Sunday, June 16, 2024

The 10 Best Beach Toys for Kids of All Ages


Whether you’re planning your first family beach vacation or looking to surprise the kids with some new seaside activities, buying outdoor toys is inevitable. From the classic beach pail and shovel to newer options like Surfer Dudes, these are the summer’s must-have beach toys to add to your (beach) cart.

(Note: Prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication; they may fluctuate due to demand or other factors.)

SwimSchool Baby Splash Play Mat

Best for: Ages 6 months to 18 months

Perfect for little ones, this inflatable splash pad features an adjustable (and removable) canopy with UPF 50 protection from the sun, a backrest for stability, and a stacking tower with three play rings. While opinions are mixed on the canopy – some say it doesn’t stay in place while others feel it’s not big enough – most reviews are positive. Parents also appreciate that this play mat can be used at home.

HABA Sand Play Tanker Truck and Funnel

HABA Sand Play Tanker Truck and Funnel against white background.

Courtesy of HABA

Best for: Ages 18 months+

This two-in-one toy is a truck and a watering can. Kids can fill up the truck’s tank with water, then use the (removable) funnel to pour water. The toy’s handle and overall design make it especially easy to carry back and forth to the water and avoid spills. Recent reviewers say this is a really fun beach toy for their kids; they also appreciate how well constructed it is.

Green Toys Construction Vehicles

Green Toys Construction Vehicles against white background.

Courtesy of Green Toys

This three-piece truck set is perfect for scooping and dumping sand and water. It also comes with three little characters for imaginative play. All Green Toys are made from 100% recycled plastic and are BPA-free. They’re also dishwasher-safe. Parents agree these toys are the best for both outdoor and indoor play. Because the trucks are on the smaller side, they work especially well for trips to the beach.

Melissa & Doug Seaside Sidekicks Funnel Fun

Melissa & Doug Seaside Sidekicks Funnel Fun against white background.

Courtesy of Melissa & Doug

Especially fun for toddlers, this colorful beach toy can funnel, sift, spin and tip both sand and water. It’s also fun to play with in the bathtub or backyard at home. Parents and grandparents agree this is a quality beach toy, and they also appreciate that it’s not too bulky for their beach bag.

Click N’ Play 13-Piece Beach Toys

For a classic beach sand toy set, this 13-piece option fits the bill. It comes with a bucket, a shovel, a rake, five sand castle molds, four sea creature molds, a watering pot and a convenient mesh bag for storing all of the above. While some reviewers say the bag doesn’t hold up, they commend the durability of the beach toys.

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Emsco Dune Spoon Beach Digger Shovel

Emsco Dune Spoon Beach Digger Shovel in orange against white background.

Courtesy of Emsco

When it comes to beach toys, nothing beats a big shovel. This one is especially durable, and recent buyers appreciate how lightweight it is.

OMMO Metal Detector

The OMMO Metal Detector is the ultimate beach toy for curious kids. It features an intuitive, puppy-themed display and allows kids to locate coins and other surprises up to 4 inches below the sand’s surface. It also has an adjustable stem that allows it to grow with your child and makes it easy to transport. Buyers say this a good metal detector for the price, and that it’s ideal for both kids and beginners. It comes with a sand shovel and a rake.

Waboba Wingman Disc

Waboba Wingman Disc against white background.

Courtesy of Waboba

This 100% silicone disc is easier and safer to throw than a traditional Frisbee. It can be folded into a bag or pocket, making it convenient for travel as well. The Waboba Wingman Disc comes in a variety of patterns and, according to recent reviews, stands up to the wear and tear of kids and dogs.

Max Liquidator 6-Pack Water Blaster Set

Resembling a pool noodle, the Max Liquidator Water Blaster is actually a squirt gun that can shoot water up to 30 feet. Simply pull back the handle to load the tube with water, then push it forward to blast the water back out. Recent buyers agree these water guns are just as much for adults as they are for kids.

Surfer Dudes

Surfer Dudes in green against white background.

Courtesy of Surfer Dudes

This small beach toy is shaped like a surfboard and comes with an interchangeable “dude” that can clip on to the body of the toy. Thanks to patented technology, the Surfer Dude can float on water and shred waves up to 3 feet tall. Throw your surfer dude (or gal) out into the ocean and he’ll catch a wave on his way back to the shoreline. Surfer Dudes come in a variety of colors, and some even have surfer “pets.”

Beach Toy Tips

  • Storage: Carry your beach toys in a structured mesh laundry hamper, which you can usually find at your local dollar store. A mesh bag will prevent you from taking home excess sand and will also help keep your beach gear organized. Plus, it’s a good way to store the toys when they’re not in use.
  • Cleaning: A damp cloth and mild soap will usually do the job. Since many beach toys are dishwasher-safe, you can also throw them in the dishwasher after they’ve been rinsed.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Amanda Norcross travels to the beach with her preschooler in the summer and, alongside him, has personally tested many of the toys on this list. To determine the best beach toys, she also sourced recommendations from other parents and considered recent consumer reviews.

You might also be interested in:

The 26 Best Beach Resorts in the World

Aerial over beach at Montage Laguna Beach



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