Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Kid’s Sprinkler

Sprinklers provide hours of refreshing play for children of all ages.

Little boy running through sprinkler
On a hot day, the next best thing to a dunk in a pool is a soak in a sprinkler.Unsplash/Mi Pham

While you can let your kids run through any old sprinkler, there are a number of models designed to spur the imaginations of young minds. These kid-specific sprayers have features that kick the fun up a notch, and you can have them ready in an instant, unlike kiddie pools that can take a while to fill with water. Here are a few things to mull over before you begin searching for your kid’s new favorite way to cool down on a hot day.

SplashEZ 3-in-1 Sprinkler for Kids, Splash Pad, and Wading Pool for Learning – Children’s Sprinkler Pool, 60’’ Inflatable Water Toys – “from A to Z” Outdoor Swimming Pool for Babies and Toddlers
This sprayer collects a small amount of H2O on the base for extra splashing fun.SplashEZ

Some play sprinklers are built with a ring around the edge. When the hose is flowing, the ring fills, trapping the water that is being sprayed skyward. This shallow basin lets your little ones splash their way through, kicking water as they go. For children that aren’t sure enough on their feet to run, this provides a cool place to splish-splash.

Jasonwell Sprinkle & Splash Play Mat 68" Sprinkler for Kids Outdoor Water Toys Fun for Toddlers Boys Girls Children Outdoor Party Sprinkler Toy Splash Pad
The playing surface on this toy is extra large.Jasonwell

One size does not fit all when it comes to play sprinklers. Some are smaller, sized for a couple of children. But if your kids routinely have friends over, you’re going to want the biggest sprinkler you can find. Ensuring your splash pad is large enough means everyone gets a piece of the action, and no one feels left out.

Homech Sprinkler for Kids, Splash Pad, Outdoor Inflatable Sprinkler Water Toys, Wading and Learning, 68" Kiddie Water Play Mat Toys
The spouts on this model spray far so everyone can have fun.Homech

Young children tend to be small, so how high the sprinkler squirts isn’t a major concern. But if your kids are a little older, and a little taller, you’re going to want something that projects water higher. Ideally, you want the plumes of water to be just taller than the top of their heads. How far the sprinklers spray water is also a concern—you want a wide pattern to cover as much ground as possible.