Buckets and beach balls have their place, but there is a whole world of titillating toys out there for your kids’ seaside amusement.

What with all the towels, sunscreen, snacks and drinks, packing for the beach and getting your brood there can be a monumental mission. But when you’re finally in place and the sun shines and the ice creams keep coming, you can generally count on happy children.

There is nothing more galling, however, than your heroic efforts being destroyed by cries of boredom or discontent. Worry not: distractions for all ages are out there in abundance. You just have to know where to look for them. Here, we’ve sourced the best sites for inspirational beach toys.


Beach boules, beach rounders, beach quoits? Exquisite reasonably priced versions of all these great games are available at the reassuringly old-school Jaques London. They get things right, because they’ve been at it since 1795.


I Love Retro’s Crazy Cricket Set, with its soft balls and high-quality moulded plastic stumps and bats, is just made for competitive carousing on the beach. The Traditional Diamond Kite is irresistible, too.


You don’t know it yet but every child in your life needs a Scrunch Bucket and a Scrunch Frisbee from Trotters. They come in three extremely cool colours and will change beach life forever.


Available in the UK through Trouva, Green Toys is a charming American brand of hardwearing toys that are totally impervious to sea, salt and sand. Watch your little people spend hours on the beach (and in the pool and bath) in the company of the Boat Bath Toy, Flatbed Truck and Sea Plane.


As ever, Hedgehog is bursting with clever ideas for serious beach work. You’ll want to snap up one of their pretty insect catchers (perfect for rock-pooling) in every colour. Also inspired are the traditional boomerangs and the wonderfully nostalgic windmill flowers.

August 2018