18 Different Types of Beach Toys

Various types of beach toys on the sand.

Summer is coming, and there’s nothing better than a beach day once the temperature rises. There are a wide array of beach toys you can choose from. As a parent myself, I’ve learned the secret to beach fun with kids.

Keep it simple.

The best beach toys take advantage of the beach itself. A great beach toy enhances the experience of being at the beach.

You should also keep in mind that beach toys aren’t just for kids. If you have children, or are just a kid at heart, you can enjoy beach toys as well. Find toys that the entire family can play with together, and you’ll have some great memories of your day at the beach. Long after the toys have been put away, the memories will remain.

Types of Beach Toys

We’ll look at the three basic types of beach toys, categorized by the area you play with them. These are sand toys, water toys, and beach toys.

Sand Toys

Sand toys are perfect for building elaborate sandcastles or simply digging in the sand. Most sand toys are made from plastic and come in bright colors. If you strive to be environmentally friendly, you can find them made from recycled plastic as well.

Sand toys include:

  • shovel
  • sifter
  • castle mold
  • bucket
  • sand wheel
  • sand playset

Shovel

Colorful shovels on the sand.

A shovel is one of the simplest beach toys. It’s great for a baby because they can enjoy digging in the sand. Older kids can use the shovel to scoop sand for a sandcastle.

Shovels can also be used to create roads and moats for castles, which can provide hours of entertainment.

Sand Sifter

Hand holding a sand sifter basket against the sand.

A sand sifter is great for sensory play. Kids can scoop sand into the sifter and watch it fall through the holes. If you are building a sandcastle, a sifter will remove rocks and twigs from your building medium. This makes a sturdy smooth sandcastle.

Young kids are often mesmerized by the movement of the sand and will enjoy the feeling of it running across their hands.

Castle Mold

Various castle molds on the sand.

A castle mold is a great way to build a sandcastle. They range from very simple to elaborate. Many come with molds in different sizes for a variety of effects. In addition to castle molds, you can find molds for sea creatures and other fun shapes.

Bucket

Orange bucket and shovels on the sand.

Want to unlock your child’s imagination and creativity? Simply give them a sand bucket and let them create a sandcastle using it.

Castle molds have interesting details. A pail offers a very basic structure, which can encourage kids to create their own details.

Sand Wheel

Truck beach toy on the sand.

A sand wheel has a funnel on top and a wheel beneath it. Pour sand into the funnel and the wheel begins to turn. You can also use water to turn the wheel.

Filling the funnel helps build hand and eye coordination, and is a great introduction to the scientific principles of motion.

Sand Toy set

Sand castle with beach toy set.

A sand playset includes different sand toys. These sets have everything you need to enjoy a beach day, and might quickly become a favorite beach toy.

The most basic sets will include a shovel, bucket, and a few sand molds. Elaborate sets can include castle molds, a sand wheel, sifter, and more.

Water Toys

Part of the fun of a trip to the beach is playing in the water. It doesn’t matter if it’s the ocean, a lake, or even your local swimming pool, water toys can be fun.

Water toys include:

  • boogie board
  • pool noodle
  • water gun

Boogie Board

A boy surfing using a boogie board.

The boogie board has become an iconic childhood toy that is fun for adults as well. Most boogie boards are made from lightweight foam. This allows the board to float and support the weight of a person in the water.

This simple floatation device can be used by anyone capable of holding onto the sides of the board. It’s different from other float toys because it can also be used to ride mild waves, similar to a bodyboard.

Pool Noodle

A boy swimming with a floating fun noodle in the pool.

Pool noodles are also made of foam. They are brightly colored, noodle shaped, and come in a variety of sizes. Larger noodles can float an adult, while smaller noodles are ideal for kids.

Part of the fun of a pool noodle is its versatility. You can hold onto it and float. You can “ride” the noodle by placing your body on top of it, and seeing how long you can go without falling into the water.

Of course, they can also be used for pretend jousting and friendly jabs.

Water Gun

A girl and boy playing with water gun on the beach.

Water toys wouldn’t be complete without mentioning water guns. Water guns range from extremely simple plastic models with a trigger and a plug to complex designs that require pumping the gun. If you get hot out on the sand, it’s a great way to cool off.

Beach Toys

Beach toys aren’t strictly for the beach. They can be played with anywhere outdoors, but they can add more fun to your beach day as well.

Beach toys include:

  • kite
  • bubbles
  • beach ball
  • frisbee

Kite

Family on the beach flying a kite.

Kites are another beach toy that is fun for all ages. Even the most serious adult gets whimsical when they see a kite flying high in the sky, with the water as a backdrop.

The smooth sand of the beach is a perfect place to fly a kite. If it’s a windy day at the beach, kite flying should be on your activity list.

Like many beach toys, kites range from simple and inexpensive to elaborate and costly. In the interest of keeping it simple, budget options are a great idea. Let your kids have fun, and don’t worry if the kite has a short lifespan.

Bubbles

A girl making soap bubbles on the beach.

If you have a baby or young child, bubbles should be in your beach bag. They are easy to transport and can entertain kids indefinitely. The open space of the beach means kids can run around trying to catch and pop the bubbles without obstacles in their way.

The only downside to bubbles is that you may have to take a break from sunbathing to blow them, but is that really a downside?

Beach ball

Kids playing beach ball by the seashore.

Beach balls have long been a favorite beach toy, as the name suggests. These oversized inflatable balls traditionally come in bright colors.

They are very light and float, which makes them great for playing in the water. They are also ideal for chasing or bouncing around on the sand.

Frisbee

A boy playing frisbee with his father.

Frisbees are an interesting beach toy. Anyone past the age of 3 can throw a Frisbee. However, throwing a Frisbee well is another matter entirely.

If you have young children, opt for a ring or flexible Frisbee instead of the traditional hard plastic-type. Soft Frisbees won’t hurt if your kid misses a catch.

Beach Games

Beach games are games that you can play at the beach. They are ideal for playing on the sand, easy to set up, and easy to travel with.

Beach games include:

  • spikeball
  • horseshoes
  • ring toss
  • jazzmitten
  • toss and catch the ball

Spikeball

Group of men playing spikeball on the sand.

Spikeball is a dynamic game with a very simple setup. A spikeball set includes balls and a net, which looks like a mini trampoline with a net instead of a jumping surface.

The rules are similar to volleyball. Instead of serving the ball over a volleyball net, you’ll spike it onto the net so it pops up on the other side. The other team has to keep the ball airborne and hit it back by spiking it on the net.

Once the game begins, there are no boundaries. It can be played with two or more players. You’ll just need an even number of people to play.

Horseshoes

Horseshoe on the sand.

Horseshoes have been around for a long time. The game is deceptively simple. It was once played with actual horseshoes, but many modern sets use plastic horseshoe-shaped pieces.

There’s a post on the ground, and the object of the game is to toss the horseshoes onto the post. If you don’t get it on the post, the closest to the post wins.

Ring Toss

Little boys playing ring toss by the seashore.

Similar to horseshoes, ring toss involves tossing rings on a post set up on the ground. Ring toss is great for young children and adults alike. Depending on age and skill level, you can choose large rings and a close distance, or smaller rings that are tossed from farther away.

Jazzmitten

Jazzmitten is similar to badmitten without the net. It uses a paddle and birdie. The object of the game is to hit the birdie back and forth without letting it fall.

It can be played slowly for a relaxing game or quickly and competitively. Play sitting down a few feet apart or standing up to 30 feet away for a challenge.

Toss and Catch Ball

Two rackets and a ball on the sand.

Toss and catch ball uses a tennis-type ball and two Velcro paddles. Slip the paddle on your hand, and use it to catch the fuzzy ball. Pull it off the paddle and toss it back to the other person.

This fun take on catch is ideal for young kids and developing hand-eye coordination. It can make catch easier because kids don’t have to focus on closing their hands around the ball.

Types of Beach Toys FAQS

How should you select a beach toy set for kids?

First, the toys should be age-appropriate. Many beach toys span all ages, while others are ideal for younger or older kids. Second, consider your child’s interests. Do they love being in the water? Are they happier on the sand? Are they competitive? This can help you decide which type of beach toy they will enjoy the most.

Once you’ve determined the type of toy that’s best suited to your situation, look for durability. Plastic is usually best for the beach. Metal toys are durable under most circumstances, but salt water and sand can cause them to rust. Plastic holds up well to these elements and doesn’t get too hot in the sun.

What makes a great beach toy?

The best beach toys are the ones that leave room for imagination. Many toys today are very stimulating. They make noise, light up, and have complex parts. They are entertaining, but they don’t require children to use their imagination. The beauty of simple toys is that it leaves room for imaginative play. The beach provides many opportunities for the play itself. A few simple toys like a sand toy set can provide many hours of play.

Can beach toys be used for other activities?

Many beach toys can double as outdoor toys or games. Sand toys are at home in a sandbox. A pool noodle can be used at the pool. Toys like bubbles and Frisbees are great for outdoor play. Games like horseshoes and spikeball can be played anywhere, not just at the beach.

How do you not get bored at the beach?

If you want to avoid getting bored at the beach, bring the right entertainment. Leave the electronics behind and bring a book or lounge in a chaise chair. Get in on the fun and build a sandcastle or go for a swim. Bring a few beach games that are fun for everyone.

What do you wear to the beach?

This depends on your plans for the day. A bathing suit is nearly always appropriate for the beach. However, if you plan to go shopping or out to eat, you’ll need to bring clothes to wear over your suit. A simple dress is convenient and beautiful and looks at home on the beach and off. Shorts and tank tops provide comfort and allow you to get some sun. A hat and sunglasses will help protect you from the sun, and they are trendy as well.

What’s the best bag for the beach?

Mesh bags are popular for the beach because water and sand won’t get stuck in the bag. Canvas is classic beach bag material and offers fun patterns that can put you in the mood for fun. Waterproof bags are a great choice if you plan to bring valuable items like electronics onto the sand.

The DeJaroo Mesh Beach Bag is considered the best beach bag for hauling all your beach day toys and supplies. It’s roomy, with plenty of pockets on the outside and inside, so you can find the items you need. Best of all, it’s waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about water seeping in when you sit the bag on the sand.

How do you clean and store beach toys?

To clean beach toys, you’ll need soap, water, and vinegar. Sand gets everywhere. The easiest way to remove it is with a hose pipe. Small toys can be tossed into a bucket, and larger toys can be laid on a solid surface. If you have a wood or concrete area, it’s a great place to rinse toys. If you don’t, lay them out on a piece of plastic to keep them from getting muddy. Turn on the hose and wash off the sand.

If toys need a deeper clean, you can add soap and or vinegar. A solution of 50/50 vinegar and water is great for killing germs and mildew, you’ll just need to let the toys soak for an hour. Soap can also be applied and rinsed with a hose for a deeper clean.

Once the toys are clean, you can store them in a mesh bag. This keeps them from mildewing if they are still wet when you put them away. Larger toys can be stored in a tote.

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