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Best Overall: FoxPrint Beach Sand Toy 16-pc Set at Walmart "Everything your child needs for making sandcastles."
Best for Nature Lovers: Dry Branch Beach Aquarium Kit at Amazon "Fill it with water and captured sea creatures; then suspend it in a rock pool, allowing fresh water to flow in and out."
Best for Older Kids: Djubi Classic Catching Set at Amazon "Ideal for older kids who require a little more excitement to stay entertained."
Best for Family Fun: Bocce Ball Set and Carrying Case at Amazon "Suitable for up to four players of all ages from toddlers to grandparents."
Best for Adults: BucketBall Beach Edition Set at Amazon "Custom-made for bachelor weekends and spring break getaways."
Best Traditional: Four-Pack Rainbow Beach Balls at Amazon "Sometimes, the simplest games are the ones that stand the test of time."
Best Budget: JBM Frisbee Flying Sports Disc at Amazon "A solid investment for the budget-conscious beachgoer."
Best Kite: Hengda Easy Flyer Kite for Kids at Amazon "Several vivid color options to choose from, including red, orange, purple and pink. Some have rainbow-colored tentacles."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: FoxPrint Beach Sand Toy, 16-Piece Set
Amazingly affordable, the FoxPrint Beach Sand Toy Set provides everything your child needs for making sandcastles. It contains 16 individual pieces, each made from durable, lightweight plastic. It also includes six animal-themed sand molds, four miniature castle molds and a castle-shaped bucket with a lid that doubles as a sand sifter.
The included watering can, rake and shovel are great for crafting moats and drawbridges; while the diversity of the set guarantees hours of entertainment for even the shortest attention span. The set is also designed to promote hand-eye coordination and critical thinking skills, while the bold primary shades can be used to teach kids their colors. It comes in a zippered bag with twin carry handles for easy transport and storage and weighs just 1.6 lbs. Intended for children aged two and older, the set guarantees mom and dad their fair share of fun as well.
Best for Nature Lovers: Dry Branch Catch and Release Beach Aquarium Kit
Designed with budding naturalists in mind, the Dry Branch Catch and Release Beach Aquarium Kit is the ideal companion for rock-pooling trips. The transparent plastic globe features a removable screen lid, so you can fill it with water and captured sea creatures; then suspend it in a rock pool, allowing fresh water to flow in and out. In this way, your little one can admire their catch, then release it safely at the end of the day. It’s a great educational tool, and also instills an awareness of conservation and environmental responsibility. The handle doubles as a float and is attached to the lid so that neither get lost.
Best for Older Kids: Djubi Classic Catching Set
The Djubi Classic Catching Set is ideal for older kids who require a little more excitement to stay entertained. This innovative game is a high-adrenaline reinvention of the age-old favorite, Catch. Players use a launching hook to propel a ball fitted with an elastic tag through the air, to be caught by a partner with a netted racquet. Though the premise is simple, the thrill of sending a ball flying up to 100 feet through the air is considerable - while catching it requires a feat of agility and coordination.
The set includes two foam Djubi balls and two racquets, both with ergonomic handles and an integrated launching hook. The balls are designed to float - so that if they end up in the sea, a quick dip is all that’s required to resume play. The manufacturer also recommends this toy for children aged eight and older.
Best for Family Fun: Bocce Ball Set and Equipment Carrying Case
Looking for a game that the whole family can play? Consider purchasing the Bocce Ball Set and Equipment Carrying Case. Bocce is easy to set up, easy to learn and suitable for up to four players of all ages from toddlers to grandparents. This set includes four green bocce balls, four red bocce balls (both with two different scoring patterns) and a white pallino marker ball. The bocce balls are made from a poly-resin compound that won’t break and can withstand all weathers.
When you’re not at the coast, bocce can also be played in your backyard or local park. In this way, the fun isn’t restricted to summer beach trips, but continues all year round. The set also comes with a weather-resistant carry case. It measures 7” x 7” x 7”, and includes two handles for easy transport from the car park to your spot on the shore.
Best for Adults: BucketBall Beach Edition Set
Custom-made for bachelor weekends and spring break getaways, the BucketBall Beach Edition Set is the outdoors-sized version of legendary drinking game beer pong. It includes 12 ultra-durable buckets (six blue, six orange), two hybrid game balls, a handy set of instructions and a tote bag for storing and transporting the set. The buckets are meant to be filled with sand and water for extra stability, with your penalty drinks kept nearby.
The entire set weighs under seven pounds and packs away into less than a cubic foot of space, making it easily portable and handy to store in between beach trips. If you feel really serious about your future as a BucketBall champion, consider purchasing the brand’s inflatable bucket rack separately. In this way, you can move play from the sand to the water at will.
Best Traditional: Four-Pack Rainbow Beach Balls
Sometimes, the simplest games are the ones that stand the test of time. The Four-Pack Rainbow Beach Balls set includes four traditional beach balls - much like the ones your parents used to play with when they were small. They’re cheap, cheerful and provide endless entertainment for everyone, whether you choose to kick them around on the sand or throw them to one another in the waves.
Of course, beach balls are notoriously easy to pop, which is why this four-pack set is a smart purchase. It’s also a great idea for large families: with four balls to choose from, there’s less chance of siblings arguing over whose turn it is to play. The beach balls are easy to inflate orally and measure approximately 24” in diameter when deflated.
Best Budget: JBM Frisbee Flying Sports Disc
The high-quality JBM Frisbee is a solid investment for the budget-conscious beachgoer. More than that, playing frisbee is a great way to have fun and keep fit; and even to make new friends on the beach. This one is made from durable, non-toxic polyethylene. It measures 10.5” in diameter, and tips the scales at just .4 pounds. Shaped to reduce resistance and increase tension, the frisbee's smooth, slightly weighted edge gives you the optimum grip for throwing and catching. Choose yours in a beachy shade of blue or opt for highly visible orange instead.
Best Kite: Hengda Easy Flyer Kite for Kids
The Hengda Easy Flyer Kite is shaped like an octopus and perfect for kids. Made entirely of a soft yet strong nylon polymer, it has no sharp edges and is remarkably easy to fly. It’s also visually impressive, measuring 31” in width and four meters from the top of the octopus’ head to the end of its streaming tentacles. There are several vivid color options to choose from, including red, orange, purple and pink. Some have rainbow-colored tentacles. Your purchase includes the string, handle and a bag for compact storage.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best kites.
Products We Tested
How We Tested
We bought two top-rated beach toys that our reviewer tested for six hours. We asked our tester to consider the most important features when using these beach toys, including their portability, durability, and price. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look For in a Beach Toy
Portability Chances are you’re already going to be dragging a ton of stuff with you en route to the ocean—and adding a lot of bulky plastic toys isn’t going to help things. Look for lightweight toys you can inflate on-site, or ones that pack up tightly in their own cases.
Budget If you’re heading to the beach once a summer, don’t spend a ton of money on beach toys—it’s a lot to pack and spend for limited use. If, however, you practically live on the sand in the summer, go ahead and splash out on some toys that will hold up afternoon after afternoon.
Durability Beach toys are a lot of fun, but they also have a reputation for being on the flimsy side. If you’re going to the beach frequently, look into the strength of the materials you’re purchasing so that you’re not disappointed by a broken toy an hour into the beach trip. Look for kites, for example, that are made out of nylon polymer instead of cheap plastic.
Test Results: FoxPrint Beach Sand Toys Set (Best Overall)
What We Like
Includes all the basic sand toys
Has fun extra molds
Made of sturdy materials
Simple, thoughtful design
What We Don't Like
Sand clings to the case
Challenging to get pieces back in case
“It's a lot of fun, attractive, well-designed, and has a lot of options and ways to use it,” our tester said of the FoxPrint set. In fact, our reviewer didn’t find many faults with this “awesome” toy. “The only negative is that it can be hard to get all the pieces back into the case and that sand sticks to it, but that would be the case with any plastic sand toy,” she explained. The verdict? “This product is highly recommended,” our tester declared.
Test Results: Dry Branch Catch and Release Beach Aquarium Kit (Best for Nature Lovers)
What We Like
Simple, portable design
Promotes environmental stewardship
What We Don't Like
Sand sticks to aquarium
Lid might loosen over time
This kit came highly recommended by our tester as a “deceptively simple” and educational beach toy. “This is a great item to take to the beach, particularly for kids who are interested in sea creatures,” she reported. “It gives kids a fun way to explore the shore and educates them about the concept of catch and release.” While “it can be hard to clean the sand off of the plastic dome,” according to our reviewer, she felt that overall it’s “well-designed” and “fun to use.”