Best beach toys for your kids this summer

Best beach toys

by Stephanie Spencer |
Updated on

A day at the beach seems like fun and games until you realise that children are not as content to lie down with a bookas us adults. Thanks to the best beach toys, entertaining children at the beach doesn't require momentous planning. Sometimes something as simple as a bucket and spade can keep little ones occupied for hours on end.

When planning for a day in the sea and sand, there are a few other hefty items to consider. For the perfect beach trip, you'll need to consider a beach tent, cooler and snacks. So, ideally, you want the entertainment to take up the least amount of space possible.

Best at a glance:

  • Best beach toy for kids overall: Ballo Beach Bucket, £15

  • Best inflatable beach toy: Inflatable Multicoloured Rainbow Large and Small Beach Balls, £16.99

  • Best sustainable beach toy: Green Toys Tide Beach Set, £14.99

  • Best portable beach toy set: Prextex Beach Toy Set in Reusable Zippered Bag, £24.99

  • Best sandcastle building: Battat 11 pcs Sandcastle Building Kit, £11.55

Here's our list of the best beach toys this summer - from super-compact squashable buckets to portable beach toy sets all way through to a disk ball. Whether you are looking for toys to keep your little ones happy or keeping your older active kids from becoming bored, there is something for everyone.

Best beach toys for kids and toddlers this summer 2024:

This unique beach toy from the Belgian brand Quut is cleverly designed for children playing in the water. The bucket is made so that the water you have collected remains even when it is carried back by a wobbly toddler. This soft bucket is a sphere shape which makes it easier for small hands to fill it with water and bring it back to the beach to build sandcastles and other water games.

Review: "My little girl will love this! It is strong and sturdy, like all of Quut's toys, and great for carrying sand, water, pebbles and shells... as well as dirt and flowers from the garden. The "cylinder" in the middle where the rope passes through may get in the way, so you wouldn't be able to carry big items or toys. Great that you can easily swing it without a plastic handle breaking, and the bright colours are terrific."

Pros

  • Modern design and soft-touch 
  • Great for small hands to fill with water
  • Ergonomic
  • Encourages imagination

Cons

  • Suitable for babies
Age suitability:10 months+

Best beach toys
Price: $19.99
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If you are not keen on buying another plastic toy that your kids will eventually get sick of, then these toys are an excellent investment for both you and your children. This Green Toys ocean set is exclusively made of 100 per cent recycled plastic, meaning no more harmful plastic going into the ocean. The set itself comes in six different shells - from squid to scallop, abalone to jellyfish, so your kids can learn about the wonders of the sea while playing in the water. Not to mention, when summer is over, they make excellent bath toys.

Review: "Each toy drips water differently, and the carrying case makes lots of 'rain'! We highly recommend this quality water toy and all Green Toys!"

Pros

  • The holes throughout the sides and bottom of the bag allow water to drain out
  • 7-piece Green Toys Tide Pool Bath set includes a starfish, scallop, abalone, snail, squid, and jellyfish, as well as a seaweed-patterned storage bag

Cons

  • Not suitable for kids under 6 months old
Age suitability:<span style="font-size: revert; font-family: inherit; font-weight: inherit; color: initial;">6 months+</span>

This Silicone Bucket and Spade Set can be squashed, folded and rolled without ever losing its shape. It is also made from non-toxic, food-grade silicone, so it is soft to the touch with no sharp or hard edges - the perfect beach toy for toddlers and busy mamas. You can also pick up a scrunch spade, diskor [watering can]{href='https://www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk/scrunch-watering-can-dusty-rose-e8057.html?refSrc=64511u0026nosto=productpage-nosto-2' target='_blank' rel='noreferrer noopener'} made from the same silicone material.

Review: "Best beach bucket we have purchased, we take it on holidays with us. It’s a very good quality"

Pros

  • 5-piece set includes bucket, spade, and 3 moulds
  • 100% malleable eco-friendly silicone

Cons

  • Can only be wiped cleaned only
Age suitability: 12 months+

Best inflatable toy

Best beach toys

Rrp: $14.49

Price: $13.62

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To encourage hand-eye coordination, active play and lots of fun, these inflatable beach balls are a classic when it comes to beach toys. The possibilities are endless, play catch, football and so much more. Your beach trip isn't complete without one of these!

Review: "Whew, Lord! I am aware that I have the lungs of a 41-year-old who does not exercise, but these things will really insult you. If you buy these balls, have a pump ready. Five breaths in and I was light-headed. Once I pumped them up, which was more arm stamina that I normally have, they were excellent. Nice and large, fun at the party. Do not think you will blow these balls up just minutes before you use them. If you can do that, quit your day job."

Pros

  • Made from high-quality PVC material, with durable waterproof ball
  • Great to play with on the beach or in water
  • Easy to carry and it does not take up space in your storage
  • Lightweight
  • Beautiful and colourful design

Cons

  • Only comes in a 6 pack
Age suitability: 3 years+

This sea-inspired lovely baking set from Melissa & Doug has seven pieces: an octopus-shaped whisk, a crab-shaped mixing spoon, and shell-shaped measuring cups. So your little budding bakers can play on the beach, during bathtime, or their pretend kitchen.

Review: "Very robust and can tell will last a long time bought for a bday present for a sandpit but could take on holiday or to seaside/ worth the extra money as it will last for a long time. My three year old loved it and a good bath toy to hours of fun baking cakes with her big sister."

Pros

  • The turtle lid on the mixing bowl doubles as a sifter
  • Designed to engage children in the joy of imaginative, and hands-on play
  • Safe and durable
  • Includes 3 shell-shaped measuring cups, octopus whisk, crab mixing spoon, and a mixing bowl.

Cons

  • Not many colours to choose from
Age suitability:3 years+

sand castle building kit set
Price: $16.95

The Battat 11-pieces beach toy set has everything you need for playing in the sand on the beach. It includes  shovel, hammer tool, and sandcastle molds, this beach toy set comes with everything your little one needs to start building their own creative castle.

Review: "This is a lovely set; it comes with lots of different shapes, buckets and spades. They all feel sturdy and well made."

Pros

  • Comes with a with a shovel, hammer tool, and sandcastle molds
  • Features a range of different molds for building a unique sandcastle

Cons

  • Recommended for kids aged 3 years and up
Age suitability:3 years+

This beach toy set comes in a clear, reusable storage bag with a zip and handles so you can keep all the items together when playtime is over. The beach toys can also be used in pools or out in the garden. The set includes two sandcastle moulds, five cute animal moulds (turtle, bunny, dinosaur, alligator, and crocodile), a castle wall mould, sand sifter, watering can, rake, and a shovel.

Review: "Bought this for our granddaughter to use in her new sandpit this summer. Delivery was on time, and the item was as described. There is a good selection of moulds, spades, sieves, and a mini watering can in bright colours. The pieces seem adequately robust to last the length of time they will be needed and offer good value for money."

Pros

  • 12 piece sandcastle set includes: 2 Sand Castle Moulds (7"x5", 6"x5"), 1 sand sifter, 6 fun moulds (1 alligator, 1 crocodile, 1 turtle, 1 bunny, 1 dinosaur, 1 castle wall), 1 watering can, 1 rake, 1 shovel.
  • Reusable storage bag with zipper and handles
  • An amazing castle builders kit to build creative figures 

Cons

  • Not ideal for under 1 year olds
Age suitability:3 years+

This is the perfect beginner kite as it is made for children from the age of 3 years old. It is designed with a classic diamond shape and a light frame. The kite can be flown in light wind, and the colourful loop tail stabilizes the kite in stronger wind. The maximum length of the kite line is 100m.

Review: "Amazing kites! I bought them for my son to use at the beach today, and he loved them! They were so easy for him to use; he could do it all by himself (he is five years old) and was doing tricks and dances and thoroughly enjoyed himself with the kites. Not only that, but all of us adults loved the kids too, and there were 11 of us! Even his grandparents were doing tricks with them and running around the beach."

Pros

  • Child-friendly
  • Made from tear-resistant polyester canvas
  • The perfect beginner kite for children from the age of 3 years up

Cons

  • Not many designs to select from
Age suitability:3 years+

This fun toy transforms from a disk into a ball when you throw it in the air and is suitable for playing in the pool, beach, or park. Just lightly squeeze the ball to transform it back into a disk again. The frisbee ball is made of soft and flexible plastic, so you can play with it without worrying about it breaking.

Review: "My two boys (3 and 5) love playing with this indoors and outside. They have had so much fun the past few weeks and say it's the best toy ever. They always laugh so hard when it pops into a ball. Little stiff at first, but now they can flatten it with ease. Brilliant!"

Pros

  • Flexible plastic materialake your Phlat Ball with you anywhere
  • Can take your Phlat Ball with you anywhere
  • A fun and unique transforming toy that turns from a 9" flying disc to a 6" diameter ball

Cons

  • To be used under the direct supervision of an adult
Age rating:3 years+

Best group game

A game that can be played by all, there's nothing more fun than a game of cricket on the beach. Falling over into the sand, laughing with friends and family, this is a game that will leave you with memories for years to come. This cricket set is a beach toy that can also be used in the garden on a summer's day.

Review: "Bought as a present for my 3-year-old grandson. It is light enough for him to use but strong enough for older children too. The wickets are sturdy and stand up well even on grass surfaces. Great Value for money and brightly coloured to make it appealing to younger children. Would recommend."

Pros

  • Made from all-weather plastic
  • One size and contains one moulded cricket bat
  • Recommended for ages 4 to 8 years

Cons

  • Bail for the top is not included
Age suitability:4 years+

Families and friends have played this iconic game for generations. Whether you are camping or spending the day at the beach, this colourful 8-piece Boules set will keep your kids entertained. The rules are easy to follow, so it would be an excellent activity for your older and younger children to play together. The set also comes in a carrier, so you can easily collect the pieces and keep them safely all together.

Review: "The balls have a nice weight that is good for adults but also that younger kids can handle, too. The carry case is super handy to keep everything together."

Pros

  • The brightly coloured plastic balls are perfect for use at the beach
  • The set comes complete with 8 weighted coloured balls
  • Made from hard-wearing, high quality and long lasting plastic

Cons

  • A 2+ player game 
Age suitability:5 years +

Does your child love to play in the waves? If they do, they will love this inflatable 'joy rider' board where you lie down and try to catch the waves without needing to stand up. They need to be inflated by breathing air into the board, but it packs up small when deflated. It also comes with an adhesive patch to repair any punctures.

Review: "Great quality, comes with an adhesive patch to repair punctures which we haven't needed yet. It takes some inflating, and as we didn't have a pump with us, it took a while. Once done, though, it helped up well and didn't require any topping up. Little one loved it; the plastic handles providing much-needed stability."

Pros

  • Inflatable surf board style joy riders
  • Brightly coloured with cool graphic
  • Two handlers for stability

Cons

  • It contains small parts, so is therefore Not suitable for children under 36 months.
Age suitability: 6 years+

This small yet powerful ball can bounce long distances at speed on the water and can fit in your pocket. It is the ideal toy to play with in the pool or beach and will take up no room in your bag. Whether you're throwing or skimming the ball, it's shockingly easy to catch, even when wet. Also, due to its three-layer design with a lycra fabric outer and gel core, the ball floats on water so you won't lose it while playing.

Review: "This is great for the beach, sea or a pool. It's easy to catch even when wet. It's a good weight and goes a long way even when used on the open sea. Fits in your beach shorts pockets. The bounce on the water is amazing, better than skimming a stone."

Pros

  • The original ball that bounces on water
  • Colourful

Cons

  • Great for older kids (over 8 year olds)
Age suitability:8 years+

FAQ's

What do you pack for a family beach day?

Now you've got the kids' beach toys sorted, let's think about what else you need to pack when you're going on a family beach day.

When you've got little ones, there is so much stuff you need to remember to bring with you before you even head out of the door. It's so easy to forget small things that will make a big difference once you're out and about.

To help make planning your beach trip a little easier, we've put together a list of things you're bound to need:

1. Swimwear

2. Swim shoes to protect their feet for particularly shell-filled/rocky beaches

3. Swim nappies/pants if your little one still needs changing

4. Even if you're visiting a UK beach, it is important to pack sunscreen to protect kids from the sun's ray

5. A towel for them to wrap up warm after a dip in the sea

6. Somewhere for you all to sit, whether that's a camping chair or a picnic blanket

7. Snacks and drinks to save you from needing to find somewhere to stock up once you arrive

8.  first aid kit as we all know how accident-prone little ones can be

9. A change of clothes for travelling home

They may feel like obvious items, but trust us, when you're trying to organise the whole family, you'll be thankful we've reminded you of the basics.

What to consider when buying beach toys?

Go for products that are made of high-quality materials and making sure they are cleanly finished. This will guarantee and safeguard the toys from water and sand, which in the long run will last longer. 

Stephanie Anthony is the Deputy Digital Editor at Mother&Baby and auntie to four aged 7 to 2 months old. With a particular interest in health, she loves discovering products that make parent’s lives easier.

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