Remember when all you needed for a trip to the beach was a towel and a trashy paperback? Well, times have changed, haven't they, mama? With toddlers in tow, you're going to need to come prepared with ways to keep them busy and happy. Namely, sand toys. Buckets, sifters, molds and even trucks have been known to keep little ones engaged for hours as they scoop and dig. And entertained kids = more relaxed adults. (Of course, you're also going to need a metric ton of snacks, water, sunscreen, an entire armload of towels, a tent, umbrella...)
Not heading to the beach? (Why? It's so fun and easy! 😉) No problem. These awesome sand toys are also perfect for your backyard sandbox.
Everything they need for a day of fun at the beach, all packed up in a wagon they want to drag along themselves? Yes, please.
Outdoor mess-making > indoor mess-making. Let them live out their Master Chef Junior fantasies at the beach instead of the kitchen with this super-fun sand baking kit which comes with shell-shaped measuring cups, octopus whisk, crab mixing spoon, and a mixing bowl. Bonus! The turtle lid on the mixing bowl doubles as a sifter.
If your little baker just can't get enough, this Melissa & Doug set has all the tools needed to make enough sand "cookies" to satiate Cookie Monster.
Budding paleontologists will be thrilled to dig for dino bones with the ultra-cool dinosaur sand glove from HABA. Let them scoop and explore or bury it for a big reveal.
HAPE world landmark sand molds
It might be awhile before they're traveling the world, but it's never too early to learn about all the cool things there are to see out there. Take world architecture lessons to the beach with these fun molds of the Taj Mahal, Parthenon, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Colosseum, and Eiffel Tower.
Matty's Toy Stop multi-color shovel set
These sturdy scoops are great for little hands and come as a set of three, so no worries if one goes missing.
How much fun can five cups be? TONS, as it turns out. Not only do they fit together and build a colorful tower, but some have holes in the bottom for pouring water or sand. Kids will find endless ways to play while the thick construction means they'll last a good long while. (And when sand play season is over, they make the perfect bath toy!)
If you're looking for a one-stop shop, the Hape beach toy essential set is it. Not only does it include 11 high-quality BPA-free sand toys, but they're all conveniently packed up in a mesh backpack that even a toddler can carry.
Spielstabil shows up on this list a few times for good reason—their quality is unbeatable. Not only is this sweet little watering can dubbed "indestructible" but it also comes with a ten year guarantee. The two handle design is great for toddlers whether they're playing in the sand or tending to the garden.
Filed under "what took so long," these brilliant buckets collapse to make fun on-the-go easy-peasy. Made from BPA-free plastic and food-grade silicone, the space saving design is perfect for everything from sand lugging to keeping pups hydrated on adventures.
Toddlers have been known to spend hours scooping, dumping and driving trucks along the sand. Give yourself that gift of peace and quiet with this engaging construction set! The parts move to mimic the real thing and they're designed to take a beating—after all, they are CAT!
Pro-tip: Sequester the sand toys. Mixing and mingling guarantees sandy snacks and no one likes those. This super-affordable mesh bag makes it easy to collect all their toys and treasures without contaminating everything else or bringing the beach home with you. The generous opening makes it easy to get everything in there and it conveniently folds up into its own little pocket when you're done.
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