During hot summer days, children want a way to play around and cool down at the same time. Considering the current global situation, taking your child to the local pool isn’t really an option, especially since you have to avoid crowded spaces as much as possible. Installing a pool in your backyard is an expensive alternative, but there’s another cheaper way to provide your kids with cool summer fun: installing a sprinkler for kids.
These units have fun designs and spray water in a designated area, so your children can fool around with a large inflatable volleyball even when temperatures aren’t that friendly. To learn more about the different types of existing sprinklers, what to look for when purchasing one for your child, but also which sprinklers are worth the money, keep reading today’s guide.
Top 3 Picks
Most Durable: Orbit 58257N Metal 3-Arm Sprinkler
If you have older kids that can handle the water pressure coming from a sprinkler mainly designed to water the lawn, the Orbit 58257N has a full metal construction that’s bound to last for years to come.
Most Recommended by Parents: CHUCHIK Outdoor Water Spray Sprinkler for Kids
“Right out of the box the kids already wanted to play with it, without even knowing what it was. Good way to keep them entertained while you relax outdoors instead of being cooped out in the house all day.” (Parent review)
Budget Pick: Kadaon Lawn Sprinkler
When you’re limited by a small budget and want a sprinkler that your kids can have fun with, products like the Kadaon are here to the rescue!
Different Types of Sprinklers
Sprinklers are available in a wide range of designs and the different choices out there will often operate by using a different process. It might be a little daunting having to choose a garden sprinkler, so here is what you need to know about the common types that are currently available for purchase:
As the name suggests, a rotary sprinkler has a mechanism that rotates the spraying stream across a certain surface of your lawn. They work really well on large lawns provided it has compacted or clay soil.
They are efficient at even water distribution and are available as impact sprinklers (often called a “rainbird” sprinkler because it was invented by the brand Rain Bird), gear-driven sprinklers (they spray streams of water in a continuously-turning pattern and the head is rotated by a set of gears), and stream sprinklers (they are designed to spray water in multiple directions simultaneously).
Fixed spray sprinklers
This type of sprinkler is designed to spray water without moving. They are not as strong as rotary sprinklers and can’t cover an area as wide as them either. They work really well for those of you that have low water pressure.
With a bar-like design, these sprinklers are characterized by a row of holes that basically creates a curtain of water spray. They are some of the most affordable units on the market, good for small-to-medium-sized lawns.
These self-propelled units will literally travel across the lawn to emit streams of water droplets. They are most efficient if you have to cover a wide area.
These work at low water rates and are mostly used to water flower beds (since flowers could suffer damage if water is sprayed on them at high pressures).
These discreet sprinklers will only pop out of the ground when you turn on the water, making them invisible when the water is turned off. There is no risk of tripping over them, which makes them a good choice for households with children or pets.
The main benefit of using raised sprinklers is the fact that they can easily be moved to different parts of the yard or garden, but they do stand out quite a lot, which makes them pretty unaesthetic.
Choosing the Best Sprinkler for Your Kids
When you’re on the market looking for a sprinkler for your children, you’re obviously interested in a bunch of other things, and not stuff like water pressure vs soil drainage. For those of you looking to purchase sprinklers for kids, here are a few bit of know-how that might prove handy in the shopping decision:
- The size of the sprinkler is really important in a sense that when you have a lot of kids playing, a small sprinkler won’t be fun if only one of them gets to enjoy the water spray at a time. When you’re narrowing down your choices based on the size of the sprinkler, look for models that are larger and that, of course, fit in your yard (wouldn’t want to get the sidewalk outside the yard all wet either).
- The design of the sprinkler might not always be important to you as a parent, but rest assured that it matters a lot to your child. Children will be more tempted to play outside during a warm day if the sprinkler has a fun design and comes in vivid colors. This, of course, depends on the age of your child and their personal preference as well. If you have children around the age of three, you might want to purchase a system that comes with play pads, as it gives your child a safe surface to play on instead of running around in the mud.
- Related to the bullet point above: the age of the child also determines which sprinkler is best for them. Little ones need a safe unit, preferably designed to be sturdy and not yanked off the ground. You can even find multifunctional units, meaning that when the sprinkler isn’t used for your child’s fun time, it can be placed somewhere else to actually water the yard.
- Durability and safety are key factors when choosing a sprinkler for your child. You will notice that most units are made with 0.3 or 0.4 mm PVC. This material is typically sturdy enough not to crack and tear with ease, meaning that your money is well-invested in a product designed to last.
Sprinkler Safety Tips
As a parent, you’ve most likely made it your life mission to keep your child as safe as possible. That means that the sprinkler needs to be safe to use and made from materials that are child-friendly.
When using a sprinkler, you can’t overlook the fact that it can be a dangerous toy because it makes the grass slippery, thus making children more likely to fall and get injured. The best choice here is to purchase a safety mat (or a sprinkler for kids that comes with such a product) so that children have a safe surface to play on.
It is also best if you place the sprinkler in an area in your yard that’s not close to other objects that might hurt your child. That means keeping the area free from rocks, picking up and storing away garden tools, and placing the sprinkler as far away from other metal sprinklers that could injure your child in case they fall.
Also, keep in mind that sprinklers are mostly designed to be used on hot summer days, which automatically means that your child will be exposed to the sun when playing with it. Unless you place the sprinkler in an area with shade, it is crucial that your children wear sunscreen with high SPF.
Storing Your Sprinkler
Come winter, you are going to have some extra attention to your sprinkler with proper storage solutions. The first things that you’re going to have to do is turn off the sprinkler’s water supply. If there is any water inside the installation or the sprinkler, the freezing temperatures will cause the water to freeze, leading to internal damage of pipes and components.
If you do not own a sprinkler that can be stored somewhere in the garage or shed but rather have a fixed system, proper insulation is required. Grab a plastic bag and some foam insulation tape and wrap it around the sprinkler, covering as much of it as possible.
If you do now own a system that has a main shut off valve, you might want to consider installing one yourself. Keep in mind that pipes located above the ground will also need to be insulated (there are special foam insulating tubes or sticking foam insulating tape that can help you out).
Should you own a sprinkler that has an automatic timer, you are going to have to shut that down as well. In case your unit has a “rain” mode, this will shut down the signal running to the valve without having to cut off the power to the controller. This way, you can save all the settings and programs without having to shut down the system and reset everything.
You also want to make sure that the controllers that activate the pumps are connected to the master valve and that the common terminals are removed, just for safety. This will prevent any accidental pump start ups. You can always shut down the system completely, but that means that you’re going to have to reprogram everything when you turn it back on in spring.
It is very important that you drain the water from the sprinklers and the pipes, we can’t stress that enough. In order to do this, you can either use a manual drain valve, a compressed air blow-out method, or an automatic drain valve. You might be required to call in a specialist to do this because of the implication involved in the pipe-draining process.
Best Kids Sprinklers
Time to bring in the whimsical turtle for some fun in the sun. And what could possibly be better on a hot summer day than getting some water action? This little fellow is a BPA-free product designed to bring every child above the age of 3 a lot of fun.
With an orange and green design, this little turtle is constructed with wiggle tubes that spray water all over, so your kids don’t have to chase the flow. All you have to do is attach the garden hose to the designed location on the turtle and let it do its magic. It can reach distances of up to 8 feet and comes with a rubber O ring to make sure there are no leaks.
- BPA-free construction.
- Easy to set up.
- Rubber O ring to prevent leaks.
- Spraying hoses tend to get tangled.
Next up, we have a rotary sprinkler that can be used to keep your children entertained, but also to water your lawn or garden, being one of the best multipurpose sprinklers in its price category.
To install it, you simply have to add the connector that comes with the kit (and there is an extra spare included) and attach the hose to the sprinkler. It is a pet and child-safe product designed to provide hours of fun. It sprays water with a 360-degree rotation system and has a reach of maximum 8 feet.
- Easy to install.
- 360-degree water spray.
- Comes with a spare connector.
- Questionable long-term durability.
Another sprinkler system for children with one of the cutest designs you’ll ever see is the one by Fun Splashers. It comes in the shape of a fire hydrant and provides a safe environment for your kids to play in while you get to enjoy a glass of cold lemonade on the porch.
It can splash water at a distance of maximum 8 feet and is compatible with just about any garden hose out there. The water can go as high as 12 feet, but that really depends on the water pressure in your household.
- Adorable design.
- Works with any garden hose.
- Easy to install.
- Lightweight, likely to be tipped over.
Did someone call the Splash Patrol? This little sprinkler system is an absolute gem for children who are ready to have some fun in the sun. It comes with 12 adorable looking characters (pretty much colorful worms with happy faces and googly eyes).
This sprinkler is suitable for children from ages 3 to 6, as the spray is neither in mist form, nor does the water come out with a lot of pressure to scare or hurt the little ones.
- Excellent water pressure spray for kids.
- Adorable design.
- Water height suitable for small children.
- Requires proper drainage to avoid mold.
When you’re on a budget but still want a sprinkler that your kids can enjoy and which is also safe to be around, consider the Kadaon. It comes with a super easy connect system that provides parents with one less thing to fret over.
The manufacturer promises a coverage of up to 3,000 square feet and, while we’re a bit skeptical about that number, we still think it’s well worth the price considering how much fun your kids can have with this. It is a rotary sprinkler that comes with three arms that are ready to spray all around for your little ones to cool down during outdoor summer playing sessions.
- Easy to install.
- Can also serve as an irrigation sprinkler.
- High adjustability.
- Connector is not included.
If you have older kids, you can consider upgrading to a more powerful water sprinkler. The Orbit 58257N is a durable and high-quality product that comes with three arms ready to spray water in a full-circle pattern that provides loads of coverage, which means more fun for larger groups of older kids.
The metal design of the sprinkler makes it more durable and less likely to be tipped over by stronger winds, and you can adjust the spray for a distance of up to 24 feet.
- High-quality metal construction.
- Easy setup.
- Full circle spray coverage.
- Doesn’t provide even watering.
Choosing a water sprinkler for your children requires special care and not all garden and lawn sprinklers are suitable for such a purpose. Some of them are made from strong metals that might hurt the kids if they trip over the system or the spray might come out with too much pressure which is uncomfortable for the little humans.
Always look for products that are safe to use around children and remember that fun designs are more likely to draw the attention of your child and make them want to play outside.