A day at the beach sounded bucolic before you have kids: You read a book, maybe cracked open a beer, and just reveled in the soothing melody of crashing waves. But when children enter the picture, you need a well-stocked arsenal of beach toys for kids to keep them active and entertained. And most of all, to avoid hearing the dreaded, monotonous refrain of, “I’m bored.”
When looking for sand toys worth your money, you can choose buckets and shovels. Sandcastle-building kits. Beach balls. Whatever you pick, make sure the toys are durable, lightweight, and easy to clean. Because hauling sand to build Elsa’s ice palace is no easy feat. And vacuuming sand out of your car trunk just sucks.
This hardy yet lightweight plastic set includes a bucket, sifter, rake, and shovel, and is great for kids 2 and older.
This set, made from recycled milk containers, includes a bucket, shovel, rake, and sand mold, so it's slightly more, shall we say, sophisticated. Plus, the bucket has a rope handle, so it's easier for kids 2 and up to lug around.
Builders 3 and up can use this set of blocks, shovel, and 3-D shapes to build the glorious sand creations of their dreams. And when they're done, everything goes into a mesh bag, thus making the tools less of a mess to bring home.
This set includes four sand castle molds that are also buckets. Your kids can use them to tote around sand (or water) and then build fanciful architectural marvels that will dazzle other beachgoers; the set is ideal for kids 2 and up.
What's cheaper than a trip to Paris? A mold of the Eiffel Tower, of course. Hape's one is brilliant for the beach, and you can choose from other landmarks as well.Not into the City of Lights? Then grab a mold of the Taj Mahal or a pyramid instead. Suddenly, sand-building turns into a geography adventure. Great for kids 2 and up.
What's more annoying than finding a perfect seashell and not having anywhere to put it? Forgetting it at the beach, of course. That nightmare scenario is no more thanks to this mesh bag, which is great for collecting shells, rocks, and other finds, but keeps the sand and water out.
Every beachgoer needs a beach wagon, and this one, from Green Toys, is made from recycled plastic. Kids can store their treasures in this wagon, or use it to lug sand back and forth. It's ideal for for toddlers.
Every single time your kids (or rather, you) whack this beach ball, it lights up. It's 31 inches in diameter and great for kids 3 and up. And adults of any age.
Kids 2 and up will have a blast with this colorful sand and water funnel. They can pour water or sand through this tower of sea creatures, then watch as the different layers funnel, tip, spin, and sift. Never has sand looked so good.
It's like badminton for kids 3 and up. They throw the crabs back and forth and catch them easily thanks to their Velcro stomachs.
As its name indicates, this is a multifunctional toy that is part shovel, sifter and rake. Toddlers can shovel, build, and sift. And get this: The hollow handle can also be used as a water funnel.
This water bucket has a spherical shape, making it perfect for 3-year-olds who want to fill it and then dump the water on ... you.
What better way for 3-year-olds to dig for dinosaur bones, than with a dinosaur bone that's actually a glove?
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