While many adults will be happy to lay back on a bench with a cocktail in hand at the beach, kids will need a few more distractions to keep the doldrums out. If you don’t give them activities to keep them busy and engaged, chances are, they’ll wander off in search of interesting things to do. While it’s usually fine to let kids explore an area, it can be a headache trying to find them later in a busy beach amid a large crowd of people. Yeah… there’s nothing relaxing about that.
During summer days by the sea, beach toys offer one of the best way to keep kids occupied. These toys allow them to explore what the beach has to offer, all while interacting with it in fun and creative ways for open-ended sensory play that can really help fine-tune the way they perceive their surroundings. Plus, it keeps them actively engaged without having to fix their stares at another screen, which is always a good thing to see.
While beach toys, obviously, encourage independent play, it also offers a potential way to socialize with other kids at the beach. That just what happens when kids see other kids playing. Suffice to say, spending time soaking in sun, sand, sea, water, play, and friends sounds like the perfect way to spend a summer day.
These are the best beach toys to keep kids engaged this summer.
Mint’s Colorful Life Delta Kite
Festive, colorful kites always make for a fun beach toy, with the wide open space and clear skies allowing kids to keep them soaring in the air for as long as they want. Yes, it will probably require some help from parents, but once it’s up in the air, you can kick back and just enjoy watching that thing in the air. This large kite is made from nylon, measures 60 x 30 inches (width x height) and includes a 300-foot string with integrated handle.
Any ball makes for a fun beach toy. This one, however, has a heavy weight that allows for advanced athletic control, so you can throw it and have it land exactly where you want. More importantly, though, it’s not just designed to float, it’s meant to bounce on water, allowing you to toss it from one side of the beach to another. Each pack comes with two balls, each one measuring 2.6 inches in diameter.
This beach toy set includes a plastic wagon with a tow handle, along with 10 different plastic toys. There are a number of molds, a rake, and a shovel you can use for sand sculptures, a sifter for separating pebbles and shells, and even a plastic boat that, we’re assuming, can float on water. Do note, the wagon isn’t a durable toy, so it’s strictly for hauling toys and other light objects – we doubt it can support the weight of a small kid on the bed.
Beach buckets may sound like very simple objects, but they can be invaluable to curious kids. They can use buckets to haul their toys around, collect shells by the water, build sand structures, scoop up sea water, and more. The problem with buckets? They’re a pain to carry, as they take up too much room. That’s not the case with these collapsible buckets, which can flatten into a disc shape, allowing them to take up very little room, whether in the car trunk or the beach cart. This set comes with two foldable buckets, each having a two-gallon capacity.
We love this game for the beach. Designed to be played between two teams, each team gets a hole with a trench behind it that you can dig using the mini-shovel. From there, teams toss the balls and shoot it at the opposing team’s hole. A ball in the hole is three points and a ball in the trench is one point. First team to get to 21 wins. You can, of course, make up your own rules as you go along. Heck, if you have clubs in the trunk, you can even use the shovel to dig a putting course in the sand. Pretty sure kids can dig that.
This beach toy play set lets kids pretend like they’re doing some fishing on the shoreline, with two wooden rods, working reels, and child-safe hooks that make it feel like real fishing equipment. It comes with wooden fish with rings at the tip of their mouths, so you can let them loose on the water and snag them with your line. If your kids want to shelter under the canopy on the sand, they can also use the double-sided mat as a pretend lake with comfy water graphics that simulate warm weather on one side and cold weather on the other. Also includes four play worms, a fishing net, a tackle box to store supplies, fish guide, and activity cards.
If your kid likes to stay active in the water, a boogie board will keep them riding those waves like there’s no tomorrow. It allows them to enjoy the thrills of surfing while keeping things safe due to the more stable posture the board allows them to take. Needless to say, parental supervision is necessary while they’re boogie boarding, especially with smaller, inexperienced children. This particular board has a deck made from shock-absorbing XPE plastic, an interior cut in durable extruded polystyrene, and slippery HDPE at the bottom for cutting through the waves. It’s available in 33-, 37-, and 41-inch sizes, so you can find the right size for your kid, with a variety of patterns to match their personalities.
There are plenty of beach toys to help you build sand structures. This is one of our favorites for constructing sandcastles, as it comes with molds for building large and detailed castle structures in the sand. It comes with two sizes of molds for turrets and a mold for a corbel, with the molds able to split in half for easily removing from your creations, as well as a cutter tool for carving windows and a multi-purpose tool for detail work. Seriously, this makes creating gorgeous sandcastles easier than ever.
We have no idea whether you have the room in the car to fit a full-fledged ride-on, but if you do, this mini-excavator is definitely the beach toy kids will want to ride around in. As fun as it is to scoop up sand and pebbles using miniature shovels, buckets, and other tools, it just doesn’t compared to moving the ground with an excavator and this thing lets kids do just that. There are no pedals, so kids will have to push their feet against the ground to move it along the sand, although the seat can rotate 360 degrees to easily scoop and dump sand from one place to another. Features include 8-inch tires, dual rubber hand grips, and a carbon steel base to ensure the whole thing stays stable while they move heavy loads of sandy ground.
This popular yard game also makes for a fun beach toy, allowing you to bring a volleyball-style game to the beach without the need for a large net. No, it’s not actual volleyball. Instead, it’s a two-on-two game that has you spiking the ball towards the net and bouncing it to the other team. The net, by the way, has adjustable legs that allow you to keep it level on any surface, so you can set it down on an uneven patch of sand without affecting the game. It sets up and tears down easily, too, making it a no-hassle option if you want to bring a competitive game to the beach.