But if you want a truly iconic beach day, the kind without bored kids whining and bitching about wanting to go home, you need to arrive fully armed with beach and sand toys. Preferably ones that don’t cost as much as your car. Here are our picks for the best beach and sand toys that are easy on the wallet.
You want your sand castle to be fancy and have turrets and other key features. Which is why you need this sand castle kit.
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.
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.
You blow up the bird, and your kids toss rings at it. Because they will inevitably miss, this never gets old.
This set of blow-up flamingoes is lightweight, but also makes quite the beach statement. It’s great for kids, families, and actual adults.
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 sand-proof bag.
This lightweight sturdy mesh bag 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 open-ended, imaginative play.
This 100 percent waterproof pigskin (if pigs were made from embossed neoprene) is perfect for the pool, the beach, or the giant puddle on your regular playing field.
It features heavy-duty stitching and double-tuck laces, which means it’s not slippery when wet. The durable cover is great for any surface, and the long lasting air-retention bladder means your football will still be good-to-go, long after the fingers on your throwing hand have pruned up.
Kids two 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.
Sand can be a pain in the ass, sure. But this sand and water funnel actually makes it fun, and teaches kids cause and effect while encouraging hands-on exploration.
When it comes to beach balls, you want one that's easy for kids to grip, and that doesn't lose its buoyancy. Here's that ball.
This isn’t just a beach ball. It’s a water-skipping ball. And because it’s 3.5 inches in diameter, it’s great for kids.
Normally, we hate bugs at the beach. Not with the Happy Giddy Beach Chair! Its sturdy metal frame is covered with strong, surface-wash material in the shape of a boldy-colored bug buddy!
Reinforced edges prevent tears, and the cover is fade resistant – no matter how many trips to the beach you take! Built in cup holders are perfect for juice boxes – they’re mesh, so any spills will seep right on through – or cans of bug spray. You know, for those other insects.
This game is sort of like racquetball meets Jai-Alai, with a little bit of lacrosse thrown in for good measure.
It features specially designed rackets with nets, and a unique ball known as the Djubi (pronounced “joo-bee”). Use the racket’s built-in launch hook to send the Djubi soaring into the sky, while your kids try to catch it from up to 100 feet away. Just watch out for angry seagull.
Well, the name sorta says it all. This is a kite shaped like an octopus - and it’s awesome!
The Octopus Kite features eight anatomically correct arms that measure almost 160” from head to tip. It’s durable enough to fly at high altitudes, yet light enough to carry anywhere you plan to go. Octopus Fact: Did you know that an octopus can change the color of its body in 3/10 of a second? And some have been known to open childproof pill bottles. You can barely do that.
Let’s see what your kid can drag out of the briny deep this summer! This specially designed Catch and Release Aquarium Kit features a sturdy handle that floats in water.
Attached to the handle is a removable lid, with a screen that you can submerge under water to let aqua dwellers swim, or keep on land and let your new pal get some air. Study your catches up close, then release them safely back into their natural habitat. Or Mom’s Nalgene bottle.
Feelin’ crabby? These cute little crabs are packing a little surprise inside their shells. You throw them back and forth and catch them easily thanks to their Velcro stomachs.
It’s a place to put your hand, so you can wear the Toss and Grab crab like a glove, and play crustacean catch until the tide rolls in. Each crab (there are two per set) features a Velcro belly, so you can toss the ball back and forth, and catch it with ease! This summer, these are the crabs you do want to catch at the beach. $13
This beach set includes three crucial items for finding buried treasure: a digger, grabber, and driller. And it's sized just right for little holds to hold and maneuver.
The grabber in particular will be a hit. It’s a squeeze-powered pincer that you can use to extend your reach, and snatch anything in sight. Lobster-like claws ensure that whatever your kid grabs isn’t going anywhere, except maybe in his or her piggy bank.
Sand is great for building castles and forts, burying parents, and for making pretend cupcakes, of course.
Parents beware – the Sidekicks Sand and Cupcake Set makes sedimentary sweets so delicious looking, you might just want to take a big bite. The 12-piece sand-molding set turns your day at the beach into a day at the bakery, thanks to the unique hinged containers that allow your budding baker to add sand, create a cupcake, then decorate it with the included icing tool. Calling it now: the “Sand Cupcake Cleanse” is going to be the next big thing after the Keto Diet.
As its name indicates, this is a multifunctional toy that is part shovel, sifter and rake.
Why buy three when you can just bring this one genius combo toy? It does it all. Kids 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 little kids who want to fill it and then dump the water on ... you.
It’s been touted as the “smartest water bucket around”. And, thanks to the Quut Ballo Beach Bucket’s sophisticated design – spherical, perfect for small hands, and engineered to prevent spilling – we can’t argue. The bucket has a diameter of almost 8”, which makes it the perfect size to fill a sandcastle moat, or splash Mom and Dad while they sunbathe.
What better way to dig for dinosaur bones, than with a dinosaur bone?
The Haba Dinosaur Sand Glove allows your promising paleontologist the chance to maneuver the maw of a chomping T-Rex while scooping up sand, burying Barbie dolls, or just running around and roaring.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.