The best beach toys for a family day at the beach are easy to pack, waterproof, budget-friendly, and can hold up to strong gusts of wind from the shore.
When we're packing up the car for a day at the beach as a family, there is always room to throw in a few essential beach toys to keep us all entertained.
As newbie beach goers, we used to wait till we got to the beach town for our visit and then stock up on overpriced, utterly flimsy, plastic junk at the local beach shops.
After just a couple visits, we soon figured out we were better off finding better priced and better made items online at home and making room in the car for them.
We simply store them in the garage and use them again and again for each beach trip.
The Top 3 Essential Beach Toys
You truly don't need a lot of beach toys to keep the kids happy. Keep in mind the classics that keep the focus on the beach itself:
- A solid beach pail
- A sturdy shovel
- A sand sifter
If I had to pick just 3, those would be the beach toys I would pack in the car no matter how old my kids are.
They can be repurposed for both play and practical activities:
- Building sand castles
- Digging and collecting shells
- Scooping water from the ocean for easy rinsing of our other gear or feet
- Digging holes for our beach umbrella
- And so much more.
Toys for All Ages
My list of beach toys starts with the top 3 essentials and then progresses by age level.
As our kids have grown up at the beach, we've upgraded our gear from simple pails to more interactive toys that are super fun for the teens and adults in the group to play together, too.
Even if you're heading to the beach with a group of all adults, don't underestimate how much more fun you might have with tucking a cornhole set or bocce ball set in your beach wagon!
While you're making your packing list, don't miss my list of the best beach gear for a family trip, too.