Summer Must-Haves: The Best Sand Toys for Kids

For families and children, summertime is the perfect time to bond, play and learn together. Building sand castles is a great part of the experience of going to the beach for young children.

It helps keep young minds busy and stimulated during the long summer holiday, passing the time while also training key skills. Sand toys help to enhance this experience. To learn what sand toys are, and how to use them, read on below.

What are sand toys?

Any toy that helps children as they play in the sand is a sand toy. Molds, scoops, and spades all count. These function both as tools to help children collect, transport and deposit sand. However, by helping children to manipulate the sand and use it to form imaginative creations, they are also excellent, cost-efficient toys.

Why are sand toys such a summer must have? Why use sand toys?

We know that playing in the sand is both an important source of fun and an excellent way to support child development. But you may not have considered how sand toys specifically can enhance the experience.

  • Helps build better sand castles. The first reason is the simplest – aided by some basic tools and toys, children can build bigger and more stable sand castles more quickly.

  • Removes limits on imagination. There are limits to what a child’s small hands can do on their own. Children have extremely large and ambitious imaginations, and sometimes, when confronted with their own limitations, they become frustrated. Don’t let that ruin your fun day at the beach! With just a few simple toys, children can be empowered to make their boldest creations come to life.

  • Improves creativity. What can a dome-shaped mold become? A roof of a building? A hill in a huge city? The eye of a big monster? When we look at simple geometric shapes, we challenge ourselves to imagine the different ways we can use them. Translating abstract shapes into real-life objects is an excellent way to improve creativity.

  • eaches children how to use tools. Whether it’s holding a pencil, using a hammer, or twirling a paintbrush, at some point in their lives, your child will have to learn to use tools. Usage of tools is what sets human beings apart as an intelligent species – it’s no wonder it’s such a key part of development. While regular sand play helps children use their hands, when using molds or scrapers, children are challenged to learn how to combine their hands with external tools for maximum results.

What should I look for when picking out a sand toy?

Look for practical, versatile shapes that will offer your child many options as they build their sand castles.

Unlike most of the items you’ll probably find on your child’s wish list, sand toys don’t need to be technologically advanced – in fact, they probably shouldn’t be. Fine mechanisms and careful detail work are likely to get ruined in the sand, and nobody wants to spend hours washing sand out of tiny crevices. Instead, keep an eye out for simple but effective ideas that will require little maintenance to use or clean.

Nonetheless, you still want to find a toy that will be stimulating to a child. Children are attracted to colors, especially primary colors like red, yellow and blue – this is a good place to start.

Lastly, never compromise on your child’s health – a BPA free and nontoxic material puts your mind at ease and allows your child to play freely.