In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Best Sprinkler for Kids

By Wendy Schmitz ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Wednesday November 4, 2020
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Searching for a fun in the sun sprinkler for kids? We researched over 20 options before buying 10 of the top options for testing. We used each sprinkler side-by-side with real kids to see which options were the most fun and which have the features to stay fun for the long haul. Our review includes the inside details you need to find the best sprinkler for your kids and your budget.

1

Best Overall Sprinkler


Tidal Storm Hydro Swirl


Editors' Choice Award
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$15.99
at Amazon
See It

Style: Spinning | Ages: 4+ years
Lots of water nozzles
Random squirting fun
Can run around or over
High-pressure water can sting

The Tidal Storm Hydro Swirl has a water spinning center with severe randomly flailing tubes for more water fun. This product has a center swirl that reached heights over 6 feet in our tests and water that shoots out horizontally over 10 feet. Kids loved the random nature of the water tubes and the consistent deluge in the center. It proved useful for running around the edges and jumping over the center. All of the testers agreed it was the most fun and were reluctant to change it when it was time to test another option.

The only downside to this option is full pressure water in our tests caused some stinging when getting too close to the tubes. Parents can decrease this by turning the water down or keeping little ones at a distance. Overall, kids in our tests loved this wild Swirl and chose it over and over again above the competition.

The Hydro Whirl has water coming and going in every direction.
The Hydro Whirl has water coming and going in every direction.

2

Best Inflatable for Parties


Jasonwell Unicorn Sprinkler


Editors' Choice Award
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$38.99
at Amazon
See It

Style: Inflatable | Ages: 8+ years
Giant size
Impressive spray pattern
Needs pump to inflate
Consistent water spray area

There's something about the giant Jasonwell Unicorn Sprinkler that brings a smile to the face of everyone. Adults and kids alike were enthralled with this extra-large inflatable, and we can see it being a hit at adult parties as well as kids. This product has a spot from the horn and stakes in the ground to keep it in place. It is quick to inflate using a pump, and ours worked well at keeping kids entertained and cooled in the hot sun.

This option requires a pump to inflate, which means you may need to make a secondary purchase if you don't already have one. It also has a narrow and consistent spray, which means kids could get bored quickly and did in our tests over time. However, our testers still requested more time with the Unicorn and really enjoyed the rain like cascade that came from the horn. We can see younger children preferring the predictability of the horn shower.

The horn on the Unicorn offers a consistent shower of soft water great for running  jumping  and standing under.
The horn on the Unicorn offers a consistent shower of soft water great for running, jumping, and standing under.

3

Best on a Budget Sprinkler


Kids Sprinkler Fire Hydrant


Best Value Award
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$18.99
at Amazon
See It

Style: Spinning | Ages: 1+ month
Lots of water action
Super high water
Variable spray
High pressure can hurt the face
Spray is hard for toddlers

If you're ready for some wild and crazy fun, the Kids Sprinkler Fire Hydrant is the one you want to buy. This inexpensive powerhouse has an unassuming appearance we didn't initially find impressive. However, once we turned on the water, the fun began, and everyone went crazy. With up and out spraying action, as well as a semi-misting effect, this hydrant manages to soak anyone who comes near it. It has a high center fountain over 12 feet tall and a narrower horizontal spray to keep kids close to the hydrant. Our testers ran around and over the hydrant, and some even picked it up to shoot at the competition.

This product has a harder pressure than the competition and may require fine-tuning of the water supply to keep kids from getting stung by the harsh spray. The manufacturer recommends this for babies as young as one month, and we'd have to disagree with this given the potential for stinging water. While our older testers didn't seem to mind, younger users could find the pain of direct needle-like water undesirable. However, decreasing the water pressure resolves this issue, and once you find the sweet spot, everyone is wet, happy, and thrilled with this tiny powerhouse of a hydrant.

The small Fire Hydrant is more fun than it looks with a center plume over 10 ft tall and wild horizontal spray.
The small Fire Hydrant is more fun than it looks with a center plume over 10 ft tall and wild horizontal spray.

4

Best Soaker on a Budget


Kadaon Lawn Sprinkler


The Kadon comes in two parts with an adapter. It is easy to assemble  but you need to be careful paying attention to the threading so it doesn't get stuck or off track.
Best Value Award
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$12.37
(5% off)
at Amazon
See It

Style: Spinning | Ages: ?
Lots of water
quick moving
wide spray
High pressure
Flimsy feeling

The Kadaon Lawn Sprinkler is a small plastic spinning sprinkler for kids or lawns. This tiny little sprinkler looks unimpressive when you take it out of the simple plastic bag wrapping and we were skeptical that it wasn't going to last or prove to be much fun. Boy were we wrong! This unassuming sprinkler is a super soaker with a widespread water pattern, and so much water you can't help but get wet. Kids loved this option during testing because you could get cooled down quickly with no need to even jump over the unit.

This feels like a fairly cheaply made product, while ours held up nicely over the two months of summer we used it, we do wonder how long it will last as the plastic is very thin and the unit sort of wonky. We suspect a misstep by a larger child will result in a broken sprinkler. Otherwise, we love what this option has to offer and think kids looking to get soaked or who have loads of friends will love this little bomb of a sprinkler.

There is so much water coming from the Kadon  you'll be soaked in minutes of running around this little sprinkler.
There is so much water coming from the Kadon, you'll be soaked in minutes of running around this little sprinkler.

5

Best for Bouncing Fun


Trampoline Sprinkler


Top Pick Award
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$17.99
at Amazon
See It

Style: Spray | Ages: 10+ years
Great way to cool off
More reasons to use the trampoline
Creates slippery surface
Trampoline takes time to dry

If your kids are bored with their current jumping apparatus, the Trampoline Sprinkler can breathe new life into a forgotten toy. This simple hose design zip ties to the trampoline netting frame, providing a splish splash rainfall inside the jumping circle. The kit comes with a water flow adjustment connector, zip ties, and hose. This sprinkler is simple in design but provides significant water fun where you want it. If your kids like to jump and enjoy the water on a hot day, this solution is one you can't pass up. Our testers were sold from the word go and gave it 50 stars!

The setup for this product is more involved than any of the competition, and you'll probably want to do before you tell your kids you have it, as patience isn't great in the younger set. Also, it does make the trampoline surface slippery, and the odds of falling increase with use, so it is best to go slow and limit the jumpers to avoid clashing bodies. Overall, our testers thought this was a great way to enjoy a trampoline, remarking that "if you don't own this, you haven't lived!"

Turn your trampoline into a virtual water park with this cool Sprinkler made just for trampolines.
Turn your trampoline into a virtual water park with this cool Sprinkler made just for trampolines.

6

Best for the Younger Crowd


Obuby Sprinkle & Splash Play Mat


Top Pick Award
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$11.99
(52% off)
at Amazon
See It

Style: Spray | Ages: 1+ years
Lots of water
Good for toddlers/non-swimmers
Limited spray pattern
Can get boring for older kids

The Obuby Sprinkle & Splash Play Mat has a large play mat surface with a water-filled ring that provides a light spray from holes at regular intervals. The ring inflates from the water and creates a very shallow pool for toddlers and babies to splash in (with supervision). Our testers, even the older crowd, enjoyed the splash pool and the refreshing spray of water from the ring. The spray is never stingy, and the wetness never ends as the pad is continuously refilling. We fit four kids from 8-10 inside with room to spare.

This pad is best for younger kids as older children will likely want to run and jump. The limited spray pattern and slippery pad surface are limiting for those who like to stay on the move. That said, even our older testers wanted to wind down on the pad as the sprinkler testing drew to a close, and we can see this simple option being a family favorite on a hot day.

The Splash pad is great for toddlers and the older crowd looking for a gentle way to cool off in the water.
The Splash pad is great for toddlers and the older crowd looking for a gentle way to cool off in the water.

7

Fun for Groups


Wet N' Wild Kids Hydro Hoop


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$15.99
at Amazon
See It

Style: Spray | Ages: 3+ years
Big hoop for multiple kids
Easy setup
No action
Same spray pattern

If you're hosting more than two kids, the Wet N' Wild Kids Hydro Hoop could be the solution to your "we're so bored" summertime problem. This hoop has multiple small sprinkler heads sticking in a variety of directions providing a spout for multiple kids at the same time. With no movement in the hoop, this is a good option for those looking for predictability with running and jumping action. There is no more fighting over the spray with so many ports, and the like of wild flailing means no more "ow, my eye!" problems while playing.

With the lack of action and the same spray pattern, this product can get dull for older or more adventurous children who want a more unpredictable experience. our testers liked it at first, but swiftly shifted to other options after realizing that, "that is all it does." Despite the potential for the wild and crazy kids to lose interest, this is still an excellent option for kids who enjoy predictability over adrenaline, making it a good choice for the merry-go-round lovers in your life, the rollercoaster folks may need to look elsewhere.

The Hydro Hoop offers several spigots for multiple users with consistency that timid children might prefer.
The Hydro Hoop offers several spigots for multiple users with consistency that timid children might prefer.

8

Good for Parties


GoFloats Giant Inflatable Fire Hydrant


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$39.99
at Amazon
See It

Style: Inflatable | Ages: Not listed
Adjustable pressure
Quick-release nozzle
Forever to inflate
Sort of dull for older kids

The GoFloats Giant Inflatable Fire Hydrant is a fun, novelty inflatable with one center spray that shoots up and falls over much like rain. The design is fun and harkens back to a time when fire hydrants cooled off urban neighborhoods in the scorching summer heat. We liked the straightforward design and the included adjustment attachment that lets the user decrease or increase water flow as desired right at the hydrant.

This option took a long time to inflate, even using an electric pump. Kids struggled to stay patient waiting for it, so it is probably best to do it the night before you plan to use it when they are sleeping. Also, our older testers thought it was somewhat dull as the spray doesn't fall very far from the hydrant, and is relatively consistent. However, we think some adult or toddler parties with a related theme could benefit from a novelty item such as this. Our toddler and grownup testers rather liked the raindrop feel of the spray, even if adventurous kids were over it quickly.

The Inflatable Fire Hydrant offers a great tall shower that is something to celebrate.
The Inflatable Fire Hydrant offers a great tall shower that is something to celebrate.

9

Most Adorable


CHUCHIK Backyard Spinning Turtle


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$9.97
(45% off)
at Amazon
See It

Style: Spinning | Ages: 3+ years
Random water spraying
Cute
Needed tools to remove from hose
Fewer nozzles/less water

The CHUCHIK Backyard Spinning Turtle is an adorable turtle similar in function to the Tidal Storm Hydro Swirl with a center spinning plate and wild swinging water tubes. The sprinkler itself is funnier than we thought it was going to be, and testers liked catching and directing the tubes at other players. The center water plume is tall, and the flailing tubes spread water at least 8 ft around the turtle for lots of playing space.

Unfortunately, this sprinkler was a pain to remove from the hose, and we eventually had to use two pliers to get it to twist off. This complication dropped its appeal down to almost nothing for the parents, and while kids loved it, they also loved the Tidal Storm Hydro Swirl, which is similar, bigger, and more fun. If you can't resist the turtle shape, we hear you but have some tools on hand for when the fun is over.

The Turtle is adorable and fun  but we did have trouble getting ours off the hose without tools.
The Turtle is adorable and fun, but we did have trouble getting ours off the hose without tools.

10

Possible Fun for Toddlers


Sprinkle Splash Palm Tree Pad


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$41.00
List Price
See It

Style: Inflatable | Ages: 1+ years
Lots of water
Good for toddlers
Hard to setup
Not tall enough

The Sprinkle Splash Palm Tree Pad has a lot going on with a splash pad, water ring, and spray from the middle and top of the tree. Younger testers were enthralled with the tree and lighter water spray. It creates a fun shallow pool for sitting and splashing without the random or crazy spraying provided by some of the competition.

This option is hard to set up and took several attempts to get the air and water levels right to coax the tree to stay standing. We failed half of the time to get it right. It also isn't as tall as you think it will be, and only those under the age of about four will fit under the tree. While kids were intrigued by the design of the tree and excited about this one, the execution didn't hold anyone's attention for long, and the falling tree just grew tiresome to our testers. We do think this could be potential fun at a beach-themed party if you manage to get the tree to stay upright.

The Palm Tree was a disappointment for most users and were never got it to stand up on its own.
The Palm Tree was a disappointment for most users and were never got it to stand up on its own.

Simple screw-on sprinklers are the easiest to set up and the quickest way for fun to start.
Simple screw-on sprinklers are the easiest to set up and the quickest way for fun to start.

Why You Should Trust Us


BabyGearLab has been testing products for babies and kids for over eight years. We purchase and analyze products side-by-side with the competition to give you the insider scoop on what works and what doesn't. For the sprinkler for kids review, Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz and her two sons led the team with a variety of testing helpers from the neighborhood. The sprinklers we tested one after another, and the kids ranked them in order of fun and how long they like to play with them. We gave extra credence to the products the testers asked to use again.

The Hydro Swirl has a spinning top plate and water tubes that thrash about from water pressure.
Everyone in our test group loved the Jasonwell Unicorn  which is large  nice quality  and worked well during testing.

Analysis and Test Results


We purchased the top sprinklers for kids and put them through a side-by-side testing process with real kids to determine which sprinklers are more fun than the competition.

Even using an electric pump  the Hydrant took far longer to inflate than the similarly sized Unicorn inflatable.
The Hydrant comes with a pressure regulation adapter that is super useful for finicky players.

Ease of Setup


Using a fun sprinkler for kids is easy, but setting them up varies depending n the style. If you're looking for a straightforward screw on your garden hose and get playing, then you'll have several great options from which to choose in this review. These products are quick setup, and you won't have kids pacing in the wings waiting for the water fun to begin.

The CHUCHIK Backyard Spinning Turtle required tools to remove from the hose in our tests.
The CHUCHIK Backyard Spinning Turtle required tools to remove from the hose in our tests.

Our favorites are the Tidal Storm Hydro Swirl, Kids Sprinkler Fire Hydrant, and the Wet N' Wild Kids Hydro Hoop. The CHUCHIK Backyard Spinning Turtle is easy to set up, but the most challenging to remove from the garden hose. You had to use two pliers to get ours off the hose.

The Kadon unit is so lightweight and thin that it was hard to get it to sit flat on the ground.
The Kadon unit is so lightweight and thin that it was hard to get it to sit flat on the ground.

The Kadaon Lawn Sprinkler requires the assembly of several parts, and the cheaper plastic means you need to pay attention to the threading to get a solid connection, but once assembled it was easy to get on and off of the hose in our tests. It is a lightweight unit compared to most of the competition and we did have trouble getting it to sit flat on the driveway, maybe grass would have been better. It still worked well, but it is important to note.

The Palm Tree has parts for air inflation and water inflation that are supposed to help the tree stay upright.
The water hose connects to the bottom of the tree and fills the outer circle of the pad to help create gentle sprays that fill the shallow splash pad around the tree.
Droopy Palm Trees can be fun for a short while  but overall  this toy was disappointing.

Alternatively, the inflatable options take longer to prepare and setup. These choices require some patience on the part of children and parents alike as they need some tending to while inflating and some arrangement or staking down when ready to use. While not difficult, it takes time, and we suggest purchasing an electric pump to save yourself some effort and your lungs some pain. We used an Intex Pump for our tests, and it worked well. Once inflated, some of the products then have water chambers you also need to fill, which takes even more time. The hardest inflatable is the Sprinkle Splash Palm Tree Pad, which requires air inflation of the tree and fronds, water inflation of the inside and outside rings of the splash pad, and threading the hose to finish off the connection. A lot is going on with this product. The easiest is GoFloats Inflatable Fire Hydrant, which requires pumping with air, connecting the hose, playing. The Jasonwell Unicorn is similar, but you may need to stake it down depending on your chosen play area.

The Trampoline Sprinkler comes with a water pressure adjustment valve for better control of the amount of water it sprays.
The Trampoline Sprinkler comes with a water pressure adjustment valve for better control of the amount of water it sprays.

The Trampoline Sprinkler requires some planning and more set up compared to the average sprinkler. You'll need to have a few things before you begin. In addition to a trampoline with surrounding safety net poles, you'll benefit from having scissors nearby as well. This hose system requires zip-tying (ties included) the belt to the poles, and it takes time and effort to do it correctly. This process isn't difficult unless someone is trying to jump at the same time.

There is more than one way to have fun with the water horn of the Unicorn.
There is more than one way to have fun with the water horn of the Unicorn.

Features


Generally speaking, there are two types of sprinklers for kids, a consistent, predictable spray and a random, more frenetic spray. Both types of spray have their fans and uses. Still, for the most part, we found that younger children, and those just looking to cool off, enjoyed the more predictable sprays or those that more closely mimicked rain, including the GoFloats Inflatable Hydrant, and the Obuby Sprinkle & Splash Play Mat.

The Obuby Splash Pad and the Palm Tree offer a shallow splashing pool with gentle streams of water around the ring to fill the pool. This design is great for toddlers and those who just want to relax in H2O.
The Hydro Loop can provide even more fun if you dare to pick it up to shoot at your friends.

Toddlers also love the playmat as well as the Hydro Hoop and Unicorn. These products offer gentler water velocity and less direct, in your face, water needle punches.

While younger kids may not like the intensity of the Hydro Swirl water tubes  other users might find the challenge of close-up play fun.
While younger kids may not like the intensity of the Hydro Swirl water tubes, other users might find the challenge of close-up play fun.

In our tests, older and more adventure children preferred the erratic behavior of the Hydro Swirl and the Kids Sprinkler Fire Hydrant that offer a more random pattern or lots of water in multiple directions. In short, you know your kids best, and it could take some hit or miss purchases to find the right Goldilocks fit, but we believe the hectic nature and harder pressure of the Hydro Swirl are too much for toddlers unless the water pressure is so low the tubes barely move.

While testers absolutely loved the fire hydrant  we don't think it is a great choice for toddlers unless you turn the water pressure way down to avoid stinging spray in the face.
While testers absolutely loved the fire hydrant, we don't think it is a great choice for toddlers unless you turn the water pressure way down to avoid stinging spray in the face.

Similarly, the Smaller Hydrant option needs very low pressure before it is suitable for the younger crowd, as more than one child commented on the "stinging" nature of the water shooting upwards at full volume. The manufacturer recommends this sprayer for children 1+ years, and we'd have to respectfully disagree as this option is far too frenetic and potentially stinging for suitability for children that young. Alternatively, the soft shower pour of the Inflatable Hydrant was enjoyed by most users as long as they weren't hoping to jump over anything. The

No childhood summer memories are complete without running and jumping through some well-place sprinklers.
No childhood summer memories are complete without running and jumping through some well-place sprinklers.

Conclusion


What could be more fun in the sun than a super water whirling sprayer in the yard to jump through? Our testers had a lot of fun comparing the competition in this lineup before choosing their absolute favorites and must-have options to beat the heat. We hope your child will find a favorite in this group and think the award winners is a great place to start.

Wendy Schmitz