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Style & Living Home and Design

Want to Make Your Backyard the Best on the Block? You Need These Pool Toys


By Mitra Sorrells

Nothing says summer like a day at the pool—even better if that pool is in your backyard! When we moved into a house with a pool, I figured that would be the end of the inevitable “I’m bored” whine from my kids in the summer. But alas, no such luck. Because after a while the novelty of splashing around in the cool water got a bit, well, boring. And then I discovered pool toys. Endless options of plastic, colorful games, balls, and other novelties meant to turn your pool into more than just a respite from the heat or a place to work on your tan. Now “I’m bored” has been replaced by hours of laughter and healthy competition. And they’re not just for kids—you should see my jump shot in water basketball!

We’ve rounded up nine of the most fun pool toys you can buy right now. Grab a few now, while there’s still plenty of summer left to enjoy them. And don’t be surprised if your pool becomes the hot spot for cooling off on your block!

Watermelon Ball

The original watermelon ball game was played with—you guessed it—a real watermelon. This ball simulates the look, feel, and buoyancy of a real watermelon, without the potential for a sticky mess! It can be dribbled, kicked, bounced and passed underwater up to 10 feet. Instructions for the game—which combines elements of football, basketball, and rugby—are included, or you can use the ball for other water games.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $24.99

Water Volleyball

Volleyball is a classic pool game and this set is made of durable stainless steel and aluminum hardware. Fill the bases with either water or sand and you’ll be ready to play in no time. The adjustable nylon net fits pools from 12- to 30-feet wide and the set comes with a regulation-size volleyball.

BUY FROM: Frontgate, $429

Itza Floaty Pong Game

Create endless configurations with these 12 interlocking rings that each have a point value. Then take turns tossing the six foam balls into the rings to earn points. To make it even more difficult, put plastic cups inside each rings.

BUY FROM: Walmart, $27.49

SwimWays Toypedo Bandits

You’ll be amazed at how fast these things fly through the water! Each of the four torpedo-shaped toys is marked with a point value so you can easily create a game based on which ones are retrieved.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $4.79

Dunn Rite Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop

Basketball is another great option for a lively pool game. This 14-inch steel rim extends out over the water, so players don’t risk crashing into the pool wall. Just fill the pedestal with water to keep it anchored in place.

BUY FROM: Hayneedle, $132.71

Sunbrella Floating Toss Game

Anyone can play this floating version of corn hole. The game comes with two foam game boards covered with a bright Sunbrella fabric and eight bean bags.

BUY FROM: Frontgate, $299

Water Sports Swim Thru Rings

Everyone can have fun swimming through these colorful 31-inch diameter rings. Each one has a small air chamber that you can inflate or deflate to adjust how deep the rings sit in the pool.

BUY FROM: Walmart, $17.16 for a pack of 3

Flamingo Ring Toss Game

Test your eye-hand coordination with this floating ring toss game. Each of the three colorful rings have point values on them so players can easily compete. The flamingo and rings can be deflated for easy storage when not in use.

BUY FROM: Amazon, $8.88

Floating Golf Green

For those who prefer to stay dry, this 50- by 80-inch floating golf green is a great option. The surface is made from synthetic grass mounted on a foam base. It comes with a dozen balls, a flag, and a tee box.

BUY FROM: Frontgate, $449

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