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Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for Best kids sprinklers

Most people love making a splash, but a pool isn't the only way to beat the heat and keep the kiddos entertained on those long, lazy summer days. Kids’ sprinklers are an easy option that can instantly transform any backyard into a water wonderland — just hook up your hose pipe, and you’re all set for hours of fun.

With loads of appealing designs, colors, and spray patterns to choose from, there’s a kids’ sprinkler for just about every water-loving whippersnapper.

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Kids’ sprinklers are a fantastic motivator when it comes to getting children up, out, and moving.

Key considerations

Rotating lawn sprinklers vs. kids’ sprinklers

When it comes to water play, kids generally aren’t too fussy about the source. While rotating lawn sprinklers can pull double duty by taking care of your lawn and keeping little ones cool at the same time (their wider spray works especially well for large groups of children), there's no denying the novelty of a sprinkler that's designed specifically for kids. Kids’ sprinklers come in a variety of delightful designs that hold a special appeal for youngsters and add an element of fun that regular garden sprinklers just can’t match. Many come in age-appropriate models, providing a safer option for smaller children and extra thrills for older kids. Some have exciting spray patterns that simply can't be rivaled by garden sprinklers.

Your child's age

Many kids’ sprinklers come with clearly specified age recommendations. Choosing an age-appropriate model can help prevent injuries for little ones and increase the fun factor for older children. Toddlers who don't have the motor skills or agility to skip around a sprinkler might enjoy an inflatable mat that they can sit on while enjoying a gentle spray. Some sprinklers designed for younger children even have rubberized spouts to prevent injuries should little ones take a tumble. Older kids, on the other hand, are more likely to get a thrill out of skipping around wildly whipping water sprays or sprinklers that spurt water high up into the air.


Construction materials will have an impact on both durability and safety. While there's little chance of kids hurting themselves with an inflatable sprinkler, there’s always the possibility of one of these getting punctured and springing a leak. Solid plastic is a common material used for kids’ sprinklers and typically delivers a reasonable combination of durability and safety while being robust enough to withstand varying levels of water pressure. If you're interested in a kids’ sprinkler with spouts, make sure that any protrusions are soft and flexible.


Size might not be much of an issue if you have a sprawling backyard, but if you have limited space, this is an important consideration. Although the average kids’ sprinkler is reasonably sized, some varieties have larger dimensions, and you’ll need to make sure that your kids have enough room to skip, hop, and run without colliding with the sprinkler or each other.


Spray patterns

As long as there's water and sunshine, most children will have a blast even with a single spray setting. However, variable spray patterns can take a sprinkler’s fun factor to the next level. Spinning swirls of spray and unpredictable water wiggles provide plenty of opportunities to duck, jump, and dash, delivering hours of fun that little ones won't tire of in a hurry.

Spray height and reach

While kids’ sprinklers with limited reach can work well if you have a younger child or a small brood of one or two tykes, larger crowds or thrill-seeking kiddos might not be overly impressed by a restricted spray range. Some kids’ sprinklers shoot water directly overhead, resulting in a broad shower on the way back down. Others have widely spaced spouts or extended tubes that spray water far and wide, offering more enjoyment for group play.

Fun designs and vivid colors

Many kids, especially the younger crowd, are drawn to friendly designs and bright colors. Whether it's a smiling face, a floral arrangement, a cute animal, or even a favorite cartoon character, sprinklers with kid-friendly designs tend to inspire extra excitement and enthusiasm. Another benefit of these designs is that little ones will be better able to understand when it's appropriate to play with their very own sprinkler and when adults are using a regular garden sprinkler for functional purposes.

"Before you buy, take a moment to check for sturdy hose connectors. Sprinklers with flimsy hardware often have a high failure rate and water trickling out of the hose connector can severely hamper spray intensity."

Kids’ sprinkler prices

The majority of kids’ sprinklers are affordable with average prices ranging between $10 and $30.


Sprinkler playmats and smaller inflatable options can cost as little as $5 to $10. While these can still provide fantastic fun for little ones, they typically aren’t the most durable.


More robust playmats, sprinklers with cute designs and extra safety features, and even smaller models with fun spray patterns can be found for $10 to $15.


If you’re looking for something with a unique design, a large sprinkler with a far-reaching spray, or a well-made jumbo inflatable, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $30 and sometimes more, depending on the size.

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For your safety
Sprinklers with metal bases can drastically increase the odds of painful stubbed toes, so you might want to save one of these for older children with good coordination.


Follow these tips to keep your kids safe while they make a splash.

  • Remember to apply a good sunscreen before your littles head outdoors to soak up the sun and revel in the cooling spray of their sprinkler. Although it's easy for kids to lose track of time when they're having fun, it's important that you keep an eye on the clock and reapply sunscreen often.

  • Always supervise children while they play. Accidents in the form of slips, tumbles, trips, and collisions with playmates are always a possibility when you combine water and excited kids.

  • If possible, position your kids’ sprinkler on grass. This will decrease the likelihood of slipping and will provide some cushioning should your child take a tumble.

  • If you have a lawn and enough room at your disposal, pair your sprinkler with a water slide for double the fun.
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Fun might be your number-one reason for purchasing a kids’ sprinkler, but they also provide ample opportunities for children to improve coordination, work on motor skills, and learn about cause and effect.


Q. Can kids’ sprinklers withstand high water pressure?

A. Despite essentially being toys, most kids’ sprinklers are fully capable of handling higher water pressure. In fact, adjusting your hose pipe’s output is the best way to customize spray intensity, and models with spinning parts or vertical jets sometimes require high water pressure to work properly. If all you need is a gentle sprinkle, you’ll only need to partially open your faucet. For greater gushes of water, let it rip! The only instance where you might need to practice caution is with smaller inflatable models as these can split at the seams when filled too quickly.

Q. Do kids’ sprinklers use a lot of water?

A. This depends entirely on the size of the sprinkler and, of course, how wide you open the faucet. As mentioned above, some models require higher water pressure to work correctly and these will naturally use more water.

Q. Can I use a kids’ sprinkler for my lawn?

A. A kids’ sprinkler will certainly quench surrounding plant life when it's in use, but some varieties might not reach far enough to water your entire garden. However, if you have a smaller garden or don't mind moving your sprinkler from one spot to another, a decently constructed non-inflatable model could easily get the job done.

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