There are many things you need for a successful day at the beach with a toddler. A rash guard, to keep the sun off and avoid bumps and scrapes, floaties or a life vest, so they can enjoy the shallows, beach shoes, to avoid bumps and stubbed toes, and towels, blankets, sunscreen, and everything else that a beach day needs.
What you don’t need is loads of toys. The beach is enough excitement on its own, right? But…while toys might not be strictly necessary, the right toys can take a day at the beach from fun to AWESOME in the blink of an eye. And while a bucket and spade for making sandcastles will probably distract your toddler for the majority of the day, having a decent range of beach toys for toddlers will ensure that they have a great time all the way through to sunset.
So if you’ve just snapped up that best last minute cruise and want to ensure a truly memorable, exciting vacation with your little ones, here are some of the best beach toys for toddlers that you really don’t need, but that might make their trip truly awesome!
Things to keep in mind when choosing beach toys
Is it durable?
Kids’ toys break…that’s just a fact of life. But you want to get as much value for money out of your toddler’s beach toys as possible, so keep durability in mind when picking your beach toys. Salt, sand, and rocks are all a bit of a nightmare when it comes to maintaining your toys, so beach toys should be extra-long-lasting if at all possible.
Is it portable?
A day at the beach requires a lot of kit, and you don’t want to add too much to the load. Try to find beach toys that aren’t too heavy and are reasonably easy to carry. Ideally you’ll pick up a few options that your toddler can handle all by themselves!
Does it pack up small?
And it isn’t just about carrying – your beach toys need to be able to fit into bags and into the trunk of your car at the end of the day! So try and choose toys that fold up small, or don’t take up too much room.
The best beach toys for toddlers
Inflatable body board
Your toddlers are a little too young to get out and hit the waves just yet, but that doesn’t mean they can’t join in the fun! An inflatable body board lets them take on their very first breaks and play around in the shallows like the little grommets that they are.
For a little bit of watery fun, try adding foam water squirters to the mix. Your kids will enjoy shooting streams of water at each other for hours. Just keep an eye out for a sneak attack, as your sun lounger will definitely be considered fair game!
A Melissa & Doug sand toy
Develop the engineer inside your kids with a Melissa & Doug toy that allows them to sift and funnel sand and water. These are a great combo of play and education, as your toddlers learn about physics, engineering, and cause and effect.
Dump trucks and tractors
You can’t go wrong with a few toy vehicles, and as it’s the beach, why not let them load up a dump truck or tractor full of sand, drive it around, then dump its payload wherever it needs to go. These toys add an extra level to sandcastle building, and soon enough you’ll find you want to have a go yourself!