10 Best Sand Toys For Beach Or Sand Pit Fun

Sarah Hallam
Dec 22, 2023 By Sarah Hallam
Originally Published on Jul 06, 2021
girl building sandcastles on the beach with her sand toys
Age: 0-99
Read time: 6.5 Min

Every parent knows that while sand play might be messy, it's a fun and easy activity that keeps kids entertained for hours.

While a simple bucket and spade set could be all you need for the kids to create that perfect sandcastle, there are so many types of beach toy that encourage creative thinking, pretend play skills and sensory development.

Whether you're heading off to the seaside or simply looking for some sandpit toys the kids will love, we've searched far and wide to find the best options for you.

Image © Nadezhda1906 via iStock

Kidadl's Top Pick

1. B. Summer Beach Bag‍

A B. Summer Beach Bag.
Image © Smyths Toys

It's got buckets. It's got spades. It's got sand moulds. Including a water play jug, a rake, sand filter, spinning wheel and sand dump truck too, the B.

Summer Beach Bag really does have it all. Plus, it's all ready to go in a handy wipe-clean plastic beach bag. If you're looking for something to grab and go on your way to the beach, this option is for you. The set includes 11 beach toys that encourage imaginative play, at a reasonable price.

Main Features

  • Price: £16.99
  • Ages: 18 months+
  • Contains a bucket, shovel, rake, mini sand truck, water jug, four sand moulds, sand filter and pinwheel
  • Colourful, durable and easy to clean
  • Large carry bag for easy transportation

2. BIOPlastic Bucket Set

A BIOPlastic Bucket Set.
Image © Smyths Toys

To get kids playing with eco-friendly options from the start, the BIOplastic Bucket Set is a great transition into the world of sustainable toys. Made entirely from sugarcane, this simple beach toy set includes a bucket, rake, shovel and watering can.

For a durable and plastic-free toy set that doesn't compromise on sandcastle-building abilities, the BIOplastic collection is a great option. The natural colours also mean your child won't get their toys lost among all the others at the beach.

Main Features

  • Price: £12.99
  • Ages: 2+
  • Made from sustainable materials
  • 100% recyclable
  • Dishwasher safe

3. Green Toys Dump Truck‍

A Green Toys Dump Truck.
Image © Green Toys

This chunky and colourful truck is made from recycled plastic milk jugs, making it one of the best beach toys for environmentally conscious families. Unlike some other sand toys for kids, the tipping function of the dumper truck really works, so kids can have hours of fun playing with this nifty toy in the sandpit or at the beach.

Main Features

  • Price: £24.35
  • Ages: 1+
  • Working tipping function
  • Chunky design makes it easy for kids to handle
  • BPA, lead, and phthalate free
  • Dishwasher safe

Best For Pretend Play

4. Melissa & Doug Sand Cupcake Set

A Melissa & Doug Sand Cupcake Set.
Image © Melissa & Doug

If your child loves to pretend play, this fun and imaginative 'baking' set comes with everything they'll need to make their very own sand cupcakes. A brilliant gift option, the set includes a four-cup baking tray, four cupcake moulds, a hinged cake mould and a decoration pen.

This creative set is a great way to take pretend play to another level and will make every beach day one to remember.

Main Features

  • Price: £10.99
  • Ages: 3+
  • Colourful design to allow for colour matching activities
  • Unique hinged cupcake mould that allows kids to 'serve' their sand cupcakes
  • Carry bag included

5. Simba Ice Cream Beach Set‍

A Simba Ice Cream Beach Set.
Image © Simba

For kids who love their ice cream, this fun and simple set allows the whole family to engage in some pretend play. One of our favourite budget beach toys, these simple durable cones will help kids with imaginative play, and the easy-to-use scoop means they are able to create a proper 'ice cream' every time.

Main Features

  • Price: £3.99
  • Ages: 3+
  • Range of colours
  • Slightly larger than a real ice cream cone, so easy for kids to use
  • Easy to clean

6. CAT Construction Fleet Wheel Loader Sand Toy Set‍

A CAT Construction Fleet Wheel Loader Sand Toy Set.
Image © Argos

If you're looking for the real deal when it comes to construction play, this wheel loader set is the perfect option. One of our best beach or sandpit toys for pretend play, kids will get the full building experience with this set.

Complete with a hard hat, rake, shovel, and of course, a loader truck, this set allows kids to fully absorb themselves in their play.

Main Features

  • Price: £15
  • Ages: 2+
  • Comes with a matching construction hard hat
  • Easy to wipe clean

Best For Families On A Budget

7. Smyths Toys Bucket Set Assortment‍

A Smyths Toys Bucket Set Assortment.
Image © Smyths Toys

When it comes to the best beach toys for kids, you simply cannot go wrong with a bucket and spade. This set also includes a rake and a sand mould to boot, so there will be no shortage of fun to be had on your day at the beach or sandpit.

Sturdy and colourful, this set is made to last and is great value for money.

Main Features

  • Price: £3.99
  • Ages: 2+
  • Different colour options
  • Sturdy and hardwearing
  • Easy to clean

8. Scrunch Bucket‍

A Scrunch Bucket.
Image © Scrunch

Packing for your journey to and from the beach can be a challenge; with all the towels, suncream, wet clothes and blankets to think about, it can be hard to even consider how you're going to pack the beach toys. This is where Scrunch comes in.

The Scrunch bucket is made from non-toxic silicone and can be easily folded or rolled up when not in use.

Still perfectly functional as a bucket when in use, kids can make sandcastles, collect water and play to their heart's content. Scrunch also make spades and frisbees, so all the toys you need can be folded down and stashed away with ease, without losing their shape.

Main Features

  • Price: £7.99
  • Ages: 1+
  • Available in a variety of colours
  • Made from food-grade, non-toxic silicone
  • Reusable and durable
  • Easy to clean

9. Quut Ballo Beach Bucket

A Quut Ballo Beach Bucket.
Image © Quut

This is a beach bucket like no other! The 'smart' design of this unusual spherical bucket means it can be filled with water or sand, and pulled along with minimal spillage.

Designed by Belgian company Quut, this bucket is made ergonomically, so it is easy for little hands to grab. Plus, not only is the Ballo bucket recyclable, but it is also free from BPA, latex and phthalates.

Main Features

  • Price: £16.99
  • Ages: 3+
  • Available in a variety of colours
  • Ergonomic, non-spill design
  • Recyclable

10. Chad Valley Sand And Water Table‍

A Chad Valley Sand And Water Table.
Image © Argos

If you're looking to have all the fun of the beach in the comfort of your own home, a sand table can be a great investment. The Chad Valley Sand Table has two trays that can be filled with either sand or water, depending on weather and preference.

Great for hot summer days and sensory activities, this set includes a selection of extra toys so kids can get involved with some fun messy play. Plus, there is a drain plug to easily empty the table once playtime is over.

Main Features

  • Price: £25
  • Ages: 2+
  • Includes two boats, scoop, rake, and two sand moulds
  • Easy assembly
  • For water or sand use
  • Removable lid
  • Drain plug included preventing leaks
  • 7.6 litres capacity on each side

Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for best sand toys then why not take a look at some brilliant beach shoes, or for something different take a look at messy mud kitchens.

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Written by Sarah Hallam

Diploma of Education, Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts specializing in Illustration and Visual media

Sarah Hallam picture

Sarah HallamDiploma of Education, Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts specializing in Illustration and Visual media

With a Diploma in Education specializing in Fine Arts (Painting) and a Bachelor of Arts specializing in Illustration and Visual media from the University of Arts London, Sarah previously was a London-based teacher who brought her passion for art and culture to the classroom. Her creative endeavors include painting classes and experimenting with new recipes. She draws inspiration from the world around her and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others while sipping a cup of tea.

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