When I first started on the water I had all kinds of trouble finding things to keep everyone busy. Of course there are the normal fishing, swimming, and just lazing around but you will get tired of those pretty quick.
What was I to do? So I went to Google and started searching. Below is the list of my favorite inflatable houseboat toys that I came across.
Rather than just giving you a giant list of every toy I found I narrowed it down to my top 13 favorite inflatable water toys. These toys range in price from $15 to $500 except for one which is $5,000! I’m sure you will be able to find which one that is pretty quick.
I hope this article is helpful is making your houseboat a little more fun!
There are tons of amazing gadgets that are super popular and almost a “must have” for your boat. You can find some of those best sellers by clicking here.
1. Inflatable Water Slide
Of all the boat toys that I will cover in this article this is one of the ones that can provide hours of entertainment at an affordable price. You can buy a variety of water slides that mount to your boat but I prefer to use an inflatable one as it requires less work and can be stowed during the off season.
An inflatable water slide can be fun for passengers of all ages. If you are under the age of 80 you will probably enjoy going down a water slide into the lake on a hot summer day.
Another benefit of an inflatable slide over the other options is inflatable slides are not as hot during the hot summer sun. Slides made of harder materials can hold in the heat of the sun and can warm up quite quickly. Unless you have a way to consistently run water down the slide the heat will make going down it much less fun.
A larger inflatable slide will have a lot of give to it so it is far easier to bounce your way down. Smaller children can even jump off the top of the slide bounce off the middle and into the water. Some slides are big enough where even teenagers and adults can bounce down them into the water as well.
2. Inflatable Corn Hole
This will be one of the cheapest items on our list as these games can be purchased for only $20-$30. As far as boat toys go that is a super inexpensive option!
The benefit of having an inflatable corn hole is you can play it in the water or just on deck and you won’t have to worry about the kids throwing the bags overboard as they can just be scooped out of the water.
You can set them close together or far apart. You could even have them side by side and have the throwers throw 2 bags as once. You could also set it up as normal but have the throwers throw all of their bags at once instead of one at a time.
There are many different things you can try and they are only limited by your imagination. Ask the kids on board what other ways they can think of. They will probably give you a few cool new ways to play.
Inflatable corn hole is a great toy for all ages as everyone loves a little friendly competition and all ages can play against each other without any problem.
3. Inflatable Giant Beach Ball
They have recently made some giant inflatable beach balls that are useful not just on the beach but onboard your houseboat as well. They can be used to play volleyball, baseball, or even just catch.
Some of these balls can be 5-6 foot tall but can still be played with by a large variety of age groups. I have used these to just have contests and see who can roll theirs the farthest.
We’ve also used ball batts and played giant baseball with these giant balls. Obviously those work better in shallow water or on the beach but there are tons of fun things that you can do with these giant balls!
Ask everyone in your group for some fun game suggestions and see what you come up with. You can even use them like the big balls on wipeout and try and land on them while they are floating around.
One word of caution, if it is a windy day keep these put away. Since they are round they can get blown away pretty easy and you don’t want to spend half of your day chasing a giant ball with your boat.
4. Inflatable Movie Projector Screen
There is just something about watching movies while under the stars. You can buy an inflatable screen and a projector and watch your favorite movies under the open sky!
The same can be done with a sheet or a white wall on your houseboat but finding a solid wall can be difficult and if you don’t hang the sheet against another solid light color it can make viewing the movie difficult.
If you have a flat wall I would definitely try a sheet or white blanket before buying this as not only would a sheet save you money on the purchase but it would also save the electricity of running it.
An inflatable projector screen resolves all those possible issues.
There are a few downsides to having an inflatable movie projector however. These models require constant electricity to run the fan to keep it inflated. Another downside is you also have to get a movie projector. Of course having a movie projector can be fun off the boat as well as setting up neighborhood movie nights can certainly be a blast!
5. Inflatable Bowling
This is another great game that can be played on board your houseboat, in the water, or on the beach. The pins as well as the ball inflate so they take up virtually no room but once you air them up they are tons of fun wherever you want to play.
I really like this idea as it can be done in the backyard as well as on board your boat. Don’t have time to go out this weekend? No problem, air them up and have tons of fun with the kids in your yard or even at the park. This has tons of fun ways available to use it.
You can even set up the pins in fun configurations or see how many times it takes to knock all the pins down. Don’t just confine yourself to normal game of bowling, make it interesting!
This is more of a younger child idea so if you have teens and older this probably wouldn’t go over very well.
6. Inflatable Boats
Obviously you are already going to be on your houseboat but what is better than having one boat? Having a bunch of little ones!
I recently got an inflatable boat set that came with a couple oars and fit 2 people (It really only fits 1 adult or 2 small teenagers or children). It works great for just paddling around the boat when it’s anchored or to do some exploring.
They make tons of different inflatables including fun ones as well as some more traditional ones (paddleboards, kayaks, etc.). All of them work great for a group large or small and using them to explore is far better than having to swim all the time.
They can also double as just loungers so even if you don’t plan on going anywhere you can just laze around in the water on top of them all.
7. Inflatable Floating Toys (Floaties)
As more and more people enjoy the outdoors and water, manufactures make more and more variety of floaties. I recently was looking for some small ones and came across a giant floating rubber duck! (pictured above)
You can also find a wide variety of floaties to ride or lounge on including some that are designed to be like a floating island with cup holders and seats designed to hold 6-8 people.
There are also many floaties to have fun with including bananas that you try and ride as well as dinosaurs and dragons. I even saw one the other day that was shaped like a diamond ring! The possibilities truly are endless so be sure and find some that you love.
8. Inflatable Volleyball Net
Playing volleyball is normally thought of as a beach activity or even something that you can do at your local park, but did you know it can now be played on the water?
Now obviously you aren’t going to be able to use metal poles and a giant net in the water but they have made many different inflatable volleyball nets that you can set up.
There are a variety of different sizes of volleyball nets where the bottom inflates to hold up the net. This allows you to play in the water and will help you stay cool on those hot days instead of forcing you to be on the beach while playing.
You can also use this in deep water as long as everyone is a good swimmer as moving around to hit the ball back can be quite difficult. You can also just play in shallow water where everyone can touch the bottom. It is still difficult to move in the water but far easier than having to swim every time the ball is hit.
9. Inflatable Basketball Hoop
When you think of a basketball hoop you probably think of the hoop by your driveway or at the local park. The issue with those is they are heavy and even if you try and use one that is shaped similar but is inflatable they often won’t stay upright with moving water.
The solution to that is to use the type of inflatable basketball hoop pictured above. Since it is able to be accessed from all sides you can have teams or just play horse while shooting the ball back and forth. Not having a backboard will make it a little more difficult but it keeps the ball from bouncing off oddly and having to be chased down.
The one pictured is almost 4 foot high and 3 foot wide so it isn’t exactly an easy dunk for anyone if you are in deeper water. The other benefit is that if the ball goes in it will actually go down below vs bouncing off somewhere. No chasing down the ball with this hoop!
10. Inflatable Trampoline
If you’ve ever been on the water and wanted to be up higher on your jump into the water then look no further than an inflatable trampoline! These things are great to let other people jump on and propel you into the water or are excellent ways to jump way up before diving in.
However, you do want to be careful that this is far enough away from your boat before you begin bouncing. You don’t want to have a sideways bounce and instead of landing in the water you land on the boat deck.
The one pictured above can hold multiple people at a time but be sure to bounce safely. They also sell these in larger or smaller sizes, so if you are just going to have a couple of kids on board a smaller one would work fine and save you some money.
11. Inflatable SeeSaw
If you’ve ever wanted to seesaw but are too big or are afraid of throwing the other person off, look no further than this inflatable seesaw. Again these can be purchased in different weight ranges so be sure and find one that will handle every size person who would want to play on it.
If you have some teenagers or young adults that might try to throw each other off then springing for a slightly more expensive one that will hold more weight is a good option.
If the people using this are going to be a bit bigger then be sure that it is far enough away from your houseboat so they don’t rock it into the side of the boat. If it is just smaller children using it then that shouldn’t be a problem.
12. Inflatable Rock Climbing Wall
This is by far the most expensive item on the list but also the largest! This floating rock climbing wall is only for the true boaters who spend most of their summer on the water.
If you only go out 1-2 weekends a year this item probably isn’t for you.
This wall is 20 foot across at the base and is 14 feet high! It has climbing “rocks” on 3 sides with a slide/bounce on the 4th side. That allows the users to not only have fun while climbing but on the way down too!
There are tons of different ways to play with this wall including king of the mountain, races to the top, diving contests, and much more. You can even combine it with some of the other floating toys here and create your own contests or ideas.
You can shoot basketballs from the top or even try and roll a giant beach ball to the top with competing teams.
With something this large the possibilities really are endless! I considered leaving it off since it is over the top expensive but in the end I decided it was far too cool of an item to leave off.
13. Water Mat
Water mats (also known as water pads) are a recent invention that are quite awesome. They allow you to play on the water and enjoy some of the fun without having to be completely soaked.
Ok ok so this one doesn’t inflate but it does take up very little room and is great for playing on the water. If you’ve never heard of a water mat before you can see it in use in this video
You can get these in large or small sizes but I prefer to get as large as possible. You can use them to sit on, jump off of, or as a base for all of your other water activities. It puts you closer to the water but keeps you from having to swim the entire time you are off the boat.
Some of the normal sizes of these water pads are 9×6 and 18×6. You can find them smaller or a bit larger but most of them come in those sizes.
This is a great way to have fun for all ages while not getting worn out as quickly.
That rounds up our list of the 13 best inflatable water toys for houseboats. The prices of each range from $20 to $5,000 but there is sure to be something on this list for every houseboat owner.
I personally would start with the more reasonable items and then slowly add the bigger ones to my boat. Of course if money is no object then get them all and enjoy your houseboat life!
If you are interested in some other fun activities for a houseboat we have compiled a giant list of 84 fun things to do on a houseboat. That can be found by clicking here