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Five garden water toys your children will love you for

Magazine
When the weather gets warmer and the sun starts shining, children inevitably start clamouring to get outside. Garden water toys are one of the best ways to keep kids of all ages amused and cool in the heat, in addition to earning you some serious parenting bonus points. Here are the essentials that’ll entertain your loved ones for hours on end.

Garden water toys – the must-haves:


1. Paddling pool

There’s barely a sight more heart-warming than the anticipation on a toddler’s face when you first unfold the paddling pool on a hot summer’s day and begin to fill it with water from the garden hose. Throw in some beach balls, rubber ducks and inflatable toys and there are probably few other garden water toys that could make them as happy. The joy doesn’t just have to be confined to pre-schoolers either – from the smallest collapsible pools to large inflatable models that resemble mini-swimming baths, there are a range of models to suit kids of all ages - right into their teens.




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2. Bubble maker

The other garden water toy bound to fill your child with equal measures of wonderment and delight is a bubble maker. For a young infant, there’s nothing more magnificent to behold than a blower stick being dipped in a pot of soapy water and held to a family member’s blowing lips, making dozens of glistening bubbles appear in front of their eyes, then scatter in the breeze across the lawn. If your children are of school age and not so easily impressed, kits are available that make spectacularly big bubbles.





3. Water Pistols

Once your young one is standing up on his or her two feet and running here, there and everywhere, it’s time to introduce them to a little garden water toy warfare. Don’t worry about encouraging violent behaviour – today’s comic and colourful guns look nothing like the real thing and, of course, fire nothing but water. So choose your weapons – anything from a small pistol to a veritable water cannon – load up, and get soaking one another.







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4. Water slide

If you have a house of tweens or teenagers and want a more adrenaline-fueled garden water toy to impress them with, a water slide is just the thing. Better yet, all you need is a good length of plastic sheeting and a hose. Simply lay the sheeting on your lawn, spray a good amount of water over the surface with the hose and watch as your daredevil offspring take turns to run up and slide across it at impressive speeds.






5. Water bombs

No matter how old you are, everybody loves a practical joke. Sure, it might come at the expense of a serious saturation for the unwitting target of your water-filled packages, but he or she is bound to see the funny side as they dry off quickly in the summer sun. If you want a fairer fight, divide into teams, stand at either end of your garden, count down from three and let battle commence. A word of warning with these garden water toys: be sure to buy products labelled specifically as water bombs rather than regular balloons, as the latter may not explode on impact and could cause injury.
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As these toys involve the use of water, it goes without saying that you should monitor their use at all times, especially when younger children are involved. That aside, each one provides a huge amount of fun for a wide range of ages. The best thing about every item listed above is that they are inexpensive, very easy to store over the winter months and incredibly easy to set up when the warm weather comes around again.