Whether you’re planning a beach getaway abroad or on home turf, the seaside is one of nature’s best playgrounds – and if days spent on the sand are on the agenda, it pays to pack plenty of clobber to keep the kids entertained.
Of course, it depends on who you’re planning on entertaining. Toddlers and pre-schoolers, for example, will inevitably need more consideration than older children who are happy running, swimming and burning off excess energy.
Either way, purely relying on a bucket and spade to keep their attention for the entire day may not be the best port of call. So, we have taken it upon ourselves to find a mixture of the best toys, games and beach accessories to keep them busy up until the tide comes in.
While we have found some of the classic paraphernalia you’d associate with the seaside – think beach balls, kites and, yes, a bucket and spade set – we’ve also found some brands making waves in other areas. From educational toys to open their mind, to weather and waterproof play mats and dolls, there really is something for everyone.
Personally, we loved the group games as, in our mind, the beach is a great place to make some of life’s best memories, so any game that encouraged a little bit of family interaction – with a bit of friendly competition thrown in for good measure – was a huge hit with us.
Basically, we’ve tested toys galore and all to find the best in terms of entertainment, cost, child-friendly design and that were able to travel from car to sandy shores.
How we tested
Our four-year-old, six-year-old and 12-year-old helpers were more than happy to head to the beach and try out a variety of beach toys. We looked for toys that would engage a variety of ages and particularly those that got us burning off some energy.
We considered cost and durability as we wanted toys to last beyond a solo trip to the coast. Fun is the order of the day, so we wanted toys that encouraged happiness and laughter. Also high on the agenda was portability, so handy storage bags and handles gained extra points, and games or toys that can be used at home too got a big thumbs up. These are the ones that really made a splash...
The best beach toys for 2023 are:
- Best overall – Quut triplet beach set: £20, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for day-long beach stays – Sandever BTR 160 beach tennis racket set and net: £74.99, Decathlon.co.uk
- Best card game – Zatu Games dobble beach: £13.95, Board-game.co.uk
- Best for portability – Waboba backnine, Normadic disc golf: £18.05, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for durability – Liewood Dante beach set: £38.77, Liewood.com