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A day at the beach doesn’t have to be complicated. A towel, some shades and sunscreen will do in a pinch. But when you’re traveling with your family, it’s often nice to pack a few fun toys that will help keep the trips entertaining, and help extend your beach fun. Here are a few of our favorite beach toys, broken down by age group:
• Sandcastle kit
This is actually a good thing to pack no matter how old your kids are! You’ll want to be sure a bucket or two are included, as well as shovels, rakes, and different shapes for forming into castle components. In a pinch, this can be as simple as some big serving spoons and Dixie cups and a big soft drink cup, but some durability is a good idea.
• Sand molding toys
Toddlers love making little sand shapes, whether you find starfish, letters and numbers, or even a sand cupcake kit. You will, of course, have to keep an eye on some toddlers, who have a hard time resisting the urge to taste the sand cupcakes …
In addition to your sand toys, older kids might enjoy playing in the wind at the beach! Try a kite. There are varying levels of difficulty, depending on your child. Be careful in crowded sections of beach though. So check out the beach where you plan to hang out before you go and buy a large kite that might crash down on a crowd, and could even hurt someone.
• Throwing disc
There’s a wide variety of throwing discs out there. For safety’s sake, start with something soft-sided before you step up to fast, heavy discs. You can also try a plastic version of horseshoes, which can be a fun challenge.
These are not exactly boogie boards—they’re thinner, and are used at the very edge of the water. You run along the water line, toss down the skimboard, and jump on for a hydroplane ride. A great way to get out a lot of energy, and safer than a surfboard.
While not exactly a toy, teens love the opportunity to play their tunes. It may not be your favorite, but it’s a small price to pay for a satisfied teenager.
• Bocce Ball
In this fun family game, a target ball is thrown first, and then team members try to throw their balls as close to the target as possible. It’s harder than it sounds!