11 Awesome Lake Toys to Add This Summer

Updated: Jun. 05, 2024

When you hit the beach this summer, make sure you come prepared. From inflatables to games to items to keep your beverages cool, here are 13 awesome toys to bring with you to the lake this year.

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Who says water toys are only for the pool? For adults and children alike, a day at the lake is not complete without a few toys to make splashing around in the water even more fun. From interactive games to multiperson floats, there is no shortage of exciting and unique water toys that are perfect for kicking back and cutting loose.

Different types of lake toys will appeal to swimmers of different ages. For example, toddlers and young children are likely to prefer floats with squirters and canopies while teenagers and adults tend to prefer games, floating coolers, and floats designed for relaxation. Some lake toys can even be enjoyed on the shore, like aquarium kits and toss games.

Regardless of age and swimming skill, its important to practice water safety measures. Adults should always supervise children playing with lake toys in the water, and toys should never be used as lifesaving floatation devices. Using toys safely is the key ingredient for a fun-filled day at the lake.

Best Seascooter

Yahamaha Underwater Seascooter

Great for young divers and explorers, this Seascooter can handle depths of 30 feet with a speed up to 2.5 miles per hour and a run time of an hour. It’s easy to handle and even has a mount for an underwater camera. “I tried to talk my husband out of ordering this sea scooter. Glad he didn’t listen to me! We took this to the lake and had so much fun, my 12-year-old used it for over an hour. The adults also used it and all enjoyed it. We are looking forward to taking this to the ocean,” said one buyer.

Best Squirter

SWIMLINE Inflatable UFO Pool Float

This summer, take a couple of these inflatable spaceship squirters to the lake and have a fun squirt gun fight. This inflatable is equipped with a constant-supply squirt gun so you’ll never run out of water! This is the best portable inflator for camping and beach gear.

Best Floating Mat

Rubber Duckie Floating Water Mat Pad

Children and adults will enjoy their time at the lake with an 18-foot x 6-foot floating mat. Use it to relax on, or to make those lake games a bit more challenging. The mat comes with a bungee tether so it can be attached to a dock or boat so you don’t have to worry about drifting away. P.S. Make walking in water safe and easy with the best water shoes (like these ones from Merrell).

Best Beer Pong Set

GoPong Floating Beer Pong Set

Pong isn’t just for the garage or basement. This floating pong set is perfect for a round at the beach. Just inflate and fill it with your beverage of choice. The set has two rafts, three balls and rules that can be followed or ignored. The raft can also double as a drink holder.

Best Inflatable Island

SWIMLINE Giant Inflatable Labyrinth Habitat

Everyone can get in on the fun with this inflatable island. It fits up to eight people or 650 pounds. Lay back and relax or use the openings to swim through. “Teens had so much fun playing with this on the lake,” said one buyer. “They floated in it, wrestled on it, played whack-a-mole, even paddled it across the lake and back.”

Best Beach Aquarium Kit

Dry Branch Catch and Release Beach Aquarium Kit

Turn your trip to the beach into a science lesson with this beach aquarium kit. Kids will be able to take a closer look at what’s in the water, as the screen lid allows it to be submerged underwater. Once they’re done, just open the lid to release the water back into the lake or ocean. “We just got home from a beach trip along the Florida panhandle. My kids loved catching critters in the surf,” said one buyer. “We found beach clams, mole crabs, hermit crabs, sand dollars, and even caught several minnows. We would fill up our aquarium with sand and water and enjoy watching our temporary pets for a while, and then see them free again. Other kids and parents on the beach would wander over to look at what we’d caught, and several commented on the great aquarium.” Here are expert-approved tips for when and how to raise the pH in an aquarium.

Best Log Boppers

SWIMLINE Log Flume Joust Set

With these inflatables, just add kids and let the fun begin. The set comes with two inflatable logs, along with two inflatable log boppers. Who knows—adults may have just as much fun playing with the set. “My 12-year-old convinced me to play against him. To my surprise, we had a blast. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time,” said one buyer.

Best Water Wheel

Greenco Giant Inflatable Water Wheel

Kids will be able to play and float with this inflatable water wheel. Lay back and try to balance it, swim through it or just float on the side—this wheel makes a great addition to your lake toys. These are the 10 best backyard games you can buy.

Best Baby Beach Tent

Monobeach Baby Pop Up Tent

Make sure your baby or toddler has a good time at the lake this season with this beach tent. There’s no assembly required, and it easily pops up and folds back down. It includes a canopy which offers protection from the sun and a shallow wadding pool so they can splash around.

Best Game Set

GoSports Slammo Game Set

Kids and adults can get competitive on the beach this summer with this Slammo game set. The game is easy, think of it like a game of two-on-two volleyball. Teams have three hits to bounce or spike the ball to the net. The set comes with the target, two competition balls, a training ball, a traveling case and rules.

Best Cornhole

Airhead Lob the Blob Cornhole Set

Take the cornhole game from the tailgate to the lake with this floating cornhole version. There are grommets on all four corners for tethering on land and the set comes with four green and four blue “blobs” and two targets. “My 4-year-old grandson had a ball playing this (he was good at it too) as well as the adults. It’s sturdy and the ‘bean bags’ float so they are easy to retrieve if you miss the target,” said one buyer.

What to Look for When Buying Lake Toys

When shopping for lake toys, durability and the quality of materials are among the most important factors to consider. Lake toys are used entirely outdoors, meaning they will be exposed to a lot of sunlight and will also see plenty of wear and tear from use during playtime. Though inflatable toys are the most common, they are almost always made from vinyl, which is not as durable as foam, plastic or other types of materials.

Inflatable lake toys also pose a greater safety risk than other types of toys because swimmers can get trapped beneath them, and large inflatables can obscure the view of adults supervising children or lifeguards on duty. Parents should never allow children to use lake toys—especially inflatable toys—unsupervised.

If you’re considering purchasing a float, inflatable or foam, be mindful of its size and weight capacity. Exceeding the weight limit can damage your float and pose a safety risk for weak swimmers. Consider whether an adult or a child will be using the toy in the lake, and shop accordingly from both a size and age-appropriateness perspective. Small children require completely different lake toys than adults.

Why You Should Trust Us

Rachel Brougham, the author of this piece, is a seasoned writer who has spent years working in newsrooms, writing for television and newspapers, and most recently published Widowland: A Collection of Essays on Grief. She’s been a contributor to Family Handyman since 2017, when she researched and reviewed a wide range of home and outdoor products.

How We Found the Best Lake Toys

Water toys add even more fun to a day spent at the lake with family and friends, and we found the best lake toys are often the ones that can be enjoyed by multiple people simultaneously. We carefully considered a broad assortment of lake toys in search of those that are engaging, interactive, durable and safe. While inflatable toys are among the most popular, they also pose the greatest safety risk, so we sought out those with the most minimal risk level.

After prioritizing safety, we paid close attention to materials, age appropriateness and additional features, like cupholders. We read through customer reviews and factored in other important criteria, including price, storage and weight capacity.


Can you use pool toys in a lake?

Whether or not you can use pool toys in a lake depends on the rules that apply to each individual lake. Some larger lakes may not permit the use of pool toys, usually due to safety reasons, while other smaller lakes may allow all or some types of pool toys. Check with local municipalities if pool toys are permissible in a particular lake. If you plan to use the same toys in a lake that you use in the pool be sure to clean them thoroughly before reintroducing them to your pool after a day of fun at the lake.

How do you keep lake toys and pool toys clean?

Toys used in a lake may have algae or other bacteria present them when you bring them home after using them, so it’s important to clean them thoroughly to prevent illness. If you have a chlorinated swimming pool and keep chlorine on hand, using a solution of chlorine and water to spray down your lake toys can kill any mold or bacteria. Alternatively, you can make a bleach and water solution using 3/4 cups of bleach for every gallon of water to disinfect your lake toys. When toys are not in use they should be stored in a cool, dry environment.

What is the best way to store lake toys?

Properly storing and caring for your lake toys– or any water toys, for that matter—is the key to prolonging their lifespan. Remove lake, pool or other water toys from water when they are not in use and allow them to dry completely in a cool, dry environment. It’s important to keep water toys out of the sun when they are not in use, as prolonged exposure to sunlight causes the materials to degrade. Once your toys are dry, deflate any inflatable floats or toys before storing them in a cool, dry place.