The 9 Best Beach Toys of 2023

Children enjoying beach toys.

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  • Beach toys can take quite a beating, so it’s important to buy toys that will last. 
  • Allowing your child to scoop, dig, and pour in the sand develops the small muscles in their hands. 
  • When children pick up buckets of sand, push dump trucks full of sand, or dig with large shovels, they exercise the large muscles of their bodies. 

Our family of 7 loves the beach. It only takes one day of warm weather at the end of winter for me to start planning our next beach vacation. As soon as the first sign of summer emerges, we pack our bags and head to the shore. 

With our children ranging in age from under 1 to 11, we try to pack a variety of things for entertainment. My favorite beach bags for moms are often loaded with snacks, sunglasses, sunscreen, and of course the best beach toys for our large family. 

Beach toys are a must-have when bringing little ones to the shore. A long day in the sun can lead to exhaustion. A beach tent for shade and toys for entertainment are some of the beach essentials for babies and kids I always pack.

We all think of the classic pail and shovel when it comes to sand toys. However, there are many other options on the market that will make your beach trip a splashing success. 

I’ve rounded up the best beach toys for kids, so you can start packing for your trip to the ocean.

Best Choice
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set For 3+ years
Best Basic
Click N' Play Toddler Beach Toys for Kids 3-10 - 13 Piece Sand Toys Including Sand Bucket, Watering Can, Rake, Shovel, 9 Sand Molds, and Mesh Beach Toy Bag - Beach Sandbox Toys for Toddlers & Kids
Best Catch Game
Jalunth Ball Catch Set Game Toss Paddle - Beach Toys Back Yard Pool Outdoor Pool Backyard Throw Sticky Mitts Set Age 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Years Old Boys Girls Kids Adults Family Easter Gifts
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set
Click N’ Play Beach Toys for Kids 3-10
Ball Catch Set Game Toss Paddle
$19.83
$18.73
$23.99
Best Choice
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set For 3+ years
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set
$19.83
Best Basic
Click N' Play Toddler Beach Toys for Kids 3-10 - 13 Piece Sand Toys Including Sand Bucket, Watering Can, Rake, Shovel, 9 Sand Molds, and Mesh Beach Toy Bag - Beach Sandbox Toys for Toddlers & Kids
Click N’ Play Beach Toys for Kids 3-10
$18.73
Best Catch Game
Jalunth Ball Catch Set Game Toss Paddle - Beach Toys Back Yard Pool Outdoor Pool Backyard Throw Sticky Mitts Set Age 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Years Old Boys Girls Kids Adults Family Easter Gifts
Ball Catch Set Game Toss Paddle
$23.99

Our Choice: Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set

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Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set
  • UNIQUE ICE CREAM TOY SET: Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set is a unique toy set for making sand “ice cream” at the beach or in the sandbox.
  • SEAHORSE THEMED DETAILS: Includes 2 scoops, 2 cones, 1 sprinkles shaker, and a bucket with a lid, all decorated with adorable seahorses and shells. The set stores neatly in a convenient bucket with a lid that doubles as a sand mold!
  • DEVELOPS MULTIPLE SKILLS: Part of Melissa & Doug’s Sunny Patch, a line of products that encourages exploration and outdoor play. Our Melissa & Doug outdoor games and toys are not only entertaining, but help to develop hand-eye coordination, number recognition, and counting skills.
  • GREAT GIFT FOR KIDS 3 TO 5: The Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set is an exceptional gift for kids ages 3 to 5 years. Add the Melissa & Doug Clicker Crab Toss & Grip Game for Kids for more scree-free fun in the sun.
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set Collage
Pros
Cons
  • Perfect for imaginative play
  • Cute scoops and cones
  • Durable plastic
  • Could include more pieces

My girls love to play “ice cream shop” at home. This is why I bought the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Play Set

This adorable sand toy set is perfect for kids who like to scoop and serve. My kids spent hours serving me “sand cones” and “ocean shakes” using this set. Even my two-year-old was able to easily scoop and create desserts. 

I love the cute bucket that comes with the set. It’s perfect for creating an ice cream table with wet sand. When we take it on our next beach trip, I’ll be able to load all the pieces back into the bucket and throw the whole thing in with our beach gear. 

This ice cream set includes 2 scoops, 2 cones, and a sprinkle shaker inside a bucket with a lid and handle. The sprinkle shaker is such a fun idea that I wouldn’t have thought to include in an ice cream sand set. My girls loved shaking dry sand over their cones when they were finished scooping. 

There were plenty of other ice cream sets for beach play online, but I chose this one for its durability. The plastic is sturdy, unlike other sets. The only thing I wish it had was more pieces for ice cream creations.

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Best Basic: Click N’ Play Beach Toys for Kids 3-10 – 13 Piece Sand Toys

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Click N’ Play Beach Toys for Kids 3-10 – 13 Piece Sand Toys
  • FUN FOR TODDLERS & CHILDREN – Kids 3-10 years old will love the Click N’ Play colorful 13-piece kids beach toy set! Our beach toys are great for a creative day at the beach or can be used in sandboxes.
  • SAFE & HIGH QUALITY – Our sand toys are made with your child in mind and are made from non-toxic, BPA-free plastic.
  • 13-PIECE SET – This set of toddler beach toys includes 1 bucket, 1 shovel, 1 rake, 5 sand castle molds, 4 sea creature molds, 1 watering pot, and 1 mesh storage backpack so that you can easily carry all the pieces with you. Approximate box dimensions – 4.7″ x 8″ X 11″
  • CREATIVE LEARNING – The Click N’ Play kids sand castle toys set includes fun molds that will encourage creative play. The beach toy set includes molds for a seahorse, crab, fish, lobster, and 5 castle molds.
Pros
Cons
  • Variety of toys
  • Includes mesh carrying bag
  • Inexpensive
  • Not enough toys for large families

If you’re on the hunt for kids beach toys that are perfect for building sand castles, this might be all you need. The Click N’ Play Beach Toys for Kids 3-10 – 13 Piece Sand Toys is an inexpensive set that will get your little one building.

The basics of sand play usually include plastic shovels, buckets, sand molds, sand sifters, and rakes. This set includes at least one of each of these. Your child will have all they need to exercise their fine motor skills while creating a masterpiece.

What I love most about this brightly colored set, is the large mesh backpack that it comes in. You’ll be able to throw all the sandy toys into the bag after you rinse them in the water. There’s no need to buy an extra beach bag just to store them in. 

Your child will have a variety of options when designing a sand castle. This set includes 5 castle molds, 4 molds of sea creatures, and a castle bucket. The shovel and watering can are perfect for creating a moat around the castle. 

Parents of large families might find that there aren’t enough toys to share. However, for 1 to 2 children it’s just the right amount. 

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Best Collapsable: RACPNEL Collapsible Sand Bucket and Shovels Set with Mesh Bag

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RACPNEL Collapsible Sand Bucket and Shovels Set with Mesh Bag
  • 【Super Value Beach Sand Toys Set】 38 colorful items in 1 sand playset, including everything for kids to play a beach game. You will get beach bucket *1, shovel *1, rake *1, mesh beach bag *1, sand castle mold *6, sea animal mold *3, watering can *1, blue flag *24. This beach toy is for kids and toddlers age 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 & 10+, baby & toddlers age 2 should be accompanied by adults to play.
  • 【Collapsible Beach Bucket & Mesh Bag】 more convenient for carry and store. The upgraded beach pail is made with thick and collapsible silicone, more durable and space saving then plastic beach pail. We also add a mesh bag to store the beach toys. The bag can filter sand and water, also dry quickly. This beach toy set is very portable for kids outdoor activities and beach travel.
  • 【Various Sand Molds & Tools】 add more fun and encourage kids to use their creativity. This kids beach toys includes 6 pcs sandcastle building kit and 3 pcs animal sand molds. The sand bucket can also make a big sandcastle. Kids can give their imagination into full play to create various sand sculptures and buildings. The watering can, shovel and rake helps them to make sand into multi shapes more easily. What’s more, we add 24 pcs little flags for kids to decorate their sand castles.
  • 【Safe Sand Toys for Toddlers & Kids】 this beach set is made with eco-friendly material, BPA free, non-toxic and easy to clean. It beats other sand toys made with poor plastic because we use thickening and resilient plastic (only the bucket is silicone). The edges are also smooth for kids to touch. Every item is in bright color and perfect size for kids to grip. This sandcastle beach toys will keep kids busy for hours without feeling boring.
Pros
Cons
  • Collapsible bucket
  • Tiny flags for sandcastles
  • Durable plastic
  • Only one bucket in the set

Beach toys can be bulky and take up a lot of room in the car. The RACPNEL Collapsible Sand Bucket and Shovels Set with Mesh Bag is a space-saving option for sand toys. 

This sand toy set includes a silicone bucket that folds down flat and stores away in the included mesh bag. This prevents parents from having to store a bulky bucket. The other items are not collapsible, but they are much smaller than the bucket. 

This beach toy set includes 6 different castle molding tools. With the bucket, shovel, and rake, your child will stay entertained creating sculptures for hours. There are even tiny flags to place in the sandcastle for added fun. 

I was so pleased to know that the high-quality plastic used in this beach toy set is BPA-free and durable. I’ve had plenty of sand toys in the past that cracked and broke almost immediately. This plastic is more durable than most. 

I only wish there were more buckets included in the set. Since they fold down so nicely, it would be great to have a few of them.

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Best Catch Game: Ball Catch Set Game Toss Paddle

Ball Catch Set Game Toss Paddle
  • ⚾ Upgraded High Quality Paddle – Our paddle is new upgraded. It is 20.5cm/8in in dia which is bigger than the old version. The volcro piece is super tight against the paddle surface and volcro piece center stitch is reinforced will never get lose or pulls out of the frame like other poor quality paddle mitts. The paddle frame is also reinforced with special process and never break off. Our sturdy ball catch ball game set is built to Last for long time use
  • ⚾ Great Balance Stickiness Volcro – The volcro piece on the paddle is sticky enough to catch to ball easily. But it not hard for your littler kids to pull the ball off the volcro disc. This catch toss set made of environmentally-friendly PE, no smell super safe for your kids
  • ⚾ Perfect Catch Throw Skill Learning Toy – This kind of toy is super suitable for your children to learn catch and throw which is especially good training for baseball. Give an ultimately help of improving focus, hand-eye coordination and concentration. It is also an active sensory toy for autistic kids
  • ⚾ Come with a portable carry case – The color of balls and carry bag may vary. Just take the case, you can play ball catch game with your kids outside. Put the ball and paddle back after your play, so you never lost any piece of this toy. This game is great for outdoor playing, like park, beach, backyard, driveway. It is also a funny indoor game play at your home. Have Fun with your kids anywhere anytime
Pros
Cons
  • Secure velcro
  • Includes 2 balls
  • Adjustable handles
  • Only 2 paddles in the set

When your child is tired of building sandcastles, send them out for a game of catch by the water. This Ball Catch Set is perfect for both older and younger kids who love sports. 

When we head for the beach, we usually pack a ball of some sort. I absolutely love the idea of a set that uses velcro. Most beach balls end up blowing away in the wind.

The velcro is secured onto the paddle tightly, so it doesn’t come off. The balls stick nicely to the pads when caught, but also pull off easily enough for a small child to do. You can also adjust the velcro grips to fit your child’s hand. 

When you’re all finished, the two balls and paddles all fit inside the storage bag. This is the perfect size to throw in your bag for beach trips.   

It would be nice if the set included more than just 2 paddles, so the whole family could play. Larger families could either buy multiple sets or just play tournament style, one match at a time. 

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Best Beach Balls: The Ultimate Skip Ball – Water Bouncing Ball

The Ultimate Skip Ball – Water Bouncing Ball
  • AS SEEN ON FOX, ABC, NBC AND CBS NEWS – Activ Life Brings You the ULTIMATE Skip Ball – The Hottest New Beach Toy of 2024 for Reducing Screen Time and Getting Your Kids PLAYING OUTSIDE with Friends and Family at the Beach or Pool!
  • BEAT THE HEAT –Create Awesome Memories with Their Ultimate Skip Ball as It’s Not Just a Ball, but a Super-Fun Group Game! This Ball will Skip Across the Water for the Ultimate game of Catch. Don’t worry it Floats! Get in the Water and Have Some Fun!
  • 3X MORE DURABLE – The Ultimate Skip Ball is Built to Last. With the Toughest Stitching to Make this Beach toy 3X More Durable than Competitors. Create Long-Lasting Memories with this Long-Lasting Toy. Nothing is Worse than Having your Toys Break Halfway Through your Day in the Sun so Make Sure you Buy Premium Quality Products! Shop Activ Life Confidently.
  • LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT GIFT? Boys and Girls Ages 7 and above and Even Teens Love These Beach Toys and Games. Great for Birthday Gifts, Beach Parties, 4th of July BBQs and Even Easter Presents for Anyone with Access to an Indoor Public Swimming Pool Year-Round.
Pros
Cons
  • Hours of fun
  • Floats on the water
  • Great customer service
  • Might split with rough play

Beach balls are popular beach toys that have stood the test of time. My next pick is a beach ball set that breaks the mold. The Ultimate Skip Ball – Water Bouncing Ball is a ball that won’t blow away across the sand.

This set will keep kids busy for hours as they play a game of “water ball”. Unlike other balls, these actually bounce across the water and float. This makes a game of catch more exciting and will likely draw the attention of other beach-goers.

The balls are constructed with sturdy stitching and can withstand normal play. Some parents noted that the balls split with rough play. However, the company is quick to respond and send replacements when that happens. 

Parents will need to be in the water with younger children as they play with this toy. Unlike sand toys, you won’t be able to sit back in your beach chair while your child digs in the sand. However, many parents found themselves having just as much fun as their kids playing with it.

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Most Entertaining: Surfer Dudes Classics Wave Powered Mini-Surfer and Surfboard Beach Toy

Sale
Surfer Dudes Classics Wave Powered Mini-Surfer and Surfboard Beach Toy
  • Award winning surf toy – Just toss Surfer Dudes into the waves and watch them go! The perfect beach toy for outdoor fun
  • Worlds first (and only) Surf Boomerang! Patented self righting design means they catch a wave every time and come back to you again and again. The ultimate mini-surfer
  • NO batteries or wind-up required – uses the energy of the surf. A great gift idea
  • Multiple Surfer Dudes Classics to choose from! Includes Dude, wing, skeg, fin key, and unsinkable surfboard
Pros
Cons
  • Fun to watch
  • Only requires a toss from your child
  • Multiple variations of the surfer
  • Pricey

If you’re looking for a toy that’s going to draw a crowd, the Surfer Dudes Classics Wave Powered Mini-Surfer and Surfboard Beach Toy is it. 

Who wouldn’t stop to look at a tiny surfer riding in on the waves? This miniature surfer on a board really surfs. All this beach toy requires is a toss from your child.

The design of the board ensures that the little surfer flips right-side up each time you throw it into the water. The motion of the waves naturally pushes the surfer back to your child. This means your child can safely stand in the shallow water and toss the surfer again and again. 

I love all the variations of this beach toy. This comes in both boy and girl surfer versions, and some include animals on the board as well. Multiple children could select their own designs so they could race them without mixing them up. 

The only drawback is that these are a little pricey considering how small they are. If you’re looking to purchase several, it could add up quickly. 

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Best Cooking Set: Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Play Set

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Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Play Set
  • TIME TO BAKE: Make fabulous mudpies and sandcakes with this sea creature inspired “baking” set
  • SEASIDE CREATIVITY: This 7 piece set includes 3 shell shaped measuring cups, octopus whisk, crab mixing spoon, and a mixing bowl. The turtle lid on the mixing bowl doubles as a sifter
  • PLAY AND LEARN: Our Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set encourages exploration and outdoor play. Mixing, sifting and baking theme presents an exciting twist on sand toys
  • GREAT GIFT FOR AGES 3 TO 5: This set makes an exceptional gift for kids from 3 to 5. Add the Melissa & Doug Blossom Bright Kids’ Sprinkler to round out the hands on, screen free play experience
Pros
Cons
  • Perfect for pretend cooking
  • Variety of cooking utensils
  • Durable plastic
  • Lid isn’t always secure

Do you have a little chef at home? If so, the Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Play Set is a beach toy set they’ll love. 

My two-year-old loves to pretend to cook and mix. I knew this would be a set she’d love. With shell-shaped measuring cups, an octopus whisk, a crab mixing spoon, and a mixing bowl, there’s plenty to play with. 

All of the items are sea themed and feature cute shapes and animals. The lid to the mixing bowl is an adorable turtle, that can also be used as a sand sifter. Just add a bucket of water to really get the creativity going. 

Some parents noted that the lid doesn’t stay put on the bowl. If you plan on throwing this sand toy set into your beach wagon or beach bag to carry, it won’t be much of an issue.

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Best with Wheels: Green Toys Dump Truck

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Green Toys Dump Truck
  • Safe Toy: dump truck is made with environment-friendly materials. Use of post recycled plastic with no BPA, palates, or PVC — is safe for earth and child. Toy is packed using recycled materials and printed with soy inks for added environmental safety
  • Usage of Dump Toy: this pink color truck toy is designed for girls and helps them improve their gross motor and fine motor skills, including pincer grip. This play vehicle is an innovative way to introduce your child with hauling sand techniques
  • Pack Includes: this pack of dump truck toy consists a workable dumper with no metal axles. Imaginative play skills of this toy will help your child understand dumping techniques in a practical way
  • Durable Truck Toy: this toy set is made from recycled plastic milk containers. FDA food contact standards ensure durability, strength and safety
Pros
Cons
  • Eco-friendly
  • Multiple colors
  • Large wheels
  • Could be bigger

If you’re an earth-loving parent looking for green toys to take to the beach, this is for you. The Green Toys Dump Truck is friendly to the environment and safe for your kids. 

This sand toy is lots of fun for kids who love wheels. It’s perfect for both water play and sand play, as kids can wheel it back and forth to the water. Kids can fill the truck with sand and dump it over and over again. 

The plastic used is recycled and free of BPA and PVC. The truck comes in a variety of colors but doesn’t use any harsh chemical paints. This makes it safe for your child to play with again and again. 

Kids will love playing with this dump truck as its large, chunky wheels easily maneuver over rough terrain. It’s perfect for climbing over sand hills. Though this toy isn’t as large as other trucks, the dump container is big enough to haul a load to the other side of a sandcastle. 

Since there aren’t any metal axles, this is the best sand toy with wheels. You won’t have to worry about the truck rusting over time. 

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Best Beach Doll: Cabbage Patch Kids Beach Time Tiny Newborn

Cabbage Patch Kids Beach Time Tiny Newborn
  • GREAT FOR TODDLERS – Cabbage Patch Kids are perfect toys for ages 18 months and up
  • FUN AT THE POOL – With a roto-soft body, holes to get rid of water, bottle this is a great beach or poolside toy
  • REALISTIC BABY DOLL – 9 In. Newborn Baby Doll with removable swimwear and float accessories
  • A CLASSIC TOY – Cabbage Patch Kids and Newborns are sweet baby dolls dressed in the cutest fashions
Pros
Cons
  • Drains easily
  • Includes bucket and shovel
  • Durable
  • Could include more accessories

My girls have always loved playing with babies in the water. The Cabbage Patch Kids Beach Time Tiny Newborn is the perfect doll to take to the beach. 

This doll was made for water. She comes ready to play in a swimsuit with a floatie, pail, and shovel. Your little one can use the pail and shovel to play in the sand with the baby nearby.

My favorite part about this doll is that she’s made to dry out quickly. You won’t have to worry about the water collecting inside her body, causing mold to grow. Her body contains holes that easily drain the water. 

I’d love it if she came with more accessories. An extra outfit as a towel could make the drive home fun as well. However, for the price, it’s a great beach toy for little ones who love dolls. 

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Recommended Accessories

When you pack all the toys for your next family trip to the beach, consider bringing along these items to make the trip more enjoyable: 

Child playing on tropical beach.

The Benefits of Beach Toys for Child Development

Sand play with beach toys is a great activity for children. Not only does it spark creativity, but it also improves several skills necessary for proper development. 

Improves Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are necessary for things like eating, dressing, coloring, and other activities that require the use of the smaller muscles in your hands. Finding fine motor activities for infants and toddlers is a great way to improve these skills while your child plays. 

Sand play is one of these activities. Allowing your child to scoop, dig, and pour works the small muscles in their hands. 

Improves Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills are skills used by the larger muscles in the body. This includes running, jumping, skipping, and other large movement actions. Gross motor activities help encourage children to achieve gross motor milestones

When children pick up buckets of sand, push dump trucks full of sand, or dig with large shovels, they are exercising the large muscles of their bodies. 

Improves Tactile Perception

Tactile perception is the ability to receive information that’s received through touch. You use this skill when you touch a hot stove, dig in the soil to find the roots of a plant, or feel the skin of an alligator. Sensory activities for infants and toddlers can improve tactile perception. 

As your child digs in the sand and squishes it between their fingers, they are using tactile perception.  

Happy little girl with her beach toy.

Choosing the Best Beach Toys for Your Child

When choosing the best beach toys, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Beach toys can take quite a beating, so you’ll need toys that can last. Here are a few items to look for when shopping: 

  • High-quality plastic or silicone that won’t easily break
  • Toys that promote creativity and have multiple play options
  • Items that pack up and store away easily
  • Toys that won’t rust or mold 
  • Quick-drying items with a storage bag to contain all pieces

FAQs

How should you clean beach toys?

Most beach toys can be cleaned with soap and water. We’ve found that rinsing them in the ocean before leaving the beach keeps them from collecting sand. After rinsing, we throw them in a mesh bag so they can dry on the way home. 

If you have toys that mold due to water left inside them, you can soak them in vinegar and water. After soaking, scrub off the mold and rinse clean.

Best Beach Toys


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