When you’re child-free,
a beach trip is all about lounging near the waves, soaking up some sun, and reading a good book. But parents know all too well that beach days with kids are an ordeal — you arrive at the beach looking like pack mules, burdened by the sheer amount of toys, towels, and supplies you need to keep your children entertained (and not fried to a crisp in the sun). Finding the right beach toys for kids, toddlers, and babies is the best chance you stand at finding a few minutes to sit back and enjoy the sun and sand.
The thing about beach toys though — they’re not all created equal. They can be bulky and just make it even harder to carry everything. They can be complicated, like kites, and really dash any hopes you had of sitting down during your beach day. What parents really need are beach toys that come with their own bags, are easy to clean before putting back in the car, and don’t add a lot of muss and fuss throughout the day. Muss-minimizing toys only, please.
Whether you need beach toys for babies, toddlers, or big kids, here are some options out there that will keep your children occupied long enough to really breathe in that ocean air and just... chill.
We at Romper only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 A big-wheel dump truck to haul sand Pros: It’s meant for rough outdoor play, so it can handle getting wet. Cons: It doesn’t have any light-up or sound features.
Beach toys for toddlers don’t have to be anything fancy. This
Cat Toys Official Construction 10-Inch Plastic Dump Truck Toy has big wheels for powering through the sand and a movable dumping bed to load and unload as much sand as your little one wants. It’s made of durable plastic to withstand the elements and last for years. Review: “This dump truck has been a major hit at home for my 2.5 year old son. He absolutely loves driving it around and filling it with sand and rocks. It makes for good, concentrated, independent playtime.It is pretty sturdy and the wheels are big and durable. Definitely worth the purchase.” 2 A sand and water beach toy for toddlers Pros: No batteries or charging needed here. Cons: It’s 15 inches tall, so it probably won’t fit in most beach bags (but it does have a handle).
Melissa & Doug Seaside Sidekicks Sand-and-Water Sifting Funnel is a great beach toy for toddlers age 2 and up. Pour sand or water into the top funnel and watch it cascade through each layer, spinning, sifting, and tipping over each level as it goes. Review: “I wanted something my 3 year old would love while at the beach. Well this was it! It is very durable. Plus it has enough working parts to be entertaining for dirt, sand, water and mud. A funnel, then strainer, water wheel and finally a catch all at the bottom.I love that it has a handle! It’s plenty sturdy to be knocked around while not worrying about it breaking.” 3 A set of sand-friendly trucks Pros: The company has strict safety standards for their toys, so you can let your child play with peace of mind. Cons: The metal axles may rust after a lot of saltwater exposure.
Any collection of beach toys for toddlers has to include little cars and trucks to push through the sand.
Battat’s Mini Monster Trucks are intended for kids 2 and older, perfectly sized for small hands. with fun wheels that leave tracks in the sand. The set of six comes with a carrying bag for parents as well. Review: “These trucks are absolutely perfect for taking to the beach. Buckets and shovels only last so long...kids from 2 years old to 10 years old were playing with these trucks. Our beach adventures have lots of roads and hills and tunnels...built just for these. This is our second set we have owned...the first was a gift, and I bought a second set because they are so great. Clean up easily after a day in the sand, and there are enough to share with new friends! (Which your kids will make because everyone wants to play with a truck!)” 4 A baking set that uses sand Pros: All of the toys fit inside the bucket, and the turtle strainer doubles as the lid. Cons: There’s only one of everything, something to consider if your child has siblings but doesn’t like to share.
Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Play Set is all about creative play. It comes with three measuring cups, a crab spoon, whisk, mixing bowl and turtle strainer. Review: “This is an excellent, high quality sand set! Our2 year-old grandson loves it! I initially ordered a basic, off-brand sand toys set from Amazon and was very disappointed in the thin plastic bucket and shovels. This set is the opposite--everything is very thick and high quality. The toys are interesting and fun for him to play with. He can dig in our dirt and stir and hit the sides of the bowl to his heart's content without breaking anything. The bucket part can also be used as a shovel and doesn't bend or warp when scooping and dumping water.” 5 Simple sand toys with a mesh carrier Pros: These toys come with a mesh backpack your child can carry. Cons: They may not be the most durable set on the market. Click N’ Play’s Beach Toys for Kids include a castle-shaped bucket, watering can, rake, shovel, and molds for castles and sea creatures. The plastic is BPA-free, so if your kid puts everything in their mouth, these are safe (just sandy). Review: “The mesh bag is a great feature for this set of beach/sand toys. It was a great price and the toys are nice. Lots of fun stuff for little ones to use. I like how the shovel and rake fit into the sifter that snaps onto the bucket. Great storage capabilities both in the bucket and the bag itself. Definitely recommend this product if you have a sandbox or upcoming trip to the beach!” 6 A Velcro catch set for the beach Pros: Comes with a clear carrying case. Cons: It only comes with two balls, so you may need to purchase some tennis balls as backup. EVERICH TOY’s Catch Game for Kids is the perfect beach toy for toddlers and kids who are mastering their motor skills or who already love playing catch outdoors. The set comes with two Velcro paddles with adjustable handles and two balls. Review: “We've owned a few different versions of this game. Most of the time the balls don't last longer than a single beach season. This set though by EVERICH seems to be a lot more durable and has a successfully survived a full summer and has more gas still in the tank.” 7 Mesh bags for collecting shells and treasures Pros: It has an adjustable shoulder strap. Cons: The size is appropriate for toddlers and smaller children (this is definitely not a beach bag for carrying essentials).
Does your child love taking home shells from the beach? These
Tagitary Shell Collecting Bags are perfect for putting on their shoulder and tossing in their treasures, then zipping them up and rinsing them off inside the mesh to avoid carrying home a bunch of sand too. Review: “Mesh bags for collecting seashells- how ingenious! No more bringing plastic bags that rip open. The set comes with three bags of different colors. Big enough to hold all the sea treasures and the sand falls right out of the mesh. You can even spray the bag to clean away the remaining sand and the water runs right through.” 8 Colorful sand toys for digging and building Pros: Includes a carrying bag, and the bucket doubles as a carrier too. Cons: Some reviewers say the toys are on the small side.
B. toys by Battat Tote with Mesh Panel and 11 Funky Sand Toys includes a bucket, dump truck, sifter, watering can, rake, shovel, four sand molds, and a colorful pinwheel. Review: “This combination of toys is carefully thought out. It is enough to bring this and only this to the beach without lugging ten other bags of beach toys. There are some shapes and even a dump truck. The large bucket that holds most of the toys can be used for building in the sand and the air flower is a cute decoration that can entertain any toddle for quite some time. There is also a beautiful tea pot-jug hybrid toy that is adorable and super fun also. Even when full with water it is not heavy for a toddler to carry.” 9 A floating football for beach-friendly catch Pros: It floats, so it won’t sink under the waves. Cons: The lightweight material means it doesn’t throw as far as a typical football.
No beach trip is complete without a football for playing catch. This
Sunlite Sports Football is covered in waterproof neoprene and double stitched for durability. Review: “It floats, is easy to grip and catch, has enough weight that you can throw accurately, but is still soft enough that you don’t have to worry about someone getting hurt if they get hit with it (and it doesn’t soak up a ton of water like Nerf balls). I thought it was worth the money! I’ll probably buy a second one before pool season starts up again!” 10 A cute surfing beach toy for kids Pros: No batteries, charging, or winding up required. Cons: There’s a little bit of assembly required — just snap the dude or dudette onto their board before you head to the beach.
Surfer Dudes Classics Wave Powered Mini-Surfer and Surfboard Beach Toy is described as a surfing boomerang; just place it in front of a wave and let it ride, then wait for it to come right back. It comes in lots of color combos, and would be a super fun toy to gift siblings so they can race each other through the waves. Review: “I loved this product at the beach. I have two young children (ages 3 and 5) and they mostly stand at the edge of the ocean. This product was great because they were able to stand at the edge of the ocean and have something to do other than just dig in the sand. I ended up buying two of the surfer and my kids played with their surfers everyday at the beach. They loved watching him surf in and then running over the get him so that they could throw him all over again.” 11 Beach toys for kids with a carrying case Pros: This set is sized perfectly for toddler hands. Cons: Older siblings may not stay entertained with this small set.
Need some classic beach toys for toddlers? This
TOY LIFE Beach Toys for Toddlers set comes with a dump truck, shovel, rake, castle bucket and molds, as well as a mesh carrying bag. Review: “I opened the box and my toddler was in love with the set right away. The set is nice and sturdy, and I really like that the bucket itself is also a castle piece. I also like the pyramid piece for "uniqueness." The toy truck is more of a decoration than an actual roll around toy truck, but it is great for the beach (no metal parts, just plastic). I really think you could make a little city out of this.” 12 A set of super soakers for all the kids Pros: They float, so don’t worry if they get dropped in the ocean. Cons: Some reviewers say they break quickly. Fun-Here’s Water Guns 6-Pack are just good old fashioned beach toys for kids and adults alike. Suck up some water, shoot them across the beach, or take them to the pool. The foam construction means you can toss them in the trunk to have around all summer. Review: “These little water sprayers were a hit! They are perfect for younger kids. Adults can have a lot of fun with their children. They don't hold a lot of water, but running back and forth to that water source it part of the fun. I recommend them.” 13 An RC car that can tackle sand and sea Pros: It’s made of nontoxic, durable plastic. Cons: The battery life is short according to reviewers.
A remote-controlled stunt car would definitely keep the kids occupied, especially if it could drive on water. The
Hony Amphibious RC Car is waterproof and shock-absorbing to endure any terrain. The remote reaches up to 200 feet, and both the remote and car are rechargeable. Review: “Bought this for my 5 year old grandson. Didn't take long for him to get the hang of the remote and then all the fun began. It is truly water resistant. The battery life is average for that kind of toy. Maybe 10 - 15 minutes. Even the adults wanted to get in the action. So much fun.” 14 This beach pool for babies that offers sun protection Pros: The sun shade boasts UPF 50. Cons: It’s only big enough for one child. Getting your baby to the beach is a bit of an undertaking — they just require so much stuff. The Monobeach Baby Beach Tent is lightweight and comes with a bag for easy carrying down to the shore. Once you pop it up, it gives your little one a cool pool to sit in and protection from the sun. Review: “This is the best product ever! My babe is 6 months old and we have been delaying taking him to the beach because he gets overheated but this tent pops right up and he can play in his own little pool or dump the water and he can nap in it. It has anchors to keep it from blowing away, an air vent to let the breeze flow through, and literally folded back in and easily zipped back into carry case. Not to mention it’s lightweight which kept us from having to carry the expensive beach pack n play we got.” 15 A classic beach toy for kids Pros: It’s got a sturdy leash, and the bright colors make them easy to spot in the water. Cons: Some reviewers say the coating bubbles up after a while.
Bo-Toys Body Board is the perfect beach toy for kids who are confident swimmers and want to catch some waves. The 33-inch size is intended for children up to age 12 or 85 pounds, and includes channels on the bottom for extra maneuverability if your kid’s got skills. Review: “Solid boards for my thrill seeking boys (age 12 and 9) who love to seek out the tougher waves to boogie board. No issues whatsoever, good construction and light weight. They held up to a week's worth of waves and sand. I cannot speak to overall longevity but my boys put them through the ringer and except for the occasional areas where the design lightened and a few dents where rocks were encountered (normal in my book for what these boards do) they will definitely be ready to be used again next summer.”
Maybe the beach isn’t as relaxing as it used to be for parents, but if you can find the right beach toys for kids to enjoy, you may be able to steal a minute or two to yourself.