler made for kids? And is the best sprinkler for kids the one that twists water, or features colorful characters? Is safety a factor? Follow this guide for all the answers, and a few suggestions on how to pick the right one for the children who’ll be running through the water on your lawn. And check out the best water sprinkler for kids reviews, too, where you can read what others had to say about each highly-rated sprinkler!

6 Best Sprinkler for Kids Comparison

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageMelnor XT Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler
  • Coverage: 4200 sq. ft.
  • Material: Hard plastic
  • Adjustable spray: Yes
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byb2-table__imageMelissa & Doug Sunny Patch Blossom Bright Sprinkler
  • Coverage: Up to 8 feet high
  • Material: Soft plastic
  • Adjustable spray: No
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byb2-table__imageFun Splashers Kids Sprinkler Fire Hydrant
  • Coverage: Up to 8 feet high
  • Material: Hard plastic
  • Adjustable spray: No
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byb2-table__imageLittle Tikes Beach Ball Sprinkler
  • Coverage: Up to 12 feet high
  • Material: Soft plastic
  • Adjustable spray: No
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byb2-table__imageMIGO Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat
  • Coverage: N/A
  • Material: Soft PVC
  • Adjustable spray: No
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byb2-table__imageOrbit 58257N Metal 3-Arm Sprinkler
  • Coverage: 24-foot diameter
  • Material: Metal
  • Adjustable spray: No
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What is It about Sprinklers That Kids Love?

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Frankly, it isn’t just kids who love to play in sprinklers. But seriously, what’s not to love? On a hot day, sometimes bright sugary drinks and popsicles just don’t do the job. You’ve got to swap your shorts and t-shirt for a swimsuit and dodge the streams of water from the sprinkler – or don’t dodge! And this activity isn’t limited just to those of elementary school-aged kids. Adults often join in the fun. Though some teens might be a bit too sullen or angsty to play. There’s even video out there of a baby moose enjoying the cool spray from a slowly oscillating sprinkler. The slick grass turns into a natural slip ‘n slide, and fun is had by all. Even if it comes with grass stains and skinned knees. Just be sure to use proper sun protection like hats and sunscreen to protect from harmful UV Rays.

Won’t a Regular Sprinkler Work?

The short answer to the question about regular sprinklers is: Yes. Regular sprinklers will work just fine for cooling off your kids on a hot day. And most kids aren’t going to be picky about the sprinkler type. If you just turn on your built-in automatic sprinklers, that would be just fine. You can probably spring for an inexpensive fun sprinkler for the summer, though. Most of them are quite affordable and easy to use.

One thing about regular sprinklers to keep in mind, though, is that they might pose a risk for injuries, or water pressure might be too high. For example, impact sprinklers send a powerful stream of water tick-tick-ticking across your lawn. It’s great for watering a large area. If a kid gets too close to the sprinkler itself, though, it could be painful for them. Also, in-ground sprinklers are usually made of sturdy, hard plastic or metal, which could easily be tripped over (especially if you have several in the yard), and those falls could lead to skinned knees, bruises, or stubbed toes.

You have options when it comes to “regular” sprinklers, though! The oscillating ones that offer a fan of water in several streams move slowly enough to make for some fun games for kids. The rotating ones are a little more chaotic, and a lot of fun! And then there are those sprinklers made specifically for kids to enjoy backyard play with just a hose and sprinkler. There’s also the option to make it a fun project with your kids to make a temporary sprinkler with a pop bottle!

Features to Look for in the Best Sprinkler for Kids

Fun can be had by all if you know what to look for in the best sprinkler for kids. Obviously, you’ll want to search only for sprinklers that attach to a standard garden hose. Anything more complicated and it’ll likely not be worth your time. And besides, the best sprinkler is the one that works well, right?

Several Sprays

A single sprinkler is fun, sure, but having a sprinkler with several spouts and sprays is much more fun, whether you have one kid or six of the little ones. Especially if you have more kids playing in the sprinklers, though, a sprinkler that has many sprays can prevent fights over who gets wet first.

Toggle Bright Colors

OK, this isn’t a necessity, but when you have a sprinkler that’s bright, colorful, and even has a fun shape to it can make a difference for a kiddo. Particularly young ones will be drawn to the toy and have even more summertime fun.

Toggle Allows Variable Pressure

Not all kids want water that shoots six feet high, and certainly, there are parents who aren’t OK with their toddlers being hit in the face with strong streams of water. So, some of the best sprinklers for kids allow for different water pressure. You can get those tall streams of water for the older kids, and shorter, gentler ones for the littlest tots.

Soft Materials

One of the great things about sprinkler play for kids is that it helps them fine-tune motor skills and build muscles. They’re jumping, skipping, and generally flailing about in the water. It helps to have sprinkler toys that are soft for the little tykes in case of falls or slips. This may not be necessary for your kiddo, but it might be something to keep in mind.

Toggle Multi-directional

Look, a kid who’s hot and bored is going to love any sprinkler, really. If you want the best one that offers the most fun, though, get you and your kids a sprinkler that moves. Any sprinkler that rotates or oscillates is going to be much more fun than a static one. Although, all sprinklers are fun, right?

Top 6 Best Sprinkler for Kids Reviews

Melnor XT Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler

  • Connection: Hose
  • Adjustable spray: Yes
  • Coverage: 4200 sq. ft.
  • Material: Hard plastic
  • Warranty: Lifetime

 

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Remember: Never judge a book by its cover. The Melnor XT Oscillating Lawn Sprinkler may not look like it’s as fun as a barrel of monkeys but give it a chance. The wide sprinkler offers 20 nozzles from which water sprays out. The thin, long-reaching streams are adjustable, too. You can change how wide or how far the sprays go. And whether your hose offers low or high water pressure, it should work well with this sprinkler.

This sprinkler has a low profile, so it should be easy for little ones to jump over. Plus, it’s made of sturdy, hard plastic, so it should be able to handle a bit of roughhousing. The only issues that you might have with this sprinkler include leaks and quick wear. If you leave this sprinkler outside in the sun, there’s a good chance of it damaging quickly. The same could be said for almost any plastic-based sprinkler, though. And there were a handful of reports about leaks from the center of the sprinkler and at the hose connection.

PROS

  • Adjustable width, range
  • Works with variable water pressure
  • Slow oscillation
  • Sturdy

CONS

  • Plastic could wear in the sun
  • May Leak

PRO TIP

If you want a traditional sprinkler for summertime fun, you might get good use out of this oscillating one.

Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Blossom Bright Sprinkler

  • Connection: Hose
  • Adjustable spray: No
  • Coverage: Up to 8 feet high
  • Material: Soft plastic
  • Warranty: N/A

 

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When you’re introducing water to a toddler, you’d probably rather not have tons of pressure behind the water streams. Enter: the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Blossom Bright Sprinkler. This little plastic flower patch is a great introduction to sprinkler play for little ones. You can adjust the pressure by simply turning the water to your hose up or down, as needed. On low pressure, the little flowers produce small arcs of water for tots to play in. As your kiddo gets used to it and wants taller streams of water, just turn the water up.

The fun colors and shapes make this a fun toy even when it isn’t connected to a hose. Plus, it’s made of durable, but soft plastic. The flowers are even slightly bendable, which makes it a safe water toy. It looks as though it might even be multi-directional, but it isn’t. This is a static sprinkler, which means your kids might get bored of it quickly. Also, some people have reported that the pressure is always low, regardless of the water is turned all the way up, which might just mean it’s a defective unit.

PROS

  • Great for toddlers
  • Fun shapes, colors
  • Durable
  • Soft plastic

CONS

  • Flowers don’t move
  • Pressure is wonky

PRO TIP

If you’re looking for a fun sprinkler for your kid that doesn’t produce ridiculous amounts of water, then this might be a good sprinkler to buy.

Fun Splashers Kids Sprinkler Fire Hydrant

  • Connection: Hose
  • Adjustable spray: No
  • Coverage: Up to 8 feet high
  • Material: Hard plastic
  • Warranty: N/A

 

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Of all the sprinklers for kids out there, this has to be the most nostalgic for anyone who grew up in the city. Rather than breaking open a real fire hydrant, though, all you have to do is hook up your garden hose to the Fun Splashers Kids Sprinkler Fire Hydrant. The silly face and bright red color are sure to entertain the littlest kids, but even the big ones (and dogs, too) should have tons of fun with this water toy on a hot day. Turn the water to a moderate level and you can get 3- to 4-foot high sprays. Crank it all the way up, and you’re looking at up to 8 feet tall streams.

If you have powerful water pressure at home, then you can get the top to spin. Low-pressure water users might not see that feature. The hard plastic of this sprinkler seems durable, but don’t leave it in the sun. Those that have left it outside in the summer said the sprinkler faded quickly and even melted in the hot sun. The good news is that the fire hydrant shouldn’t topple over as long as you have a flat surface for it.

PROS

  • Fun design
  • Great for dogs, too
  • Spins around
  • Hard plastic
  • Shouldn’t fall over

CONS

  • Susceptible to sun damage
  • Spins only with high pressure

PRO TIP

If you want a fun sprinkler for your kids that will spin and not fall over, you might want to consider this one.

Little Tikes Beach Ball Sprinkler

  • Connection: Hose
  • Adjustable spray: No
  • Coverage: Up to 12 feet high
  • Material: Soft plastic
  • Warranty: N/A

 

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Imagine combining a beach ball with a sprinkler – that’s what the Little Tikes Beach Ball Sprinkler is! The 88-inch (that’s a diameter, not radius) ball is one of the bigger water toys your kid could have, and it looks and feels like a regular beach ball. That is until you connect it to a hose and let the water fly! Several openings spray water that could go as far as 12 feet. It’s a fun design for kids and adults who want to beat the heat during the summer.

If you have powerful water pressure at home, then you can get the top to spin. Low-pressure water users might not see that feature. The hard plastic of this sprinkler seems durable, but don’t leave it in the sun. Those that have left it outside in the summer said the sprinkler faded quickly and even melted in the hot sun. The good news is that the fire hydrant shouldn’t topple over as long as you have a flat surface for it.

PROS

  • Fun design
  • Sprays from several directions
  • Little risk of injury
  • Soft plastic

CONS

  • Defects seem common
  • Lots of maintenance

PRO TIP

If a sprinkler and beach ball combined sounds like tons of fun, then this might be the sprinkler you want for your kids.

MIGO Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat

  • Connection: Hose
  • Adjustable spray: No
  • Coverage: N/A
  • Material: Soft PVC
  • Warranty: N/A

 

Click For The Price

 

For younger kids, such as toddlers, a regular sprinkler might be a little scary. The water could be too powerful, or they might not show interest in it. The MIGO Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat will let your little ones go at their own pace. The inflatable soft PVC mat gets pumped full of water from your hose, and then the water comes spraying out the small holes around the perimeter of the mat. It makes for a slippery, fun, and cool time.

The mat is colorful and whimsical with lots of little cartoonish sea creatures and polka dots all over it. It’s a design that should attract little kids that might be a little hesitant of water, making it a good starting point for water play. While the toy is durable for most people, it could come with defects. Plus, this isn’t terribly entertaining for older kids, as the spray is much too gentle to be exciting.

PROS

  • Gentle sprays
  • Sprays from several directions
  • Durable
  • Soft plastic

CONS

  • Might get a defective toy
  • Not great for older kids

PRO TIP

If you want to recreate a splash pad like you’ve seen at parks but at home, this might be the sprinkler toy for you.

Orbit 58257N Metal 3-Arm Sprinkler

  • Connection: Hose
  • Adjustable spray: No
  • Coverage: 24-foot diameter
  • Material: Metal
  • Warranty: N/A

 

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While the Orbit metal 3-arm sprinkler isn’t a child’s toy, it can be used as one if you want. This sprinkler is most commonly used to water medium-sized lawns, but it easily doubles as a way for kids to cool down in the summer and have fun running through moving streams of water. Perhaps the best feature of this sprinkler is that the three arms spin, making it even more fun to play in. It also includes a couple of wheels to make it easy for you to move it to another section of the lawn.

This sprinkler doesn’t have a way for you to adjust the spray directly, but you can adjust the water flow from your hose/house to adjust the streams. Lower the water to get a gentle spray and spin, or turn it up for tall, powerful streams of water, and a fast spiral. The biggest issue with this sprinkler is that it’s made of metal, so if there’s a fall or a kid trips, there might be an injury. Also, the sprinkler itself isn’t colorful or made with fun characters, so little kids might not be all that intrigued – until you turn it on!

PROS

  • Twirls
  • Sprays up to 24 feet
  • Durable
  • Includes two wheels

CONS

  • Made of metal
  • Not great for younger kids

PRO TIP

If fun water patterns and good pressure are what you want from your sprinkler for kids, this might be the best one for you.

Conclusion

Depending on preferences, the best sprinkler for kids, for your kids, anyway, might be the splash pad listed here, or it could be a plain, regular, run-of-the-mill sprinkler type. Speaking overall, though, if you’re looking for a sprinkler toy that’s fun, colorful, is interactive, and durable, then you want to look for the Fun Splashers Kids Sprinkler Fire Hydrant. The cartoon face, the bright red color, the spinning top, and the ability to adjust the distance of the water sprays simply by turning your faucet up or down makes this a fantastic summer toy. Whether you have kids who want to run, jump and play in this miniature fire hydrant, or you have a pack of dogs that want to beat the heat with a familiar object, you likely can’t do better than this little sprinkler. Just remember to bring it back indoors after play time to keep the plastic in good shape.

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